C/ Caballero De Gracia 8
tel: 913 605 608
Still not too sure on the name, but this place definitely draws attention. Half kaitenzushi or conveyor belt style and sit down, what’s nice about this establishment is you can start eating as soon as you get there, as long as something comes around that appeals to you. Rumor has it that this place is cheap, though when we went we spent as much as we usually do at Nagoya. One perk here is free miso soup refills. Other reasons people go here: the cooks are bright, friendly, and at least the young lady who seemed to be in charge is Japanese and speaks extremely good Spanish. The decoration here also helps: there is something that rings Bladerunner about this place.
All wait staff and chefs are smiley, helpful and quick. I’d suggest a perfect time to go would be around 8:45 pm, just before the crowd arrives (or apply the same theory to lunch time). Expect to spend around 50 euros for 2 here.
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By John Kernis
The annual Christmas Market in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor will be alive and kicking from November 28th to the 31st of December. More than 100 stalls sell wigs, gadgets and other accessories for christmas time. The market has been a part of the Christmas spirit in Madrid since 1860. For more information, click here.
The San Silvestre Vallecana is the annual 10K run through the Vallecas district of the city. The run is on December 31st and has been a tradition in the capital city since 1964. The route begins on Calle Concha Espina and finishes close to metro Portazgo. For more information, click here.
From December 6th to the 30th, Warner Park in Madrid is the place to go if you’re looking for some family fun. There is a Christmas parade, fireworks, music and of course snow and Santa! Day pass €35 concessions €26.50; disabled €17; under 5s free Afternoon pass €26.50; concessions €17; disabled €8.50; under 5s free Opening Hours: Weekends and public holidays 11am-7pm/8pm. For more information, click here
C / Avila 14
tel: 91 572 2304
This unexpected nook of a restaurant is closer to Kyoto than any other in town. When I walked in I had the sense that the place had recently opened until I saw a sign on the wall celebrating 33 years open in Madrid. The young grandma like host runs the show, takes your order and makes everything seem ordinary. A strange kind of “Oh, you’re here again, welcome!” type of vibe comes off her, even for first timers. The interior is not exciting but it is intimate. You feel like you’re in someone’s living room waiting to be served. The intimacy also comes from the size of the place, with no more than seven or eight tables (plus sushi bar) in the whole restaurant.
Tofu is big here, and the nigiri and maki are simple, straightforward and good. It’s likely that you won’t know what some things are on the menu, which is why this is just the place I recommend you try a variety of things. Definitely come with an open mind, and let grandma recommend some dishes. Expect to pay about 45 – 50 euros here for 2 people.
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By John Kernis