24 May How to eat cheap in Madrid?
Most capital cities are considered to be quite expensive, and Madrid is not an exception. Nevertheless, what will definitely surprise you is the variety of prices that the city has to offer. Obviously, and as happens in every city, if you do not know how to move around, everything is going to be a bit more expensive.
Madrid profits a lot from tourism in terms of food due to the fame of spanish cuisine. Therefore, before we get into how to eat cheap, let’s look at how NOT to eat cheap.
Where should you avoid going to eat?
- Plaza Mayor: It’s a beautiful square in the middle of old Madrid, but good location comes at a cost. Some of the restaurants around the square offer very typical food, which is usually quite good, but at a very elevated price. If you are on budget, it is definitely not worth it.
- Mercado San Miguel: We have mentioned this market in previous posts. It is absolutely beautiful, and you should definitely take a walk inside, but again, if you are on budget, I don’t really recommend you to eat inside.
- Puerta del Sol: This is another key “touristy” spot. You should definitely go and visit it, but be aware that the restaurants that lay close to this square usually have quite a high price. In summary: tourists = high prices (not a surprise).
- Obviously, if you go to the more exclusive neighborhoods, such as Barrio Salamanca, you will also find very expensive restaurants. However, this restaurants are somewhat different to the ones we mentioned. They are expensive because of the quality of the food, and will not be as filled with tourists.
Where should you try to go?
Now that we have seen some of the places to avoid if you want to eat cheap, lets take a look at those where you have to go, and let’s start from the cheapest ones to the more moderate ones.
- El Tigre: This bar/tavern is very well known for the big “tapas” that accompany a drink. You can get really big dishes of typical spanish food for a very low price. Given it’s popularity amongst spanish people, it gets filled up relatively quickly, so make sure to go a bit early.
Address: Calle de las Infantas, 30
- La Campana: If you want to try the typical “Bocadillo de Calamares” but don’t want to spend a fortune on Plaza Mayor, you just have to walk a couple of streets away. In La Campana, you will find really good calamari “bocadillos” for a very low price.
Address: Calle de Botoneras, 6
- El capricho extremeño: Another key place to go if you are looking for a cold beer and something good to eat for a cheap price. This bar/restaurant is very well known for it’s toasts, made with different ingredients, ranging from shrimp, octopus, Jamón Serrano, Goat cheese and figs… MMMM.
- La Blanca Paloma: Also one of the most famous “tapas” place in Madrid due to the low price. You should definitely try it, you won’t regret it.
Address: Calle del Espíritu Santo, 21
Can I get some foreign food?
All of the restaurants and bars mentioned above are great if you are looking for typical spanish food at a good price. However, if you have been with us for quite some time and want to try new things, there are many affordable restaurants that offer a wide variety of food.
We can find, for example, the Tierra Burrito Bar or restaurant. As the name indicates, the place’s most famous dish are mexican burritos. You can choose what you want to include in it, and they have a very wide selection of ingredients. Nice decoration, great food and very affordable price. Make sure to check it out!
If you prefer to try some italian food, for example, a great place to start is Massart. They have amazing pizzas and pasta for very good prices. They have two different locations, so make sure to find the one closest to you.
In general, Madrid has sooooo many restaurants that it becomes really difficult to mention just a few. I hope that the few tips we have given you here will help you decide where to eat, and hopefully save you a lot of money when trying some traditional food.
Don’t forget to check the rest of our posts if you are interested in knowing more about how to find your way around Madrid.