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6 Restaurants in Madrid Locals Love

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Barcelona often steals the limelight with its iconic Gaudi buildings and coastal charm, but Madrid deserves recognition as a world-class city in its own right. This vibrant metropolis boasts a classic elegance with beautiful parks, incredible museums and awe-inspiring architecture. But perhaps its most underrated feature is its thriving food scene.

While Madrid may not be as synonymous with tapas as other Spanish cities, its restaurants are booming, offering culinary delights to suit every budget. From Michelin-starred establishments to local taverns (tascas), Madrid is a haven for food lovers. Madrileños take their food seriously, balancing tradition with innovation, making it an exciting time to dine in the city. Here are five must-visit restaurants in Madrid that the locals adore.

Café Comercial

Opened in 1887, Café Comercial is a historic gem that has been a local favourite for decades. Once a hub for author readings and cultural events, the literary cafe closed in 2015, leaving locals heartbroken. Thankfully, it has reopened after a meticulous restoration, modernising while retaining its Art Deco charm.

A visit to Café Comercial is like stepping back in time. Start your day with the famous churros for breakfast, indulge in arroz meloso (a cousin of paella) for lunch, or simply drop in for croquetas and Spanish ham for an afternoon snack.


For those looking to splurge, Cebo is a top choice. Located in the Urban Hotel in the museum district, this elegant and modern restaurant consistently receives rave reviews for its food and service. Chef Aurelio Morales’ tasting menu is a culinary journey through Spain, using classic Spanish ingredients with a contemporary twist.

It’s no wonder Cebo has been awarded a Michelin star; it’s the perfect place to experience the flavours of Spain in one sitting.

El Club Allard

El Club Allard began as a private club in 1998 and later opened to the public, earning two Michelin stars. The exterior may be understated, but the interior is all about luxury and opulence. Chef Maria Marte’s seasonal tasting menus are a highlight, especially during truffle season. For a truly decadent dining experience, El Club Allard is a must.

El Paraguas

For a taste of traditional Asturian cuisine from northern Spain, El Paraguas has been a Madrid favourite for over 15 years. The sleek yet cosy decor is the setting for some of the best seafood in the city, along with seasonal specialities such as morel mushrooms, foie gras and truffles. If it’s in season, you can be sure to find it on your plate.

Sala de Despiece

Sala de Despiece offers a unique dining experience with its modern, butchery-themed decor. Located in a former butcher’s shop, this meat-centric restaurant features meat hooks from the ceiling, duct tape and parchment paper for plates.

The Butcher’s Table, a 12-seat communal table, is the only seating you can reserve, while the long bar counter offers a more casual dining experience with chefs serving directly in classic tapa style. It’s a quirky but top-notch place to enjoy a meal.

Celso y Manolo

Celso y Manolo is a modern tavern that blends Spanish tradition with international influences. This tapas spot focuses on northern cuisine, but also embraces global flavours. Don’t miss the chuletón de tomate, a tomato salad inspired by Miami’s Latin cuisine, using sun-dried, powdered and fresh heirloom tomatoes with bright Latin flavours.

For heartier options, try the veal ribs with kimchichurri, stews and sliced beef entrecote.

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