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Going Out in Madrid
Lunch and Tapas

Madrid has thousands of them and you won’t know which one to choose! Besides the traditional tapas, a new generation of small dishes has appeared. They result from the influence of Spanish famous chefs like Ferran Adria. They often mix flavours, consistency and colours and always use excellent ingredients. They are more refined than the traditional tapas. You’ll find below a list of our favourite “bar de tapas”.

La Castela, high-end tapas

 

We have just discovered a rare gem in the Renoir Retiro district! La Castela will ravish gourmet palates. Everything there is delicious, from sea food to more sophisticated dishes (try la ensalada de ventresca, the milhoja de ventresca or the pinchos). Excellent quality products, highly efficient waiters despite the crowd and the atmosphere, so madrid-like!
It might actually be the only drawback, the place being so full it gets difficult to find an inch of table or bar to put your plate on. You can always withdraw to the restaurant part, but we definitely enjoyed the bar area more.

 

 

La Creme de la Creme, gastronomy at reasonable prices

What we love at La Creme de la Creme is its cosy premises with a warm homey feel where you can get a fantastic lunch menu at un unbeatable price. The absolute perfect lunch stop if you wander around the Salesas area.
The only small damper is that the room is a bit noisy (well, you’re used to that in Spain, aren’t you?). 

 

Lunch at Tandem by TriCiclo

For those of you who missed the info, TriCiclo is the revelation restaurant of 2013 and it became so popular that you need to book your table several weeks in advance.

Luckily, you may avoid waiting if you try the simpler and more informal version of it, Tandem de TriCiclo, which just opened in Las Letras neighborhood in the premises of former Motha restaurant.

The place is small but nicely decorated with a few wooden tables on one side and bar on the other. The menu follows the spirit of the parent company with simple, healthy and high-quality products. We tried the mezze as a starter and the salmon and avocado salad as a main course, both delicious. For desert, we got an olive oil and fleur de sel chocolate cake… to die for! And all dishes are available at half ration.

A great address for lunch in the Barrio de las Letras.

 

El Huerto de Lucas, both restaurant and eco market

It really looks as if vintage fashion is being replaced by a spirit of nature and organic food. Recently opened Huerto de San Lucas is a perfect example of this new trend. The restaurant part is in the middle, very nicely decorated with spaced out tables to sit at for lunch or coffee. On the menu, a tomato/basil/ginger salad, a bulgur salad, a bio burger or a meat dish, depending on the catch of the day. 
And all around, organic produce for sale : fruits and vegetables, meat, teas and coffees, bread by Harina, exquisite fruit juices and delicious sorbets (try the raspberry/blueberry one). There even is a beauty corner (with bio products of course).
A wonderful address !

 

The Knife, an Argentine asado at Arturo Soria Plaza

A great place opened a few weeks ago for your lunches or dinners in the Arturo Soria area. The Knife is a typical Argentine asado restaurant, very nicely decorated, offering an interesting “help yourself as much as you like” menu : salad buffet, charcoal grilled meat and vegetables. Churrasco argentino, Entraña, Picania, vacio, cuadril, costilla, chorizo criollo,... Same cuts as in Argentina, perfect for hungry stomachs !
Lunch during the week is at 14,90 euros, including drink and desert. At night, the price is 23,90 euros and on week-ends, 26,90 euros. For that price, you will be able to enjoy a larger offer at the buffet : sushis, shrimps, grilled lamp and suckling pig. 
The place is perfect for family (especially with hungry teenagers !) meals.
The terrace is open to take a drink (a glass of champagne for instance) and a DJ lifts up the atmosphere on Friday nights.
Better to book in advance.
Do not miss their special offer for Friday, June 6 from 9PM : For one glass of champagne (Perrier Jouet brand) bought, a second one is offered. And the bottle will be available at 45 euros.

Restaurante Bosco, a patio inside Colegio de Arquitecto

Do not miss this enormous building at the Colegio de Arquitectos while taking a walk in Chueca’s calle de Hortaleza. Come inside for a lunch break at the terrace of the new Bosco restaurant with its luminous space and huge wooden design bar. There are some tables spread inside, a library, and a terrace that guarantees a calm moment in the middle of the city. Italian delicacies like pizza, risotto or pasta and lighter dishes (we recommend the ensalada blanca, burrata with aubergines and basilica) are on the menu. Since there are only a few spaces, booking a table is highly advised.

 

Platero & Co, a New Hidden Gem in the Retiro Area

If you feel like being unfaithful to wonderful Arzabal, here is our advice: try Platero & Co. There are a few tables to sit on if you don't want to stand at the bar. The warm atmosphere, tasty decor, and the people watching is lively, so call to book a table to ensure a seat.

You'll have the choice between all kind of raciones but we highly recommend the chipirones, hummus or tartar de atún rojo. For a sweet note, the tatín de manzana is a delicious ending!

A new address among the many already existing ones (La MonteríaLaredoMontecastelaArzabal,...)

 

Il Tavolo Verde, garage sale or tearoom?

Well both, and you're going to love it! Located in the heart of Salamanca, Il Tavolo Verde is a lovely and charming place, perfect for a break reading the press at your disposal. Everything is ecological here: the veggie pies, the salads and the bread is to die for! The cosy and warm lighting and the second-hand furniture participate to the special atmosphere. And if you love the chair you're sitting on, well, it's for sale, as are the tables, candleholders, the baskets etc. We bet the place is going to become your next HQ!

La sala de despiece, a quirky place

Why quirky? Because it's a restaurant that pays tribute to the neighbourhood's old butcher's. It's all there: the large marble counter, the ceiling's hooks where pieces of meat used to hang, the cold rooms. The atmosphere is out of the ordinary, the waiters are extremely attentive and tapas are deliciously prepared with seasonal products. You may also want to taste the burrata, the buey carpaccio or the corvina ceviche, we promise you won't be disappointed. Lovely to see that not all restaurants bet on the vintage-industrial look! 

Bon Vivant and Co, a new spot for a lunch break in Chueca

Take a break from your hectic day and be sure to give Bon Vivant and Co a try! The simple decor really merges well with the city of Madrid and creates a lovely atmosphere. Large wooden tables to sit around and share, unmatching chairs, menus on recycled paper, a lot of space and a lot of light thanks to large glass doors overlooking a quiet little square makes it the perfect lunch spot on a bright, sunny day.

Highly recommend: burrata, humus, tartare steak (if you're a raw-meat-eater), lasagna or lentils. 

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