Culinary delights in Madrid

We love Easter as it gives us a chance to go away for a long weekend without having to use up any of our annual leave – what’s not to love? This year we decided to go to Madrid after hearing good things about it – particularly the food. We spent an Easter weekend a few years ago in Barcelona and everyone we spoke to who had been to both cities said that the food in Madrid was much better. I have to say, I agree. We had some wonderful meals in Madrid – here are some of our culinary highlights.

El Apartamento

This was suggested to us by one of my husband’s colleagues and as it was very close to our hotel (in the Las Letras district), we decided to book it for our first dinner. The food was good – certainly not the best we’d had in Madrid but the main reason it’s in this post is because the restaurant itself is very quirky. As the name suggests, the restaurant is designed like it’s an old apartment with vintage telephones and knick knacks. The menus are pulled out of old record covers – very fun!

The menu at el Apartamento Madrid

We ordered a bottle of Rose cava and started with the Spanish potato salad with wild asparagus and crunchy octopus and the cured beef from León with Parmesan cheese slivers, walnuts and olive oil. We then both opted for the Ox sirloin with a Port reduction and vegetables, which was very good. The sauce was delicious and we could have done with more! For dessert, we shared an apple pie with caramel ice-cream.

El Apartamento in Madrid

Ten con Ten

On our second night we went to Ten con Ten in Barrio de Salamanca, which is a very trendy bar and restaurant. We were a bit early but decided to go for cocktails at a nearby modern Mexican restaurant (Restaurante Tepic), which I highly recommend – the cocktails were fabulous!

Cocktails at Tepic

When we entered Ten con Ten the bar was buzzing, which made me think it would be very loud for dinner but the restaurant is made up of numerous rooms and it was actually a lovely ambience. Strangely for me, I didn’t actually take any photos at all so you’ll just have to imagine the food…

For starters we had the barbecued octopus and Iberica ham, which were very good. My husband then had Picaña Braseada con Yuca y Plátano, which was beef with plantains and cassava – it was really yummy! I opted for cod with a crab and prawn sauce. The cod was perfectly cooked and the sauce was rich and complimented the fish perfectly.

Thai Garden 2112

After a couple of days of eating delicious Spanish food, we decided to have a change of culinary scenery. We asked the concierge at our hotel to recommend a good Thai restaurant and he suggested Thai Garden 2112. It’s about a 15 minute drive from the centre but it’s so worth the journey. The restaurant is stunning – the decor is beautiful and there is a fabulous garden with three pools and lovely lights and statues.

We were given a complimentary cocktail on arrival in a very unusually shaped glass, which was a lovely touch. For starters we chose the mixed platter for one and the vegetarian spring rolls. The food was beautifully presented and it was delicious!

Thai Garden 2112 Madrid

For our mains we choose the Massaman curry and the Phad Thai. The Phad Thai was a little on the sweet side but it was still very good. The curry was well spiced and the beef was lovely and tender.

Thai Garden 2112 mains

If you love Thai food, I highly recommend Thai Garden 2112 for great food, excellent service and a stunning atmosphere.

Albora

My husband found Albora when he was looking for Michelin-starred restaurants in Madrid (Albora has one star). They have both a restaurant and a bar so we tried our luck on Saturday and arrived for lunch without a reservation – we are such rebels. Luckily for us, they had a table in the bar and I do love places where you can see the chefs at work.

Albora Madrid

Our waiter was wonderful and helped explain the menu and suggested a few of their most popular dishes. For starters we opted for the tomato salad with white asparagus and tuna (so fresh and tasty), a lamb dish and the ham, which was the best we’d had in Madrid.

Albora starters

For mains we chose the barbecued octopus and the “Pluma ibérica “ Joselito” con pimientos de piquillo”, which was absolutely divine. We enjoyed all our dishes with a bottle of perfectly chilled Cava.

Albora mains

We weren’t going to have dessert but our waiter convinced us to try a half portion of dessert that is typical at Easter. It was lovely and light and I wish we’d had a full portion! And a lovely surprise was that they gave us the dessert on the house.

Dessert at Albora

Majare Ta

A friend suggested that we go to La Latina as it’s got great tapas bars, particularly on Cava Baja so we took a long walk from our hotel on the Thursday. As it happened to be a holiday in Spain that day (and it was sunny and very warm), the area was really busy. We walked around trying to find somewhere to eat and I spotted a cute little place down one of the parallel streets, called Majare Ta.

Majare Ta Madrid

We had a lovely waitress who explained the menu and suggested their speciality dish – Huevos rotos crujientes, which is like potato crisps with blood sausage crisps on top of fried eggs with a piquant sauce. Oh my goodness it was amazing (although it doesn’t look that visually appetizing)! My husband didn’t like it, which meant I got to eat it all! We also ordered a salad, which was lovely and fresh and light and some Iberica ham with bread. We enjoyed a sort-of sangria with our food.

Food at Majare Ta

My husband and I were divided on this restaurant – I really loved it whereas he liked it but didn’t love it. I will drag him back though next time we’re in Madrid for those wonderful Huevos rotos crujientes!

Where to eat in Madrid

22 Comments

  1. April 4, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    Some fabulous finds on this list – I really want to return and eat more in Madrid! Absolutely in love with Spanish food!

    • Kirsty Marrins
      April 4, 2016 / 7:22 pm

      Thanks Connie! How was NYE at Albora? Bet you had a fabulous time!

    • Kirsty Marrins
      April 5, 2016 / 7:42 am

      Thanks Rosana. I honestly thought we were going to be turned away. Glad we weren’t as it was definitely our best meal!

  2. April 4, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    I love how I can follow your trip through your photos and see where you went and what food there was. Haven’ been to Madrid yet but your post really made me wanna go. 🙂

    • Kirsty Marrins
      April 5, 2016 / 5:48 am

      Thanks Annemarie, glad you enjoyed the post and photos!

  3. April 4, 2016 / 9:10 pm

    We are heading to Madrid in November, i cant wait to eat some food and drink some wine i love it. will be keeping this article

    • Kirsty Marrins
      April 5, 2016 / 5:48 am

      You will love it Mark! Have a great time 🙂

  4. April 4, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    I’m getting hungry just looking at your photos! I’ve never been to Madrid and it’s on the top of my list when I go to Spain. The barbecued octopus looks amazing and probably equally amazing on the mouth!

    • Kirsty Marrins
      April 5, 2016 / 5:49 am

      Madrid is great – I really enjoyed it for a short city break although it looks like a great city to live in too.

  5. April 4, 2016 / 11:56 pm

    It’s okay to want to go to Spain just for food right?

    • Kirsty Marrins
      April 5, 2016 / 5:49 am

      Ha ha! Absolutely Amie, why not? 🙂

  6. April 5, 2016 / 3:54 am

    I didn’t think Madrid was a culinary hot spot. Do you know how it compares to the other European cities? The food does look good though 🙂

    • Kirsty Marrins
      April 5, 2016 / 5:53 am

      Well, my husband is Italian and he would kill me if I said it was better than Italian food (it’s not). For me it’s definitely better than the food we had in Portugal. France (or Paris in particular)? Well, they know how to cook! Surprisingly, Tallinn and ljubljana had great food. Madrid’s food was definitely better than Munich and Berlin, in my humble opinion… not sure how scientific this answer is 🙂

  7. April 5, 2016 / 7:05 am

    It was hurtful for my stomach to read your post – everything looks so delicious! 😀 Lovely article and hope to see more of these kind of recommendations in the future. Also, if you like Spanish food I recommend you Sevilla 🙂

    • Kirsty Marrins
      April 5, 2016 / 7:41 am

      Thank you Deea! Ooh, yes – would love to go to Seville!

  8. April 5, 2016 / 11:14 pm

    wow it seems like you had a wonderful stay. I am jealous! I love the looks of the cocktails, I have never been to Madrid before only Barcelona and other parts of Spain. I will definitely put it on my travel list after seeing this x

    • Kirsty Marrins
      April 6, 2016 / 5:59 am

      We did have a wonderful stay and hope you get to visit soon Cecilia!

  9. April 8, 2016 / 7:50 am

    This looks fantastic! I want to go to Madrid now…one to add to the list x

    • Kirsty Marrins
      April 8, 2016 / 12:48 pm

      You’d love it, Sandra!

  10. April 8, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    Mmmm looks delicious

    • Kirsty Marrins
      April 9, 2016 / 9:40 am

      It was very yummy, Jenni. I made some homemade soup to go with the bread – delicious!

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