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Opened by restaurateurs Sandro Silva and Marta Seco of Ten Con Ten and El Paraguas, Amazonico has been drawing Madrid's trendiest crowds since its inception in 2016.  Guests come in off the manicured Salamanca street and are immediately immersed in a jungle-like environment with leaves adorning the ceiling. The menu is eclectic, featuring grilled meats that are presented on a spit, as well as a good mix of Indian, Asian, and South American inspired flavors (including a sushi bar). Once you have thoroughly sampled the carefully curated menu, head downstairs to the clandestine jazz club for a night cap.

Editors' Picks
Bar at Bar Tomate, Madrid, Spain

Bar Tomate

The wildly successful Barcelona restaurant group Tragaluz has brought its magic to Madrid. Bar Tomate’s pale wooden floors and rough-hewn tables are brought to life by bright plastic chairs and creative lighting fixtures hanging from a metallic ceiling. The playful furnishings square with a casual menu best enjoyed at lunch or for a relaxed dinner shared among friends. Classic tapas like jamon iberico, sardines on grilled bread and fried artichokes can be ordered all day. Pizzas from the wood fired oven and heartier dishes like bacalao or beef tenderloin are reserved for lunch or dinner, which is available until midnight anyway.

Bar at Bazaar, Madrid, Spain


Just around the corner from the Mercado San Anton in the trendy Chueca neighborhood is a lively modern brasserie called Bazaar with excellent farm fresh food.

Editors' Picks
Food at Benares, Madrid, Spain


After opening several Indian fine-dining restaurants across Europe (including the hugely popular Tamarind in London), Chef Atul Kochhar launched Benares in Madrid in 2015 to be an outpost of his London restaurant of the same name. The first Indian chef to win a Michelin star, Kockhar has earned international acclaim for his innovative approach to Indian cooking. He blends traditional flavors with modern techniques to create utterly delicious cuisine.

Benares Madrid carries on the chef’s excellence with a menu of mouthwatering dishes, including monkfish and crab croquettes, lamb shank and tandoori–style chicken. The stylish dining room—designed with groovy-cool floor patterns, modern chandeliers and a palette of burnt orange and gold—is perfect for a chic night out, but maintains a relaxed ambiance during the day (the restaurant serves brunch as well). Be sure to try a dessert, as the menu boasts a tempting selection of dishes that are just beautiful as they are delicious.

Exterior View - Café Gijón, Madrid, Spain

Café Gijón

Most travelers remember Gijón for its picturesque terrace along the Paseo de Recoletos, but the café also has a fascinating literary history. In its heyday, it hosted frequent tertulias, informal discussion groups in which the day’s leading thinkers and artists, including Federico Garcia Lorca, Orson Welles, Salvador Dalí and even Mata Hari, gathered to debate politics and philosophy. Although Gijón’s modern-day customers tend to be local businessmen and tourists rather than literati, it is still a nice place to sip an espresso – but there are better places to have a meal.

glass case of oranges and cakes on the end of a chic diner bar

Café Murillo

Café Murillo is an excellent place to stop for lunch before or after an edifying few hours in the Prado or a walk in the Retiro Park.
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Casa Lucas

A hidden gem on a lively street, family-run Casa Lucas delights guests with their warm service and delectable flavors. The owner will help you choose from an extensive wine selection, and menu items will be listed on the chalkboard behind the bar. The restaurant is small, but do not be discouraged if you don't have a reservation—the food is worth the wait for a table or bar seat to open up. Casa Lucas offers an array of hot and cold tapas as well as larger plates, a favorite being the oxtail, stewed with pistachios and prunes and accompanied with puréed potatoes (rabo de toro).

Exterior View - Casa Lucio, Madrid, Spain

Casa Lucio

In business since 1974, this revered tavern near the Plaza Mayor draws a regular crowd of locals and the occasional visit from royalty and visiting dignitaries. Although the bar, hung with drying ham hocks, is a fun place for an aperitif, the elegant cuisine served in the traditional dining rooms is the real draw. In the upstairs and downstairs spaces, beamed ceilings, whitewashed walls and tiled floors combine with formal tablecloths and heavy silver to create a cozy yet refined atmosphere, comfortable for lunch with friends but also appropriate for a business meal. Attentive tuxedo-clad waiters help newbies navigate the menu, but your best guide may be the well-coiffed matrons, who trot out their best jewels to enjoy a midday bottle of Rioja and the house specialty huevos estrellados – eggs served over fried potatoes and tender solomillo steak. The chefs at Casa Lucio make an art form of this rustic dish, and no visitor to Madrid should miss it.

Editors' Picks
Bar at Cisne Azul, Madrid, Spain

Cisne Azul

Mushroom lovers cannot miss this famous temple to mushrooms. The restaurant and bar nearby are not fancy (linoleum floors and pizza parlor like ambiance) but the chef Julian Pulido is known as an absolute wizard when it comes to preparing mushrooms. He prepares the best of what is in season as well as excellent burgers.


Madrid-born chef David Munoz refers to his high-end Chinese-Spanish fusion cooking “a gunshot to the head." The talent behind Madrid’s only three-Michelin starred restaurant might be prone to exaggerating, but ranked among the world’s best 50 restaurants, DiverXO is one of Europe’s most talked-about restaurants, with a waiting list to prove it. The space, recently moved to the NH Eurobuilding hotel, is decorated more like a quirky art gallery than a restaurant. Cool blue tones reign supreme and metal sculptures of insects and fish dot the walls. The cooking, imaginative and unique, matches the offbeat decoration. Munoz sources his ingredients from around the world, creating a form of culinary trickery that has gained him rave reviews. Cooks will often finish plating the meal at your table and highlights of the seven-course meal (expect to be there for around four hours) include a delicious fried duck tongue and a tuna cheek that tastes uncannily like filet mignon.


One of the most anticipated restaurants to open in 2014, Dstage is the brainchild of acclaimed chef Diego Guerrero. Having earned two Michelin stars at El Club Allard (a Madrid classic), he took a year off to travel the world, gathering culinary inspiration before returning to the Spanish capital and opening Dstage. The restaurant is located in the newly groovy neighborhood of Salesas (about a 10-minute walk from the AC Santo Mauro), which is itself an emerging destination for hip visitors.

Guerrero's vision at this, his first solo restaurant, is designed to take diners behind the scenes. A meal here starts in the kitchen where guests enjoy hors d'oeuvres before being taken to their table. The menu is broken into two tasting experiences (ten or thirteen courses) and changes frequently. If any of this concept sounds too theatrical (the word "stage" is in the restaurant's name, for one), Guerrero's food is anything but gimmicky. He has already been rewarded with one Michelin star and lunch or dinner at the restaurant are a truly amazing, memorable experience.

Editors' Picks
Bar at El Escondite de Villanueva, Madrid, Spain

El Escondite de Villanueva

This popular neighborhood bistro serves small bites like ham croquetas and chicken tacos as well as hamburgers and sandwiches. The dining room has a refined but laid-back atmosphere and attracts lots of families early and hipsters late. The original idea was to create a hangout for the locals, and that vibe remains.

El Jardín de Orfila at Hotel Orfila

The highly lauded Mario Sandoval oversees the menu at this fine-dining restaurant, located on a lovely terrace in the backyard of the Hotel Orfila. Be sure to order the award-winning dessert: migas de chocolate con helado de yogur y frutos rojos (chocolate crumbs with yogurt ice cream and red berries). Though this restaurant is in a hotel, the majority of its clients are locals—and the service is five-star.

El Landó

For a quintessentially Spanish dining experience, come to El Landó, operated by the owners of Casa Lucio. With its unassuming exterior across a quiet plaza Madrid, you might be surprised, once you step inside, to find photo after photo of famous celebrities who have dined at El Landó. The photos attest to El Landó’s stature in the Madrid restaurant scene. The windowless dining room downstairs has tiled floors, an ornate mahogany ceiling, square tables with white tablecloths and walls lined with Spanish wines. The look is as traditional as the menu, but that’s why you come: for handsomely executed Spanish classics. Try tiny cockles grilled with a hint of garlic, the sizzling fried asparagus and the baby lamb chops.

Editors' Picks
Bar at El Paraguas, Madrid, Spain

El Paraguas

Elegant and popular, El Paraguas is the place to go for a big night out – but you need to be sure to get a reservation first, not an easy task, and to arrive properly attired. The handsome dining room looks like it was set up inside an upscale century-old Madrid apartment, with separate dining areas featuring ornate wooden molding on the walls and ceiling, white tablecloths and richly upholstered chairs. Attentive service and an expansive wine list drawing from the best vineyards in Iberia complement the formal ambience.

Spain’s northern coastal province of Asturias inspires the menu, with dishes like hake roasted in cider with apple compote or black rice with scallops and cockles, but the exuberant and youthful chef also draws on a broad swath of Spanish and European influences. Other memorable, and less Asturian, dishes include Cantabrian anchovies with avocado and beef tenderloin with black truffle. For dessert try the Turkish fig mousse or the thin apple tart with white chocolate ice cream.

Editors' Picks
glossy wooden pastry shop exterior

El Riojano

Dating back to 1855, El Riojano was founded by the royal family's pastry chef and is a beautiful pastry shop with cases of delicious treats.

El Ventorrillo

Break up a day of sightseeing between the Royal Palace and Old Quarter with a stop at El Ventorrillo, located just next door to Corral de la Moriera. Great for an afternoon tea or glass of wine (skip the food), El Ventorrillo offers a lovely terrace with sweeping vistas over Calle Segovia and the countryside below and a pretty vantage point from which to take in the city’s Catedral de la Almudena. A stop here is a great way to inject a dose of tranquility into what can be a crowded day in the city.

Dinning Area at Estado Puro, Madrid, Spain

Estado Puro

Travelers tired of the traditional tapas bars paneled in dark wood and hung with ham hocks will appreciate this airy café’s fresh take on Spanish cuisine. Conveniently located blocks from the city’s museums, Estado Puro is modern and hip, with colorful Pop Art murals. The arched ceiling is dramatically covered with 1,000 of the combs flamenco dancers wear in their hair. Diners can sit inside on cherry-red bar stools at high tables or, in warm weather, on the large outdoor patio with views of the Neptune Fountain and Plaza Cánovas. Estado Puro serves an updated version of traditional hot and cold tapas, from perfectly fried croquettes presented as elegantly as sashimi and foie gras sandwiched between crisp toast to fresh salads, a rarity in Madrid. Perfect for a quick lunch, the eatery also makes an ideal stop for an afternoon glass of wine between the Prado and the Thyssen.

Juana La Loca

For over 20 years, Juana La Loca has attracted locals and out-of-towners alike with its creative takes on traditional pintxos—specifically its take on the Spanish omelette, with a special onion confit. Located in Madrid's bustling La Latina neighborhood, Juana La Loca attracts a crowd, so it’s best to have a reservation (we love the cozy corner tables) or to get there early and grab a spot at the bar.

Exterior View - Kabuki Wellington, Madrid, Spain

Kabuki Wellington

This Michelin-starred sushi restaurant draws Madrid’s most sophisticated diners for dinner or lunch. Entering the Wellington Hotel, you’ll pass portraits of Spain’s most famous toreadors before entering into the subdued interior space of the Kabuki. The taupe toned walls draw attention away from the architecture and towards the elegant diners, the succulent fish and, of course, the sushi bar, where expert sushi chefs prepare some of the most memorable creations you are likely to taste anywhere, some with a distinctly European flair. I’m still dreaming about the delicate butterfish nigiri topped with truffles and the fried quail egg atop rice served with Beluga caviar. The toro tuna seared with brown sugar was also otherworldly.

La Bien Aparecida

This hot spot also serves incredible food in a stylish, minimalist-chic setting. The ambiance is reminiscent of ever-popular Ten Con Ten, as are the reasonable prices. Note that reservations are a must. This is truly one of Madrid's most popular restaurants and it fills up, especially for dinner.

Dinning Area at La Cocina de San Anton, Madrid, Spain

La Cocina de San Anton

A great spot for enjoying good weather and the bounty of Madrid is on the roof of the Mercado de San Anton. The refurbished market in the heart of the Chueca neighborhood includes the rooftop restaurant La Cocina de San Anton, which is run by Cinco Jotas. His promise is to deliver the best farm fresh ingredients in the heart of Madrid, and it is all the more fun sitting outside at the tables on the terrace when the sun shines.

Food at La Pizzateca,  Madrid, Spain

La Pizzateca

Artisanal pizzas in classic Roman or Neapolitan combinations, such as tutti funghi or capriciosa, are sure to satisfy the appetites of anyone in your family. Vegetarian and vegan pizzas are also available, but, alas, no gluten-free ones as yet. The kids will be especially pleased with the nutellina pizza for dessert.


La Tasquería

La Tasquería de Javi Estevez in Madrid draws locals and adventurous eaters with its menu comprised of delicious twists on various tripe and offal.
Dinning Area at La Trainera , Madrid, Spain

La Trainera

Landlocked Madrid is nevertheless known for fantastic seafood, thanks to daily shipments from Spain’s 3,000-plus miles of coastline. The classic spot to sample this fare is La Trainera, a sprawling, 300-seat marisquería in the posh Salamanca neighborhood. The menu features everything from huge scallops baked in the shell to seven types of lobster to percebes, a rare barnacle considered by many (including this writer) to be the ultimate delicacy. Basically, if it swims and is worth eating, La Trainera serves it. The paneled dining rooms are consistently packed with well-heeled locals happy to pay the exorbitant prices to savor the city’s best seafood. A few bottles of chilled Albariño, a fruity Galician wine frequently paired with shellfish, helps cushion the shock of the multi-hundred-euro bill.

Spaniards tend to dress for both lunch and dinner, and local businessmen appear in finely tailored suits, so to avoid standing out like a sore American thumb, consider sporting a business-casual look. La Trainera isn’t formal, however, and the atmosphere is warm and festive, fueled by all the Albariño. Children are welcome, but keep in mind that no meat, apart from the standard jamón ibérico, is served, so picky eaters looking for chicken fingers will be disappointed.


A well-known spot for lunch of chic Madrilenos, Lateral sits in the popular Plaza de Santa Ana and serves great tapas in a low-key dining room or al fresco on a lovely terrace on the square. Surrounded by more touristic lunch spots, this is a great choice in the historical center for lunch in a stylish atmosphere.

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Luzi Bombon

The other Madrid restaurant of the Tragaluz restaurant group is not as playful in appearance as Bar Tomate, but is also lively and fun, drawing a well-heeled but youthful crowd. Also located in Madrid’s posher neighborhood, the attractive dining room is spacious and airy, with plenty of glass and sleek, mid-century modern furnishings. Although the atmosphere is relaxed, servers wear white jackets and the menu offers richer dinner options than Bar Tomate, like fresh fish of the day roasted with potatoes and sun dried tomatoes or pork ribs. Sides included sautéed beans with Catalan sausage, as well as more internationally inspired dishes like yellowtail ceviche or sweet and sour eggplant.


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