Puerta del Sol is one of the most central neighborhoods in Madrid, surrounded by restaurants, bars and cafés that offer both traditional and modern Spanish cuisine at a good price. It is easy to reach from all parts of the capital and is close to many of the most important landmarks. Read on to discover the 10 best restaurants in the Puerta del Sol.
Ferran Adrià, one of the most renowned chefs in Spain, helped create and oversee La Terraza del Casino, a highly-ranked restaurant located on the top of a beautiful 19th century building with upscale rooftop dining areas (outdoor and indoor). Its menu aims for innovation, creativity and quality (think liquid nitrogen and molecular gastronomy), which it certainly achieves. The service is irreproachable and the atmosphere unique. This restaurant undoubtedly deserves its two Michelin stars, and is a must if you are looking for a fancy meal in the Puerta del Sol area.
Established in Madrid in 1725, Botín is the world’s oldest restaurant ( according to the Guinness Book of records). Eight minutes away from the Puerta del Sol, its astonishing premises, provide a wonderful atmosphere to sit down and enjoy a meal after a day of sightseeing (the vaulted cellar is particularly amazing). Some of its specialties include suckling pig and roast lamb, cooked in a wood oven, as well as other typical Castilian dishes. Reservations are recommended, as this restaurant is always very busy.
A centuries-old tavern seeping with history (it was the site of the foundation of one of Spain’s most important political parties, the PSOE), Casa Labra offers a modern approach to typical Spanish cuisine. Many of its classic dishes are centered on cod (cod with tomato sauce, cod with green sauce, cod with wild mushrooms and leek, etc.) but they also have a great variety of meat dishes, typical Spanish starters and, of course, tapas. You can either eat something standing in the bar area or sit down and have a meal in their dining room. During spring and summer it is also possible to eat outside.
Mercado de San Miguel | Courtesy of Mercado de San Miguel
Seven minutes away from the Puerta del Sol, the Mercado de San Miguel is not a traditional food market, it houses many gourmet tapas stalls inside an original 20th-century iron structure. There are over 30 different possibilities covering all price ranges, ranging from a traditional calamari roll to oysters, caviar and gourmet beer. It is a one-of-a-kind experience and somewhere where the locals often go to grab a quick bite to eat. If possible go during the week, as the market becomes very busy on weekends.
The Chocolateria San Ginés is more of a café than a restaurant, but if you ask any of the locals they will describe it as one of the musts if you are interested in discovering Madrid’s cuisine. It has the best chocolate con churros in the capital, so head to this charming café for breakfast or an afternoon snack, and delight in the wonderfully dense Spanish hot-chocolate, accompanied by some churros (a delicious deep fried batter). Coffee and cakes are also available and you can eat inside or outside all year round.
The Bar Lambuzo is a cozy bar situated very close to Puerta del Sol offering dishes taken from typical southern Spanish cuisine and adapted in a slightly more modern way. They have a great variety of cold and hot tapas, most of which are fish-based. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is as real as it gets in Madrid. Be prepared to eat standing up at the bar.
La Central is not your typical library. Not only can you buy books, but you can also go to conferences, concerts, have a glass of wine or beer, or have a quick snack or sit-down meal at its pleasant Bistró. They have a great variety of dishes and you can come here for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It has the advantage of being open throughout the day, so if your eating schedules are not in sync with the Spanish way this is a great option.
The Café del Príncipe is located meters away from the Puerta del Sol and offers a varied selection of dishes and tapas. It has an elegant dining room with beautiful views. It was opened during the 19th century and was frequented by Spanish Romantics. It is a place with real soul and history.
Six minutes away from the Puerta del Sol, this incredible restaurant El Apartamento is new on the scene but is proving very successfulul. It offers a modern yet traditional take on food, a vintage but cozy atmosphere (giving the impression of eating in someone’s home) and maintains excellent service. It has a great menu and even greater wines.
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Originally established by a Frenchman in 1839, Lhardy recently celebrated its 175th anniversary and has by now become a landmark of the Puerta del Sol area. This restaurant has several formal dining rooms on the second floor, all of which conserve the original décor. There is also the option to take away. They serve two of the most typical dishes in Madrid, callos a la madrileña and cocido a la madrileña (soup-like broths with chickpeas and noodles), which are a must if you are in the city.