Travel

Madrid Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Casa Lucio
Calle Cava Baja 35, Centro
Walking through the heavy-wood, tavern-style entryway to this eatery is akin to stepping into the Madrid of yesteryear—the plates are monogrammed, the waiters are suited-up, and the clientele spans politicians, locals, eccentrics, and the occasional royal. Casa Lucio is an olive oil soaked slice of the old-world, traditional yet incredibly refined with a classic menu of gastronomical favorites to match. Try the huevos estrellados—crispy, salty fried potatoes topped with broken runny eggs and be sure to linger over your desert for the all-important sobremesa (loosely translated as post-dinner debate and conversation) that keeps Madrileños firmly planted the table until the early hours.
O’pazo
20 Calle Reina Mercedes, Tetuán
Opened in 1969, O'pazo was one of the first restaurants in Madrid to be awarded a Michelin star—the old-school seafood spot is actually still run by children of the original founder, Evaristo García. The interior, fresh off a remodel, captures everything that's wonderful about Madrid; the sleek, updated furnishings and soothing wood paneling are a perfect juxtaposition to the open kitchen, where ham hocks hang from the ceiling and the days' catch of seafood and shellfish is displayed on ice. This is the kind of place where it's a good idea to put your order in the hands of the waiter, who can best identify which fresh fish the chef is most excited about that day.
El Pescador
Calle de José Ortega y Gasset, 75, Salamanca
Opened in 1975, El Pescador has a similar trajectory to nearby O'Pazo—both old-guard restaurants that pioneered the idea of serving fish so fresh that it didn't even need sauce, they've each stayed relevant with frequent renovations. At El Pescador, in particular, the interior has the potential to fool visitors that don't know the restaurant's historic pedigree—a clean concrete bar with stainless steel stools marks the entry to the restaurant, which is separated from the rest of the airy, modern restaurant by sheer chainlink curtains. As for the menu, you'll find minimally-treated fish and shellfish, served fresh and typically caught that morning. The shareable seafood platters are perfect for a big group.
Tuk Tuk
Calle del Barquillo, 26, Chueca
Owned by two ex-pats, Tuk Tuk serves Asian street food that draws inspiration primarily from Bangkok, Saigon, and Hong Kong. It's the kind of place where we'd be happy with anything on the menu, but regulars report that the green curry, coconut rice, and chicken skewers are all standbys. It's an excellent option for takeout (even the most committed drinkers will crave a quiet night in after too many hours in all-night Spanish bars), and vegetarians will appreciate the variety of options, too. There's a second location in Chamberi.
Tuk Tuk
Calle del Cardenal Cisneros, 6, Chamberí
Owned by two ex-pats, Tuk Tuk serves Asian street food that draws inspiration primarily from Bangkok, Saigon, and Hong Kong. It's the kind of place where we'd be happy with anything on the menu, but regulars report that the green curry, coconut rice, and chicken skewers are all standbys. It's an excellent option for takeout (even the most committed drinkers will crave a quiet night in after too many hours in all-night Spanish bars), and vegetarians will appreciate the variety of options, too. There's a second location in the Chueca district.
Taberna Pedraza
Calle Ibiza, 38, Retiro
Eating at Taberna Pedraza is a little bit like going over to a good friend's house for dinner (albeit a friend that's a ridiculously good chef). The colorful, mismatched tiled floors create a casual vibe that's furthered by an eclectic bunch of disparate chairs, flower arrangements, and the friendly nature of the service. What's more, the small kitchen is open and visible from behind the bar, so you can see Chef Santiago Pedraza working his magic in real time. The straightforward menu here offers up simple tapas: Go for the classics, like croquettes, tortilla, or the steak, and definitely don't skip dessert.
Restaurante Sacha
Calle de Juan Hurtado de Mendoza, 11, Chamartín
It doesn't get more classic than Sacha, an old-school Spanish restaurant that was originally started by a couple who named the place after their only son. As luck would have it, Sacha is now the head chef and proprietor, helming a menu that's become a staple for Madrid foodies. The offerings here change seasonally, but the selection always has its foundation in traditional Spanish cuisine, serving locally caught seafood, bold meat dishes, and classic tapas prepared using fresh, simple ingredients. It never disappoints.
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