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

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.

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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...  Read More

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...  Read More

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...  Read More

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.

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...  Read More



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...  Read More

La Mallorquina


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.

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...  Read More


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