Top 3 Budget Restaurants In Central Madrid

Published on 5/5/2010 in Buying Process

If you've been to Madrid you will prob­a­bly agree that the Plaza Mayor is the city cen­ter, and if you haven't now you know it´s a must for every trav­eler and exceeds expec­ta­tions because of the tra­di­tional archi­tec­ture and the over­whelm­ing amount of tapas bars you can find here. I expect you to know what tapas are, but if you don't they are small bites of tra­di­tional Spanish food usu­ally eaten as a mid-­morn­ing snack but found all day, every day, in every bar.

Bar La CampanaNot sur­pris­ingly the restau­rants and bars in this area are among the most expen­sive of the city, and should be avoided if trav­el­ing on a bud­get. But don´t despair because I know of three great places nearby that I highly rec­om­mend, mak­ing that meal cul­tur­ally rel­e­vant and a one-of-a-kind Spanish gas­tro­nom­i­cal experience.

Bar La Cam­pana in calle Botones 6, right off the Plaza Mayor, is world famous for its bocadillo de cala­mares (cala­mari sub). I say world famous because I first heard about it in Mex­ico, and sure enough 2.3 euros will get you one of these exquis­ite subs. Throw in a cerveza fria and you have great food for under 4 euros.

If seafood is not your thing, Bar Restau­rante 100 Monta­di­tos in calle Mayor 22 will cer­tainly have some­thing for you. The place has 100 dif­fer­ent kinds of tapas at 1 euro each, usu­ally con­sist­ing of a slice of bread with a typ­i­cal Spanish top­ping such as sobrasada, jamon ser­rano, queso manchego, Span­ish tor­tilla and many many more. The order­ing process is quite fun as well: grab a piece of paper from the table, check which tapas you want and how any, and write any name to be called out when ready- expect to hear any­thing and any­one being called out loud.

Restau­rante La Cat­e­dral is the most expen­sive of the three, but it also offers the best food in a tra­di­tion­ally dec­o­rated restau­rant. Located in car­rera San Jeron­imo 16, it´s a 5 minute walk from the plaza Mayor and gets very busy dur­ing lunch hour.

The 9.5 euro menu includes two main dishes of tra­di­tional Span­ish food, water or wine and bread. Even if you aren't plan­ning on eat­ing it is worth drop­ping buy to check it out.

So there you go! If you´re on a bud­get these places will sat­isfy your food needs while mak­ing it a cul­tur­ally inter­est­ing expe­ri­ence. You can try one or all three- with­out leav­ing the heart of Madrid!

Written by: Federico Arrizabalaga

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