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Jan 20, 2011 12:58 PM

Madrid Local Favorites

I am looking for some recommendations for great restaurants in Madrid. I am visiting with my husband in February and our favorite kinds of restaurants are local, hole-in-the wall places. We don't need Michelin stars or fancy elaborate presentation, we just like fresh, authentic food and it is always a plus to be the only Americans in the restaurant. We love tapas and regional cuisines from all over Spain. Any suggestions?

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  1. Not fancy but good home-style cooking:
    Restaurante Barrera at Calle Alonso Cano 25, nearest Metro: Alonso Cano. Recs: setas (mushroom), patatas revolconas (crushed potatoes with pimentón --paprika--and fried rusher of bacon), bonito a la chanfaina (tuna with ratatouille), cabrito (goat kid)…
    El Bocho at Calle San Roque 18, nearest Metro: Callao. Recs: lentejas (lentil stew), pisto con huevo (ratatouille with a fried egg on), delicious chipirones en su tinta (squid in their ink), albóndigas (meat balls)…
    Casa Fidel at Calle del Escorial 6, nearest Metro: Tribunal. Recs: alcachofas (artichokes) on season, croquetas, zancarrón (beef stew), merluza a la plancha (grilled hake)…
    El Quinto Vino at Calle Hernani 48, nearest Metro: Nuevos Ministerios or Cuatro Caminos. Recs: croquetas, berenjenas con salmorejo (fried eggplant with Cordoban gazpacho), empanadillas de puerros (pasties filled with leek). Wide array of good wines.
    Don't miss the largest market in Madrid with authentic local atmosphere: Mercado de Maravillas at Calle Bravo Murillo near Metro Cuatro Caminos. Buy 'pimentón' to take home.