3 Amazing Restaurants You Should Visit in Madrid
Just a couple of decades ago, the best restaurants you’d find in Madrid were the kind of white-tablecloth establishments that carved whole flatfishes tableside with sophisticated grace and flair and adorned their tables with decanted wines. They were places that brimmed with an atmosphere of nostalgic reverence.
While those enduring stalwarts are still alive and well, there’s been a culinary revolution taking place throughout the region. Immigration has bought in many internationally experienced chefs who have worked to add a novel edge to traditional Spanish dishes. This has led to a far more intriguing culinary landscape in Madrid, a clash of flavours and cultures from around the world, shining brilliantly in this grand city.
But, not all places shine equally bright, here are some of the best restaurants you should try if you find yourself in Spain’s capital.
El Cisne Azul
If you ask local food writers and chefs which restaurants in town are the best for wild mushrooms, they’ll almost always point you to El Cisne Azul, an unassuming hole-in-the-wall in Chueca. The cuisine that makes this restaurant famous is something out of a mycologist’s dream. Prime seasonal mushrooms like crinkly morels, mustard-yellow chanterelles, and toadstool-like amanitas are just some of the species that grace the dishes in El Cisne Azul. Try them a la plancha, drizzled with olive oil and a pinch of crunchy salt, or folded into scrambled eggs. There is also the optional goat cheese and foie gras, and the menu is completed by a selection of cheeses and simple grilled meats.
Mo de Movimiento
The pizzas created with stone-ground Castilian flours, Galician cheese and Riojan vegetables are a must-try in this exquisite restaurant. Bite down on one of these delightful pizzas to be greeted with their signature chew which comes from a novel leavening agent known as wild yeast “waters” concocted by the Sardinian pizzaiolo from kitchen leftovers. The Mediterranean menu is completed by simple seasonal salads, roasted vegetable dishes, and roast meats. Alcohol-free tipples, such as small-batch sodas, and low-intervention Spanish wines, such as single-estate Valencian rosé, are standouts.
Bodegas El Maño
A tapas bar is typically known for one or two specialities, but nearly every dish here is worth a visit. Before tearing into retro mains like meatballs served alongside a mound of hand-cut fries, start your delectable adventure with a gilda, a Basque brochette stacked with anchovies, olives, and pickled hot peppers that will make your mouth pucker with equal measures of sourness and deliciousness. A wonderful assortment of Spanish wines are available to complement whatever entrees you may choose.
The restaurant also features an amazing capstone to its indulgent meals with its chocolate croquetas, the unsung hero of Bodegas El Maño’s dessert selection.