Restaurants in Madrid are heaven for foodies. Every mouthful of food I had while I was here was outstanding. Traditional Spanish dishes are sold in tapas bars, restaurants and gastro markets and there are plenty to choose from. Eating out is a relaxed and casual experience, making solo dining in Madrid a very pleasurable experience. Lots of restaurants have outdoor areas too which are good for watching the world go by as you eat.
The oldest restaurant in the world was founded in 1725 and still retains its original 18th Century firewood oven. It is well known for its roast suckling pig and roast Castilian style lamb. It is well documented that Hemingway visited here a number of times and referred to the restaurant in his book ‘Death in the Afternoon’.
There are plenty of restaurants to choose when solo dining in Madrid, from Michellin star restaurants to tiny tapas bars. So whether you are hungry enough for a 3 course meal or just want to pick at something small, there are lots of places to choose from to suit all budgets.
A highly recommended place to go to for something sweet! This popular cafe is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and specialises in churros with hot chocolate dipping sauce.
Melia Madrid Serrano – Hotel Dining
Dining in my hotel, Melia Madrid Serrano, was a pleasurable experience of an evening. The level I stayed on offered unlimited snacks and drinks from 7am-11pm. It had plenty of other solo diners/drinkers there too, a mix of tourists and locals alike. It was wonderful to sit and watch the sunset with unlimited wine and tapas.
EN COPA DE BALON – Plaza Dining in Madrid
Plazas are busy squares with many restaurants and cafes. Food is served indoors or outdoors. Dining on one of the plazas’ outdoor terraces is a wonderful place to sit and watch the world go by with good food. I particularly enjoyed the speciality bocadillo de calamares (squid sandwich) I had at En Copa de Balon, on the Plaza Mayor.
Dine like a local at a Gastro Market – Mercado de San Miguel
Mercado de San Miguel is one of the best gastro markets I have visited on a city break. It is very popular with locals and gives you a chance to try a number of different dishes at very competitive prices. Prices start from just 1 Euro. Many solo diners are here on their lunch breaks from work, as well as tourists. Make sure you turn up hungry!
Suggested Further Reading:
Solo Travel Destinations – other recommended destinations for solo travel
Norwegian Air – review of London Gatwick flight to Madrid