10 Great Restaurants In Madrid

Madrid is a hub for Michelin-starred restaurants, contemporary Spanish fusions and traditional culinary culture / Pixabay
Madrid is a hub for Michelin-starred restaurants, contemporary Spanish fusions and traditional culinary culture / Pixabay
Photo of Cristina Tomàs White
9 February 2017

Madrid is a hub for Michelin-starred restaurants, contemporary Spanish fusions and traditional culinary culture. The city is famed for its passion for food and is home to some of the best chefs in the world. Madrid is a must for foodies who love experimental molecular gastronomy and state-of-the- art culinary presentation.

Tuna with tomato and almonds at el Club Allard | © MollySVH/Flickr

El Club Allard

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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Tuna with tomato and almonds at el club Allard | © MollySVH / Flickr
Once a private members club, El Club Allard has been open to the public since 2003. Almost hidden away, its inconspicuous entrance leads the diner through to an elegant space within this early twentieth century building. The culinary fare of chef Diego Guerrero Alava has been celebrated with the presentation of two Michelin stars, the first received in 2007 and the other in 2011. Renowned for their creativity, the dishes are served with artistic presentation which truly exemplifies the relationship between art and cuisine.

Restaurante Kabuki Wellington

Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi, Asian, $$$
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Kabuki boasts not only one Michelin star but has a beautiful location within the prestigious Hotel Wellington. This sushi restaurant beautifully combines Japanese cuisine with traditional Spanish flavors. Leaning heavily towards the typically relaxed and informal Spanish atmosphere, the restaurant boasts minimalist yet sophisticated interiors. Trained sushi chefs deliver memorable sushi with the freshest fish, making Kabuki a popular stop for those visiting Madrid.

Cantina la Traviesa

Bar, Restaurant, Spanish, Mediterranean, European
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This restaurant is a favorite among locals due to its famous seafood paella and sociable atmosphere. A lively and authentic Spanish restaurant, Cantina la Traviesa is now in its fourth generation and has been part of Madrid’s culinary landscape for over a hundred years. Its history stretches back to 1908, when intellectuals would meet and drink there. Cantina la Traviesa is a perfect place to be indulged and fully immersed in the local Spanish atmosphere whilst still paying affordable prices.

Botín

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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Cochinillo asado at Restaurante Botin
Cochinillo asado at Restaurante Botin | ©blueant808/Flickr
Botín is considered to be the world’s oldest working restaurant and dates back to 1725. Its history is unfathomable and the rumors persist that the artist Goya worked here washing dishes as he awaited his place at the Royal Academy, London. The restaurant is also mentioned in Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises, and it is no secret that famous figures, including members of the monarchy, have eaten here. The menu has hardly changed, serving mouthwatering food including their famous suckling pig. It is popular with tourists, so booking a table is highly recommended.

Santceloni

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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Santceloni kitchen | © PromoMadrid, author Max Alexander / Flickr
Santceloni’s team of chefs was the restaurant’s key to winning a Michelin star the same year of its opening. After its successful inauguration in 2001, the restaurant was awarded another Michelin star in 2005 alongside numerous other awards. Santceloni’s team of chefs trained under the prestigious Santi Santamaría before moving to Madrid and transferring their culinary knowledge into the kitchens of Santceloni. The interior is contemporary and simple and does not distract from the world famous haute cuisine the restaurant promises. Its ‘Great Menu’ is adapted for each guest and incorporates the freshest food from the daily market.

Taberna Txakolí

Bar, Food Court, Spanish
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The culinary tradition of pinchos is still very present in Spanish and Basque life and is considered to be a backbone in social customs. Pinchos are miniature meals held together by a toothpick that is usually skewered through layers of food on top of a piece of bread. Pinchos line the bar at Txakolí, and there is a distinct relaxed Spanish attitude as customers help themselves to these bite sized dishes. The bill at the end depends on the number of toothpicks left on the plate. Txacolí keeps this Spanish tradition alive with its experimental variation of pinchos and its charmingly informal atmosphere. Txacolí has a lively atmosphere and, combined with its enticing food, has become central to Madrid’s nightlife.

Zalacaín

Restaurant, European, Spanish, $$$
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With close to 800 wines on the list and an expert sommelier enhancing the cuisine through careful suggestions, the dining experience at Zalacaín is above and beyond luxurious. The restaurant opened forty years ago and has since established itself as a leader in Madrid’s culinary scene. It is thought to be the birthplace for gastronomy in Madrid, and throughout the years its style has evolved from a focus on Basque cuisine to the international flavors it prioritizes today. Head chef Juan Antonio Medina Gálvez has firmly made his culinary identity known with his twists on classic dishes such as lasagne gratin of ‘Boletus edulis’ and foie gras.

La Terraza del Casino

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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Calle Alcalá is one of the oldest roads in Madrid and where Casino de Madrid is found. Perched upon the rooftop of the casino is the two Michelin Star restaurant La Terraza del Casino,which overlooks Madrid’s spectacular skyline. The entire tasting menu is worthy of trying and, with its seemingly never-ending courses, it is the best way to appreciate the restaurant’s passion for culinary art and presentation. Set within a historic building, this restaurant exudes a formal air, and gentlemen guests are not allowed in without a dinner jacket.

Ramon Freixa

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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Ramon Freixa demonstrates a profound respect for the molecular gastronomy experience. The dining space, or as the restaurant calls it ‘the space of happiness’, is intentionally intimate to ensure guests receive maximum attention. This two Michelin-starred restaurant is known for its creative tasting menus titled ‘Grand Frx; First Sight, Romance, Passion’, ‘The Experience’ and ‘The Emotion in Ninety Minutes’. With names such as these, it is hardly surprising that the menus themselves are creative, adventurous and theatrical, with a touch of humor.

Sergi Arola Gastro

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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Husband and wife team Sergi Arola and Sara Fort are clearly devoted to the culinary experience since every detail in Sergi Arola Gastro has been obsessively considered. The restaurant creates a unique dining experience through the inclusion of personal and handmade features. The pair previously worked at the two Michelin-starred restaurant, La Broche, before starting their own restaurant with Sergi as the chef and Sara as the the sommelier. Their menus are an adaption and evolution of the most successful dishes featured in previous menus, combined into one unforgettable culinary delight.