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Where to Eat Near Plaza Mayor: Top 7 Spots

Plaza Mayor is one of the most visited spots in Madrid—and for good reason. Its central location and awe-inspiring historic architecture make it the perfect place to marvel at Spain’s history, people watch, and take pictures with friends or family. 

But when it comes to where to eat near Plaza Mayor, choose wisely. Its status as one of Madrid’s most popular attractions makes it ripe for tourist traps. Here’s how to avoid those and eat something actually enjoyable!

People walking around an arcaded plaza on a sunny day

You’d be forgiven for thinking that all the food in this area is reserved only for tourists and isn’t authentic or tasty. But once you know where to go (hint: avoid the restaurants on the plaza itself), you’ll see that there are plenty of delicious corners to discover near this stunning square.

Without further ado, here’s where to eat near Plaza Mayor. Your stomach will not be disappointed!

1. Casa Revuelta

Walking distance from Plaza Mayor: 2 minutes

If your stomach is rumbling after wandering around Madrid’s city center and you’re wondering where to eat near Plaza Mayor, Casa Revuelta should be your first stop.

This no-frills bar is just around the corner from the famous plaza and is a true local delight. It is always buzzing with locals chowing down on their specialty: bacalao, or battered salt cod. Light and buttery, it pairs well with a cold caña of beer—so get cozy, grab a spot at the bar and enjoy.

Pieces of fried codfish on a white plate in front of two small glasses of beer.
Locals come to Casa Revuelta to get their fill of fried cod!

2. Bodegas Ricla

Walking distance from Plaza Mayor: 5 minutes

Along historic Calle de Cuchillernos lies tiny and bright Bodegas Ricla. This family-owned bar is the perfect spot to eat near Plaza Mayor.

Choose from a variety of tapas such as boquerones, callos or even a selection of Cabrales cheese in cider. Pair it with wine, sherry or a glass of their delicious vermouth on tap and settle in for a delightfully delicious meal!

Interior of an old-fashioned Spanish bar with green wooden paneling, shelves full of bottles, and dark wood wine barrels.
Bodegas Ricla is the ultimate old-school Spanish bar.

3. Mesón del Champiñón

Walking distance from Plaza Mayor: 4 minutes

As you may have guessed from the name (if you speak Spanish), this bar is famous for its mushrooms. Grilled chorizo- and garlic-stuffed mushrooms, to be exact.

At Mesón del Champiñon, the humble mushroom is elevated to such heights that will make you forget every other mushroom you’ve ever eaten. This is truly one of our favorite places to eat near Plaza Mayor, and even featured on our Tapas, Taverns & History tour!

After you get your fill of stuffed mushrooms, go ahead and try out their fried squid or fried green peppers. 

Plate of grilled mushrooms with chorizo next to a short glass of red wine.
Mesón del Champiñón’s iconic stuffed mushrooms.

4. La Casa de las Torrijas

Walking distance from Plaza Mayor: 4 minutes

This gem of a bar serves an excellent menú del día and plenty of regional wines and beer. But you cannot leave La Casa de las Torrijas without trying the specialty of the house: the torrijas themselves!

This sweet treat is similar to French toast, and Spaniards traditionally eat them during Holy Week. However, even if you’re not visiting during the Easter season, you’re in luck. This bar serves torrijas year round and has a reputation for having the best ones in town, so be sure to get your fill of this classic Spanish treat!

Overhead shot of fried bread slices sprinkled with cinnamon sugar on a white plate
Tasty torrijas are a real treat.

5. El Cogollo de la Descarga

Walking distance from Plaza Mayor: 4 minutes

This restaurant is one of your best bets for where to eat near Plaza Mayor if you’re craving hearty Asturian fare from the north of Spain. Be sure to arrive hungry in order to enjoy their specialty: the mighty cachopo.

Consisting of ham and cheese sandwiched by two slices of beef, after which the whole thing is deep fried, cachopo is not for the faint of heart. But if you have the stomach for this carnivorous feast, you won’t be disappointed.

If you want a lighter lunch, try their grilled octopus or scallops. No matter what you end up ordering, you will be happy and ready for the rest of your day!

Large piece of fried meat on a white plate next to fried peppers and mashed potatoes
Cachopo is every meat lover’s dream come true. Photo credit: Ana Rey

6. Bar La Campana

Walking distance from Plaza Mayor: 2 minutes

Blink and you may miss this beloved no-frills sandwich shop tucked right outside of one of Plaza Mayor’s many exits—but the crowd of locals spilling out of it at any given time will ensure that you don’t.

La Campana serves a variety of bocadillos (sandwiches served on baguette-style bread), with fillings including Spanish potato omelet, chorizo and morcilla. The most famous of all, however, is their calamari sandwich.

This simple sandwich is one of the most typical foods from Madrid. The calamari is so tender and perfectly fried that it doesn’t need much else, but if you want, you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This is a great budget-friendly option, too, so you’ll have enough left over to order a caña to go along with it.

Tray of fried calamari sandwiches on baguette rolls with lemon wedges.
It doesn’t get more madrileño than a calamari sandwich!

7. El Anciano Rey de los Vinos

Walking distance from Plaza Mayor: 7 minutes

Last but not least is a family-run gem that isn’t just one of our top picks for where to eat near Plaza Mayor—it’s one of the best eateries in Madrid, period!

El Anciano Rey de los Vinos has been a fixture on the Madrid drinks and dining scene since 1909. In many ways, it preserves many elements of a classic Spanish tavern, from its columns and tiles to the marble-topped tables.

Look at the menu, however, and you’ll find a pleasantly surprising blend of traditional classics and contemporary innovations. Their regalito de rabo de toro (bull tail stew served in puff pastry with a roasted red pepper) is to die for!

Savory pastries with roasted red peppers skewered on top arranged on a white plate with two dishes of brown sauce in the middle
Whoever said that good things come in small packages must have been talking about El Anciano’s regalitos de rabo de toro.

Where to Eat Near Plaza Mayor FAQs

How old is Plaza Mayor in Madrid?

The area now occupied by Plaza Mayor was first documented in the 15th century, at which point it was known as Plaza de Arrabal. Construction on the current plaza began in 1617 and finished in 1619, making the plaza more than 400 years old! Several refurbishments have been made over the centuries, however, in order to preserve the architecture.

What are some typical foods to eat in Madrid?

Madrid is a melting pot of regional foods from all over Spain! However, some of the capital’s own specialties include the calamari sandwich (available at many of the bars just off of Plaza Mayor), callos (tripe stew) and cocido madrileño (Madrid’s signature multi-course stew that includes a noodle soup, chickpeas, veggies, and more meat than you can imagine).

Update Notice: This post was originally published on February 22, 2018 and was updated with new text and photos on June 1, 2021.

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