It’s possible to find just about any kind of cuisine and eatery in Madrid, from ageless traditional to trendy fusion. Madrid is a focal point of cooking from around the country and is particularly renowned for seafood.From the chaotic tapas bars of La Latina to countless neighbourhood favourites, you’ll have no trouble tracking down specialities like cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig) or cocido madrileño (a hearty stew made of beans and various animals’ innards).
La Gloria de Montera
(Calle del Caballero de Gracia 10) Minimalist style, tasty Mediterranean dishes and great prices mean that you’ll probably have to wait in line to eat here.
La Finca de Susana
(Calle de Arlabán 4) A well-priced mix of Spanish and international fare makes this a highly popular choice with locals and tourists. The softly lit dining area is bathed in greenery and draws a hip young crowd.
(Calle de las Huertas 18)has been around since 1827. The secret to its endurance is vermouth on tap, excellent tapas and fine sit-down meals.
Viva La Vida
(Costanilla de San Andrés 16) This organic food shop has as its centrepiece an enticing vegetarian buffet with hot and cold food that’s always filled with flavour.
Ribeira Do Miño
(Calle de la Santa Brigida 1) The mariscada de la casa is a platter of seafood so large that even the hungriest of visitors will leave satisfied.
Madrileños live life on the streets, and barhopping is a pastime enjoyed by young and old alike. If you’re looking for a traditional bar, head to the Huertas district or La Latina. For an edgier feel and a gay-friendly crowd, hit Chueca. Malasaña is the place for alternative and grunge locales. In summer, the terrace bars that pop up all over the city are unbeatable.
Café del Nuncio
(Calle de Segovia 9) Lace curtains and red-wood panelling set the tone at this bustling bar. In summer, the outdoor terrace is divine.
(Gran Vía) A timeless classic popular with socialites and film stars, the Museo Chicote has a lounge atmosphere late at night and a stream of famous faces all day.
(Plaza de Santa Ana 6) A classic and classy watering hole, this place is famous for its cold, frothy beers and delicious tapas. It was one of Hemingway’s haunts.
Taberna de Dolores
(Plaza de Jesús 4; mAntón Martín) Here since 1908, this delightful little bar smothered in tiles has beer and wine flowing freely, along with sea salty anchovies.
(Calle de Echegarary 7) Your sherry (in several varieties) is poured straight from dusty wooden barrels and your tab literally chalked up on the bar itself.
You’ll be dancing until dawn in Madrid’s numerous clubs. Some big-name clubs are concentrated around Gran Vía, although Chueca, Malasaña and Huertas are good bets, too.
(Calle del Arenal 9; Sol) Special international student nights and other theme nights bring the big crowds to this converted mansion near the Puerta del Sol.
Teatro Joy Eslava
(Calle del Arenal 11; Sol) Housed in a 19th century neoclassical theatre, Joy hosts lots of theme parties and student nights. It’s a megaclub, but can still be a good place to meet people.
(Calle de San Dimas 3; 10pm-6am Thu-Sat; Noviciado) One of the most eclectic nightclubs in Madrid, Siroco does everything from reggae to acid jazz, from 1970s pop to funk, house and hip-hop. It’s a good place to hear local music, too.
(Calle de Atocha 125; Atocha) This massive seven-storey nightclub has something for everyone: from cocktail bars and dance music to karaoke, salsa, hip-hop and more chilled spaces for R&B and soul.