Places to eat on one's own in Madrid
I'm heading solo to Madrid in September and will be on my own most of the days as my hosts will be at work. I'm looking for some reccommendations for bars/restaurants in the cheap to mid-range price that are quite solo-friendly. I quite like to sit about and read and drink wine and take my time over eating general, so probably not for me is the stand up at the bar, scoff tapas and move on thing for my day time munching.
Anywhere in the city is good, as I'm not going to be confining myself to tourist spots.
And seafood is always a favourite...
In February I enjoyed lunch at La Caserola, in Echegeray just off Carrera de San Jeronimo. A typical Madrid bar-restaurant. Bar in front, restaurant tables to the rear. Reasonably priced. I ate at the bar. Had plate of callos ( a serving greater than I could put away) for 6 Euros. I especially wanted to try the callos to see if they were like the ones I make according to Penelope Casa's recipe in her "Foods and Wines of Spain." Penelope nailed it.
The key to finding really good food in Spain is to look for a place jammed with Spaniards. Fitting that prescription is a contemporary style restaurant called La Cazorla. There are several with this name. The one I enjoyed was on the Calle Alcala, a few blocks further past the Ventas metro station. Excellent cordero asado with patatas pobres and a salad , for about 20 Euros. The waiter also accommodated me with a special order of bienmesabe and an excellent fino to go with it. I loved this place.
Solo diners at lunchtime are a very normal sight so you needn't feel out of place. When it is less seen is in the evening for dinner. I can only generally advise for now to take advantage of the wonderful Spanish food offered in all of the menus of the day. If the weather has cooled, they will start offering lots of lentils and bean stews which are always great. Give us Madrid residents an idea of the areas in which you will be to make some specific recommendations.
HI Kath, thanks for the quick reply
I think I am staying initially somewhere close to Salamanca, and will spend at least one day wandering around that neighbourhood. So maybe a wonderful place for a breakfast would be a good start, as well as lunch.
I will spend one day pottering around the Prado and Reina Sofia, and one Sunday afternoon in... is it el Rastro?
I also think I will take a good few hours to lounge around in the Retiro park.
So I suppose they'll be touristy areas, but I will be happy to take a good 20 minute walk off the beaten track to find somewhere away from the main tourist drag to find something a little more peaceful and special.
I'm sort of doing this all without a guidebook and just letting people I meet point me in the direction of things to do. And, like I mentioned, I'll be with friends in the evening
I've had several long solo visits to Madrid, and have always been comfortable eating on my own, both at lunchtime, and in the evening.
A few weeks ago I made some recommendations for good places to eat near the Prado and the Reina Sofia - here's a link to it.
For breakfast: Café & Té at Calle Goya corner with Calle Velazquez.
Casa Dani at Calle Ayala 28. Good menu for commuters.
Carlos Tartiere at Calle Menorca 35. Asturian cuisine.
El Cantabrico at Calle Padilla 39. Beer and shellfish.
Good tapas: 'Jurucha' at Calle Ayala 29, 'Estay' at Calle Hermosilla 46 and 'Juan Bravo 25' (named as its address)