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Restaurants in Madrid: The Ultimate 2023 Guide to the Top 10

Restaurants in Madrid: The Ultimate 2023 Guide to the Top 10

As one of Europe's top culinary destinations, Madrid offers foodies an incredible array of dining options. From Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine to buzzing tapas bars and charming neighborhood eateries, Restaurants in Madrid have something to satisfy every craving. But with so many restaurants to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down the very best places to eat in Spain's vibrant capital. That's why this comprehensive guide covers the top restaurants in Madrid Spain for 2023. These are the hottest tables that should be on any food-lovers Madrid itinerary this year.

Below, you'll find picks for Madrid's essential dining experiences, along with tips on what to order, how to get a reservation, and more. Whether visiting Madrid for a long weekend or looking for an unforgettable meal as a local, this guide has it covered!

How the Best Restaurants in Madrid Were Chosen

With literally thousands of restaurants to choose from, whittling the list down to just 10 was no easy feat.

To select the very best dining spots, the following criteria were used:

  • Cuisine – Restaurants specializing in traditional Spanish flavors, as well as those offering innovative takes on regional and international cuisine, were included. Diversity was key.
  • Accolades – Michelin stars and recommendations from prestigious food guides like Repsol were given extra weight.
  • Buzz – Newer restaurants generating lots of excitement amongst food critics and locals alike received special consideration.
  • Location – Restaurants across Madrid were considered, not just those in the city center. Great food can be found in every neighborhood!
  • Atmosphere – Beyond excellent food, dining out is an experience. Restaurants with notable decor, people-watching opportunities, etc., stood out.

Using these criteria, the list of Madrid's 10 best restaurants for savoring Spain's vibrant food culture in 2023 was curated. Now, let's explore each one.

10. La Lloreria – Elevated Tapas in Hip Malasaña

Cuisine: Modern Spanish tapas and sharing plates

What to Order: Grilled octopus, Iberian pork shoulder, Spanish omelet

Location: Malasaña

For a taste of Madrid's exciting modern tapas scene, La Lloreria in the trendy Malasaña district is a great choice. Opened by two El Bulli alums, La Lloreria puts a playful, elevated spin on classic Spanish tapas. The menu is broad and ultra-seasonal, with fun plates like their "Russian salad" made with fresh trout and trout caviar. Must-try tapas include the melt-in-your-mouth grilled octopus and twice-fried Iberian pork shoulder with prune alioli. Their spin on a Spanish omelet with caramelized onions and creamy potatoes is also stellar. With exposed brick walls, dramatic pendant lighting, and a U-shaped bar, the moody interior provides great people-watching over craft cocktails or while browsing their extensive list of Spanish wines. Despite its casual vibe, La Lloreria takes reservations, which are strongly recommended to score a table. This is one of Madrid's hottest dining tickets!

9. LA TASQUERÍA – Nose-to-Tail Elegance in Chamberí

Cuisine: Innovative Spanish small plates

What to Order: Beef tartare, oxtail stew, bone marrow

Location: Chamberí

Led by celebrity chef Paco Roncero, the Michelin-starred LA TASQUERÍA brings a bold, sophisticated approach to nose-to-tail eating. Tucked away on a quiet street in the stylish Chamberí neighborhood, the moody interior lined with exposed brick has an exclusive vibe. But the menu is anything but pretentious, featuring cheeky creative plates that use every part of the animal. Their beef tartare dressed with mustard ice cream is legendary. Other standouts include the melt-off-the-bone oxtail stew, and clams drizzled with bone marrow sauce. With only 29 seats, it's Spain's most in-demand reservation. Be sure to book 2-3 months out to sample Roncero's progressive Spanish fare.

8. OSA – Seafood Done Right in Chueca

Cuisine: Inventive Mediterranean seafood

What to Order: Sea bass ceviche, grilled octopus, tuna tataki

Location: Chueca

Helmed by celebrated Basque chef Luis Arévalo, OSA immaculately sources and prepares pristine Mediterranean seafood. Tucked away on a quiet plaza in Chueca, OSA's minimalist-chic interior lets the artfully plated dishes shine. Specializing in ceviches, carpaccios, and tartare, must-try plates include the sea bass ceviche topped with salmon roe and the grilled octopus with black olive oil. Their tuna tataki with truffle ponzu is also sublime. With just seven tables, OSA offers an intimate, exclusive dining experience. Reservations are essential. Request the 10-course tasting menu for the whole experience of Arévalo's skills and excellent ingredients.

7. Noi – Italian Flair in Malasaña

Cuisine: Italian classics with a creative twist

What to Order: Squid ink pasta, truffle pizza, beef carpaccio

Location: Malasaña

For a taste of Italy in Madrid, Noi in artsy Malasaña puts a Spanish spin on Italian classics in a chic but relaxed setting. Start with their silky beef carpaccio dressed with parmesan and arugula. Their squid ink pasta saturated with seafood is stellar. You can't go wrong with any of their gourmet Neapolitan-style pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven – the truffle mushroom pizza is fantastic. With walls decorated with black-and-white photos of Italian film icons, Noi offers laid-back Italian dining and superb people-watching through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Reservations are recommended to guarantee a spot on their coveted terrace.

6. Lhardy – Timeless Excellence in Sol

Cuisine: Iconic traditional Spanish cuisine

What to Order: Cocido madrileño, suckling pig, house red wine

Location: Sol

No list of Madrid's best restaurants is complete without the iconic Lhardy. Occupying a handsome 1839 building on the Plaza Mayor, Lhardy is the epitome of old-world elegance. Beneath the chandeliers and wood-paneled walls, they serve flawless traditional Spanish fare like suckling pig, roast lamb, and their legendary cocido madrileño stew. A jacket and tie are required in the main dining room, but a more casual experience can be had on the terrace or in the takeaway area. Prices are steep, but the impeccable food and exceptional service make Lhardy a special splurge. With its timeless sophistication and top-notch cuisine, Lhardy cements its reputation as one of Spain's most significant culinary institutions.

5. Toki – Playful Korean-Spanish Fusion in Malasaña

Cuisine: Korean-Spanish fusion

What to Order: Bulgogi beef, fried chicken, kimchi fried rice

Location: Malasaña

For a taste of Korea with a Madrid twist, Toki in fashionable Malasaña blends Korean flavors with Spanish ingredients and techniques. Toki's fusion plates have earned a loyal local following. Their bulgogi, made from Galician beef, is fall-apart tender in a sweet ginger marinade. Don't miss their legendary Korean fried chicken coated in a crispy and sticky soy-garlic glaze. Bibimbap loaded with meat and veggies in a stone pot is solid, as is their kimchi fried rice laced with Spanish chorizo. With cool urban decor, craft cocktails, and a buzzy vibe, Toki is a fun spot for casual Asian fusion. No reservations, so come early or wait for a table at the bar sipping on a Seoul mule cocktail. ¡Olé!

4. Sala de Despiece – Avant Garde in Chamberí

Cuisine: Inventive contemporary Spanish small plates

What to Order: Steak tartare on bone marrow, tuna belly tacos, beetroot carpaccio

Location: Chamberí

Led by famed chef Marcos Morán, Sala de Despiece brings an avant-garde sensibility to Spanish flavors. Tucked away on a quiet street in Chamberí, the chic warehouse-style space with exposed beams and dim lighting creates a buzzy, exclusive vibe. The menu features artistic plates like their signature steak tartare served atop bone marrow. Other standouts include the seared tuna belly tacos and the beetroot carpaccio with goat cheese. With just 35 seats, Sala de Despiece is tiny but mighty. Be sure to book at least a month ahead to taste Morán's innovative cooking that keeps Spanish cuisine fresh and exciting. This is modern Spanish gastronomy at its best!

3. Casa Mortero – Cozy Traditional Tapas in Malasaña

Cuisine: Classic and innovative tapas

What to Order: Ham croquettes, Russian salad, grilled octopus

Location: Malasaña

For delicious traditional tapas in a rustic setting, Casa Mortero in lively Malasaña serves some of Madrid's best classic tapas alongside more creative inventions. Perennial favorites include their crispy ham croquettes and Russian salad loaded with tuna and piquillo peppers. Grilled octopus with potatoes and smoked paprika is a must, as is their goat cheese and caramelized onion tart. Wash it all down with a glass of vermouth on tap. Despite the no-frills vibe, Casa Mortero takes pride in sourcing top-quality ingredients. With tapas this good, it's no wonder reservations fill up fast.

2. Mercado de San Miguel – Lively Bites in Sol

Cuisine: Diverse selection of Spanish bites

What to Order: Jamón Ibérico, oysters, paella

Location: Sol

For a fun grazing experience, the historic Mercado de San Miguel food hall features stalls peddling everything from fresh seafood to Spanish cheeses and charcuterie. A must-try are the jamón ibérico slides from one of the specialty ham vendors. Other favorites include the overflowing seafood platter from Mar de Ostiones and paella from La Cuchara de San Telmo. With such variety all under one roof, plus a bustling atmosphere and central location, Mercado de San Miguel is a perfect spot to sample diverse Spanish flavors. Grab a glass of Albariño and take time wandering the stalls.

1. Vinoteca Moratín – Sophisticated Wine Bar in Barrio de Las Letras

Cuisine: Elevated tapas and small plates

What to Order: Cheese platter, Iberian ham, garlic shrimp

Location: Barrio de Las Letras

Oenophiles shouldn't miss Vinoteca Moratín, an elegant wine bar with over 400 Spanish vinos. Nestled on a charming pedestrian street in the literary Barrio de Las Letras neighborhood, Vinoteca Moratín attracts a sophisticated local crowd. The interior is sleek and modern, with walls lined with bottles. While sampling pours from their encyclopedic wine list, feast on elevated tapas like the Spanish cheese platter, Iberian ham with pa amb tomàquet (tomato bread), and plump garlic shrimp. Standouts from their menu of sophisticated small plates include the foie gras terrine and seared tuna belly for an upscale tapas experience with refined Spanish wines Vinoteca Moratín charms. Reservations are essential for guaranteed seating. ¡Salud!

Now that your mouth is watering let's get into some tips and frequently asked questions for visiting Madrid's best restaurants:

FAQs About Dining at Top Restaurants In Madrid

  • How do you get a reservation at the most popular restaurant in Madrid?

You should book your reservation 2-3 months in advance for the hottest spots. Additionally, we have backup restaurant options available in case your first choice is fully booked.

  • What should you wear to dine at high-end restaurants in Madrid?

Precisely follow the stated dress code for each restaurant, usually business casual at a minimum. Moreover, when in doubt, bright casual clothing is the safest bet for fitting in at friendly establishments.

  • How much does it cost to dine at the best restaurants in Madrid?

For starters, prices range from €10-20 per person at inexpensive tapas bars. Next, expect to pay around €40-60 per person at moderately priced eateries. Finally, tasting menus at Michelin-starred venues can cost over €200 per person.

  • How much should you tip at Madrid restaurants?

Primarily, at full-service restaurants, tip 10-15% of the total bill unless service charges are included. Alternatively, at counter-service bars and food stalls, a slight change of €1-2 is standard.

  • What are some great Madrid restaurants for vegetarians?

Some top veggie-friendly choices include La Carmencita, Gluay, B13, El Estragón, and Café de La Luz for health-focused cuisine. Additionally, nearly all excellent restaurants in Madrid offer great vegetarian/vegan menus.

  • Where can you find the best street food in Madrid?

First off, head to Plaza Mayor and Mercado de San Miguel. Next, go to the El Rastro flea market on Sundays. Additionally, check out the La Latina neighborhood and Parque del Retiro food carts.

  • What are some classic Madrid dishes you should try?

Primarily, signature specialties include cocido madrileño stew. Secondly, try callos a la madrileña tripe. Lastly, don't miss huevos rotos (fried egg and potato dish).

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