Last week I spent five beautiful days in Madrid. The first part of the trip I spent with my Spanish based girlfriend – Emi – while the second part of the trip was entirely dedicated to the surprise bachelorette party for my other girlfriend – Mayo – and an extremely vibrant hen crowd :) Even if you may think you’ll get a sneak peak into the bachelorette weekend, think twice! I won’t disclose any details, as I feel it’s something that should stay between us hens :) However, I will focus on Madrid, on the best restaurants I’ve been to and on delicious food.
Madrid bursts with breath-taking architecture, chatty plazas, endless shopping streets and fiery Latin traffic frenzy. But more than that, Madrid is the best host for dining and going out. The city is pulsing with tapas bars, terraces, cafeterias, restaurants… you name it! To keep up with the food cravings, Spaniards have nicely integrated an additional light meal between their lunch and dinner, called ‘merienda’. It usually consists of fruits and yogurt, pastry, cookies and/or small sandwiches.
I guess having a merienda is a good decision, considering Spaniards start their dinners at around 9.30-10pm. For most of us this would be a very late dinner, however this is the common dining time in Spain. Not to mention that one night I even managed starting to eat at 12 at night. That’s usually out of the question when I’m in Amsterdam. In addition, I chose to discard my healthy eating habits during my days in Madrid and just indulge into the goodness the city had to offer. But enough about timings and customs and let me share my favorite dinner places to eat local food in Madrid:
- Lateral – They have both an inside bar & restaurant and a terrace. We ended up having our dinner on their terrace, which is right in Plaza de Santa Ana. Since we hadn’t reserved, it took a while to get us a table, but that didn’t matter, as we indulged in the great array of cocktails they served at the bar. Tapas and raciones, service and ambiance were great.
- Mercado de San Antón – If you like to indulge in endless tasting experiences, this is your place. Mercado de San Antón is a food market situated in the trendy and gay-friendly neighborhood of Chueca. You can do your groceries shopping (from fresh fruits and veggies to fish and cured meats), but most importantly you can also enjoy a great meal on their rooftop restaurant and bar with a superb view of Madrid.
- Éccola – This made a great place for a Mediterranean midnight dinner and cocktails. Not to mention that it’s a restaurant, bar and club all in one. Thus, it was great for burning fat dancing after a late, abundant dinner. And even if the waiting time was quite long, the good time we had after being seated and after finishing dinner, made up for it. Éccola is a hip and vibrant place and I totally recommended it.
- Ramses – This dynamic restaurant is the place to be, especially if you’re with a good crowd of friends. It’s a fun place with delicious food and out of this world cocktails. Also, considering I found the overall service to be quite slow in Madrid, this restaurant has surprisingly fast staff, ready to take orders and delivering everything on time. Not to be missed!
This is where I’m wrapping it up. Now I feel I’m leaving you on good hands for dining and ‘cocktailing’ on your next trip to Madrid. If you have additional places you’d like to add to the list, don’t hesitate to do so! And I will know what to explore next time I’m going to Madrid!