Food in Madrid

Book unique experiences offered by locals in Madrid.

About Food in Madrid

Whether you’re in the mood for some traditional Spanish cuisine or want something modern and contemporary, when it comes to dining in Madrid, you’ll always be able to have just what you fancy. The gastronomy is a strong reflection on the city itself, with many traditional recipes which have been the basis of Spanish cooking for years. Top chefs in avant-garde restaurants are known for taking typical recipes such as caracoles a la madrileña or cocido madrileño and adding their own unique twist to bring the dish straight into the 21st century. Although Madrid is known as the place where Spanish chefs go to eat, many dishes contain ingredients such as tripe, which may be tough for tourists to stomach.

One of the main characteristics of dining in Madrid is the timing. Breakfast is generally eaten at around 9am and is rarely anything more than a coffee and maybe a pastry or a small filled baguette. Lunch is usually enjoyed between 2 and 4pm, followed by a very late dinner at around 9-10pm. You’ll struggle to find anywhere to eat before 8pm and it’s very common to see large families with children eating as late as 11pm, even on a school night.

What to Eat?

Traditional dishes such as cocido madrileño (stew), bocata de calamares (baguette stuffed with fried calamari rings) and porras (thick strings of fried pastry served with dipping chocolate). Tapas is also a must-try and is made up of tiny plates of various dishes usually shared between a group.


Tipping isn’t obligatory in Madrid. It’s almost unheard of to tip if you’re just having drinks. If you’ve been to a restaurant and have enjoyed the food and service, it’s customary to tip 5-10%.

Price per Meal

$30-$50 for a three course meal in a mid-range restaurant.

Best Restaurants

Sobrino de Botin, La Chata, Casa Lucio, La Broche, Santceloni, Adventurous Appetites, Arce, Arola-Madrid and Cien Vinos.

Best Cafes

You can find an amazing cup of coffee in almost any café in Madrid. If you’re looking for something really special, try Café del Foro, Café Moderno, Café Gijón, Café Central or Café del Círculo de Bellas Artes.

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