Casa Lucas takes a sideways glance at traditional Spanish tapas and heads off in a new direction – the foie gras (duck or goose liver) with port and caramelized fruits, for example. There is a range of hot and cold tapas and larger tapas servings. The menu changes regularly as they come up with new ideas, and there’s a good wine list. The tataki tuna, black cannelloni, and the risotto croquettes are highly recommended dishes.
Cava Baja, 30, Madrid, Spain, +34 913 65 08 04
Lucio, the owner and chef, has been impressing customers with his light touch, high-quality ingredients and homely local cooking since 1974. His eggs – a Lucio specialty – and roasted meats, which come in large portions, are incredibly tasty. There’s also a bull’s tail dish during the Fiestas de San Isidro Labrador (an annual celebration), complemented by plenty of red wine. The lunchtime guisos del día (stews of the day), including cocido (a chickpea-based stew) on Wednesdays, are also popular.
Calle Cava Baja, 35, Madrid, Spain, +34 913 65 32 52
Juana la Loca offers incredibly creative cooking; for instance, customers can order a miniature portion of ostrich, plum and crispy bacon, or foie gras with caramelized apple. Other tasty options include salmon with dill, avocado and fresh cheese, or a giant prawn and wild mushroom vol-au-vent.
Plaza Puerta de Moros, 4, Madrid, Spain, +34 913 64 05 25
Casa Gerado is a cafe, bar and restaurant, with dark wooden interiors and a raised bar manned by well-dressed bartenders. It’s a place where you can enjoy meat from coal, riñoncitos of lamb and lamb brochette (skewers), marinated with vegetables, on rice varieties.
Naïa is located in the famous Plaza de la Paja in the heart of Madrid. It offers a creative and seasonal menu that combines new culinary trends with traditional dishes, providing some enjoyable surprises. In the elegant and welcoming dining room, diners can enjoy dishes such as scallops with foie gras, a ruby port reduction and spiced toasts; tartare of prawns with white garlic and avocado ceviche (raw fish with citrus and chilli); or Ibérico pork loin roasted with fresh figs and sherry.
Plaza de la Paja, 3, Madrid, Spain, +34 913 66 27 83
La Camarilla offers the most innovative versions of Spanish home cooking, such as gazpacho (a cold soup made of raw vegetables) with mango, revuelto (scrambled egg) with mushrooms and parmesan, and various tasty cod dishes. The setting is reminiscent of a genteel 1930s hotel, and the staff are incredibly friendly. Creative tapas and a hearty set lunch menu are served in a relaxed front room, and luxurious gourmet meals are served in a pleasant and colorful dining room.
Cava Baja, 21, Madrid, Spain, +34 913 54 02 07