a very tasty city – madrid

“After a full belly all is poetry.”
Frank McCourt

by-the-operaBefore I visit a new destination I do loads of research when it’s about good dining and so I did with Madrid too and we hit a jackpot every evening.

My friend Anna Liisa has very bad sight and so to take her to a restaurant where the food is presented as art … is pointless. She can’t enjoy it. It’s important that we chose restaurants where she can ask for a spoon for her main course and where food is comfortable and great.

hotel-pillowI’m not very spontaneous when it comes to eating while away. I book every a restaurant for evening good in advance and I compare reviews. Neither do I want to have to take a taxi every night for great a dining experience, one evening is okay – but preferably in walking distance from and to our pillows.

In Madrid, we stayed at postcode 28013 – Metro Opera – and the Palacio Real de Madrid. Plenty good restaurants to choose from except on Monday when 90% is closed.

At the restaurants, I picked were we the only foreigners – all guests locals which are great. Except our last evening when we dined with only tourists. cafe-opera

Our first evening we arrived late to our hotel because of heavy traffic, so we decide to eat at their cafe,  El Café de la Ópera and then take a walk afterward down to the Palacio Real de Madrid. But I will come back our great hotel … it’s worth its own post.

In the meantime will I introduce you to some hidden gems where we were well taken care of and enjoyed some great dishes.el-abrazo-de-vergara

El Abrazo de Vergara
Calle de Vergara, 10,
28013 Madrid
phone; 0915 42 00 62
Modern Fusion Spanish

Nice little restaurant – about 20 seats. In Madrid, they eat dinner very late. We booked most restaurants for 20.30 and we were the only guests for at about one hours time and that was the same on all restaurants we enjoyed. whiskey

Ordered a vodka & tonic as pre-diner drink and they didn’t get it right and Anna Liisa wanted a whiskey and she got automatically Coca Cola with it. They also present you with a big glass with ice and they bring the bottles to the table and it’s up to the guest to say stop. Must be common in Madrid, because we notice at many places. Not a problem for us.

We got a very nice pre-drink on the house made from gin, sugar, lemon and blackberry juice and a little surprise dish of roast sesame seed Hummus with a fantastic thin roasted bread flan.

My menu for the evening came to;
The tempura soft shell crab in corn batter with yogurt
Open Oxtail lasagne in jus and gorgonzola gnocchi
Caramelized French toast brioche bread and vanilla ice cream

With that, I had a glass of white wine, mineral water, and a cappuccino. And the damage came to 71€ for 2 with 10% tip.

Restaurante Algarabia
Calle de la Unión, 8
28013 Madrid,
Phone; 0915 42 41 31
Comfort Spanish

A very intimate little restaurant run by 2 sisters, Isabel and Pilar (well-known chef in Madrid). Again we were the first guests for the evening, but it was full when we left. It was like dining in their home.

Image provided by and thanks to https://lalectoraprovisoria.wordpress.com

Image provided by and thanks to https://lalectoraprovisoria.wordpress.com

The welcoming and the hospitality of Isabel fantastic it was like we known her for years. Pilar’s cooking top of the class and from all the articles about her hanging on the entrance walls .. she is a chef with a fantastic reputation. There is loads of love  and passion in her cooking.

The menu on their website isn’t up to date – so I can’t describe the dishes I had correctly.

My starter was the BEST sardines I ever tasted and   They were de-boned and in filet marinated in herbs and olive oil topped with some tomato-onion concasse.

The main course was slightly cooked pork filet with loads of sweet caramelized onion. A fantastic dish, but a bit too generous on the meat, but I eat it all. Nearly licked the plate. I think the dish is called – Chumarro con Cebolla Confitada – Gracias Google!!!

As the grand finale, we had both Toffee apple foam cup.

I don’t understand why I didn’t use Oscar more than I did … I think I was too busy talking or enjoying the food.

We didn’t have pre-drink but had glasses of wine, mineral water, and coffee. It was our most expensive dinner it came to 92€. But it was worth every cent.

More tasty food and nice restaurants will follow.


My cloud over this post Madrid’s own son – Julio Iglesias – “Pobre Diablo” (Poor Devil).


If you want to read about my other fantastic dining expericance around the world, click on this logo

18 thoughts on “a very tasty city – madrid

  1. yay!! another Madrid post. I can’t wait to see more!! and now that summer is over I hope to have more time for blogging. thanks again for another wonderful post of one of my faves. 🙂 You really can’t go wrong at any of Madrid’s fine restaurants. y me encanta Julio Iglesias…..I learned of him when I was a student there in 1980-81.

    • I’m a big fan of Mr Iglesias … he can sing to me in any language he wants. Saw him alive at Wembley Stadium in London, many years ago. I envy you a lot to read that you have been a student in Madrid. Lucky you! I want to return next week if I could. There will be more post about Madrid. One tomorrow about our hotel. You’re so welcome and thanks for visiting me.

      • And I envy you for seeing Julio live, wow!! Can’t wait for the hotel review. I’m hoping to take my daughter back to Spain when she graduates and interested in other hotels. We love the Preciados hotel and highly recommend. Kidlet wants to try another hotel.

      • Preciados is one of the hotels we looked at … only 10 min walk from ours, but I got such a good deal on ours and the location is perfect. I refuse to pay over 100€ per night for a room in Europe. USA different ball game.
        I’m sure you both are longing to go back.

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