Luxury shopping on the Golden Mile, Michelin-starred restaurants, exclusive nightclubs, beautiful architecture, tree-lined streets and Madrid’s gorgeous Retiro Park just to the south—Barrio Salamanca undoubtedly has it all!
Built by the Marquis of Salamanca during the second half of the 19th century, this posh neighborhood has long been home to the city’s political and social elite. Today, it’s also become the neighborhood of choice for diplomats, CEOs, influencers and fashionistas.
If you’re planning a trip to Spain’s lively capital, Barrio Salamanca is basically the place to be. It also offers one of the most diverse food experiences in town.
So to help you narrow it down, here’s our list of the best bars and restaurants in Salamanca, Madrid!
1. StreetXO at El Corte Inglés Serrano
For an especially gourmet experience, head to the top floor of the El Corte Inglés shopping center on Calle Serrano, one of several streets that make up Madrid’s Milla de Oro, or Golden Mile. Here you’ll find StreetXO, a one-of-a-kind fusion cuisine experience from Mohawk-sporting Spanish chef David Muñoz.
StreetXO is the more casual and affordable version of Muñoz’s three-starred Michelin restaurant DiverXO, which is located near the Cuzco metro stop. Famous for its eclectic decorations, inventive cocktails and its intriguing Asian-inspired menu, the best part of StreetXO is the seating arranged around an open kitchen so you can watch the masters at work.
Make sure to order the ssam of grilled Iberian pancetta, topped with a mussel and wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Another specialty is the nem vietnamita, a fried roll of minced pork decorated with white shrimp!
Another reasonably priced and delicious restaurant in Madrid’s Barrio Salamanca is Banibanoo. This Iranian market-style restaurant offers a €14 daily lunch menu that is just too good to be true.
Every afternoon, owner Banafsheh, Bani for short (Banibanoo means “Miss Bani” in Farsi), offers a delicious selection of traditional, homemade Persian-style dishes. Everything is full of aromatic flavors and focused on undeniably fresh, seasonal ingredients. Additionally, the dishes change regularly to reflect the highest quality seasonal products available.
No matter when you go, don’t miss the “Iranian drink” of rose water with cucumber, mint and lime. The desserts are also spectacular and are generally fruit and flower-based.
Tatel is, without a doubt, the place to see and be seen in Barrio Salamanca. This restaurant-lounge is a huge hit with the movers and shakers of Madrid’s social scene, probably because it’s jointly owned by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis ace Rafa Nadal and pop star Enrique Iglesias. However, even with all its star power, it’s a top-quality restaurant, with a well-stocked wine cellar and a menu of top-notch Spanish dishes.
We recommend the classic Tatel tortilla (eggs, onions, potatoes and truffles!) as a starter to share and one of the excellent made-to-order rice dishes as your main course. You won’t be disappointed!
While you wait for your meal, be sure to take a look around. If ever there were a place for a celebrity sighting, this is it!
4. Ultramarinos Quintín
Ultramarinos Quintín is a throwback to the days of quaint corner stores where you could buy your daily bread, veggies and assorted canned goods all in one tiny shop. It’s also a restaurant, one of three run and owned by chef Sandro Silva and his wife Marta Sec. They’re also the masterminds behind two other hit restaurants in Madrid’s Salamanca district, El Paraguas and Ten con Ten.
The dishes at Quintin are generally traditional recipes from the northern Spanish region of Asturias. Specialties include platos de cuchara (dishes to eat with a spoon, your basic Spanish comfort food) and are especially popular with locals.
Don’t miss the fabada (Asturian bean stew); it is the epitome of comida de cuchara. Another fabulous option is the pitu de caleya pizza—a chicken pizza with a thin, crunchy crust. Heavenly!
5. Moulin Chocolat
Yet another can’t-miss food stop in Salamanca is Moulin Chocolat. Opened in 2006, this gourmet pastry shop and Salamanca staple is run by pastry chef Ricardo Martínez Vélez. After many years in France, most notably working for the premium French chocolate manufacturer Valrhona, Vélez decided to open his own shop here in Madrid.
At Moulin Chocolat, you’ll find deliciously buttery, crunchy croissants; sweet bizcocho cakes; and, of course, rich, creamy chocolate.
Need help narrowing it down? One of our favorite sweet treats here are the macarons. These colorful French cookies are as good as the ones you’ll get in Paris, if not better!
If you’re visiting at Christmastime, try the traditional Spanish roscón (Spain’s version of king’s cake) as well.
6. Entre Cáceres y Badajoz
This place’s name references two cities in Spain’s western region of Extremadura. Entre Cáceres y Badajoz is your typical no-frills tapas bar, which means big portions and deliciously simple specialties.
Order a round of drinks to receive a heaping plate of fried potatoes, pimientos de padrón or torreznos (crispy strips of fried pork) free of charge. The quality and size of tapas will increase with each subsequent round; expect huevos rotos, fried squid and other iconic classics the more you keep ordering!
This traditional tapas bar is consistently packed with locals and tourists alike. Among the pricey real estate and designer shops of Barrio Salamanca, Jurucha stands out for its inexpensive and delicious cuisine.
Owned by the same family since 1962, Jurucha offers a diverse menu of more than 60 classic and seasonal tapas. Everything is made to order when possible, using ingredients purchased just across the street at Mercado de la Paz, one of Madrid’s best food markets.
Don’t leave without sampling some of the many house specialties. Hake with prawns and mayonnaise, gooey tortilla española and the famous pajarito (a kind of tuna salad sandwich) are a good place to start.
8. Casa Dani
Speaking of Mercado de la Paz, it’s here where you’ll find the best tortilla in Madrid—a claim we don’t take lightly. It comes from Casa Dani, a market bar that has elevated the humble Spanish omelet to new heights.
Indeed, this spot’s claim to fame is their legendary tortilla, widely considered to be the best in Madrid and in fact in all of Spain. But Casa Dani has much more to offer. For example, take their unrivaled menú del día (fixed weekday lunch menu) for just €11.50.
Come here for breakfast or lunch, and don’t forget to grab some takeout for later. You won’t regret it.
9. El Rincón de Jaén
El Rincón de Jaén has several locations in Madrid, one of them relatively close to many other excellent Salamanca restaurants. It makes for stiff competition, offering specialties from southern Spain in a beautifully simple atmosphere.
Get a true taste of Andalusian flavor with typical dishes like fried seafood, mojama (cured tuna) and various canapés. If you can’t decide, ask the friendly servers for recommendations, or go for one of the daily specials that never disappoint.
As if all that weren’t enough, El Rincón de Jaén opens from noon for lunch and from 7:30 for dinner. If you need to eat early in Madrid and want to try one of the best restaurants in Salamanca, this is the place to be!
For a slightly more elegant atmosphere without compromising authenticity, Estay is the place for you. It has all the trimmings of fine dining, from its ivy-covered facade to the sleek bar and classy decor you’ll find within.
The food itself is accessible and familiar, with a menu of Basque pintxos and classic tapas at highly reasonable prices. In other words, it’s the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy some of the best tapas in Barrio Salamanca. ¡Buen provecho!
Best Restaurants in Salamanca (Madrid) FAQs
Barrio Salamanca is just north of Retiro Park and east of Chueca, on the other side of Paseo de la Castellana.
Barrio Salamanca is a neighborhood in Madrid. Locally, it’s often referred to simply as Salamanca. However, Salamanca is also the name of an entirely different city about two and a half hours northwest of Madrid. These restaurants are all located in Barrio Salamanca in Madrid!
Update Notice: This post was originally published on June 6, 2018 and was updated with new text and photos on June 29, 2021.Want our insider’s guide to eating in Madrid? Just add your email address in the form below!
A high school foreign exchange student who just never went home—Madison continues her adventure devouring Madrid one tapa at a time. She can often be found on airplanes and/or by food. She’s a coffee addict, travel writer, language lover and especially gifted in the art of siesta.