Food and Drink Jesús Huarte

Openings for eating up Madrid

Gastronomic markets, gourmet street food, haute cuisine, traditional bars and the chance to sample foods from around the world without leaving the capital – Madrid’s effervescent culinary scene ticks all the boxes, and here are some suggestions to try as soon as possible.

  1. 1 Bareto

    Bareto. This tribute to traditional bars as a gathering place has a perfectly located terrace on Calle Alcalá next to the Plaza de Cibeles. It serves traditional Madrid specialities, such as patatas bravas, squid or roast beef sandwiches, pork scratchings and breaded meat rolls, all to be washed down with draught beer, glasses of wine and vermouths.

    pork scratchings from bareto
    Pork scratchings from Bareto
  2. 2 Knalla Burger

    After being recognised as the Best New Chef at the Metropoli Awards and winning her first Repsol Sun for Mentica Gastronómica only one year after opening, Lucía Grávalos has opened Kanalla Burger, where she adds her own twist to street food. From Stall 306 in Barceló Market – and with a clear preference for delivery (via Glovo and Just Eat) – her hamburger shop offers an exquisite gourmet menu of starters to share, burgers, hot dogs and ribs.

    The chef’s obsession with good ingredients is reflected in this new venture: she brings the best meat from Calahorra and the vegetables – just as at Mentica Gastronómico – come from the fields of Rioja. Try the Ñu-cia, 180g of 100 per cent ribeye beef with cream of Idiazábal cheese, roasted pepper, egg mayonnaise, rocket, pickled onion, fresh tomato, egg yolk and crispy bacon in a brioche bun, with potato wedges with yogurt sauce.

    mentika crispy chicken burger from knalla burger
    Mentika crispy chicken burger from Knalla Burger
  3. 3 Hevia, San Antón Market

    Another market, San Antón Market in Chueca, has reopened after a thorough remodelling by architects at Burr Studio, making it possible to add new stalls from well-known names in local cuisine to its already substantial list of occupants. Age-old classics such as La Ancha, which is opening La Taberna, and Café Comercial, with La Barra, share space with all-new developments from other establishments with equally long and proven track records. Hevia is a case in point. Its restaurant at Serrano, 118, will soon celebrate its 60th anniversary and, after a recent renovation, will debuts its presence at the market with some of its best-known tapas: Olivier salad, stuffed mussels, breaded meat rolls and battered hake. However, its ad-hoc menu also includes dishes such as the best chistorra sausage from Navarra and the well-known  eskerrik asko (‘thank you’ in Basque), made of bonito, mayonnaise, piperade and spring onions, along with miniature versions of its best-loved dishes, steak tartare and oxtail stew, for instance.

    hevia pinchos bar, in san antón market
    Hevia pinchos bar, in San Antón Market
  4. 4 Arrayán

    After being forced to close because of the pandemic, Arrayán has reopened at a new location (Marqués del Duero, 5), next to the Puerta de Alcalá, as five of its most faithful customers decided to invest in it to keep it going. In the kitchen, Chilean chef Javi Cabrera – who has been cooking in Spain for 20 years – maintains classics such as the Málaga-style ajo blanco soup with smoked sardines and red wine sorbet, and offers moreish creations such as a mature beef loin with foie toffee and shallot tatin. There are three set menus: a midday executive menu served on weekdays; a seven-step tasting menu; and the gastronomic menu with ten steps. The amazing wine list features 200 options and has a special emphasis on sherries.

    javi cabrera from arrayan
    Chef Javi Cabrera at the entrance of Arrayán
  5. 5 Salvaje, at the Food Hall in Galería Canalejas

    The Food Hall in Galería Canalejas opened its doors in December 2021. The entrance is at Calle Alcalá, 12, just steps from the Puerta del Sol, and the space is home to 13 restaurants by well-known chefs such as Julián Mármol, who has brought Monchis and The Eight – featuring a Mexican-Japanese fusion and fire-grilled food, respectively – and Rubén Arnanz, with his 19.86 by Rubén Arnanz focused on Castilian cuisine.

    Other fantastic options include the Cantonese cuisine of Le Petit Dim Sum, with its menu of 25 varieties of this Chinese delicacy; Salvaje, bringing the finest Japanese sushi and omakase by Venezuelan chef Fermín Akue; and the iconic signature cocktails of Borja Goikoetxea, the Best Bartender in Spain at the 2019 World Class Competition. As well as the sushi bar, don’t miss trying the meat.

    the salvaje bar in the food hall of galería canalejas
    The Salvaje bar in the Food Hall of Galería Canalejas
  6. 6 Terracotta

    Gastronomic artistry defines the commitment of Terracotta (Velázquez, 80), which opened its doors at the beginning of this year. The project – the first by the young businessman Ignacio Sánchez – pays homage to produce and the restaurant trade in a lovely spot with an organic vibe, designed with natural materials by Helena Cánovas. Must-try dishes include the salad with pickles, piperade and red tuna, scarlet shrimp croquettes with an ibérico veil and black garlic alioli, along with classics such as glazed pork cheeks with potato parmentier, and León beans sauteed with mushrooms, mangetout and turnip. Also explore its wine cellar with options from designations across Spain, along with an amazing menu of signature cocktails with Madrid-made spirits and its own macerated liqueurs.

    grilled leek with shrimp tartare from terracotta
    Grilled leek with shrimp tartare, from Terracotta
  7. 7 Peppe Fusco

    Located in the heart of Chamberí, this new Italian combines an exquisite, traditional cuisine, with delicious pasta and pizzas among other specialties, and a surprising avant-garde decoration, the perfect setting to enjoy its sophisticated cocktail menu. The restaurant, owned by entrepreneur Enrico Bosco (Pucinella Group), opens every day non-stop from 1pm.

    Truffle mozzarella pizza from Peppe Fusco
    Truffle mozzarella pizza / Photo by Pablo Almansa