Mallorca is one of the most well-established food shops in Madrid. Established in 1931 it sells a wonderful selection of cheeses, meats, canapés, pastries and chocolates. I always find that their shop windows and interior counter displays help me to part with my money and the pastries are to die for. Try out some of them in the shop before taking a tray of assorted pastries away with with you. The shops can be found all over Madrid, including Velázquez, Serrano and Bravo Murillo. A Mallorca restaurant can be found in the Jardín de Serrano shopping centre and is very reasonable (around 22 Euros for a 3-course menu).
My Madrid is a new feature on the Mad About Madrid site, where I invite people who either live in Madrid or who know the city well, to write about things they like.
The first person I have asked is Juan Dominguez, a 36 year-old director of E-commerce and Business Services in Ya.com, an internet company. He also founded Viajar.com, a leading Spanish online travel agency and has his own blog, e-life. Juan was born in Guadalajara but now lives in La Moraleja, a residential neighbourhood outside Madrid.
Favourite Bar/café Del Diego (c/ de la Reina), the best cocktail bar in the world, and I am not exaggerating a bit.
Favourite Dish(es) Jamón serrano, gazpacho, torrijas.
Favourite Tapas Tortilla de patatas, calamares, or anything in Bar Santander, in c/ Augusto Figueroa (Metro Chueca).
Favourite Restaurant – El Chaflán, in c/ Pio XII. It is expensive but it is definitely worth a visit. Other places that I like are Blue Fish, in c/ San Andres, (the girls who run it are so nice), and Caripén, in plaza de la Armada Española.
Favourite Shop FNAC or, if looking for gifts or furniture, Casa Julia in c/ Barquillo
Reading an article on Lucio Blázquez, owner of the famous restaurant Casa Lucio, has prompted me to write an article on this famous restaurant. Politicians, famous actors, the King of Spain, and writers can be found eating at this restaurant which is on Madrid’s c/ Cava Baja, not far off the Plaza Mayor and which enjoys international renown. Lucio Blázquez first started out in El Schotis, a restaurant located a few doors down the street before opening up on his own. The food is very simple Castillian Fair, the most popular dish is fried eggs accompanied by french fries. Other favourites include callos (tripe), suckling pig and rice pudding (for dessert). It is reckoned that one of the secreats to their success lies with the old caol ovens in the kitchen. They also offer a very good selection of Spanish wines.
c/ Cava Baja, 35
On one of Madrid’s most historic streets, Cava Baja, you will find restaurant Schotis. Since Medieval times Cava Baja used to be the place where travellers to Madrid would arrive on horse or by coach and it was lined with ‘posadas’ and taverns. Today it is quite a vibrant street with many bars and good quality restaurants.
El Schotis is at the beginning of the street, as you come from Plaza Mayor. The bar in the front of the restaurant, from where you can eat great tapas, disguises the restaurant in the back, where you will find traditional Castilian fare which includes roast lamb, steaks, hake ‘Cocido’ (stew made with chick peas, chorizo and meat) and home-made desserts. On the walls of the restaurant you will find paintings by the Spanish artist Eduardo Vicente. El Schotis is thought of as the first restaurant of its kind in this street.
Address: Cava Baja, 11.
The Café de Oriente enjoys one of the finest views of any eating/drinking establishment in Madrid. It is situated in the Plaza de Oriente, and is directly opposite the Royal Palace and next to the Opera House. The café is a great place to have a mid-afternoon coffee, or even a hot chocolate and to look out over the plaza. Given the style of its interior, it is hard to believe that it opened in 1983 – it certainly looks like it was built at the turn of the 20th century or even earlier. However, in the cellars/vaults, where the restaurant is situated, you will see the remains of the 17th century convent of San Gil. During the summer its open terrace is a great place for people watching. The menus may be a bit pricey but it is still possible to enjoy a menú del día for under 10 Euros.
Address: Plaza de Oriente, 2
See also: Madrid Restaurants
The restaurant Botín is located just off Madrid’s Plaza Mayor in calle Cuchilleros (knife makers street). Botín is written of in Hemingway’s ‘The Sun Also Rises’ and was one of his favourite restaurants, hence its popularity amongst tourists. The Guinness Book of records lists it as the oldest restaurant in the world (1725, the building dates from 1590) and it is said that the painter Goya actually worked as a dishwasher here. The restaurant is renowned for its suckling pig and roasted lamb and serves typical Castilian food. It has 4 floors and the woodfire oven is said to be the original from the 18th century. Prices are not cheap but it’s not every day that you eat at the oldest restaurant in the world.
Address: c/Cuchilleros, 17-19
Metro: Tirso de Molina or Puerta del Sol
Search for more Madrid Restaurants
Casa Patas is a well-known and well established restaurant. It also shares the distinction of being a place where you can not only eat good quality, traditional Spanish food, ranging from lamp chops and steaks to salads and beans, but also listen and watch the very best Flamenco shows (its in a side room and you will have to pay for this). Its famous guests include Johnny Depp, Naomi Campbell, Antonio Canales and William Dafoe. Once when I was there, the famous Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucía was seated on the table next to mine – it made my year!
Address: c/ Cañizares, 10. Metro: Tirso de Molina or Antón Martín. A map can be found on their Web site along with a list of upcoming events and menus (all in English!)
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
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.
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’ 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
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.