Avoid: Eating and drinking in the Plaza Mayor

Eating out & Madrid Restaurants, Weird : Quirky : Fun

by Ben Curtis

The unwise eating in the Plaza Mayor!

The view might be pretty special, but the food served up on the terraces of the Plaza Mayor is far from it… It’s ridiculously expensive, low-quality, and loveless. Save your money and check out some of the great places for lunch near the Plaza Mayor, or wander five minutes down the road to the wonderful tapas bars in La Latina instead!

Where would you advise others to avoid in Madrid? Comment here or send us a tip!


Comment from marina
Date: October 5, 2007, 6:14 pm

I agree 100% with Ben on this one, but he forgot to say that it is actually a very nice place to seat down in one of the terraces to have a coffee or a drink while admiring the view and the people.

Comment from matt
Date: October 6, 2007, 9:25 am

yeah, most of those places are way too expensive, but as Marina says, they are great places to have a drink and people watch.

Comment from Faye
Date: October 8, 2007, 10:20 am

There is one place that would seem to redeem the rip-offs: one day I was walking down that little street in the SE corner of the square that takes you down to C/ Toledo and saw an enormous queue for a bar that was selling squid ring sandwiches. They looked great - and cheap too!

Comment from Amy
Date: October 8, 2007, 11:31 am

Those bocadillos de calamari have a pretty loyal following. I know a number of Spaniards who live outside Madrid and who make that bar one of their first stops upon arriving in town!

Comment from candy
Date: November 10, 2007, 12:47 pm

Yes, teh Bocadillos de Calamares places are Madrid favorites…but I always bring visitors to Torre del Oro, the little bullfighting bar in the Plaza next to the Tourist office–and they and I LOVE IT! The cañas are a bit higher than elsewhere in town, but still insanely cheap compared to the states or UK AND they always come with a side of homemade tapa–gazpacho in summer, paella or caldo in winter. The photos on the walls feature the gorier side of bullfighting, but again, of all the visitors I’ve brought here (and I am talking legions) really enjoy it.

As for sitting on a terrace, I also agree that it is worth the experience for a glass of wine or a coffee, but I’d never recommend eating here as the prices are insane the the food substandard.