Part of living like a local is eating like a local, but that’s not always possible for every meal on your trip.
Maybe you’re on a tight schedule, maybe it’s jet lag, or maybe you just haven’t gotten used to Spain’s unique mealtimes yet. And that’s okay—eating lunch at 2 and dinner after 9 definitely takes some getting used to! While you adjust, stop by one of these great places where you can eat early in Madrid.
1. Casa Mingo
Enjoy the calm ambiance and rich flavors of Asturias in northern Spain, right here in Madrid! Open since 1888, Casa Mingo is an authentic Asturian cider house—the only one in Madrid that produces its own cider in its own facilities. In addition to crisp, refreshing cider, they also serve simple, delicious homemade food, with their roast chicken being the house specialty. Grab a table in the spacious dining room or out on the gorgeous terrace and you’ll quickly see why this local favorite with an all-day kitchen is one of the best places to eat early in Madrid.
Address: Paseo de la Florida, 34
2. La Trainera
Craving seafood? Head straight to La Trainera. Nestled in the heart of the ritzy Salamanca neighborhood, this restaurant is pleasantly surprising in its simplicity and hospitality. Its nautical decor will make you feel as if you’re dining along the coast rather than in landlocked Madrid. The seafood is always fresh and done to perfection, whether you’re craving American-style lobster, their house mussels or anything in between. This is a great place to eat early in Madrid if you want to escape to the seaside without leaving the city!
Address: Calle de Lagasca, 60
3. Taberna Tirso de Molina
Don’t be fooled by the old-school decor in Taberna Tirso de Molina. The bar itself is actually quite new, but the uniquely vintage interior makes you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. They serve up traditional Spanish dishes, but the clientele is quite international—not unusual for multicultural Lavapiés. Portion sizes are generous, and their all-day kitchen means that it’s a great place to eat early in Madrid. Try some of their incredibly tasty tostas (open-faced sandwiches piled high with goodies) and wash it down with some refreshing tinto de verano (what the locals prefer to sangria)!
Address: Plaza Tirso de Molina, 9
4. Taberna Antonio Sanchez
For more than 150 years, Taberna Antonio Sanchez has been a reference for traditional madrileño cooking. Without a doubt, this is where to eat early in Madrid if you want to walk in the footsteps of the bullfighters, literary legends and more who have dined here over the decades. Feast on any one of their excellent traditional specialties, from tortilla de San Isidro (a meaty take on the traditional Spanish omelet) to caracoles for the adventurous. And for dessert, be sure to try their famous torrijas!
Address: Calle del Mesón de Paredes, 13
5. Casa de Granada
Rooftop terrace dining may be all the rage in Madrid nowadays. That being said, Casa de Granada is ahead of its time, having served homemade meals on their stunning outdoor terrace for more than 30 years. The restaurant is located on the sixth floor of a neighborhood building (you’ll have to ring the buzzer to get in) and once you arrive, you’ll be blown away by the stellar views, friendly service and unforgettable food. The cuisine takes inspiration from sunny Andalusia in the south of Spain. We especially love their tasty fried fish!
Address: Calle del Doctor Cortezo, 17
Want to eat early in Madrid at the oldest restaurant in the world? Botín is exactly what you’re after. This record-setting restaurant first opened its doors in 1725. Since then, it’s played host to an impressive cast of characters—including Ernest Hemingway, who considered it one of his favorite restaurants. The same family has owned the restaurant since the early 20th century and has helped Botín earn its rightfully deserved place in Madrid’s history. We’re big fans of the exquisite suckling pig, slow-roasted to perfection in the old wood-fired oven, but any of the traditional dishes you order here are sure to impress.
Address: Calle Cuchilleros, 17
Join us for an exclusive insider’s lunch at Botín! Our Prado Museum Tour & VIP Botín Lunch starts off at the iconic Prado museum. You’ll skip the line and enjoy a private guided tour of the museum with a local expert. Then, it’s off to a century-old tavern for an apertif before you sit down to a full lunch with wine at Botín! We hope you’re hungry!
Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.