Best Seafood in Madrid

10 Best Seafood Restaurants You'll Find in the Spanish Capital

Though Madrid is located smack dab in the center of Spain and has no coasts of its own, don’t let that fool you. The Spanish capital has a great many quality seafood restaurants that pay homage to Spain’s rich culinary specialties like seafood studded Valencian style paella; fresh Galician mussels, scallops, cod, octopus and squid; and Andalusian style shrimp and battered fried fish. All washed down with great red and white Spanish wines of course.

Try the restaurant O’Pazo for a relaxed, elegant evening feasting on Galician specialties, or Arrocería Gala for a fun group meal of seafood paella and sweet Spanish wine. Then if you are looking for to be transported to the thrill of the high seas, go for the ship themed restaurants La Dorada, with its Malaga style fish, or La Trainera, with its fresh seafood and its portholes in the walls.

If you desire a more informal seafood meal though, opt for the traditional Marisquería Cervecería El Cantábrico, where you can really let your hair down, so to speak. And if you crave a formal dining experience with white jacketed waiters, try the Restaurante Casa Rafa instead. But whichever seafood restaurant in Madrid you choose, I think you will be thoroughly delighted: the only thing missing will be the ocean view. 


The restaurant's name is derived from its specialty, trout ("trucha"). One visit here and you'll see why the name is so appropriate. Other masterful dishes include black sausage, the smoked variety plate, Galician ham, fried fish from Malaga, smoked bacon and fried eggplant. It's also a great place to include on a tapas crawl. Don't forget to order a vermouth or a beer. The menu is available in both English and Spanish. The restaurant's elegant decor is traditional and features many antiques, although you can choose to sit inside or outside. La Trucha is located only a stone's throw from Santa Ana Square. METRO: Sevilla

Local Expert tip: Seafood and tapas, need we say more?

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Marisquería Cervecería El Cantábrico opened in the Salamanca neighborhood in 1948 and has been serving seafood and beer ever since to a predominantly male crowd. The restaurant and bar has a traditional decor with pretty blue ceramic tiles on the walls and metal countertop on the bar. The dining room is small, but there is plenty of room at the bar to eat the traditional way, throwing your napkin on the floor included. Marisquería Cervecería El Cantábrico serves a wide variety of seafood, but also a few meats, sides and a selection of Spanish wines. It's an institution among a number of locals.

Local Expert tip: Stand at the bar.

Read more about Marisquería Cervecería El Cantábrico →

Arrocería Gala
Photo courtesy of Ebifry

Arrocer�a Gala (previously called Champagneria Gala) is a Spanish paella and rice restaurant located in Madrid's Literary Quarter. There the main dining room is decorated like a festive outdoor patio while the newer dining room is decorated with pastoral murals. The restaurant is a good place to go with groups with its large family style paellas and festive atmosphere. Aside from paella, the menu features different Spanish specialties like tapas, stews and meat or fish studded rices. Try some of the sweet wine at the end of the meal. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner only and reservations can only be made by telephone.

Local Expert tip: Bring friends to split a large pan of paella.

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Located beside lovely Retiro Park, Restaurante Casa Rafa is a pleasant upscale seafood restaurant that has been serving excellent grilled seafood in Madrid for over 50 years, though it doesn't look it as the dining room has been renovated. The restaurant's d�cor is elegant and is white with wood accents, and the attentive staff wear white jackets. The seafood here is high quality and well prepared. Depending on how hungry you are and whether or not you want to share a dish, you can order full or half rations. However, Restaurante Casa Rafa is a good place to go for business meals.

Local Expert tip: Go for a walk in the park afterwards.

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Chueca & Malasaña

A far cry from the usual seafood restaurant décor of crusty old fishing nets, oars and plastic crabs, El Bogovante offers a sharp modern take. Set in an artfully lit basement space, its shell-pink walls are swirled with the silhouettes of underwater creatures. The odd lobster claw reminds patrons of its signature dish: el bogovante. Trim and sexy, black-clad staffers sashay about with heaped platters of steaming rice and fresh, tender lobster, along with other delicacies, such as seared tuna with pesto and tomato, baked sea bass and oysters. The wine list is extensive and there are various taster menus. METRO: Chueca

Local Expert tip: Bring a date.

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Chueca & Malasaña

Full of diners gleefully cracking lobster legs and crab claws, this is a noisy, hands-on seafood joint that's bad news for your dry-clean-only swank outfits. The northwest area of Galicia is famous for its seafood, a culinary style celebrated here with heaped steaming platters of shrimp, clams, squid, cuttlefish, crab and percebes (goose necked barnacles) at pretty reasonable prices. For dessert, try the region's specialty of pancakes doused in flaming orujo (a fiery grape liquor) and finish off with queimada, a bowl of flaming orujo served with black coffee and sugar. Turn up early, as no reservations are accepted. If there is a line, take a numbered ticket and wait for your table. METRO: Tribunal

Local Expert tip: This is pure Galicia.

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This was the British painter Francis Bacon's favorite restaurant choice when he was in Madrid and has been considered one of Madrid's finest for decades. The emphasis here is fresh, good quality seafood, and the menu includes sole, turbot, grilled hake, and more than a dozen types of shellfish. But save room for the Spanish-style desserts. The decoration at La Trainera features a nautical theme, complete with portholes, which makes you feel as though you are in Madrid and on board a classic ship at the same time. La Trainera is a bit pricey, but it is an experience. METRO: Serrano

Local Expert tip: What can we say? Portholes!

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At La Dorada you can enjoy a great formal meal set amidst the restaurant's boat cabin themed décor and brick and wood paneled walls. The crowd is a mix of local businessmen, families and couples. La Dorada's exquisite menu features excellent salt-baked fish and Malaga (Andalusia) style seafood. The tables are set with white table cloths and napkins, and the service is good. You might want to have a drink at the well stocked bar before or after dinner. Private dining rooms modeled after ship's cabins are available for business dinners or celebrations. The restaurant is located near Madrid's financial district. METRO: Tetuán

Local Expert tip: Don't miss the pescaito.

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This highly recommended restaurant, which resembles a Valencian-style country house inside, is popular with both Madrid's residents and its tourists. The restaurant is divided into several dining areas, each of which is decorated with a touch of local flair. However, the first dining room is arguably the most interesting. For private parties though you can reserve one of the smaller rooms like the Patio Room and the Queen's Corner Room. The restaurant's menu items feature seafood dishes that are prepared with a definite Spanish influence. The paella here is most popular, and La Barraca offers many different varieties of it. METRO: Gran Vía

Local Expert tip: The decorative Spanish plates are lovely.

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O'Pazo is one of the finest Galician seafood restaurants in all of Spain. First opened in 1969, the restaurant was remodeled in 2008. Now the decoration at O'Pazo is elegant, intimate and rather masculine with its dark tones and wood accents. Be sure to try the fish and shellfish soup; it alone is worth the trip here. The diverse menu features dishes of Jabugo ham, spider crabs, baby eels, Galician scallops and a marvelous seafood casserole. You'll note that the seasoning is minimal here, as the restaurant endeavors to let the natural flavors of the food shine. METRO: Nuevos Ministerios or Alvarado.

Local Expert tip: Not to be missed by seafood lovers.

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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