The capital of Spain is, without a doubt, famous for the quality of its cuisine, the variety of ingredients used and the great amount of restaurants distributed throughout the city. Its wide and varied offering makes it hard for tourists to choose a good place to eat and that at the same time is suitable for their budget. In that sense, Madrid is full of surprises, as there are places for everyone but also for every budget.
We are confident that a lot of tourists will find the perfect place to eat among this small selection of restaurants located in the city centre, and that they will leave satisfied having spent less than expected.
If you have a low budget:
This small business is an institution for the people of Madrid. It is placed in one of the streets off the main square (Plaza Mayor), Ciudad Rodrigo street to be more specific, and it is known for its squid sandwiches (“bocadillos de calamares”). There are other places around this area selling this kind of sandwich, but this small and popular bar is the most famous of all, and even though you will have to wait in line or even eat the sandwich in the street, it is worth living this experience. And for less than 3 euros.
Whoever wants to have lunch or dinner at this restaurant would be able to do so for less than 15 euros. Barrels on the street and small tables inside is the kind of furniture that this restaurant provides its customers with. It is all very casual and cheerful, and even though there are waiters, you should bring your order to the table on your own. Try a dish of “huevos rotos” or one of their wide variety of ring-shape bread loaves to wash down with heir perfectly poured draught beer. You must know that even though the place looks old it is not over 20 years since it opened.
If you have a medium budget:
The elegant and neat image of this restaurant located in Plaza del Ángel might lead you to think this is an expensive place, but this is far from the truth. Here the average price per guest is 20 euros, and even though the dishes are not very abundant, they are original and based on a traditional and Mediterranean market cuisine. Its menu varies from time to time, so it is impossible that you get tired from coming here.
20 years ago this restaurant chain opened in Madrid and it has already become a point of reference in the city. They are distributed throughout the whole city, but for its location I personally recommend the one in Plaza de Santa Ana, as it not only counts with an indoor space where you will be able to enjoy a candlelit dinner, but it also has a lovely terrace that is open both during the winter and in the summer. It is definitely the perfect place to try a lot of different things since it mainly serves “pinchos”, either meat- or vegetable-based. The average price per guest is 20 euros.
If you have a high budget:
Posada del León de oro
In Cava Baja, one of the areas in Madrid with the largest culinary selection, you will find this charming restaurant that used to be an inn and where the remains of the old Christian city-walls were discovered upon refurbishing the building, which are now part or the decoration. Its menu includes delicious dishes such as “rabo de toro” (bull tail stew) or “salmorejo” (similar to “gazpacho”), as well as Spanish ham and other cured meats. If this wasn’t enough, the restaurant is also an “enotabern” with more than 300 different wines in its wine cellar. The price per guest in this original and beautiful restaurant is close to 35 euros, although if you rather eat “raciones” (dishes to share) you won’t spend more than 20 euros.
This is probably one of the most renowned restaurants in Madrid, as it was featured in the Guinness World Records as the oldest restaurant in the world, dating back to 1725. Today it is also famous for its roasted pig, which is cooked in a traditional wood-fired-oven. The place has different dining rooms in each of the three floors that integrate the restaurant and the food served here costs approximately 45/50 euros per guest, provided that you don’t pick out a very expensive wine.