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Jun 11, 2008 09:08 PM

most amazing restaurants in madrid

im going to madrid in a week or so and i my birthday will be two days after i arrive
i want to go to the most delicious amazing special occasion restaurant in madrid
price is not really an issue
also other must go places in madrid because i'll be there all summer
any tips would be much aprriciated thanks!

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  1. Hello FF,

    There are heaps of posts about Madrid. Why not try searching first and drawing up a shortlist. Since you're going to be there for some time you might want to do some day trips so search for Segovia, Toledo or El Escorial.

    If you're going to be there in August don't forget that

    a. It will be hot (the weather is described as nueve meses de invierno y tres de infierno)

    b. A lot of places will be closed

    Re tapas don't worry about recs - there are so many places just wandering around and ducking into bars at random is likely to bring you some pleasant surprises.

    1. I agree with Hermano Primero about everything, including the tapas bars. We ate at a couple of really nice places while there. L'hardy has been around forever. It has about the best gazpacho in town, and the restaurant is so good, that for many years, Spanish Houses for the upperclass were built without kitchens because it was just assumed that they would have dinner catered by L'hardy. It is a small bakery/candy shop downstairs, with a great restaurant upstairs.
      Although Paella is not really a Madrid specialty (better in the Valencia area), La Paella Real near the Plaza Oriente was excellent, with great Paella and great wine, as well. Highly recommended.

      La Trucha is also very good, with the specialty being Trucha a La Trucha, trout stuffed with onions, jamon serrano, and some other really good, creamy stuff.

      Mostly we ate tapas there; cheap and amazing. Be sure to try all of the hams, including jamon serrano and jamon iberico. Also Tortilla a la Espanola, essentially a cold wedge of potato-onion omelet, and a Spanish Tapa Bar classic. Pimientos de la Padron is great -- roasted peppers with olive oil and salt. Most are sweet and smoky, with the occasional one being spicy. Kind of like a culinary "russian roulette." Get them with beer, and you'll probably eat 20 or so each. Gambas Ajillo (garlic shrimp) are a classic, and best at La Casa de Mi Abuelo. Patatas Bravas (potato chunks in a napalm-like orange sauce) are best at Las Bravas, a tapas bar chain you will see everywhere. You will also see the Museo de Jamon, which is a chain, and everything I've had there is good, if not incredibly spectacular.
      Don't limit yourself to a single tapas bar or two. The best is to try a tapa and drink at one bar, then move on to the next, and have a tapas dinner in several different places that way.
      Chocolateria San Gines is a classic for afternoon or late-night Churros con Chocolate. You might also try the Valor shop for the same thing. Better chocolate, worse churros. Churros con Chocolate are often had as a special occasion breakfast in Madrid, but some is better than others.