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Top Madrid bars and restaurants

Get to know Madrid's expansive food and drink culture, with Shawn Hennessey's guide to the must-visit bars and restaurants...


Sommelier David Villalón and his brother Mario run this exceptional wine bar and bistro. More than 100 wines are available by the glass or half glass, perfect for pairing. Their menu is short and ever-changing, with organic veg from their mother Angelita’s own garden outside the city.

  • Address: Street Reina 4
  • Open: Monday 8.30pm-2am, Tuesday-Thursday 1.30pm-2am, Friday-Saturday 2pm-2.30pm, Sunday closed


With chef Javier Goya and somm-maître extraordinaire Fran Ramírez at the helm of this venture in the heart of Barrio de las Letras, great food, outstanding wines and knowledgeable service are guaranteed. Pop in for a mano tapas at the bar – to be eaten with your hands – or book a table in the restaurant.

  • Address: Plaza Matute 4
  • Open: daily 1pm-11.30pm

Taberna Palo Cortado

Paqui Espinosa pays tribute to Sherry with a comprehensive selection of all styles, along with non-Sherry options, available by the glass and pairing perfectly with the seasonal Andalusian dishes on the menu.

  • Address: C/Espronceda 18
  • Open: Sunday & Monday closed, Tuesday-Saturday 1pm-5pm & 8.30pm-1am

Taberna de Pedro

Pedro García de la Navarra’s charming tavern, a stone’s throw from El Prado museum, is all about providing excellent products at reasonable prices. Traditional dishes are complemented by a splendid cheese board and a fantastic wine list created by García de la Navarra’s brother Luis.

  • Address: 3 Calle de Montalbán
  • Open: Monday 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm & 8.30pm-12am, Sunday closed


Dream team César Martín (chef) and Marina Launay (front-of-house) have mastered that special blend of impeccable service and an intelligent seasonal menu. Almost everything is available in half-portions, including the wines by the glass. The all-day kitchen in this fun, trendy venue makes it a great spot for late lunches or early dinners.

  • Address: Plaza Descubridor Diego de Ordás 1
  • Open: Monday-Friday 1pm-11pm, Saturday & Sunday closed

Casa Gerardo

Cheese, please. This 80-year-old bodega boasts an impressive cheese list with an equally impressive selection of wines, including vermouths and Sherries. Great old-school atmosphere with friendly service.

  • Address: C/Cardenal Mendoza 21
  • Open: Monday 12am-5pm, Tuesday-Friday 10am-4.30pm & 8pm-1am, Saturday 10am-4.30pm & 8.30pm-1am, Sunday 8.30pm-12am

Bodegas Ricla

Founded in 1867, this tiny mother-and-son operation, just steps from the Plaza Mayor, is a classic stop for vermouth. It’s a basic, no-nonsense tapas bar filled with memorabilia of a bygone age. Be sure to try the callos (tripe stew) or the famous meatballs.

  • Address: Calle Cuchilleros 6
  • Open: Monday & Wednesday-Friday 1pm-4pm & 8pm-12am, Saturday 1pm-4pm & 8pm-12.30am, Sunday 1pm-5pm, Tuesday closed

La Fisna Vinos

Working simultaneously as importers, distributors and retailers, Delia Baeza and Iñaki Gómez Legorburu have converted a rustic tavern in Lavapiés into a cosy wine bar and shop. Choose from a selection of unique French and Spanish wines from small producers, most sold exclusively here, at very affordable prices, along with delicious tapas.

  • Address: C/Amparo 91
  • Open: Monday-Thursday 10.30am-2pm & 7.30pm-12am, Friday 11.30am-2pm & 7.30pm-12.30am, Saturday 1pm-4.30pm&  8pm-12am, Sunday closed

Taberna Verdejo

This small but perfectly formed tavern run by Marian Reguera and team has a menu full of tasty traditional cooking, a terrific wine list, a blackboard overflowing with Sherries by the glass and, best of all, the kind of service that makes you feel as welcome as you would be in your own home.

  • Address: C/Espartinas 6
  • Open: Monday & Wednesday-Saturday 1.30pm-4pm & 8.30pm-11.30pm, Sunday & Tuesday closed


Partners Ana Losada and David Moreno are the heart and soul of this lovely tavern. A cosy bar greets you, leading to a tasteful, minimalist dining area beyond. With 40-50 wines that change weekly and a market-based menu, it is simply spectacular.

  • Address: Calle de Narváez 67
  • Open: Monday/Tuesday closed, Wednesday-Sunday 1pm-4.30pm & 8.30pm-11.30pm

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