All posts by Alun John

Madrid Restaurants – Edelweiss Restaurant


Just behind the Spanish parliament, and often frequented by politicians, is a German restaurant called Edelweiss, which has been open since 1939. The inside of the restauarant is very plain, yet the food certainly is not. Specialities include codillo (pig’s knuckle), served with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. As a starter I would recommend the pickled herrings and to finish home made apple tart. As befits a good Spanish restaurant, they also offer a fine selection of wines. Should you wish to dine on your own, you can book one of their private rooms – as some politicians do. Prices are also very reasonable at this restaurant.

Address: Jovellanos, 7
Metro: Banco de España or Puerta del Sol

See also: Madrid Restaurants

Plaza de Cibeles


The fountain of Cibeles is to be found on the stretch of Madrid commonly called the Paseo de Recoletos. It depicts the goddess Cibeles, the Greek goddess of fertility, who is seen sitting on a chariot and being pulled by two lions. On one side of the fountain of Cibeles, the Paseo de la Recoletos starts, heading north to join up with the Paseo de la Castellana. On the other side, the Paseo del Prado begins and heads off south, towards the fountain of Neptune, in the Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo, and on until Atocha.

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Learn Spanish in Madrid – Spanish Language Schools

Madrid has a number of options for those looking to study Spanish in the capital, from university courses and Spanish language schools to your own private teacher. There is probably no better way to learn a language than going to that country. As the Spanish are not as willing to speak English as other Europeans, mainly because their level of English is very poor, Madrid offers an abundance of opportunities to speak and learn Spanish with everyone, from the taxi driver to the barman to people in shops.

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El Rincón de Jerez – Andalucian Bar

This is a small establishment of the c/ Alcalá, near the Metro Manuel Becerra. The bar serves great food and jeréz (sherry) from Andaluía, in the south of Spain. However, the reason that I particularly like this place is that at 11 p.m. every night the lights are turned off, candles distributed and the whole bar starts singing to the Virgin, Rocio Chicó, of which they have a small statue on the wall of the bar. It is quite incredbile to see not just the bar but the pavement outside filled with people singing! Well worth a visit.

Atlético de Madrid – Madrid’s ‘other’ football team

Atlético de Madrid is one of the 2 teams from Madrid that play in the ‘Primera’, the other being Real Madrid. This year marks the centenary of this great club and a number of events have been organised over the course of it. The team was founded in 1903 and plays out of the famous Vicente Calderón stadium, which is situated on the banks of the Manzanares river.

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El Anciano Rey de los Vinos

El Anciano Rey de los Vinos can be found a couple of hundred metres south of the Royal Palace, in c/ Bailén. This ‘taverna’ was established in 1909 and still displays many of its original features: high ceilings, pillars and wall-to-wall tiling. It has a good selection of wines, the cider and vermouth is served from the tap and each drink is accompanied by a small biscuit/pastry. Metro: Sol or Ópera

Rodilla sandwich bar

Rodilla has to be one of my favourite “Fast Food” restaurants in Madrid. It offers a huge range of sandwiches, from foie gras to prawns. My favourite sandwich just has to be ‘ensaladilla’ – which have tuna, mayonnaise, peas and artichoke. Their sandwich bars can be found all over Madrid, including Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Callao, the Goya area and Argüelles. They also do nice salad bowls, too.

Autumn brings the mushrooms (setas)

In Autumn the mountains around Madrid are full of wild mushrooms. Last weekend, my brother-in-law Vicente took his two young children out picking mushrooms (setas) and told me that he couldn’t identify one of the varieties, not even in his book. However, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid will, hopefully, come to the rescue as every Monday they allow people to bring along their pickings to have them checked out. You should also keep an eye open in Madrid’s restauarants for these delicacies!

Restaurant and Street Guide of Madrid

Here’s a guide (in Spanish), from the Madrid White pages people, that you may find useful for finding restaurants in Madrid (some with menus). They also have handy street maps that link into to them.
Restaurant Guide

For those who are looking for any addresses in Madrid, this could prove useful:
Madrid Street Map

Alternatively, you could buy the Lonely Planet Madrid City Map from Amazon


See also: Maps of Madrid

El Cuchi – Mexican Restuarant

‘El Cuchi’ is a Mexican restaurant situated just off the south side of the Plaza Mayor, in c/ Cuchilleros. Great Mexican food in this busy place where ‘Hemimgway never ate’ – a dig at all the bars around the Plaza which say that Hemingway did eat there!. Novelties include having your bread placed not on the table but in a basket above your head and a waitress who walks around the restaurant serving shots from a ‘holster’!
Metro: Puerta del Sol (lines 1, 2 and 3)
Address: c/ Cuchilleros, 3 Tel: 913 664 424

Plaza Mayor

Plaza_Mayor_de_Madrid, Wikipedia
The principal square in Madrid is the Plaza Mayor, which is south west of the Puerta del Sol. Built between 1617 and 1619, and restored in 1790 after a fire, it is in a part of the city known as “Madrid de los Austrias” (the Hapsburg monarchs having built it.), or what I prefer to call “Old Madrid”. It is probably one of the finest plazas in Spain, though Salamanca comes a close second (that’ll upset some people!).

The centre of the square is occupied by a statue of Philip III who was responsible for the construction of the square. The Plaza Mayor was once the focal point of the old city, where bullfights, royal coronations and even the inquisition took place.

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Concert gigs – Robbie Williams, Van Morrison, and others come to Madrid

This is a list of concerts for the coming month in Madrid:
Robbie Williams – Date: 22nd October; Venue: Palacio de Vistalegre; Time: 10 p.m.; Price: 35-75 Euros.
Tickets: 10 12 12) or Music Store Madrid Rock (on c/ Gran Vía)
Deep Purple – Date: 25th October; Venue: Multiusos La Cubierta de Leganés (Maestro, 4); Time: 10 p.m.; Price: 20 Euros
Tickets: In the following stores: Fnac, Madrid Rock and Crisol or BBVA (, Tel:902 15 00 25)
Iron Maiden – Date: 2nd November; Venue: Palacio de Vistalegre
Tickets: Madrid Rock
Blur– Date: 3rd November; Venue: Sala La Riviera; Time: 8.45 p.m.; Price 25.9 Euros
Tickets: El Corté Inglés
Van Morrison – Date: 5th November; Venue: Sala La Riviera; Time 8.45 p.m.; Price: 25.9 Euros
Tickets: El Corté Inglés

Chocolatería San Ginés

Love chocolate, then this is definitely the place for you. Next to the Church of San Ginés, just off c/Arenal, you will find a favourite haunt of many Madrileños – Chocolatería San Ginés. This place serves thick cups of chocolate with churros (long sticks of fried dough) in a white-marbled bar. It has been around for well over a hundred years and is still popular with people of all age groups. It is busy in the early evening and absolutely packed from 4 o’clock onwards, after a night out on the tiles!

Pasadizo de San Ginés 11 (91 365 65 46). Metro: Sol, lines 1, 2 & 3.

Restaurante Ultreya

My wife and I just love going to this place. It sells quality food from the Galician area of Spain. Along the walls of the restaurant/bar you will see a large display of photos, paintings and mementoes relating to the ‘Camino de Santiago’. My particular favourites are ‘pimientos de padrón (small green peppers which occasionally ‘bite’!), cecina de león (strips of dried beef accompanied by fresh tomato), pulpo (octopus) and pimientos rellenos (stuffed red peppers). They also offer a good wine selection – try the Galician wine Albariño. The restaurant is located close to Metro: Goya (line 2)
c/ General Pardiñas, 26 TEL. 915 782 370.