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Feb 2, 2010 06:55 AM

Help! 14 Family Friendly Madrid recommendations?

Hi Chowhounders! Ok, here is the situation, I am in Madrid (Plaza Santa Ana) with my husband and 2 year old for the next 2 weeks. It was a very last minute trip with my son & I following my husband who is working here for a few weeks. I didn't have time to do much research before we came and although I have been reviewing past posts, I am finding it hard to make sense of where the recommendations are located and whether they are good choices for us.

In the "old days" before we had a child, when we travelled we would eat at a combination of recommended restaurants and any place that looked interesting and had a crowd of locals. Price and time weren't often a concern so we tried many of the finer places and we were happy to wander until we saw something that looked appealing. Life is a little different with a toddler. First of all, we aren't inclined to spend $100 Euros on dinner when it may be eaten while chasing the baby around the restaurant. Secondly, due to both the baby's and husband's schedule, it makes more sense for us to eat at 8:30 or 9pm and it is hard to randomly choose a restaurant when it is empty:)

We do plan on finding a babysitter for at least one night out. I think then we will try either La Terazza del Casino or La Broche. And I know not everyone loves them, but we will probably make our way to Casa Mingo and Botin with the baby in tow. Beyond that, I was hoping someone could help with some recommendations within a 15 minute walk of Plaza Santa Ana, where we are staying. We aren't as picky as we used to be. Just looking for anything good, reasonable and casual. I would love to eat some grilled meat, roasted chicken, pig or lamb and a great paella while we are here. I also would love to try a great "cocido madrileno" and some bunuelos. Any other "must try"s?

The hotel has so far only recommended questionable and expensive places and last night after a frustrating search (It was a monday, so many restaurants were closed and I was craving grilled meat so we passed over many tapas bars) we ended up giving up and having a depressing meal at a place that struck me as Madrid's answer to "Denny's". Help!

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  1. Try Calle Ventura de la Vega - it's 5 minutes walk; there are a lot of restaurants on it that you might like given your criteria - I know there's an Argentinian one; Calle Ventura de la Vega, 10, 28014 Madrid, España. Tel.: +34 914201741 - good if you are craving meat. There's also an erotic restaurant down that street; you may have to cover the little ones eyes!

    1. Sergi Arola closed his La Broche couple years ago. He has reopened on calle Zurbano as Sergi Arola Gastro. His wife still runs the dining room, same concept. Have not been to his current restaurant but the food at La Broche was very good.

      1. I was trying to remember the name of a very family-friendly place on Calle Lavapies - finally it came to me: Mano a Mano +34 914 687 042 Calle de Lavapiés 16. Really nice little restaurant; they do great rice and a few Thai/Spanish fusion dishes; not pricey - I've often been there with kids; they are really very friendly. It's less than 10 min.s from where you are staying.
        Update with how you guys are doing - hope you found somewhere to eat that you all like!

        1. Me again; you are very near the most beautiful old pasteleria in Madrid: Antigua Pastelería del Pozo +34 915 223 894 Calle del Pozo 8; about 5 min.s from Plaza Santa Ana - it's open on Sunday morning too - it's hidden away in a tiny little back street, and so even though it's in the middle of tourist-tapilandia you only find locals who've been going there for years. The empanadas are fantastic, as are the pastelitos and the home made membrillo - go if only to take photos!