Madrid contains some of the best food that are either traditional or avant-garde. Many restaurants already received global reputations, and they are constantly occupied by tourists. Not everyone can enjoy food in such environment, and there are always other restaurants that are not so famous but have similar quality of food. I would like to provide you insights of restaurants that have not been mentioned by travel websites but worth exploring.
1. Casa de Valencia
For someone who are first-time travelers from outside of Spain, some quaint restaurants, like Casa de Valencia, can be a good introduction to traditional Valencian food. Casa de Valencia (House of Valencia), is straightforwardly telling their food genre to their customers. Here, people can enjoy a variety of paella, the traditional Spanish rice dish, with fresh seafood and vegetables. “We wish to offer the best quality of dishes and the authenticity of the products from the Valencian Community” says the receptionist. At the same time, they are dedicated to surprise customers by offering secret sauces and fresh vegetables from their home garden. Furthermore, in order to follow the trendy healthy eating style, they also offer gluten-free options for customers. Once customers finish eating, waiters will bring them some homemade glace fruits to fully finish this Mediterranean dining experience.
Price Level: $~$$
2. Bar Tomate
Bar Tomate belongs to a family owned business called Grupo Tragaluz. It was started by Rosa Maria Esteva and her son Tomas Tarruella in Barcelona in 1987. Their vision has always been “surprise, take changes, take risks and, above all, be the first” (from Grupo Tragaluz’s official website). Each Grupo Tragaluz’s restaurant has their individual style. “We are trying to maintain the balance between gastronomy and interior design” says the manager. During regular hours, they offer traditional tapas and drinks, and during meal time, daily specials from their wood oven are available for customers. Although the food from Bar Tomate are solely based on tradition, the interior design is innovative. Grupo Tragaluz even hires an interior designer exclusively enhance the individualities of their restaurants.At Bar Tomate, expect a more cosmopolitan and brisk atmosphere. The place is surrounded by many embassies, so that many diplomats go there for lunch after work, which create an additional international aesthetic environment to the place.
In addition, Bar Tomate is not only a place for business lunch but also for nightlife. During weekends, customers can go to Bar Tomate to enjoy parties and DJs. The duality of this place has made it more worth exploring.
3. Restaurante Haches
Some places might not be able to attract customers from all generations, but Restaurante Haches is not one of them. Haches is suitable for people at all ages for various occasions because it contains three separate sections: a bar to casually enjoy some drinks with appetizers and desserts, a home-like dining area that is good for families and friends’ unions and, finally, a terrace to enjoy the weather and street views. In terms of food, Haches upgraded seafood into a new level. “We are combining foreign ingredients with traditional Spain dishes to provide a new flavor for our customers”, says Nico, the waitress. Their signature dishes are Pulpo a la brasa, which is grill octopus but with kimchi, and Arroz con Bogavante, which means rice with lobster.
Price level: $~$$
4. Street XO
David Muñoz, a Madrid-born chef, has always been the most famous chef in Madrid. His avant-guard creation, DiverXO, is the star that shines among other Michelin restaurants in Madrid. However, its worldwide reputation made people impossible to make reservations at this place, and it might also too expensive to most customers. Luckily, people can eliminate this regret by going to his second restaurant, StreetXO, the cheaper version of DiverXO. Food are served directly from chefs and have fashionable outlooks, which also creates a new experience for both local and foreign customers. Compare to DiverXO, which might cost more 100 Euros per person, StreetXO is a lot cheaper. Each entree does not worth more than 20 Euros. Customers can get a glimpse of this celebrity chef’s cooking style from StreetXO and leave Spain with not regret.
Price Level: $~$$
5. Casa Mingo
In terms of restaurants with rich history, Casa Mingo is as good as Sobrino de Botín, which is the oldest restaurant on earth. This cider house with over a hundred years old was opened in 1888, is probably the only one left in Madrid. “King Juan Carlos I used to spend a great deal of time with his friends at our place”, says the waiter. Surprisingly, the food in this restaurant are cheap with no more than 12 Euros for each entrée. It is filled with bottles and barrels and other traditional decorations. Local people highly recommended this place. Casa Mingo offers all kinds of meat dishes, like roast chicken, which is their signature dish, and sausage. They can grab customers’ hearts immediately by their juicy meat with rich flavors. Local families, senior citizens and friends casually enjoy their meals in here. After 130 years, Casa Mingo still stays the same and maintains their traditional architectural style, which can also provide a learning experience about Spanish culture for foreign tourists.
Madrid is a museum of food. It is impossible for people to know exactly what they want to eat in this city. Be creative and courageous about everything is always a crucial key to travel. Wish you can have a good trip in Madrid!
Casa de Valencia
Address: Paseo Pintor Rosales 58, 28008 Madrid, Spain
Telephone: (+34) 915 44 17 47
Address: Fernando El Santo, 26, 28046 Madrid
Telephone: (+34) 927 02 38 70
Address: Calle de José Ortega y Gasset, 79, 28006 Madrid
Telephone: (+34) 910 51 01 82
Address: Calle Serrano, 52 | Corte Ingles de Serrano, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Telephone: (+34) 951 31 98 84
Address: Paseo de la Florida, 34, 28008 Madrid
Telephone: (+34) 915 47 79 18