Malasaña is known as Madrid’s alternative, trendy neighborhood, filled with creative types, galleries and quirky cafes. The neighborhood also has a great dining scene. Discover its gastronomic offerings in our list of Malasaña’s top 10 restaurants.
Bar, Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
Ojalá is an excellent example of Malasaña’s alternative scene. Where else in Madrid could visitors find a restaurant with sand on the floors, as if they were on the beach? This restaurant is not only unusual in its setting, but also in its food (the options range from Vietnamese sandwiches to fish and chips to detox salads). There are many different choices and it also offers brunch. If the beach-theme sounds like a bit too much, do not worry, they also have an upstairs bar where everyone can enjoy their great food in a more typical setting.
This restaurant has great tapas with a modern twist and is open all day. It also has deliciously original dishes. Highlights from the menu include the quinoa salad with seaweed and smoked salmon, BBQ octopus and strawberry and tuna tartar, as well as a range of cocktails, beer and teas. Olé Lola is an elegant, flexible space that hosts many different events including stand-up comedy, language exchanges, etc. So those who want a taste of something different should make this restaurant a priority.
Ribeira do Miño specializes in Galician food (Galicia being a region in the North of Spain), and particularly in seafood. Guests can either sit down in this lovely restaurant and have a cozy meal or order a takeaway seafood platter from home. You can get a delicious plate of seafood, including crabs, shrimp, clams for 24 Euros, but it is also possible to choose some of their other dishes: the pork, octopus and steak are equally delicious.
When diners first see this bar they may be surprised at its eccentricity, but its vibrancy, colorful atmosphere and tropical theme make it a great option to eat at in the center of Madrid if you are looking for something a little bit different. It has set menus for eight or 10 euros (it will be very difficult to find anything cheaper). It also provides the option of getting something from their a la carte menu, such as curry, soups, nachos, cake. They also have vegetarian dishes and a gluten-free menu, so this is a great choice for people with any dietary requirements.
Travelers who have hearty appetites and are looking for generous portions at a competitive price should go to Restaurante Albur, in Malasaña. They have excellent food and even better service. They often do monthly themes – right now tuna is their main ingredient but they still offer other dishes – which are inventive and ambitious. For example, one of their dishes is the mini tuna hamburger with an egg on top. Their other specialties are meat from the Elsa Valley and Bomba rice.
This restaurant prides itself on the quality of its ingredients and its competitive prices and they certainly do not disappoint. Visitors can start their day here drinking one of their organic coffees – 100% Arabica mix – or freshly squeezed orange juices. Alternatively, try their empanadillas, burgers or quesadillas for lunch or dinner. They have typical Spanish food on their menu such as Spanish ham and patatas bravas but they also offer many vegetarian, fish or meat-based dishes.
La Tasquita de Enfrente | Courtesy of La Tasquita de Enfrente
La Tasquita de Enfrente is a family-owned restaurant with a small yet elegant dining room. They serve excellent Spanish food made in a sophisticated and innovative way, always with seasonal ingredients. They adapt their menu to the ingredients every few months so you are guaranteed to enjoy the freshness of their dishes. This is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Malasaña.
Veggie Burger | @Hochgeladen von Veggieburgerfan/WikiCommons
Even diners who are not vegans are guaranteed to love this restaurant. Typical Spanish cuisine has a lot of meat and animal products, so why not try a day of eating veggie at Crucina? They serve their food raw or slightly cooked so that it does not lose any of its vitamins and nutrients. Crucina serves nachos and guacamole and juicy veggie burgers among other delicious dishes and the also offer many different detox juices. Vegan or not, there is no excuse to miss a meal at this restaurant, which is one of the best in the entire capital.
Last but not least on our list of Malasaña’s top 10 restaurants is La Fondue de Tell, a restaurant with great food and an amazing atmosphere. They have a great array of fondues, but if that is not your thing you can also try some of their other dishes, such as salads, quiches, beef. It might not be traditional Spanish food but it is nevertheless well worth a visit.