Solo dining in Madrid

Madrid is 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.

Fruit lollies
Fruit lollies


My favourite restaurant to dine in is the oldest in the world. Click on the link to read my full solo dining review of Sobrino de Botin.

Manchego cheese
Manchego cheese

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 is Chocolateria de San Ginés – a popular place open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day! It specialises in churros with hot chocolate dipping sauce.

Churros with hot chocolate dipping sauce
Warm churros with hot chocolate dipping sauce

Cafes are casual places to eat in Spain, sometimes tucked away in a lane and others in a plaza. They usually have both indoor and outdoor dining options.


Tapas in Hotel Melia Serrano - relaxed rooftop terrace for solo dining
Selection of tapas dishes at Hotel Melia Serrano

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 wine and tapas.

Plazas in Madrid

Plaza Mayor - relaxed solo dining in Madrid
Bocadillo de Calamares on the Plaza Mayor

Plazas are busy squares with many restaurants and cafes. Food is served indoors or outdoors. Outdoor dining is more expensive. However, it is a wonderful place to sit by the edge of the plaza, watching the world go by with one of their speciality bocadillo de calamares (squid sandwich).

Markets in Madrid

Fuet con corri - solo dining in Madrid at Mercado San Miguel
Fuet con curri

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. 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 Tips

Solo Travel Destinations – other recommended destinations for solo travel

Norwegian Air – review of London Gatwick flight to Madrid

Solo in Madrid