Madrid in two weeks, three 20 something females
I have been browsing the Madrid related posts for the last few weeks and think I should take my chances and post. I will be traveling to Madrid w/ two close girlfriends in a few weeks, we are all from Chicago and appreciate good food. We are also not looking to spend a ton of money on most of our meals--one splurge for sure, but the exchange rate is not in our favor.
Any recommendations for great food at reasonable prices in Madrid is appreciated. Particularly places w/ a lively atmosphere!
Trendy, cool & casual restaurants:
Bar Tomate at Fernando El Santo 26, subway Colón. A hip of the year.
In Situ at Calle Valverde 40, subway Chueca. Located in a trendy & gay neighborhood. Suggestion: have a beer before dinner in Bodega de La Ardosa at Calle Colón.
La Gabinoteca at Calle Fernandez de la Hoz 53, subway Gregorio Marañón. Creative Spanish cooking. Don't miss a dessert called 'Juan Palomo'.
Casa González at Calle León 12. This former grocery is currently a cool deli to taste good wines, cold meats, cheeses and 'morteruelo' (shepherd paté).
Paella at Marina Ventura, Calle Ventura de la Vega 13, subway: Sevilla
Splurge at Viridiana
I'd recommend an evening visiting various establishments on/around Cava Baja (La Latina metro). We went on a Sunday night earlier this month and every place (and even the street) was packed with 20-somethings having a great time nibbling tapas and sipping cañas (small beers). Very festive atmosphere. Search on this board for Cava Baja, or take a look at Maribel's Guide (maribelsguides.com) to Madrid for details on specific establishments.
Also, try not to miss churros con chocolate at Chocolatería San Ginés (just a couple of blocks from Puerta del Sol). Enjoy your trip!
You may also want to check out TripAdvisor's Madrid Forum for threads entitled "How to get a tapa for free" and "La Latina tapas bars". When we visited Casa Lucas on Cava Baja, we were treated to 2 different free tapas (pate & sliced chorizo on bread) before we ordered the Arroz Cremoso.
Taberna Maceiras is a great, affordable Galician place very close to the Prado. Had the pulpo and beberechos along with some Albarino. All were outstanding!
Chocoloteria San Gines is mandatory for churros con chocolate.
Thanks for the recommendations! Will be in Madrid for only two days (a Monday/Tuesday) in early May. Since only there for two nights, planning on devoting one night to tapas bar crawl starting @ Casa Lucas for night #1 and need one more suggestion for night #2.... want something inexpensive (we are heading to expensive Paris after Madrid) and ideally lively on a tuesday night. Not too huge on Paella or Seafood (as we will be coming from Majorca/BCN) -- so a 'must-go-when-in-Madrid' spot would be fabulous!
We are two 30somethings, and will be staying @ Viena Suites @ Calle de Juan Alvarez... Mendizabal