Madrid is one of my favorite cities for many reasons, but one of the big ones is that finding great food is a breeze. This city is chock full of quirky cafes, cool restaurants, and amazing places to drink, and the many options keep me coming back again and again. From breakfast to bars, read on for a great itinerary of places to eat and drink during your day in Madrid.
La Libre (Calle Argumosa, 39)
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of anything bookish (part of this blog does revolve around books, after all), and there’s nothing I love more than a book-themed café. Which is why I was delighted to happen upon La Libre while looking for a good breakfast café near one of Madrid’s art museums.
La Libre is a book lover’s dream and you can browse the shelves crammed with books for something good to read while you eat your croissant and drink your café con leche. While it can get a bit busy on the weekends, the service is still friendly and the food delicious. This is one corner café you shouldn’t miss out on visiting.
El Estragón Vegetariano (Plaza de la Paja, 10)
As you can probably tell by the name, El Estragón Vegetariano caters only to vegetarians and vegans. El Estragón offers a range of options to cover almost any craving. The portions are also quite massive, so come with a large appetite or plan to share a dish with someone else.
While the ambiance inside is homey and nice, the restaurant does have some tables set up in the plaza across the street which makes for a much better dining experience on those hot Madrid afternoons. This is the place to go if you want to fill up before a long afternoon of sightseeing!
Tiyoweh (Calle de San Pedro, 22)
Tiyoweh is such an amazing vegetarian restaurant that I want to recommend it for breakfast, lunch, tea breaks, coffee breaks, and any other meal during the day. But, for now we’ll focus on Tiyoweh as your pit stop for a mid-afternoon drink and snack as you catch your second wind. Tiyoweh has a bit of something for everyone, whether you’re into interesting tea combinations, healthy fresh juices, or organic beers.
And I love their desserts—the vegan apple crumble really gave my taste buds a yummy kick! The restaurant fronts as an antique shop and the décor pretty much stays true to that with its mismatched vintage chairs and peculiar wall hangings and lamps. After you finish your tea break head out onto the street to browse through one of Madrid’s most well-known antique markets!
Sobrino de Botín (Calle Cuchilleros, 17)
I get particularly excited when talking about Restaurante Botín because I know Ernest Hemingway used to eat here when he visited Madrid, and he also featured it at the end of his novel The Sun Also Rises. Still, I’m well aware that not everyone shares my passion for everything Hemingway-related and he’s not the reason why El Botín is such a popular place to wine and dine in Madrid. Most people visit this restaurant because it’s one of the oldest continuously operating restaurants in the world. Which means that it’s a bit difficult to get a reservation to eat here—something I learned when I walked in one afternoon and was briskly told that there wasn’t any availability for lunch or dinner for the next two days.
However, I’ll let you in on a little secret: show up right at 8pm when the restaurant opens for dinner and let the host know you don’t have a reservation but would like to eat. If you’re lucky, the waiter will lead you through the kitchen to a back room with 5 tables reserved for people who haven’t been able to get reservations. While the vegetarian food options aren’t many, it’s more about the experience, if you know what I mean! And if you do manage to get inside, order the cheesecake. Easily some of the best I’ve ever had.
Circulo de Bellas Artes (Calle de Alcalá, 42)
There’s nothing better than drinks with a view, and the Circulo de Bellas Artes rooftop bar offers just that. Entrance to the rooftop will cost you 4 Euros (buy your ticket at the machines in the lobby), and the drinks at the bar/café aren’t cheap, but you’re paying for the view, which is spectacular. You can walk around the entire rooftop getting a 180 degree view of Madrid.
While it gets crowded, I’d recommend trying to visit close to sunset. The weather is much more pleasant at this hour in the summer and the music and views make for an amazing drinking experience—even if you can only afford one!
What are some of your favorite places to eat and drink in Madrid? Share them in the comments section!