Best Traditional Restaurants in Madrid
A trip to Madrid wouldn’t be the same without visiting one of the many traditional restaurants located around the city. Even if you don’t go in, the classic and often beautiful facades are a great photo opportunity at the least. However, I would recommend that you go in and experience the history of Madrid through cuisine. Here is my list of my favourite historic restaurants in Madrid.
Where to find the Best, Oldest and most Historic Restaurants in Madrid.
1. Casa Alberto
After entering the front door of the bright red façade at Casa Alberto, you arrive into a traditional tapas bar at the front. Keep on going and you get to the more formal dining area at the back, surrounded by old paintings, and posters of bull fighting. I vividly remember watching cooking shows about Spain when I was a kid, and this restaurant reminds me of the types featured. The kind of place celebrity cook Keith Floyd would have frequented.
2. Sobrino de Botín
According to the Guinness Book of Records, Sobrino de Botín is the oldest restaurant in the world. Founded in 1725, it’s a part of history and a tourist attraction in it’s own right. Many of the walking tours of Madrid will make a stop outside. Expect white tablecloths, smartly dressed waiters, and classic dishes perfected over centuries, like the suckling pig and roast lamb.
3. La Bola
Located just around the corner from the Royal Palace is one of the most traditional restaurants in Madrid, opened in 1870. With its bright red frontage and wood-panelled dining room, this charming taverna’s most famous dish, and one of Spain’s national dishes, is the colcido madrileño stew, served in clay pots. However, be warned, arrive hungry, it’s delicious, but a heavy meal.
4. Bodega de la Ardosa
A traditional tapas bar that has been serving Madrileños (a person from Madrid), and well informed tourists, for almost 130 years. Located in the trendy Chueca neighbourhood, this very popular bar first opened their doors in 1892 and provide a fantastic selection of classic tapas, pinchos and sharing plates.
One of the most classic restaurants in Madrid, Lhardy is located very close to Puerto del Sol. Opened in 1839, they’re another restaurant famous for serving colcido madrileño stew, as well as many other centuries old dishes such as roasted duck with orange. The dining room is very old school luxury, think wood-panelling, red velvet, grand paintings and chandeliers.
6. Captain Alatriste
Located in the lively area with fantastic dining options and bars, La Latina, is this historic restaurant Captain Alatriste. The building itself has a been around since the 16th Century, built using materials from the old Arab wall, and the name of the restaurant has changed from it’s original of Taberna del Turco. However, what hasn’t changed are the vaulted cellars. Add to that, the historic decoration and traditional dishes on offer.