The trick to eating some of the best lunches in Madrid is to grab a menú del día deal.
As the old Spanish saying goes, “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a beggar.” In Madrid, lunch is one of the most important meals of the day with many restaurants offering a menú del día.
The menú del día, or menu of the day, is a two- or three-course meal offered at a fixed price. Ranging from €10 to €20, it will normally include an appetizer, a main course, a dessert or post-meal coffee, and of course, a glass of wine.
We’ve prepared a list of our favorite places for lunch in Madrid. Some have an old-world charm while others boast a contemporary and stylish European feel.
We’ll show you the best of both worlds!
Traditional lunch restaurants in Madrid
These are old-school taverns. You know, the ones where old men convene with their pals to drink vermouth at the bar. These taverns are known for cooking up the most old-fashioned versions of Spanish food.
Heads up! Many of them don’t speak much English but we promise that the food is worth it.
1. Taberna de Maceiras
From octopus and squid to clams and cod, Taberna de Maceiras brings a little piece of Galician spirit and cuisine to Madrid.
The tavern is rustic, the service is brusque yet friendly and the meals are meant to be shared with friends and family—all in true Galician style. The lunch menu is a modest €12 for a mix of seafood and rice dishes.
2. La Casa de la Tortilla
They say there are two kinds of people: ones that like their tortilla runny and others that like it well done. With a menu of over 50 tortillas, La Casa de la Tortilla (Calle de Hartzenbusch, 6) will make yours however you like it!
Head over around 1:30 and you’ll join a crowd of working-class Spaniards for laughs and lunch.
For a menú del día of €12, they serve a hearty lunch of tapas, a generous portion of tortilla and unlimited beers.
3. La Casa de las Torrijas
There’s no better way to get two madrileños into an argument than by asking whose grandmother makes the best torrijas—especially in La Casa de las Torrijas (Calle de la Paz, 4).
La Casa de Las Torrijas has been serving torrijas since 1907. Torrijas are like the Spanish version of French toast, and they’re very common around Easter. The good news for torrija lovers is that they’re served at La Casa de Las Torrijas year-round!
At some point along the way, they added tapas to the menu here to make a complete madrileña lunch. And we happen to love these tapas so much that we included them on one of our food tours in Madrid!
If you’re like us and love to end each meal with a special dessert, La Casa de las Torrijas is a must.
Contemporary Spanish lunch spots in Madrid
The traditional Spanish taverns hold a special charm that can’t be dismissed, but let’s get real: sometimes not even young Spaniards want to have lunch with their grandparents!
If you’re looking to have lunch in Madrid in a place with a more modern feel, these three restaurants are a must. They work hard to be contemporary while staying true to traditional Spanish cuisine.
4. Taberna El Zorzal
Often we have to leave the old behind to create something new and modern. Luckily, at Taberna El Zorzal they have created a space that combines Spanish home cooking with fresh, raw ingredients and excellent quality, making each dish original, elegant and delicious.
While dinner starts at €30 a person, Taberna el Zorzal offers a complete lunch menu for €17.
5. La Colmada
Ever heard of a “neotavern”?
They’re a lot like the old-school lunch spots mentioned earlier, but with a face lift. The decor is a little more hip, the walls have a fresh coat of paint and the business cards have logos. Yet the dishes are still the same hand-me-down recipes from a Spanish grandmother.
In Madrid, that’s what we call a neotavern and La Colmada is the perfect example of one!
At midday, the kitchen prepares a dish of the day for €5, and for another €2.20 you can add a drink and a side of bread to the mix. A lunch this good in Madrid for that price is unheard of!
6. Rosi La Loca
Tucked away on the narrow Calle de Cádiz, you’ll find Rosi La Loca.
Rosi is a woman with a passion for gastronomy. She has travelled around the world but always returns to Madrid where she now shares her international experiences through her kitchen. In each and every tapa, Rosi adds a touch of the countries she’s travelled to.
This conceptual tapas bar was designed with such extreme detail and care, leaving Spain without visiting it would be a pity—especially when lunch starts at €15!
Want to join us for lunch in Madrid? Our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour is calling your name. This daytime experience will give you a crash course in local food and eating habits, so you’ll be able to venture into even the most crowded restaurant or tapas bar with no fear.
Daniela considers herself to be a hardcore foodie. As the daughter of a pastry chef and a winemaker, and as the founder of Stinky Tofu Food Talks, her gastronomy obsessions are deep-rooted. You can find her in no-frills bars and cafés throughout Madrid debating about chorizo in paella and the importance of dessert.