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Madrid Nightlife: The Best Food, Drinks and Restaurants in Madrid

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A huge part of the local culture in Madrid is focused on eating and drinking. While we’re all guilty of skipping breakfast to get the kids to school on time, eating a lunchtime sandwich at our desk to get our work done or picking up a take-out on the way home because we’re too tired to cook dinner, the food and drink that make up the Madrid nightlife scene are so much more important to locals in Spain.

In Madrid, dining is an incredibly social occasion. Workers sip cafes con leches together before heading to the office, friends make time to meet up for leisurely lunches that span hours and entire families head out to restaurants to eat their evening meal together. In this magical city, eating isn’t just a way to fuel your body – it’s a way to spend some quality time with friends and family.

Madrid nightlife: The best food and drink

The country’s taste bud-tingling cuisine is one of our top reasons to visit Spain, so it’s no surprise that the capital offers some real gastronomic delights. Here are just four delicious examples of the food that Madrid does best, each of which is a total must-try on your next visit.

Cocido Madrileño A traditional soul-warming stew made of a medley of flavor-packed broth, vegetables, chorizo and chickpeas.

Bocadillo de Calamares This super-simple sandwich is a fresh, crusty baguette filled with breaded and deep-fried squid rings, all smothered in heavenly aioli.

Callos a la Madrileña A peasant-like dish of beef tripe, chorizo and blood sausage – it tastes a lot nicer than it sounds and really warms you up on a winter’s day!

Tinto de Verano Similar to sangria, this alcoholic drink is a mix of red wine and lemon-flavored soda that the locals sip all-year-round.

Madrid nightlife: The best restaurants

Since Madrid’s nightlife scene doesn’t even begin until around midnight, you’ve got plenty of time to enjoy a relaxed evening meal surrounded by good company and great food before you head out for a night on the town. Here are some of the best restaurants in Madrid you’ve got to try:

Restaurante del Olivo Regarded by many as the best place in Madrid for authentic Spanish food, this restaurant serves huge portions of typical dishes, including grilled steaks, homemade paella and fresh seafood, for very reasonable prices.

Oven Atocha Offering a selection of Spanish-style tapas and Italian pizzas, pastas, sharing platters and cheese dishes, this eatery is the perfect place to go for a real Mediterranean feast.

Restaurant Nuevo Horno de Santa Teresa Providing hungry diners with authentic Madrid home cooking, this restaurant is the best place to sample the incredible food the city is known for on a limited budget.

Cebo A top-end fine dining restaurant, Cebo boasts sophisticated surroundings and an excellent menu full of Spanish delicacies, as well as a delightful tasting menu that lets you sample a medley of local specialities.

Madrid nightlife: The best neighborhoods for partying

Madrid nightlife is a 24/7 party. No matter whether it’s Saturday or Tuesday, you can leave the house on an evening and still find yourself out at 8am in the morning, dipping a crispy churro into a cup of thick chocolate while the rest of the world heads out to work.

Gran Via Madrid’s signature nightlife hotspot for decades, Gran Via is the place you can feel like a local while sipping a beer and watching local life buzz by. Tip: stay in a nearby Airbnb rental so you don’t have far to walk home.

Barrio de Las Letras The best place for music, along this literary avenue you’ll find live bands playing everything from jazz and flamenco to pop and rock.

La Latina For an authentic Spanish night out choose La Latina, well known for its narrow streets bursting with outdoor terrace bars flaunting a heady Latina vibe.

Castellana Popular amongst the after-work drinks crowd, Castellana is full of trendy, modern nightclubs, cocktail bars and wine lounges.

So the next time you’re sipping a glass of tinto de verano in Gran Via or digging into a plate of paella from Restaurante del Olivo, be like a local, savor the entire experience as much as you can and you’ll fit in just fine.