I've been reading the posts for a while, and have already got lots of good ideas from you all, for which many thanks. This is my first post.
I spent four days in Madrid last week, and am going to return for ten days in January. I stayed, and will stay again, at a hostal in the Calle Cervantes, on account of its proximity to the Prado and the other two main museums. The Cerveceria Cervantes is a stone's throw from my bed, and I ate there a couple of times and liked it a lot; and being somewhat unadventurous, would be happy to settle in there and eat my way through all they have to offer. But that does seem a bit unenterprising, so I'd love to have your ideas about other places in that area or not too far afield.
I'm travelling on my own, and I like places that I don't have to change clothes for, places that I can just slip into after a hard day's looking at pictures and feel comfortable in, eat decent food, and then go home and go to bed early. That really lets out most restaurants, I suppose - I'm usually asleep by the time Madrilenos start their dinner - but that's ok: my preference is for tapas anyway, just as in Greece it's for mezedes.
I'll be grateful for your thoughts.
With ten days in Madrid, it would be a shame not to explore the tapas places in other neighborhoods. They all have their own characteristics. This is what makes Madrid such a wonderful and fascinating city. Most of the neighorhoods around Sol are easy to get to. Unlike sit down dinner when nothing starts until after 9:30, generally there will be some activity before then in these places. Other good bars around your area (Huertas): Taberna de Dolores, Taberna de Bilbao. Just up the hill on Santa Ana: Casa Alberto, La Trucha, La Toscana, La Costa de Vejer. Off Sol are Casa Labra and Taberneros. South of Plaza Mayor is La Latina where numerous tapa places on Cava Baja: Casa Lucas, El Tempranillo, Taberna Almendro are just a few. Just north of Gran Via is Chueca: try Bocaito at c/Libertat 4-6, Cerveceria Santa Barbara on Plaza Santa Barbara 8, La Bardemcilla on Augusto Figueroa 47 and Santander on Augusto Figueroa 25.