Salamanca is one of Madrid’s most exclusive neighborhoods – this barrio and its broad tree-lined boulevards are home to designer shops and Calle Serrano, Spain’s most expensive street. In keeping with its chic character, the area also boasts some fantastic restaurants. Here’s our round-up of the best.
The eponymous Catalan chef’s two-star Michelin restaurant in Hotel Unico offers a modern take on classic Mediterranean cuisine, and Madrileños have been lapping it up. Service is exquisite; prepare to be treated like royalty. As well as evening dining, the restaurant offers The Short Menu, at lunchtime, and Sunday Brunch, served in the hotel’s lovely gardens.
One of Salamanca’s most popular restaurants, Shalakabula elevates Spanish cuisine to new heights by blending traditional methods with Asian-inspired influences under the watchful eye of chef Juan Sánchez Encinas. This fusion restaurant offers starters such as Spanish croquettes paired with duck bao and chicken gyozas, while main course options include Spanish classics such as octopus and squid cooked with Asian spices, giving them a completely new twist.
Platea is a host of food stalls, cocktail bars and a restaurant all housed inside a converted 1950s theatre, complete with stage where DJs, acrobats and other performers strut their stuff every night. It is worth visiting to check out the building alone, but you shouldn’t leave without sampling some Spanish delicacies from the food stalls. Prices are reasonable for this area of Madrid, and you pay for what you eat and drink at each stall.
Designed by Philippe Starck, this gastronomic venue just steps from Retiro Park has three distinct spaces and is split into three restaurants. The high-end Suria, on the first floor, offers diners a Mediterranean seasonal menu, and the option of a private dining room designed by David Lynch. Natsuky, with its high stools and Japanese-international fusion menu is more laid-back, as is the restaurant’s popular Ikebana Terraza, the outdoor seating area that looks out over the Puerta de Alcalá.
This Michelin-star restaurant serves up high-end Spanish cuisine to Salamanca’s well-heeled residents, but the prices aren’t too hard on the wallet. Sit in the bar area and order some tapas and sharing plates if you want to sample a few different dishes, or book a table in the restaurant for a more substantial meal.
This recently-opened restaurant, part of a Valencia-based chain, offers a modern and exciting take on vegetarian cuisine – the entire menu is meat-free. Its menú del día lunchtime offer is especially good value; three courses for just €14.90.