Though politics sometimes puts Madrid and the Basque Country at odds, food is another matter entirely. Basque cuisine is appreciated in the Spanish capital, where there are many great restaurants in which to enjoy it.
Basque food is known for its use of seafood from the Cantabrian Sea, like cod, hake and baby cuttlefish, as well as more inland ingredients such as hams, sausages and vegetables like asparagus and peppers. Most Basque restaurants in Madrid serve the well-known Basque specialty cod with pil-pil sauce, so be sure to look for it.
Basque cuisine is also particularly famous for its tapas, referred to as pintxos. As pintxos in the Basque Country are often served in tavern-like tapas bars, a number of Basque restaurants in Madrid incorporate the Basque tavern theme and are quite enjoyable to visit with friends. Dantxari is one such traditional-leaning restaurant. For a complete, more modern Basque tapas experience, however, check out the creative scene at Txirimiri or even the Basque inspired masquepintxos.
If you want to put on your good shoes, though, you can enjoy relaxed, upscale Basque dining at Taberna Gaztelupe and Taberna del Alabardero. Or for something a tad trendier, Arce is also a good choice.