I was last Saturday in Madrid, on the 8th of September 2012. We went to "Parque del Retiro", it is a nice place to walk and there are a couple of coffee shops by the lake, where you can have drinks outside. The place we went was called "kiosko Galápagos" and is just in front of the lake. We were with my little niece, who is 3 years old. We just asked for drinks and some tapas, not to mention the price....., when it started to rain so heavily. The staff including the owner started removing the umbrellas, and invited us to move.So we decided to go into the small interior space that this coffee shop had. But to our surprise they did not let us coming in. The manners were rude and aggressive. They pretended that we should drink them outside just by this small coffee shop where we had about 30 cm per person to stand. Therefore we filled a complaint form after asking for it with determination. The issue was very uncomfortable and unpleasant, specially when my little niece was there. Of course they did not care at all. So please avoid this place, do not eat or drink anything there. I can tell you it is not worthy.
The animated Plaza Mayor and its pavement cafes are a real tourist magnet. This is, however, not the best place in town to enjoy a "true" Spanish culinary experience. In addition, to being over-priced, the version of paella and other well known Spanish dishes that are served here differ greatly from the original stuff served in restaurants with a more local clientele. Of course, nothing will matter after a few jars of refreshing sangria.
Meat is most definitely on the menu in Madrid and vegetarian food is not a common choice in the average restaurant.
Vegetarian visitors might want to pack a few Beanfeasts in their suitcases before they go!
Sure, it looks innocent enough, tasty even. But the restaurants serving this so-called paella are NOT the real thing...this is definitely tourist-class wanna-be-paella and it's awful. Awful with a capital A, just as in...oh never mind...!! I don't think you'll catch too many actual local residents here, that's another tip-off that you should avoid these tourist traps. Paella is lovely. This just isn't it. ;-(((
Nightlife in Madrid is great! Specially for those who like to get REALLY drunk (I am not that kind...ehem ehem) but I have to warn people about this. In most of the nightclubs and bars there is not an alcohol measure for drinks.. I mean... The drinks are so loaded that you will get drunk before you realize it. Yeah, for some of you this is a great notice! I just wanted to tell you....