Madrid Restaurant

Hello, we have added an extra day in Madrid. Can anyone recommend a memorable fine dining restaurant for this first evening on our own?


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    Tapas are the most fun!

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    The issue with Tapas is the cost. It will consist of many small dishes, each with a separate charge. You may be suprised by the final bill.

    But it may be worth it to experience tapas in Madrid.

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    edited March 8

    As British indicated, we typically frequent the tapas bars--the best ones being around Plaza Mayor.

    We had a very nice fine dining experience in the hotel itself and one Sunday we enjoyed the brunch there. Reservations are mandatory for the brunch--even for Tauck guests since the locals like to have their Sunday family meal there and they are given preference. It was delightful to see all the children dressed in their finest as they interacted with the elders!

    Edited to remove the Opera House reference...I had Paris on my mind!

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    The tour includes a tapas tasting and walk. When we did it in 2022 Tauck used Devour Tours. There was plenty of food but I wouldn't call it fine dining. We didn't eat at any fine dining restaurants but did find a good bar a short walk from the hotel that had excellent shrimp in garlic.

    If no one comes up with a restaurant the concierge will gladly recommend something.

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    Go to IL BOTIN, right of the Plaza del Sol in Madrid. It is the oldest restaurant in the world. Established 1725. Their specialty is roast suckling pig, and I believe the first seating is at 8:00 pm. You can make reservations online or via email to them. It’s a wonderful experience and the food is delicious.

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    Thanks to all for your suggestions. I will try tapas for lunch, but not for dinner. I've added Botin to my list of possibilities since it is more in line with what I seeking. It is unlikely at my age that I will visit Madrid again, so I'm of the mind: where should I have dinner if it is my only day in Madrid? Of course, I will also have another lovely dinner when I join my fellow Tauck guests at the Westin.

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    I'd suggest for your tapas lunch to walk to Mercado San Miguel which has an amazing selection of different foods to try. I couldn't stop taking pictures of the food - a visual feast. It's about a 15 minute walk from the hotel just beyond the Plaza Mayor.

    If you like chocolate, for a treat there is also the Chocolateria San Gines where they serve hot fried churros and thick chocolate to dip them in. There are other places in Madrid for these but this is kind of an institution and is also very close to the mercado and plaza.

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    edited March 9

    Botín is a treasure in Madrid and the locals do love their suckling pig. My husband and another Tauck guest shared this signature dish. I did not suggest it earlier because I would not classify the restaurant as fine dining, but it is a treasure and some of the dining rooms are quite cozy but very noisy. If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing dinner this is not the place. If the white asparagus are in season, have them. Delicious, as are the artichokes.

    We ate there in the afternoon and the concierge made the reservations for us several days in advance. You will not get in without a reservation! I suggest doing it way in advance and if you have difficulty, contact the hotel's concierge for assistance. Be sure to let her/him know that you are a Tauck guest. I just checked to make sure they still have afternoon hours. They open at 1300 every day. As a side note, Hemingway referenced the restaurant in 'The Sun Also Rises' and Goya once worked there.

    Since you only have one extra day, I recommend remaining in the Plaza Mayor area. As mentioned, the Mercado is a delightful place to visit even if you just browse your way through it. It can get very crowded, especially with tourists. For a more authentic experience and mingling with the locals, take any of the side streets from either the mercado or plaza area for your tapas.

    Enjoy your journey. It's a great tour and one of our favorites. Please consider posting a review afterwards.

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    I would ask the hotel Concierge, after the pandemic crisis some rest. have closed. and some new excellent ones have open.
    They would be up to date on what's worth going and will make the reservations for you..

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