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Mar 20, 2014 10:28 AM

Dinner with children in Madrid

I'll be visiting Madrid with my wife, 12 year old and 10 year old in July. We enjoy great food, service and atmosphere and don't mind paying for it. I know that late dinners are the custom and would expect that our family would be on the early end of any dinner service. What is the attitude toward well-behaved children in some of the finer dining options in Madrid? More importantly, what if one of the party has a less than adventurous palate? Are there any restaurants you would recommend? Thanks!

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  1. You won't have any problem bringing well-behaved kids to nice restaurants. Just remember that "the early end" of dinner is really no earlier than 10pm in Madrid. We eat dinner very, very late here, especially in the summer (in July it doesn't even really get dark until 10:30pm).

    My son has a food allergy and everyone is extremely accommodating of it--I can't imagine that you couldn't find something for the less adventurous eater at a sit-down kind of place--a lot of "raciones" and entrantes make fine entrees for kids. You can almost always get a plate of ham, sliced cheese, tortilla.

    You might have a harder time if you go the tapas route (my experience is that kids visiting us from other countries have a rougher time eating on their feet for long stretches in a loud environment--something Spanish kids train for over the course of years).

    1. Madrid is kid-friendly, don't concern about this. You can easily find casual restaurants for families. E.g. a chain called Gino's which runs from 1pm at midday and from 8pm for dinners.

      3 Replies
      1. re: JuanDoe

        Ugh. Gino's, VIPs, et al are awful, just awful--I wouldn't suggest them to anyone under any circumstances, unless they professed a desire to eat at the Spanish version of the Olive Garden or Dennys.

        There are much better places to go if you are stuck with eating off hours. The original poster is asking for advice on fine dining with kids…

        1. re: butterfly

          Thanks to all of you who responded. We are challenged by parents and 12 year old daughter who enjoy fine dining and one less adventurous 10 year old son. It sounds as if even the nicer establishments welcome children. If you have any places you have particularly enjoyed, we would love to hear about them. Thanks again.

          1. re: ned3610

            For a splurge, you might look into the earliest seating at Viridiana (it's close to a lot of hotels, so it might open earlier). If you tell us a bit more about your preferences, I could be more specific. My 12 year old goes everywhere with us (and has for quite some time) and there are no problems at all. It doesn't get more family-friendly than Spain. They are part of public life.

            If the timing gets way off, there are places that are open all day and are sort of upscale food courts/pseudomarkets like the Mercado de San Miguel by the Plaza Mayor and the gourmet section on the top floor of El Corte Inglés Callao (worth a visit just for the view down the Gran Vía and across the city). You could definitely find something for everyone there, the quality is good, and the kids could wander/explore around if they were feeling antsy. Diverxo has a low-key offshoot, StreetXO there that is a fun spot, because you can watch the chefs in action.