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May 17, 2006 03:57 AM

Best paella in Madrid?

  • j

Hi gang,

Yes, I'm off to Madrid soon - my eighth trip there. I know it's not the local specialty, but I'd like to try the tastiest paella that Madrid has to offer.

Please, no tourist traps! Lord know I've been tricked before into trying the "paella is our specialty" places, only to be dining with busloads of retired German tourists on a fixed budget itinerary.

I want local, hole-in-the-wall, let's-cook-it- -on-Sunday-just-because paella this time. Thanks in advance!

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  1. El Ventorrillo Murciano
    c/Tres Peces, 20
    Teléfono: 91 528 83 09.

    It's in Lavapies--close to the Antón Martín metro stop.


    6 Replies
    1. re: buttterfly

      Gracias. Butterfly you are the best. This gives me an excuse to bravely venture into the barrio Lavapies.

      1. re: JL

        We had a fabulous paella at Valencia and loved the area as well.

        1. re: sybil

          Uh... OK. I too, had an extraordinary rabbit paella at a friend's home in Valencia (the birthplace of paella, after all) on a past visit. BUT I said in my original thread "in Madrid". Any suggestions for Madrid?

          1. re: JL

            JLK, I think sybil was refering to the restaurant in Madrid called "valencia" in Arguelles district. It was good, and that is their specialty and it is not a tourist trap but it is not a hole-in-the-wall neither is it upscale....its somewhere in between

      2. re: buttterfly


        Is this still your recommendation for authentic paella in Madrid?

        Also where would you recommend suckling pig in Madrid? Is casa Botin the top place? I cannot seem to find alternative suggestions within Madrid.

        Finally, my wife and I will be arriving into Madrid at around 3:30pm, by the time we book into the hotel Preciados on Calle Preciados and Gran Via. We have booked a tapas tour starting at 8pm till 11pm. Where would you suggest we grab bit near the hotel at around 4pm and then we will probably rest up for a few hours before tapas?

        This will be our very first meal in Madrid and I would like it to be authentic and good but not too huge so that we can enjoy out tapas tour.

        Thank you in advance

        1. re: girdev

          I have had cochinillo at Botin and recommend it. They also have gazpacho that was to die for there as well.

      3. I really like the Arroz Abanda at Balear, on the corner of
        Sagunto and Castillo; near metro Iglesia. Definitely no busloads
        of tourists. In fact, hardly anyone there at all on my couple
        of visits.

        It's a fairly large, or large-feeling, place. Tablecloths, good selection
        of fizzy wines. Fairly formal, so if you're looking for a beach-like
        dive atmosphere, this is not it. I have no idea of the subtleties that
        distinguish Valencian from Menorcan paella, but this place claims to
        serve the latter. A variety of interesting crustaceans make an appearance
        in everything.

        Haven't had paella anywhere else in Madrid, so I can't comment
        on the best-ness of if it...


        1. I have tried two places for paella in Madrid. Mediterraneo on Jorge Juan (?) in the Salamanca district is wonderful, but more upscale. I always go there when I go to Madrid. The dishes are quite traditional, but very well prepared. The other one I liked is La Paella de la Reina on Calle Reina in the Chueca district. I especailly liked the appetizers there--lots of seafood.

          2 Replies
          1. re: cytrey

            I appreciate your input, but La Paella de la Reina is EXACTLY what I was referring to when I mentioned I wanted to AVOID touristy places - No mas, por favor!

            The paella at LPdlR was among the worst I've had in Spain, if that's possible.

            1. re: JL

              Oh yeah, la reina does suck in a big way. It reminds of all the bad places in the Ironbound, Newark, NJ.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. JL,

              How was it? Am off to Madrid next month and would check it out based on your review. Any other don't miss places? Am only there for a day but can try to squeeze 3 meals in. Thanks.