Madrid’s Top Gastro Bars and Avant-Garde Restaurants

Madrid is making a name for itself when it comes to its gastronomic offerings, with a range of exciting restaurants taking the traditional tapas concept just a bit further. From Michelin-starred restaurants to local hidden gems, we discover some of the city’s best avant-garde restaurants you need to explore on your next visit.

Ramses Life

Restaurant, Spanish, Asian
Restaurante Ramses Life, Madrid
Restaurante Ramses Life, Madrid | Embutidos

Restaurant meets design concept, Ramses was conceived by legendary French designer Philippe Starck, and walking into the restaurant feels like stepping into a masterpiece of modern art. A feast for the senses, the décor is whimsical and, when it comes to food, the choice is yours. The part-restaurant, part-club, part-cocktail bar has three different dining options: international cuisine at Natsuki, a Mediterranean menu at Suria, or light bites on the restaurant’s outdoor terrace, with views over the Puerta de Alcalá, one of Madrid’s most iconic monuments.

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Street XO

Restaurant, Asian, Fusion, $$$

The little brother of DiverXO, Madrid’s only three-Michelin-star restaurant, is this cool street food spot in the Gourmet Experience, a gastronomic floor full of food stalls in Madrid’s main department store, El Corte Inglés. The street food menu was designed by David Muñoz, the founder of DiverXO and the youngest chef in Spain to gain three Michelin stars. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by Asian street food stalls, with chefs preparing the food in front of your eyes and serving it straight up to hungry customers.

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Restaurant, Indian, $$$
Benares Madrid is the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar
Benares Madrid is the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar | ©Bruno Cordioli/Wikipedia Commons

This high-end Indian restaurant is the brainchild of Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar, an offshoot of his popular London restaurant. It offers a creative twist on classic Indian cuisine in a beautifully-designed setting. On warm nights, sit on the restaurant’s terrace and listen to the water lapping from a nearby fountain while images of Mumbai are projected onto the outside wall, transporting you halfway across the world.

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Restaurant, Diner, Spanish, Mediterranean, European, $$$

Chef Diego Guerrero has been impressing food-loving Madrileños with his Michelin-starred offerings at Dstage since the restaurant opened in 2014. Guerrero had previously earned two Michelin stars at a different Madrid restaurant, but became sick of the classic cuisine on offer and wanted to let his creative juices flow. Set in a former brewery, Dstage’s vast, two-floor area is dominated by the kitchen, which opens onto the dining area, giving guests the chance of a front-row seat to see the talented chefs at work.

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Restaurant, Spanish, Tapas, Mediterranean, European, $$$

This family-run restaurant is a firm favorite with Madrid foodies, and is where chefs go on their night off, for the top class food and a welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant was founded in 1972 by a Madrid couple who named it after their son, Sacha. Today, Sacha runs the restaurant, which specializes in classic Spanish tapas with a Galician twist. Diners rave about the spider crab ravioli, while the seafood menu is extensive and tempting. Sasha’s menus change depending on seasonally available ingredients, so you’re always guaranteed the best and freshest dishes.

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Punto MX

Restaurant, Mexican, $$$

Chef Roberto Ruiz elevates Mexican cuisine from street food to a creative and boundary-pushing concept at Punto MX, his Michelin-starred Madrid restaurant. Ruiz never forgets his dishes’ traditional roots, using classic Mexican ingredients and methods alongside local Spanish produce. The restaurant also includes the Mezcal Lab, a Mexican gastro bar offering a relaxed atmosphere and the biggest collection of Mezcal in Europe.

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Restaurant, Spanish, Mediterranean, $$$
TriCiclo | © Kostas Limitsios/Flickr

This restaurant, opened by a trio of chefs, Javier Goya, Javier Mayor and David Alfonso, who have made a name for themselves in Madrid for their fresh, seasonal dishes, and creative take on traditional tapas. The restaurant has won rave reviews from critics ever since it opened, and offers all its dishes in three different portion sizes, so you can try lots of little bites to find out which you like the best.

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