Great food in Spain
My husband and step-son and I will be spending a week in Spain at the End of November. We'll be in Madrid for three days and Seville for three days. My son is an adventurous eater...loves Cuban food, fish and seafood in general. Can anyone recommend some great cafe's, restaurants etc... Not looking to break the bank. I'm always looking for what I call cheap and cheerful. The places the locals would eat on a regular basis. I'm not opposed to one or two expensive places as well.
Same advice here is to search this board as there have been tons of earlier post on eating in Madrid and Seville.
Every neighborhood in Madrid has it's share of cafes. There are the famous terrace cafes lining the Paseo de Recoletos such as the literary El Gigon. These are expensive as one is paying for the real estate. Near the opera house are the beautiful old Cafe de Oriente and Cafe del Real. Cafe del Circulo de Bella Artes on Gran Via is worth a look and sitting on the terrace makes one feeling like a million dollar. On the beginning of c/Mayor is one of the best pastry shop, El Riojano, with seating in the back. The second floor at La Mallorquina on del Sol is good for seat down breakfast and packed for afternoon coffee fix. The standup bar is good for something quick and inexpensive. I love El Diamante and Delic. Great for people watching are the various cafes in Chueca. This hardly scratch the surface the cafe scene in Madrid. You will run into more cafes than one can ever imagine.
Seville: definitely head for La Campana on the beginning of c/Sierpes. The outside tables are a premium and the inside circular stand up area is great to rub elbows with locals. In centro: Cafe Moderniste, La Prensa , the pastries at Horno de San Buenaventura, Pasteleria San Pablo and Nova Roma. Also the more eclectic cafes on the Alameda de Hercules.
Shellfish in Madrid without breaking the bank:
A must: the 'cocido madrileño' (typical stew of Madrid). Recommended restaurant: MALACATIN. Calle La Ruda 5. Nearest Metro: La Latina. Closed on August, on Sunday and on mid-day from Sat to Wed. The 'cocido madrileño' is a full meal. It consist of soup, chickpeas, cabbage, potato, chorizo (seasoned sausage), morcilla (blood sausage), pork fat, chicken...
Recommended tapas bar: BOCAITO. Calle Libertad 4. Nearest Metro: Chueca. Closed on Sat at mid-day and Sunday all day. My recs: Luisito (spicy tapa, secret recipe), mejimecha --aka tigre, literally tiger-- is stuffed mussel, tosta de paté con caviar (toast topped with paté and caviar). In Bocaito is more fun to stand at the counter feeling the atmosphere and the buzz around. This Andalusian bar & restaurant is located in Chueca, nominally the 'gay' district of Madrid but all kind of people is welcome in this area.
Recommended affordable seafood
The largest roll filled with calamares (battered squid) at El Brillante at Plaza Atocha (in front of the AVE rail station).
Mejillones en escabeche --I love them-- (canned marinated mussles). Cerveceria Santa Barbata at Plaza Santa Barbara 9. Metro: Alonso Martinez.
Traditional taberna near Puerta del Sol. Rec: mojama (dried tuna). Alhambra 1929 at Calle de la Victoria 9.
Traditional taberna near Puerta del Sol. Gambas al ajillo -- I love them too--(peeled prawns fried in garlic). La Casa del Abuelo at Calle de la Victoria 12.
This is a traditional taberna in Chueca. Rec: Pincho de bonito en escabeche (a chunk of pickled tuna). Recommended beverage: vermut de grifo (vermouth from the tap).
Tortillitas de camarones (tiny prawns omelet), ortiguillas (sea anemone). Bar Sanlúcar at Calle San Isidro Labrador 14. Andalusian bar in La Latina.
We just got back from Madrid on Saturday and dined at La Penela Cocina Gallega, highly recommended by our friends from Vigo.
What a great find it was for us, wonderful Galician food mostly fish offerings. Spouse who is from Galicia mentioned it's like having a meal in La Coruña, it was that good. We wnet to the one located in Velazquez 87 in the Salamanca section of Madrid. Be forewarned tho' this is the type of place one goes for the food as the decor was a bit dated.
Cuban restaurant was also recommended to us, tho' we didn't get a chance to visit. Called Zara: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/...
For an expensive splurge we dined at Ramon Freixa in the Selenza Hotel also in the Salamaca section. The food was actually quite delicious, the chef and restaurant were just voted the years best in Madrid if there is interest in that sort of thing. I noticed they had a terrace which is probably very nice during the warm summer months.
Enjoy your trip.