Madrid Food Budget?
We are bringing 4 American college students to Madrid in September to see the Solar Decathlon. In budgeting for the trip, how much money should I expect the students to need to feed themselves? We hope to have an apartments, so not every meal needs to be eaten out, but we don't want to be stingy either. We are working with a grant and will also need to give them transportation money also. Any suggestions for the entire trip would be appreciated. It will be our first time in Spain, and we hope to be there about a week.
Spanish breakfast is usually a coffee, some kind of pastry or churro, and perhaps a juice. Most bars will charge you around €2 for a coffee+a simple pastry. Add juice or something more elaborate like a sandwich mixto (grilled ham and cheese) and you could be looking at 4-5€
At most places in Madrid for €12 and under, Mon-Fri, you can have a full 2 course lunch with bread, drink, and dessert. There are still some places, particularly outside the center, that serve the menú del día for under €10. In touristy areas you may pay anywhere from €12-15+ with varying degrees of quality.
Dinner can go down two routes. If you restrict yourself to tapas, sharing a few raciones, it is possible to keep dinner costs down to as little as €10/person. If there's an appetite, or you start throwing in wine, coffee, dessert etc expect to pay at least €15/person.
For a sitdown dinner, unless you go to a franchise establishment like Vips or McDonalds, which I strongly recommend against, it will be difficult to have a meal for under €15 each. Any halfway decent place, with cheapish wine and coffee or dessert, will probably run you at least €20-25 per person. At somewhat nice places you can expect to pay €30-40 per person if you go the full nine yards (appetizers, main, dessert, wine, coffee). And of course at the top of the ladder, €200+
The center is more expensive than outlying disticts. I should mention that my definition of center is not the same as that of a visitor, having lived there for a decade. Center= anything inside the M30 ring road.
In the neighborhood of Lavapies there are a lot of cheap eateries especially catering to those who like bangladeshi food, though you can find other options as well. In the very center of the city, around the plaza mayor, puerta del sol etc, it can be pretty difficult not to find places that are either franchises or cater to tourists.
Hope this helps.