Trying local cuisines tends to be one of my favourite things about travelling, but sometimes it is so necessary to break away from the fried carbs and tapas and seek a bit of health and freshness. Madrid was a haven for good food and coffee, so naturally we had a blast. Here are some of my highlights:
Federal: something you could expect to find at home, probably the Australian-owned influence at play. Even serving Allpress coffee, the drinks menu had smoothies, a wide variety of coffees and yummy sounding juices. The cabinet was inviting, with lots of cakes, cookies and slices. But we couldn’t go past the expansive menu with mueslis, pancakes, eggs done in a million different ways and so much more. Topped off with the airy, casual environment Federal is somewhere I’d happily go back to.
Bresca: as travellers on a budget, in every new city we make sure we check out TripAdvisor’s cheap eats list. That’s where this little beauty came from, even better it was only 300m from our hotel. It’s small, and it quickly became apparent that we were lucky to get a table without a reservation. They brew their own beer, the portions are decent and everything tastes fresh – what’s not to like?! I’ll never say no to good Italian food, even when I am in Spain.
El Rey de los tacos: we’d been recommended this spot but as we walked past we weren’t so sure – it was empty. The menu looked delicious, so we thought we’d give it a shot anyway, and by the time we left it was full! The tacos are yum but small (they only cost €2) and the quasedillas are similar flavours, much bigger and only 50c more. The nachos are also huge servings, so big that we actually decided against ordering them. The margaritas were divine, as was the strawberries and cream tequila the waitress got us to try.
Igo Ramen: we all know she loves a good Ramen, and Igo Ramen did not disappoint. Building our own (ie. noodle type, broth, spice level, meat and then any extras) was ideal to create the perfect customised dish at no extra price. A bonus: the place was decorated so that we felt like we’d been directly transported to the brightly lanterned streets of Osaka. Ordering was also a unique experience: from an iPad, purely in Spanish!
Ojala: renowned for its downstairs beach bar (yup you read right!) Ojala gives a great first impression. Stacks of outdoor seating and also a very green indoor area, we were immediately comfortable and excited for a good feed. Unfortunately, we went wrong by not ordering a brunch combination meal, which seemed to be the norm around us. Instead, Andy ordered the eggs Benedict and I ordered huevos rancheros: sadly the portions were fit for 12 year olds. It was yum, but presented poorly and massively detracted from our overall experience there 🙁
We left Madrid feeling well fed and nourished. When it came to good eating spots, I suspect we barely scratched the surface.