It would be fair to say that ‘when a man is tired of Madrid’s dining scene, he is tired of life’ (to paraphrase Samuel Johnson). However, if you’re finding yourself in search of something beyond a tapas bar, Madrid provides plenty of options for the discerning diner. These locations throughout the Spanish capital will serve you more than a mere local meal. Here, you’ll indulge in a true experience as well. Some offer performances while you savour their dishes, while others simply offer a completely unique approach to dining out. Whatever it is you choose, we’ll leave you with just two words - ¡buen provecho!
You never quite know what to expect at Banquete PopUp, which makes the experience here even more delicious. The pop-up restaurant shows its face in the most unexpected and unusual locations, with a menu to match. What you can always expect, though, is first-class food and a fascinating experience. You’ll never visit the same location twice, or eat the same meal twice. The location is kept strictly under wraps until the last possible moment, adding a delectable taste of anticipation to the meal.
Dining by candlelight. Photo courtesy of Banquete Pop-Up
A relatively recent addition to the Madrid restaurant scene, Florida Retiro couldn’t have a nicer location, tucked right inside the expansive, green Retiro park. Inside the restaurant, further delights await. Not only can you choose from a wide range of options - from the La Galería tapas bar to casual food stands, to the sit-down El Pabellón - you can also opt for dinner and a show at The Look. Afterwards, you should head up to the sleek rooftop bar for a drink, or dance the night away at La Sala. It would be a shame to miss out on the legendary madrileño nightlife, after all.
Related: Best Wine Bars in Madrid
Hotel Tapa Tour
Each year, Madrid’s most elegant hotels put on a tour of their impressive facilities, along with some equally impressive tapas creations. The Tour will take place all throughout the month of May in the capital (along with sister editions in both Barcelona and Seville). As hotels open their doors to guests in the city, the most talented and dynamic chefs are invited to the scene to create custom tapa for the tour. A choice of 5-star and 5-star Gran Luxe hotels offer a signature tapa, along with a tasting menu. Savour the selections all month long. Later in the year, in the second half of September, a second Hotel Tapa Tour will be held, this time with the proceeds going to charity.
A chef applies the finishing touch on a tapa creation. Photo courtesy of Hotel Tapa Tour.
Just hearing the name Salamanca makes many a madrileño swoon with thoughts of the delights that await them in the exclusive district. Club Matador is no exception. Housed in a former apartment, the private club’s venue provides an air of laid-back luxury. The space is designed as a cultural centre, meeting place, and chic restaurant – in fact, a social club - and provides an intimate and inspirational atmosphere. There’s always something buzzing here, so order a classic Spanish meal and settle in for a night of expanding your intellectual horizons. Dress accordingly.
Corral de la Morería
Head to the heart of the vibrant La Latina district to find the duende spirit, enchanting visitors and locals alike. Renowned as one of the best places in the world to see a flamenco performance, it would be a shame to miss one at Corral de la Morería. Huge flamenco stars like Paco de Lucía, Isabel Pantoja, and Blanca del Rey have stomped and swayed or plucked and played their way through the legendary doors of Corral de la Morería.
You can enjoy top-notch dancing and music here each night, along with excellent food served under the expert guidance of David García, thanks to his rich background in cooking at Michelin-starred establishments. When in Madrid, order a glass of wine to complement your dinner - there are over 400 different bottles to choose from. Guests can either opt for a dinner and a show, or a drink and a show. Booking in advance is highly recommended.
Spectacular flamenco dancing at the Corral de la MorerÍa.
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