Best Breakfast in Madrid

Sample Madrid's Traditions, Starting with Breakfast

¡Buenos días! Don’t even think about skipping breakfast in Madrid, as lunch doesn’t begin until two in the afternoon, and whether sweet or savory, a Madrid breakfast is a light treat. Think buttery croissants, warm pastry buns, toast slathered with a Mediterranean-style tomato spread, fried churro pastries, small crusty sandwiches with a choice of fillings and hunks of Spanish omelet served with bread. Don’t forget to accompany it with a glass of hot coffee and milk, coffee mixed with brandy, Cola Cao hot chocolate, a shot of strong coffee, a cup of pudding thick Spanish-style hot chocolate or a goblet of fresh squeezed orange juice with oranges from Valencia (which is arguably the best part of a Madrid breakfast). If you ever grow tired of Madrid’s breakfast classics, however, then rest assured that imported breakfast fare is available for you too with donuts and brunch spreads becoming more and more commonplace in the Spanish capital. I know it is fun to have a Madrid breakfast in good company, but if you ever find yourself eating breakfast alone, don’t mention it or fret; just sit at the counter, grab a newspaper, order your coffee with milk, and you’ll look like a local in no time! 


Photo courtesy of Google

This American style cafeteria-diner offers delicious dining options, including some excellent breakfast choices. Casual environment and great service complete a first-rate dining experience. METRO: Gran V�a or Callao

Local Expert tip: Open for food when other places aren't.

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Tasca La Farmacia
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Tasca La Farmacia features exceptionally good treatments of time-honored classics, with a great variety of lamb, beef, and pork dishes available. You'll enjoy the engaging atmosphere and the great service.

Local Expert tip: It's a typical Spanish place.

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One of the definitive, inner-circle of cool gay cafes in the Chueca neighborhood, Diurno has the requisite minimalist white d�cor, plus lounge or chill-out on the stereo (with occasional forays into techno at night). Diurno stands out especially for its excellent selection of rental movies (in both video and DVD format) and offers one of the most broad-ranging and eclectic collections of TV series, foreign films and classic cinema in Madrid. After you've finished browsing, the food on offer includes healthy and delicious sandwiches, salads, basic pasta dishes, cakes and pastries. Peaceful by day, lively and friendly at night, this is an excellent hangout and easy place to meet people. METRO: Chueca

Local Expert tip: Try one of the fresh cakes and pastries.

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Manolo Bar-Restaurante
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Known as one of the neighborhood's oldest bars, the Manolo offers a quaint, intimate setting in a dining room with wooden accents. The ambience is loud and busy, but the service is quick. This restaurant/bar offers typical Spanish food and serves breakfasts items like croissants and coffee, as well as tapas and salads during the day. Manolo is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. METRO: Moncloa.

Local Expert tip: A charming slice of old-style Spain.

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Café de Oriente
Photo courtesy of Markellos

The Cafe de Oriente is a classic Madrid restaurant and literary cafe with a privileged position facing Madrid's Royal Palace and the Plaza de Oriente. The Cafe de Oriente is decorated in an elegant Baroque style (though the building dates from the 1980s) with red velvet cushions and golden accents. The restaurant menu is dedicated to upscale Spanish fare while the cafeteria and cafe menu is more a potpourri of Spanish and standard Western fare with sandwiches and pizzas. During fine weather the Cafe de Oriente puts tables and chairs out front so that you can dine with views of the palace.

Local Expert tip: Royalty have been known to dine here.

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Mesón Cinco Jotas
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Enjoy cod tostadas, baked peppers, tortillas (Spanish omelettes), and sausages at this local favorite. The contemporary decor and engaging ambience make this a great place for the business crowd to unwind after a busy day.

Local Expert tip: You can't go wrong with coffee and a croissant.

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Mama Inés

This charming and friendly little caf� is another classic on the gay circuit in the Chueca neighborhood. Relatively straight by day, it is especially popular for late and lazy breakfasts with plenty of publications to browse and a very mild soundtrack of Ibiza style chill-out. As dusk falls, the atmosphere gets livelier, the clothes get tighter, the music gets louder and plenty of pretty boys come to bat their eyelashes over a drink or two. METRO: Gran V�a

Local Expert tip: Order a themed breakfast.

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Elegantly designed and decorated in a Spanish Art Nouveau style, El Espejo restaurant and cafe is oft referred to as the best Art Nouveau cafe Madrid never had because of its authentic detailing and 1978 founding. The beautiful restaurant serves up Spanish food like suckling pig, Madrid style tripe, partridge and scallops, and is a good place to observe the Spanish tradition of a mid-afternoon cup of coffee and cake. Live piano and jazz music is occasionally featured there and when the weather is nice, dining at the outdoor tables on the grand Paseo de Recoletos boulevard is a treat.

Local Expert tip: Come to pretend it's 1900.

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In the heart of the city at the crossroads of Calle Mayor and Puerta del Sol, this cafe has been serving Madrilenos for more than a century. All manner of pastries, shortbread, croissants, cream buns, chocolate cakes are made fresh daily from the kitchen in the back.

Local Expert tip: Their flat chocolate croissants are to die for.

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Alonso Martínez & Bilbao

Established in 1887, the Cafe Comercial has been a Madrid institution ever since, hosting literary gatherings and chess games as well as serving up drinks and food, like the Spanish hot chocolate and churro pastries it is known for. You can sit at the bar or at the tables downstairs, or at the tables upstairs where you are free to borrow a chessboard and play a game or two. The cafe is a good place to bring friends or linger over a book or a newspaper. Though the interior is from the last renovation in the 1950s, it's a very well-loved place full of local history and traditions.

Local Expert tip: Head to the Cafe Comercial for breakfast or afternoon refreshments.

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Meet Sarah Rogers

Born and raised in northern California, Sarah grew up to become an expat, traveler and wordsmith. She spent seven years in Madrid, Spain and now calls Buenos Aires, Argentina home. She has had...  More About Sarah