You’re traveling for the holidays and not sure which restaurants, if any, will be open. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.
It’s no secret that Spain values its holidays. But numerous religious festivals, labor days, and statutory vacations can be tricky for tourism. Madrid, as the capital, is a mild exception to the rule. Things are likely to slow down, but not come to a grinding halt. Here’s a reliable list of what to expect and where you can eat on public holidays in Madrid.
When to Expect Closures
In general, if you’re traveling during the Christmas and New Year’s season, Holy Week, or during the month of August, be prepared. Our advice is to keep an open mind, be flexible, walk around the neighborhood, and accept what you find. Bear in mind the Spanish eating schedule for your best odds at finding a place, and, opt for bars that look busy with locals.
On the following days, expect family-run businesses, government offices, banks, and post offices to shut down. However, supermarkets and larger restaurants rarely close for more than one day, and many offer partial holiday hours. Specific times can’t be guaranteed, but a quick consult of their website, Google Maps, or the handwritten sign posted in their doorway will give you the answer.
As for transportation to get there, the metro and buses of Madrid continue to run on public holidays, albeit at a less frequent interval. Taxis are also a good option, but run their meter at elevated holiday prices.
*All dates are for 2020
- January 1 — New Year’s Day
- January 6 — Three Kings Day
- April 9 — Holy Thursday
- April 10 — Good Friday
- May 1 — Labor Day
- May 2 — Madrid’s Regional Holiday
- May 15 — Saint Isidro Day
- August 15 — Assumption of Mary
- October 12 — Spain’s National Day
- November 1 & 2 — All Saints’ Holiday
- November 9 — Virgin of Almudena Day
- December 6 & 7 — Constitution Holiday
- December 8 — Immaculate Conception Day
- December 24 — Christmas Eve
- December 25 — Christmas Day
- January 31 — New Year’s Eve
Where to Eat in Madrid on Holidays: Spots That Are Almost Always Open
Chocolatería San Ginés
Everyone’s favorite hot chocolate and churros joint is proudly open 365 days per year. We love their iconic neon sign, lighting up the alleyway of the same name, beckoning in passers-by. If you’ve already tried their churros, opt for porras (churros’ thicker cousin). As a bonus, the popular disco around the corner, Joy Eslava, is also open 365 days a year!
Lamucca is a collection of eight restaurants in Madrid, founded by Ofelia and Alex Marín in 2008. Also open 365 days a year, they’re not just a great option for the holidays, but a reliable place to order food outside the normal Spanish eating schedule.
In a country where you’ll often hear “sorry, the kitchen is closed” between 4 and 7 p.m., Lamucca gladly turns out food from 1 p.m. until after midnight. It’s not the most castizo (traditional Madrid style) of places, but Lamucca is a solid bistro option that’s unapologetically open for business.
Mercado San Miguel
We usually advocate for the small, family-run businesses of Madrid. We live for the hidden gems, diamonds in the rough, and holes in the wall! But those are the exact kinds of places that mom n’ pop are likely to close for the holidays. And that’s when the capital’s flashy Mercado San Miguel comes to the rescue.
The century-old, gourmet food-court is open from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. on holidays. Our favorite stall is La Hora del Vermut for sweet Spanish vermouth, olives, and banderillas (a savory skewer of olives, pepper, anchovy, and sometimes cheese or sundried tomatoes).
La Taberna de Ángel Sierra
Just outside of barrio Chueca’s central plaza, this neighborhood stronghold embodies everything we love about a classic Madrid tavern: over a century old, traditional tiles and woodwork, zinc bartop, vermouth on tap, perfectly poured cañas (small glasses of beer), oak barrels, and patrons saddled up to them (and any other horizontal surface they can find) to rest a drink and tapa. During the holidays, La Taberna de Ángel Sierra opens its doors for brief hours, so check their postings.
A well-loved pastry shop in Madrid, Mama Framboise is led by the acclaimed pastry chef Alejandro Montes of Asturias. Of their seven locations, three remain open at select hours over the holidays: Calle Jorge Juan 2, Calle Fernando VI 23, and Calle de Hermosilla 4. Their cakes, tarts, macarons, croissants, cookies, and chocolates are precisely executed and perfection to eat.
This “gastronomic leisure space” marries gourmet food stalls (similar to those of Mercado San Miguel) with live entertainment. Their holiday hours change year to year, so you’ll have to consult their website, but we’ve found them to be one of the more generous venues when it comes to staying open.
DIY Picnic in the Park
With a little foresight, you can plan to dine al fresco in one of Madrid’s spectacular parks. The best part? Treasure hunting for the ingredients is half the fun! Find your nearest market and peruse the stalls, collecting fresh fruits, hunks of bread and cheese, a few slices of jamón or cured meat, some pastries, and a bottle of wine. In the process, you’ll see Madrid’s cuisine at its heart, meet its vendors, and get a dose of local life. The next day, when everything is seemingly closed, head to the park with a blanket and a few plastic cups. And don’t forget the wine opener!
Take a Food Tour with Us!
By far, the easiest and most delicious way to navigate the holiday season is by joining one of our Madrid food tours. Our expert guides know exactly where to go, what to order, and delight in bringing you along as friends. Especially during the summer months, when authentic eateries are likely to close, we know the tastiest backups. We’re closed on the major holidays listed above; however, we’re excited to devour the city with you on their surrounding days and we do stay open in August.Want our insider’s guide to eating in Madrid? Just add your email address in the form below! ADD_THIS_TEXT
Prior to selling everything and moving to Spain, Claire served in the Canadian Army. She is a nutritionist (and foodie), armed with a degree in literature, conquering Madrid one restaurant at a time. She has worked in multiple restaurants and a culinary school, but now helps others fall in love with her adopted city through Devour Tours.