Where to Eat around The Westin Palace, Madrid
Madrid is the historic heart, geographic center, and modern pulse of Spain. Whether you’re taking a stroll or siesta, it is easy to get into the rhythm here—making it the perfect place for travelers to soak up (and undoubtedly fall in love with) all things Spanish.
Calle de las Infantas, 23, 28004 Madrid, Spain
My local friend took me to El Tigre at the tail end of a night bar hopping in Madrid. Apparently when you order a beer they also give you a huge serving of tapas! We got there late and they were extra generous. It wasnt incredibly tasty but it was fun, packed and cheap. So if you happen to be hungry with a group of friends stop in for a beer and free snack!
2 Calle San Sebastián
Renowned chef Paco Roncero re-interprets everyday Spanish food without crossing the line into pretentiousness at Estado Puro; here, flavor matters more than presentation and dishes are perfectly portioned. Patatas bravas, fried potatoes spiked with red pepper, is perhaps the most typical bar snack in Spain however Estado Puro has successfully re-interpreted the ubiquitous dish. Using hollowed, roasted baby-potatoes filled with spicy sauce it’s a subtly new take on a Spanish classic. If you’re staying for a snack or meal try the chipirones, cod-fritters, and creative mojitos too. The restaurant is also uniquely designed. Under the glass-topped bar you’ll notice endless rows of tiny flamenco dancer dolls while above you’ll see undulating rows of peinetas—the traditional decorative comb used by Spanish women to hold their flowing mantillas, veils, in place. In Madrid the dinner begins late, so if you eat before nine in the evening you’ll feel as if you have the place to yourself. There are also two Estado Puro restaurants; one across from The Prado and another around the corner from the Plaza Santa Ana (one of Madrid’s liveliest squares at night).
Calle de Serrano, 6, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Even now I’m craving their guilt-free collection of tapas-style breakfast miniatures. You can expect to find little croissants stuffed with jamon, light pastries topped with berries, and fresh squeezed orange juice. It’s simple, inexpensive, and quick—nothing fancy but perfect for a snack. I should note it’s a chain but it’s where the locals go, so don’t write it off and pop in when you see one. Tip: Grab a little tile to your right when you walk in, order at the counter and they’ll write on it. If you’re like me, you’ll go back for more so bring it up with you for round two. Then pay when you’ve finished.
Terraza Mercado de San Antón, Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24, 3ª planta, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Madrid’s multi-level Mercado San Anton is a sight to be seen. Rows of gorgeous produce, local specialties, Italian deli favorites, briny seafood and locally-farmed meats line the perimeter of each floor, each stall more enticing than the one before it. Even better, its high tables and counters make it well-suited for a quick bite and glass of wine. For a relaxed sit-down meal, head up to the restaurant on the rooftop terrace and finish off the evening with a drink in the lounge.
2 Calle Mayor
What could be more enchanting than sitting over the Puerta de Sol in the heart of Madrid? Why, enjoying the view with a pastry and cafe con leche in hand, of course. Let Mallorquina’s hustle and bustle of the downstairs leave you feeling like a local, sipping caffeine at the bar, but for a quiet moment of indulgence take the spiral staircase up to the dining room and enjoy the view and white linens for only a few cents more. Rumor is, they serve the best napolitana chocolate in Madrid, but you’ll have to try it for yourself to be sure.
Calle de Goya, 57A, 28001 Madrid, Spain
This tavern-based tapas bar in Madrid was founded in 1906 and fiercely carries out the tapas tradition. It has had many famous patrons, including Andy Warhol, and has a great wine selection as well as beers to go along with the famous garlic prawns and langoustines.
Calle de Cuchilleros, 17, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Eat dinner like a conquistador at Restaurante Sobrino de Botin. The combination of its central location off Plaza Mayor and its claim to be the “Oldest Restaurant in the World” makes it charming and fun for family and friends. Make sure to put in a reservation in advance and order a traditional dish. I particularly enjoyed the incredibly thin jamon because it was light and not oversalted.
Calle de la Palma, 49, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Though toma means “take it” in Spanish, this intimate cafe offers far more than takeaway service. Toma’s staff are able to interact with customers while showing off their impressive coffee knowledge (as well as English language prowess). Homemade pastries, cookies, and cakes are available, with some gluten-free options. The current consensus around town is that Toma Café has the best staff, bean sourcing, and know-how on pulling a proper shot. Best coffee in a city of coffee drinkers is a mighty statement, but I’ll stand behind it.
Calle del León, 12, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Cheese connoisseurs, welcome to heaven. Casa Gonzalez has been serving up the widest selection of queso (cheese) with an authentic flair for years. The wine list does not disappoint and somehow the service is always smiling, even when the bar is packed. If you’re not a cheese lover, fret not, there is an assortment of Iberico meats on offer, tapas, and even their olive oil toast is delicious. Expect it to be busy on weekends, as the central location makes it a prime hangout for many Madrileños.