Make Time for Madrid's Main Meal, Lunch

After a small breakfast, lunch in Madridis more than a welcome sight; it’s a revelation. Eaten between two and four in the afternoon, lunch in Madridis the biggest, the most important and arguably the most creative meal of the day. You don’t have to worry about eating too much though, as you can just take a hard-earned siesta afterwards! But to get the full Madridlunch experience at least once, do order a fixed price lunch (called a menu del día in Spanish). You’ll get an appetizer, a main meal, bread, wine, dessert and coffee for much less than you’d think. Unfortunately, the menu del día deal is only available during the week. But weekday or weekend, do take your time (two hours is still common), for lunch in Madrid is a ritual to be savored. In fact, the one thing a Madrid restaurant won’t do is rush you; the waiters are in no hurry to see you go! In some restaurants you may actually have to be a bit aggressive to get your check at all, but that’s just part of the ritual. And if you have the time, don’t skimp on the after-lunch conversation with your meal companions, either. This concept has its own word in Spanish: sobremesa

La Latina & Lavapiés

The only thing that was less than perfect about the original La Musa in Malasa�a was its cramped dimensions. This newer branch solves the problem with large airy spaces and even slicker d�cor. The excellent menu expanded too,...  Read More

Chueca & Malasaña
La Isla del Tesoro
Photo courtesy of Carlos Fernandez

A whimsical, romantic vegetarian restaurant, La Isla del Tesoro serves up creative and healthy food beneath dripping candles in an eclectic South Seas shipwreck like setting. For a taste of Spanish puns, order the "Buenrrollito" appetizer....  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

Museo del Jamón
Photo courtesy of Robert Lowe

Well known for its unique décor in the form of rows of whole hams dangling from the ceiling or lining the walls, the local Madrid restaurant chain Museo del Jamón (Museum of Ham) serves up traditional Madrid and Spanish fare. There are...  Read More

Fast Good

The latest brainchild of the Catalan superchef, Ferran Adri�, is a move away from his usual Michelin-starred establishments and into the terrain of fast food. Designer fast food, naturally. True to his status as the originator of the...  Read More

Founded in 1888, Casa Mingo is a traditional Spanish restaurant, tavern and cider mill serving Madrid fare with an Asturian twist. It is best known for its plates of roast chicken washed down with bottles of apple cider, but other menu items...  Read More

100 Montaditos
Photo courtesy of Calapito

100 Montaditos is a fun, cheap Spanish sandwich and beer chain with a slightly Andalusian feel to it. But true to its name, the restaurant offers 100 types of sandwiches, and as they are small ("montadito" means a small sandwich), diners are...  Read More

La Bola

La Bola's rich, red facade speaks volumes about the tradition that governs this restaurant, which is run by the founding family's sixth and seventh generations. Known for its version of the popular two-course stew, cocido a la Madrilena, which...  Read More

Chueca & Malasaña

Known for its authentic, quality Italian food and no frills dining, La Vita e Bella is a casual Italian eatery that is popular among students and others who are looking more for good food than for ambiance. Besides the perennial pizza squares,...  Read More

Casa Paco is Madrid's finest steak house. The meat is exquisite, and the service mirrors the quality of food. Casa Paco's trademark is that all steaks are served on plates hot enough to continue to cook the meat while it is at your table. There...  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