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Moving to Madrid for a year

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Hola

I have been a regular reader/poster on Chowhounds/Manhattan since I moved there. I am going to spend August in Santander and then the next year in Madrid (La Latina). When I moved to NY I found that Zagat and the NY Times was pretthy good at getting me started til Iknew my way around. Alas, Zagat is almost useless for Madrid. So can any recommend a decent compilation of restos in Madrid (I assume a search on Santander will turn up the 10 recommended places pretty easily). Obviously want the rests that are exquisite, free, I am the only American, etc. I was lucky to find El Ventorrillo Murciano on this board during my visit to Madrid last week, but there are even more inviting restos within 5 minutes of our flat in Pl. de la Paja than I have at a similar distance in Greenwich Village. So want to maximize my time in what looks like Chowhound heaven.

TIA, and simply pointing me to a url would be great

adios
neal

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      1. There's no English-language guidebook or media site that does a good job in Madrid. El Mundo has a decent (though somewhat skewed toward certain neighborhoods) guide that you can buy in bookstores (it's more complete than what's on their site). I live in La Latina if you want to get a caña some time (you can find me @butterflymeow on twitter). As you note, there are so many places that it's almost impossible to make recommendations without knowing more...

        1. Pick up a copy of El Mundo's dining guide, Guia Metropoli -- Comer y Beber en Madrid for 2009 at VIPS or Casa del Libro (both bookstore-type of places all around town) and check out http://www.spottedbylocals.com/madrid . Both offer some reviews and good suggestions across the dining spectrum here in Madrid. For specific recommendations, post more details. Enjoy!

          2 Replies
          1. re: npwest

            This is all great and the type of stuff I need. I was hoping for The Chowhounds Guide to Madrid (en espanol) but these are all incredibly helpful. And I am sure that we will enjoy the hunt for great places. it was most encouraging that right across the place (de la Paja) from our flat is a really nice Basque Tapas place! Even living in the heart of Greenwich Village, I have to walk at least 5 times as far as that to get to our first favorite place!.

            Thanks again
            neal

            1. re: nbeck

              Neal, Check out the barrio Retiro for some nice places w/out the zoo scene. It's my fave area for Tapas.

          2. My wife and I spent a week in Madrid tapas bar hopping last year, and found our favourite to be Casa Alberto on Calle Huertas. Never mind the stream of tourists going in and out of there, the food was incredible and service top notch.

            Also, for a cheapie, check out Casa Mingo sidreria. 5 Euro for 750ml bottle of ice cold, Granny Smith hard cider! Not to mention a great, whole roast chicken for 9 euro and a really good chorizo. Avoid the salads or desserts as they are store bought though.