Madrid - local favorites

Wonderguide by

Maria Luna

Madrid - Local Favorites

For food, drink (and dulce de leche ice cream) lovers. If you are looking for a guide of which museums and cathedrals to visit, this may not be for you.......

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Musts for first timers

From a walking tour to the traditional paella and a good pitcher of sangria. If you have a weekend or less, these are the very basics you can't miss. Altoughhhhh (!!!) don't forget to scroll down to the rest of the neighborhoods and restaurants below. Those are really just the best part.

Image - Free Walking Tours Madrid
Free Walking Tours Madrid
Maria:Over the past years I've become sa big fan of the Free Walking Tours. Madrid's is no exception: it's the best way to get to know the city and its history. You may tip whatever you feel was worth. It won't disappoint you.
Image - San Miguel Market
San Miguel Market
Maria:Beautiful traditional market to have a glass of sangria, the typical vermut and a few tapas. You can't can't can't can't miss it.
Image - Fuente de Cibeles
Fuente de Cibeles
Maria:If you like to walk, go from Sol to El Retiro - will be full of tourists but the architecture is well worth it. You will stop by Plaza Cibeles (try to catch the lighting at night) and Puerta de Alcalá, two spots you can't miss in Madrid.
Image - Restaurante Los Galayos
Restaurante Los Galayos
Maria:Local paella in the center of the city. (As everything else in Madrid, don't forget to reserve in advance).
Image - Bodega de la Ardosa
Bodega de la Ardosa
Maria:In my opinion, the best traditional Spanish Tortilla (only cash). [Insider tip: Don't miss going under the bar counter to move on to the main room!!!]
Image - El Retiro Park
El Retiro Park
Maria:Perfect for a picnic on a sunny day or if you feel like going for a run. Will be busy but the park is large enough that it won't feel too crowded.
Image - Matadero Madrid
Matadero Madrid
Maria:If you have an extra day, rent some city bikes and ride next to Madrid Río all the way to El Matadero. Make sure to check the calendar of events as they always have a concert / exhibition / gallery going on. Best day is Saturdays or Sundays when you can enjoy the market in the middle of the plaza.
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Chueca y Malasaña

My all time favorites. Hard to pick from so many options, in the neighborhoods where there is always something going on, no matter the day or time...

Image - Mercado de San Ildefonso
Mercado de San Ildefonso
Maria:Raw and cooked food. A little trufa store. The freshest fruits and veggies you'll see. This is not just any mercado, you'll fall in love with it. Also, it has a terrace in the top floor. Should I keep going?
Image - Pez Tortilla
Pez Tortilla
Maria:La Ardosa may be the best traditional tortilla, but Pez has - hands down - the best filled tortilla around. Cheap and informal - don't expect to sfind a place to sit. Can't miss the truffled brie with serrano ham or the caramelized onion filled one. YUM. My mouth is watering.
Image - Campo del Moro
Campo del Moro
Maria:In my opinion, the best park in the city. There's never really a lot of people, which makes it just so much better.
Image - Microteatro Por Dinero
Microteatro Por Dinero
Maria:15-minute plays for 15 people or less. Pick two or three, but don't forget to leave a few minutes for a drink in between ;)
Image - La Pescadería I Restaurante en Malasaña
La Pescadería I Restaurante en Malasaña
Maria:Their camaron ceviche with mango and avocado is to dieee for. If you are lucky enough to be seated in the terrace, it's a perfect spot for evening people watching.
Image - Templo De Debod
Templo De Debod
Maria:One of the best sunsets in Madrid. Feeling romantic?
Image - Bicycle Café
Bicycle Café
Maria:I don't like coffee (yeah, yeah I'm a freak, whatever) but their brunch is pure yummmness. If there's one thing Madrid's not the best at is brunch. La Bicicleta is the exception.
Image - Brunch Club
Brunch Club
Maria:Like I said, Madrid's strength is not Brunch, so the few only spots that are good are always full. Reserve in advance!!! (Another good - but always packed place - is Cafe Federal. Including it here because food is good but the portions are a bit small and the line is ridiculous, so it doesn't make the cut for its own little bucket :D)
Image - Mistura Ice Cream
Mistura Ice Cream
Maria:Oh. My. God.
Image - Casa Julio
Casa Julio
Maria:Tiny, typical Spanish bar. Ideal for a night of cañas & tapas :)
Image - Macera Taller Bar
Macera Taller Bar
Maria:Although a bit crowded, it's still one of my favorite bars in Chueca. The music, the vibe. The macerated bottles on the shelfs. The wall of kisses...
Image - Lolina Vintage Cafe
Lolina Vintage Cafe
Maria:A great thing about Madrid is there's no distinction between bars and cafes. They serve coffee in the middle of the night and booze early in the morning... Regardless of your schedule preferences, come have a vermut, they have their own brand.
Image - Corazón
Maria:Very Spanish. My boyfriend's favorite. Right babe?
Image - Carmencita Bar
Carmencita Bar
Maria:Fantastic burger and brunch. Even if my boyfriend disagrees :)
Image - Kikekeller
Maria:A new neighborhood gem <3

La Latina, Lavapies y por ahí...

Image - Juana La Loca
Juana La Loca
Maria:My favorite place in Madrid. They are always so full, which kinda sucks. But their food is just so worth it. Tortilla (what they're famous for) is good.... but their foie gras........
Image - Sala Equis
Sala Equis
Maria:Get why it's called Equis? Come have a drink at a place that's still a theater during the day and a freaking awesome bar at night. (They still show movies at night, just with no volume. Oh, and also, they give you gummy bears with your drink. Can you top that?)
Image - El Viajero
El Viajero
Maria:Fun little terrace to go on a Sunday evening.
Image - Helados Patagonia Artesanal
Helados Patagonia Artesanal
Maria:I have an obsession with Dulce de Leche ice cream. They have 6 versions of it here. Do you see where I'm going with this?
Image - Travelade Image
Calle de la Cava Baja
Maria:You can't go wrong with so many great bars in one street. From the classic Casa Lucio or Los Huevos de Lucio, to simple tapas (and more fun in my opinion) bars like Lamiak.
Image - El Rastro
El Rastro
Maria:Mixed feelings about this. It's cool, really. There are just SO. MANY. PEOPLE. It's on probation.

Other Great Restaurantes & Bars

Image - Les Mauvais Garçons - Los Chicos Malos
Les Mauvais Garçons - Los Chicos Malos
Maria:They can't all be my favorite, but this is one of my last discoveries and probably favorite restaurants in Madrid. Try the chocolate mistery if you're feling... misterious :)
Image - Da Giuseppina
Da Giuseppina
Maria:If you are craving some good Italian, Da Guiseppina is the place to go. Tiny, cozy, with like 10 tables and 5 million wine bottles. Ignacio, its chef, will make you feel right at home (if you were Italian, of course).
Image - Anema e Core
Anema e Core
Maria:Another goodie goodie Italian classic. The decoration is kinda iffy, but the food is well worth it.
Image - Heladería Popota
Heladería Popota
Maria:Yet again another fantastic Dulce de Leche ice cream. Not a fan? Try their best-flavor-of-the-world (according to Mago Merlin 2018) with coconut, banana and passion fruit or any of their unconventional flavors. It will blow you away - I guarantee it.
Image - El Barril de las Cortes
El Barril de las Cortes
Maria:The place is a little boring but the paella makes up for it.
Image - El Paraguas
El Paraguas
Maria:Ended up here because Amazonico did not have a spot open. Kinda glad they didn't.
Image - Restaurante Amazonico
Restaurante Amazonico
Maria:Pretty expensive but the food is worthy. Perfect for a big celebration night - don't forget to make a reservation WELL in advance.
Image - Cinco Jotas Jorge Juan
Cinco Jotas Jorge Juan
Maria:Like fancy dining but more affordable. They also have the bestttt cheesecake in the city. Yum.
Image - Casa Suecia
Casa Suecia
Maria:If weather permits (and this is usually the case in Madrid) make sure to stop by Casa Suecia. Drinks may be on the slighly expensive side, but the view is out of this world and the mood of the place make it totally worth it.
Image - Ginkgo Restaurante & Sky Bar
Ginkgo Restaurante & Sky Bar
Maria:Ok, honestly, not the best food menus, but they have a fantastic view of the city. Get yourself a drink and don't miss out on the gummy bears they serve with it :)
Image - Ramen Kagura
Ramen Kagura
Maria:An all-time Madrid favorite. It has like a million reviews in google, and still 4.7 stars (for a reason). Be there at 8pm sharp, or you won't get a table.

Wonderguide map

  1. Free Walking Tours Madrid
  2. San Miguel Market
  3. Fuente de Cibeles
  4. Restaurante Los Galayos
  5. Bodega de la Ardosa
  6. El Retiro Park
  7. Matadero Madrid
  8. Mercado de San Ildefonso
  9. Pez Tortilla
  10. Campo del Moro
  11. Microteatro Por Dinero
  12. La Pescadería I Restaurante en Malasaña
  13. Templo De Debod
  14. Bicycle Café
  15. Brunch Club
  16. Mistura Ice Cream
  17. Casa Julio
  18. Macera Taller Bar
  19. Lolina Vintage Cafe
  20. Corazón
  21. Carmencita Bar
  22. Kikekeller
  23. Lunchbox. Art Gallery
  24. Juana La Loca
  25. Sala Equis
  26. El Viajero
  27. Helados Patagonia Artesanal
  28. Calle de la Cava Baja
  29. El Rastro
  30. Les Mauvais Garçons - Los Chicos Malos
  31. Da Giuseppina
  32. Anema e Core
  33. Heladería Popota
  34. El Barril de las Cortes
  35. El Paraguas
  36. Restaurante Amazonico
  37. Cinco Jotas Jorge Juan
  38. Casa Suecia
  39. Ginkgo Restaurante & Sky Bar
  40. Ramen Kagura

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High Five Maria