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!
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
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.
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