Run by the cinematic Bardem family (the Oscar-winning Javier, along with sister M�nica, brother Carlos and old screen legend mother Pilar). Miniature movie sets, family photos and film stills adorn the walls. The tapas and larger raciones are named after Bardem films (mostly Javier's). Madrid's cool crowd hangs out at the bar, located near the entrance, to drink a ca�a or nibble on some Jam�n Jam�n (ham croquetas). At the back of the bar is a convivial and comfy restaurant, where diners can enjoy an economical set lunch or an a la carte sit-down meal of predominantly meaty classics, such as solomillo a la luna (sirloin steak) or chuletas de cordero (lamb chops), washed down with a good selection of Spanish wines. Metro: Chueca
Local Expert tip: Heaven for Spanish movie buffs.
Cervecer�a Santa B�rbara is a local restaurant and tavern that serves up plates of tapas, sandwiches, shrimp and other Spanish fare that is more often than not washed down with small glasses of the Mahou beer on tap. At Cervecer�a Santa B�rbara you can stand and eat at the bar counter for a casual meal or sit down at one of the tables for waiter service. The restaurant is located on Santa B�rbara square, from which it gets its name, and draws its history from a brewery dating to 1815. Try the homemade potato chips and do sit outside when the weather's nice.
Local Expert tip: Not ordering a beer here borders on heresy.
You will have a pleasant dining experience in this charming restaurant situated in the previous home of Miguel de Cervantes. You can mingle with the locals at the bar while enjoying delicious tapas, or you can have a full meal in the restaurant. Their specialties include fried squid, shellfish in vinaigrette sauce, and chorizo (sausage) in cider sauce. METRO: Anton Martin
Local Expert tip: Examine the walls.
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 encouraged to mix, match and try different types. It's actually a good way to sample several Spanish staples in a hurry. The customers at 100 Montaditos are asked to mark down what they want on an order form; the orders are then either called over the loudspeaker for you to pick up or are brought to your table.
Local Expert tip: About three sandwiches make a full meal.
The only thing that was less than perfect about the original La Musa in Malasaña was its cramped dimensions. This newer branch solves the problem with large airy spaces and even slicker décor. The excellent menu expanded too, particularly for breakfast (weekdays only). The vibe is as fashionable as ever: it draws a style-conscious young crowd with its creative, but very affordable, dishes and affordable set lunch. This eatery is especially strong on creative salads, tapas and its signature bomba, a deep-fried tennis ball of spicy meat or vegetables. The cocktail lounge has a DJ spinning house sounds and is open from Thursday to Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Turn up early to avoid a long line. METRO: La Latina
Local Expert tip: The funky décor and its continuous hours make La Musa a local favorite. Also, the restaurant is next to the historic Plaza de la Paja.
Casa Lucio promises great authentic Spanish food regardless what you choose to order. You can choose from a selection including Jabugo ham with broad beans, shrimp in garlic sauce, and hake with green sauce. You can also choose from several selections of roast lamb. The service is friendly, and the food is fabulous. METRO: La Latina
Local Expert tip: Tradition in the heart of La Latina.
Named after its charming location in an old shoemaker's shop, this boisterous tavern is festooned with old tools of the cobbler's trade. In homage to the restaurant's origins, its signature flat little canap�s are known as suelas or shoe soles. The broad bar is always heaving with rowdy clients having a quick cold ca�a of beer. The tapas are well-priced and classic: ensaladilla rusa (egg mayonnaise salad), patatas bravas (french fries with a spicy sauce) and anchovies and tomatoes stuffed with cod brandade, along with more modern snacks like asparagus with brie. Metro: La Latina
Local Expert tip: Quirky and good value.
Casa Labra has special historical significance because the Spanish Socialist party was established here in 1879. When you enter, you'll get the impression that the dark wood interior and Spanish-style d�cor appears to have changed very little over the past 100 or so years, and this just adds to the tavern's charm. Even today, the restaurant still maintains a special place in the hearts and of Madrid's locals and visitors. In addition, their stomachs do not forget its great tapas menu and traditional Spanish cuisine that features cod fritters. METRO: Sol.
Local Expert tip: A must if your politics lean left.
The original owner, a bullfighter, took the tapas bar's name in honor of his son who was killed in the ring. The walls still display bullfighting paraphernalia, and the conversation within often turns to the best bullfighters. You can order from a slew of different tapas, including garlic soup or smoked fish montaditos and the salad comes free with your drink. The friendly environment is sure to please. METRO: Tirso de Molina
Local Expert tip: Old-school Madrid at its best.
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 are other options besides steak, including sole or baby lamb. Don't forget to finish with a tantalizing dessert that can't be resisted! METRO: Tirso de Molina
Local Expert tip: The decor is classic Madrid.