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May 18, 2014 07:29 PM

NYC Spanish-speaking foodies looking for Madrid, Seville recs

Hi, all,

I've started my way working back through the wealth of information on this board, but also wanted to ask directly for recommendations.

My boyfriend and I are going on a last-minute vacation in Madrid and Seville the first week of June. We're both foodies from NYC, and want to eat more traditional Spanish food (no fusion or foams - we enjoy that often at home but don't want to do it on vacation).

There are no budget limitations. We're planning on doing large lunches and then lighter dinners.

My boyfriend's a native Spanish speaker, if that helps - we're willing to go to extremely local or off-the-beaten path places as a result. It's my first time in Spain, but he has been repeatedly, although not in the last decade.

Thank you in advance!

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  1. Here is my Seville report from a year and a half ago:

    On the same trip, I think, we had an excellent dinner at Lua in Madrid. It is a bit off the beaten track, but accessible by taxi or subway.

    We also like a few of the places in the Retiro district east of the Park. For example: A genteel restaurant for seafood is Casa Rafa.

    We've had sit-down lunches in the dining room, and shellfish plates in the bar area in front, see photo above, which shows just a small part of the array of shellfish at the bar of Casa Rafa.

    I've never seen people there who stood out as tourists. On the expensive side, as are all good seafood restaurants in the capital. They also have good non-seafood options such as rabo de toro, callos a la Madrilena, stewed partridge, and milk-fed lamb chops (a personal favorite!), but the fish and shellfish are the stars.

    1. <I've started my way working back through the wealth of information on this board>

      If so, you must have found some places of interest. What stood out?

      General questions like this tend to indicate that no research has been done, and consequently receive few responses.

      If you have indeed done your homework, you should be able to ask some specific questions. You will get much more help that way.

      1. Assorted suggestions for Madrid.
        Classic Basque cuisine: Taberna Gaztelupe

        Andalusian cuisine: Surtopía

        Shellfish: O'Pazo

        Authentic paella by a Valencian chef (open for lunch only): Que Si Quieres Arroz Catalina

        Cuisine of Madrid: Casa Alberto

        3 Replies
        1. re: JuanDoe

          Juan, you gave us great help on our last trip and I vaguely remember your recommending a mushroom-focused restaurant which was delicious and seems to fit the OP's desires.

          I was lucky enough to live in Sevilla when I was 16 but I don't go often enough to recommend specific restaurants. I can say that I've always found Sevilla to be one of the most energetic and fun cities in all of Europe and I would try if possible to eat tapas and hop around a bit having a drink or bite at many different places. The more people-watching you can do there, the better. : ) Have fun!


          1. re: JeremyEG

            You are probably thinking of El Cisne Azul (Calle de Gravina, 19) or El Imperio (Calle Galileo, 51)--both are bars that specialize in wild mushrooms. I was just at the former today and they still had morels at this late date.

          2. re: JuanDoe

            Thanks for tips! Will be returning to Spain for the summer. Hopefully some places are open in August as that's the time we'll be in Madrid….mostly we'll be in Andalucia area (Costa) for the summer.

          3. In Madrid, I *highly* recommend the following (listed in alphabetical order):

            Al Trapo --
            Caballero de Gracia, 11
            28013 Madrid
            +34 915 242 305

            Distrito 798 -- no website; check out TripAdvisor
            Calle del Capitán Haya, 43
            28020 Madrid
            +34 912 908 707

            Taberna Gastromaquia -- no website; check out TripAdvisor
            Calle de Pelayo, 8
            28004 Madrid
            +34 915 226 413

            . . . and finally, StreetXO, located on the 9th floor of El Corte Ingles off the Grand Via in the "Food Experience". It's the "street food" restaurant of DiverXO's Chef David Muñoz -- PACKED at lunch time, and impossible to get a seat . . . but go at 3:00 pm or later, and that's not a problem. The chili crab is stunning -- messy as heck, but well worth the effort And don't miss the razor clams!