I found Taberna Alhambra thanks to a link that Santi (VT Redang) gave me once. I chose this place based on proximity to our hotels (walking distance), proximity to the metro - as some of us were moving on to P de A (see my separate tip about it) and because their tapas menu suited us with the request that I got: a cozy place with ham, cheese and fries.
Now, they didn't have fries but we got potatoes with 2 sauces that were very good, together with a surtido ibérico that we 3 shared: ham, cecina de vaca (dried meat), salami, queso manchego and morcilla. To that we drank beer.
The place was cozy indeed, for being located on a street close to Sol and Plaza Mayor. They have a dining room that has an "upper" floor and there was a lot of people coming in and out. Even tho the waiter was rather busy, we didn't really wait that long to get to order, our food or the bill.
Now, El Madroño is a place that we found while walking by Plaza Mayor on Sunday evening and looking for a place to eat that seemed fine. By recommendation from Úrsula, I tried the dish called "huevos rotos con jamon", which is fried potatoes, fried eggs with the yolk running and ham. It was delicious! To that I had a glass of sangría.
We sat outside and enjoyed seeing people walk by and traffic, life in general. Something I liked about El Madroño is that there's poems and shields about Madrid in their menu and in their paper table cloths they put on the tables, sort of like being proud of being madrileños :)
Both places offered the menu of the day together with the regular dishes.
La Montería used to be the typical Spanish old-fashioned tavern, with the typical deer heads hanging on the walls, the typical old parishioners arguing mainly about futbol and toros and the typical excellent honest food. They recently renovated the decoration, removing the parishioners and the deer heads, but keeping the excellent food at the same prices that always.
Favorite Dish: Do not miss the veal and, of course, give a try to the best pincho of the house, the Monterías (specially prepared mussels)
Ardosa is probably one of Madrid best "cervecerias", that is, an establishment specialized in beers. Long before the “Irish pub” Fever that his city suffered some years ago, this bar was the only place in Madrid where decent Guinness pints were available.
Having lost the exclusivity of Guinness beer, the bar still offers some exceptional tapas, at very reasonable prices, all within an old fashioned environment that really deserve to be discovered.
Favorite Dish: You will not be disappointed with the local Croquetas
I first wandered into this small cerveceria with my mom, who has not stopped talking about "the best calamari I will ever have in my life." At first, this little restaurant down the street from the Chueca stop doesn't look any different from other tapas bars. It's small, a few tables, plastic tablecloths. But place an order and watch as one of the three older women (the grandmas) selects your choice from the fresh display in front of you, hand breads whatever you chose, and cooks it to perfection 3 feet behind the bar.
The women who run the restaurant are sweet and quick. The plate of assorted fried fish is about 13 Euros, and enough to feed a small family or a group of friends tapas hopping. Order a drink, and they'll usually cut up a few pinchos of Spanish tortilla or pimientos (roasted red pepper). The seafood is fresh and always good-tasting. A must for any calamari lover.
More than family friendly -- they make you feel like family!
Favorite Dish: The calamares fritos (fried calamari) are amazing. Fresh, breaded, and cooked to perfection. For something a bit lighter, the sepia a la plancha (grilled cuttlefish) is a delicacy.
Tapas are little dishes of food that you have with a drink (beer, wine...). Is a good way to know our gastronomy. Here are some of the best places:
1.- El Boca?to: c/ Libertad, 6. Ph 915 23 12 19. Tapas in the cool Chueca neighborhood.
2. Taberna Bilbao: c/ Costanilla de San Andr?s, 8.
La Taberna de los cien vinos. c/Nuncio, 17. Ph 913 65 47 04.
Juana la Loca. Plaza Puerta de Moros, 4. Ph 913 64 02 25.
Casa Lucas. c/Cava Baja, 30. Ph 913 65 08 04.
El Bonanno. Plaza del Humilladero, 4. Ph 913 66 68 86.
Delic. c/Costanilla de San Andr?s, 14. Ph 913 64 54 50.
3. La Venencia. c/Echegaray, 7. Ph 914 29 73 13.
4. Stars Cafe. c/Marqu?s de Valdeiglesias, 5. Ph 915 22 27 12.
5. El autom?tico. c/Argumosa, 17. By the Reina Sofia Museum / Atocha.
6. Casa Labra. c/Tetuan, in fron of El Corte Ingles. Try the haddock.
7. El Anciano Rey de los Vinos. c/ Almudena, near the Royal Palace.
this restaurant is not crowded with tourists, is well far from the center of the city, so you will meet only local people. i have been tempted not to discover this place, maybe the next time i go there will be crowded, but it s really a pearl
the dishes are fabulous, and they are constantly inventing new ones. we celebrated our football team xmas lunch there. i dont know how to translate these dishes into english sorry, but for the spaniards who read this probably will get their mouth melt ... mejillones en salsa de puerros, habitas tiernas con foie queso brie y esparragos, mero a la salsa de cava, carpaccio de atun acompa?ado de huevo picado espuma de salmorejo y pate de aceitunas negras, solomillitos de cerdo iberico a la pimienta,ciervo a la pimienta verde ...
the price ... 35 euros but, well, we began at 2.30 at end at 6 P.M. and ate like beasts, acomponied by "a couple" (ejem ... ) of Ribera del Duero wine bottles, fine desserts, coffes and pacharanes (basque liquour). but normally would be 15-20 euros
Favorite Dish: las habitas con foie esparragos trigueros y queso brie fundido ... ýam ýam :-) i dont know how to translate "habitas" into english. i think should be something like green soft beans with asparagus, foie and melted brie cheese
and dont forget the deer with green pepper sauce
This little bar is located in the "Literary Quarter" of Madrid, between the Prado and Atocha.
The first thing that will attract you (and amuse you) as you enter is the barroque decoration with typical spanish memorabilia, from toreros to saints, posters, statues... every inch of the wall is filled!!
The tapas% here (called "canapes" wich is like a big tapa on a slice of bread) are excellent and assorted, from "serrano" ham to salmon, tortilla...
Beers for 1 euro, canapes for 2,20 euros.
The inside of this restuarant has a weird feel to it... it's like they've decided to put in as many different types of decor to create a world fusion type of atmosphere...
the bar was absolutely packed when we got there but it gets a little easier if you can blag a table.
the ambience of the this place is really nice... a blend of everything.
Favorite Dish: the best thing about this place had to be the cocktails... somethings i'd never even heard of, and in true spanish fashion... more alcohol than mixers
Cafeeke was the place where we had dinner on Friday night. Their specialty is tapas and beer from Belgium. Úrsula (VT Urzu) arranged to have a 3-course menu (of the sort) plus 3 drinks for 17 euro. Miguel, the guy who attended us, was very nice and friendly enough to take our group photo about 10 times, hehe.
One of the courses was mussels with 3 different sauces, mustard being of them. Then we had 2 different tapas courses with rösti, sausages, "frikadeller" (small meat balls) and croquetas, among other yummy things.
Get here early in the evening because there are not many tables and you will not want to stand all night waiting for the delicious tapas to arrive. You probably will not want to share the tapas either because they're so good. Shout your order through the kitchen window and the bell will sound when the food is ready. Try the wild boar blood pudding, the savoury toasted bagels, Roscas, or their famous fried egg dishes, and wash them down with a glass of beer or Fino sherry. You will find this bar in the lively nightlife district of La Latina, not far from the Rastro (Fleamarket). The old-fashioned interior was recently restored in a simple and attractive combination of plaster, brick and woodwork.
place out of the tourist track. they lack a wide diversity of wines, but the quality of the food is good. crowded every weekend with locals, try not to go there when there is a "real madrid" match, coz you are going to feel like in the underground at peak time (as i did this ver saturday)
good service, and very funny manager. nice atmosphere, u can drop a line in this bar ;-)
it s near "avenida del brasil", a very well known nightlife area, so its a good place to have something before a long night
Favorite Dish: big circular bread with spanish ham and melted brie cheese ...
The area right around the Plaza Santa Ana is my favorite part of Madrid (that I've visited so far, anyway). The construction on the Plaza was recently finished, and its a great place to sit outside, watching the crowds go by and relaxing in the warm evening air. Even better, however, is to go inside the crowded, noisy bars (avoid anyplace that's not full) and stand or sit at the bar. Order a drink and you'll likely get a free (if small) Tapa. But even better is to point to something you like from the case. Have one drink (but no more, unless you really love the place), then move on. Repeat until you can't stand anymore from eating and drinking too much. Then go dancing!
Favorite Dish: Any thing that looks good! Unless you are a vegetarian. Then be careful! I found that in spain, "This piece of food is vegetarian" normally means, "This piece of food is less than 100% meat"
I can farely say that La Trucha was part of my growing up as it is my mother's favourite and she would always bring me here. The food is excellent and I love the atmosphere: the upper street level has a bar with arched ceiling, whitewashed walls and an Andalusian tavern-like ambience; my personal favourite, perfect for a delicious tapeo. But if you're in the mood for a more proper table-sitting dinner you can also head to the downstairs dining room.
La Trucha is very well-known and reservations are recommended. Also, if this branch turns out to be too crowded, there's another Trucha at Núñez de Arce 6, Metro Sol (ph: 91-532-08-82).
Favorite Dish: The tapas in the bar are my favourite but
there is a complete a la carte menu including typical Spanish dishes and all kinds of seafood.
Here are some recommendations:
verbenas de ahumados (a selection of smoked delicacies)
fabada (stew made with beans, Galician ham, black sausage, and smoked bacon) and for the more adventurous rabo de toro (home-style oxtail)!
This ancient tavern has changed little in over 100 years. It is more of a bar than a tapas place, but the short list of tapas served is delicious, particularly the boquerones. The belle epoque decor is extremely attractive, with painted ceilings mixed with azulejos tiled walls (see photos). Enhancing the charm of the place are the dusty wine and sherry bottles stacked above the bar area. Definitely a fun experience in Madrid.
La Venencia is simply a sherry tasting tapas bar with, lets say, not so much ambience as character! Not for everyone, the bar has not had a change of decor in many a year but this, I think, just adds to the atmosphere of the place.
They serve a range of sherries straight from wooden barrels accompanied by a few optional tapas dishes. Just give the place a chance and see if its charm wins you over.
Oh, just don't ask to take any photos, the owners don't allow them! Very apologetic about this they were, refusing to take a tip from us saying "no photo no tip" when we came to pay.