Where to Eat in Madrid

restaurant

Café Federal

Madrid , Spain

Often touted as one of the best brunch spots in the city, the light-filled, Aussie-inspired café draws the crowds by the drove come the weekend. Don’t expect traditional Spanish fare of croissants and churros; the hearty menu contains all the Australian classics and then some. Enjoy baked eggs with spinach, smoked trout, syrup-laden pancakes and coffee made with fresh milk from the garden. If you can, fight for an open-air window seat.

Address

Plaza de las Comendadoras, 9 28015

restaurant

Toma Café

Madrid , Spain

Remote workers and digital nomads make a daily pilgrimage to Toma Café for their caffeine fix. The coffee is rich and intense, with beans coming from Brazil, Ethiopia and Guatemala. Dare to stray from your usual and try their espresso tonic made with the fizzy stuff and remarkably refreshing in the summer. Alternatively, order a cortado (with milk) and settle in among students, couples and freelancers on the stripped-back community table. The freshly made sandwiches are a delicious snack lunch.

Address

Calle de la Palma, 49 28004

restaurant

La Tita Rivera

Madrid , Spain

Pass by this eclectic eatery at any time of the day and you won’t be disappointed, although we do have a penchant for their weekend brunch menu. It’s almost forbidden to leave without trying their casis (bread rolls stuffed with garlic prawns, chorizo and squid) and their “baptised” bites are a realcrowd-pleaser (bread rolls filled with traditional tapas and soaked in tapa sauce). Order a jug of sangria to wash it down with and be sure to snap a table out on the interior patio, ideal for basking in the warm weather.

Address

Calle Pérez Galdós 4 28004

restaurant

Juana La Loca

Madrid , Spain

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a madrileño who doesn’t wax lyrical about Juana La Loca’s tortilla de patatas, a creative take on the traditional dish layered with caramel onion confit. Other original spins on Spanish tapas include oxtail cooked in its own juice with skinny fries, Iberian meat with lightly spiced wok vegetables and spider crab tartin. Consistently packed to the rafters, load up on local beers and vermouth while you wait at the bar for a table.

Address

Plaza Puerta de Moros 4 28005

restaurant

Navaja - CLOSED

Madrid , Spain

Traditional Galician cuisine gets turned on its head with Latin American and Asian influences at this intimate, tapas-style bar. Mixed with a Peruvian twist of tiger’s milk, peanuts and citrus marinade their star dish of razor clams is given a refreshing uplift. Order alongside portions of octopus ceviche, tuna tataki and pardon pepper Chinese steamed buns.

Address

Calle Valverde, 42. Malasaña.

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Machete - CLOSED

Madrid , Spain

Still flying surprisingly under the radar in Madrid’s food scene, Machete is a one-man band of gastronomic genius mixing flavours of Asia and South America together. The owner/chef/maitre’d grows all his own herbs and spices and takes time to explain the cultivating, growing and cooking process for each dish. Half portions are available so we’d suggest ordering the lot, but standouts include the thin wild sea bass, “blonde cow” ceviche and Alaskan black cod. Diners are often recruited for taste-testing new plates on the house, if you’re lucky.

restaurant

Mama Framboise

Madrid , Spain

A slice of Paris in the middle of Madrid, Mama’s is always packed, but if you’re lucky enough to nab a window seat on one of the antique armchairs, there can be no better start to your day. Artisan coffee is served in mismatched, oversized cups; the perfect accompaniment to a morning spent trawling the daily press. For those without a sweet tooth (it’s a challenge not to be tempted by the rows of macaroons, tarts and puff pastries), a delectable savoury crêpe menu should fit the bill nicely.

Address

Calle de Fernando VI 23 28004

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Maricastaña

Madrid , Spain

Brunch here entails the single most sensational selection of food: fresh-baked bread drizzled with olive oil and Spanish tomatoes; Serrano ham accompanied with slices of brie and cranberry sauce; perfectly scrambled eggs with a side of crispy bacon; a pot of natural yoghurt with chopped fresh fruit; a fresh orange juice; a soy milk latte and the all important bloody mary shot.

Address

Calle Corredera Baja de San Pablo 12

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Olivia te Cuida

Madrid , Spain

Olivia looks after you very well indeed. This local haunt is laid out like a home kitchen, with customers sitting side-by-side at large vintage tables to enjoy wholesome and completely delicious eco-food. Choose three courses from a menu divided into salads, grains, vegetables and meats. My favourite combination begins with a salad of spinach, courgette, bean sprouts, figs and pumpkin seats; followed by roasted aubergine, pomegranate seeds, goat’s cheese, artichoke leaves and pine nuts and finishes with soy-glazed free-range chicken and shitake mushrooms. The dream.

Address

Calle Sta. Teresa 8 28004

restaurant

Harina

Madrid , Spain

Harina’s bright, light and open-plan interior will catch your eye even before the sandwiches do. In a country where the hours between 2-4PM are considered sacred, it’s near impossible to find lunch on the go. Harina is an exception, serving delicious homemade empanadas, tortillas, quiches and baguettes that can be taken away and enjoyed in nearby Retiro Park.

Address

Plaza de la Independencia 10 28001