Tierra Burrito Bar

What do you get when you combine fresh, affordable food, craft beers and two cool central Madrid locations? You get Tierra Burrito Bar. Anyone familiar with the Southwestern part of the U.S. knows how much we love our Tex-Mex food. For me, stepping into Tierra was like taking a short trip back home because before Tierra, getting a decent burrito was practically impossible in Madrid.

Tierra Burrito Bar at Calle Sagasta

Tierra Burrito Bar at Calle Sagasta

Tierra is like the cool, hip sister of the U.S. based Chipotle restaurant. You start by choosing between a burrito, 3 corn tacos or the naked burrito (burrito bowl) and then go on to select your ingredients of choice (chicken, beef, pork or vegetarian). From there, you can choose to include rice, beans and a variety of delicious sauces ranging from mild to the spiciest sauce that is made from habanero peppers and jalepeños.

A delicious burrito with a side of guacamole from Tierra Burrito

A delicious burrito with a side of guacamole from Tierra Burrito

But what makes this an especially great place to go is the laid-back setting. They’ve taken great care to make it a cool place to hang out, and in true Spain style, you don’t feel rushed. The kitchen is open all day and the location in on Calle Sagasta is a great option if you’re looking for a casual and affordable place for large groups. Another reason to check this place out are the prices, a burrito and drink will set you back about 8 euros, a bargain! Currently, there are two locations, the original Tierra is in the neighborhood of Moncloa and the newest location is in Chamberi, near Alonso Martinez.

When: Open Monday to Thursday from 12:30pm to 12:30am

Fridays and Saturdays from 12:30pm to 2:30am

Sundays from 12:30pm to 12:30am

 

Where: Calle Guzman el  Bueno 52 (Metro Moncloa or Islas Filipinas)

or the second location at Calle Sagasta 30 (Metro Alonso Martinez)

 

Thanksgiving in Madrid

Image via Rubaiyat

Image via Rubaiyat

Just because you’re in Madrid, doesn’t mean you have to skip out on a delicious Thanksgiving meal. Thanksgiving has become a pretty well known yearly event here. A few years ago, you could hardly find anyone serving Thanksgiving meals, unless they were pre-arranged with the Expat clubs. Now, there are a variety of restaurants (and price ranges) where you can go to get your Thanksgiving fix. For all of these restaurants, it is highly recommended that you CALL AHEAD and make a reservation. Whether you’re want to go for a nice dinner out or are searching for some last minute Thanksgiving ingredients, we’ve got just the list of places in Madrid where you can find just what you are looking for.

Restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner in Madrid

(Click the names of the restaurants to be taken to the website)

Carmencita Bar 

This neighborhood hang-out is owned and operated by an Americana who now lives in Madrid. This cozy restaurant has now become a favorite for their brunch menu, but they also offer Thanksgiving dinner as well as take-out turkeys in case you are hosting Thanksgiving at your place.

San Vicente Ferrer, 51

915 23 80 73

Restaurante Cornucopia

This restaurant has offered a traditional Thanksgiving meal for years. Its pretty spacious and accommodates strollers/wheelchairs. They also have an English-language website.

43Euros per person

Calle Navas de Tolosa, 9

91 521 3896

Image via Clarita Restaurant

Image via Clarita Restaurant

Restaurante Clarita

Restaurante Clarita has a contemporary feel and makes for a good choice if you’re looking for a grown-up dinner that’s not overly fancy. Their Thanksgiving meal includes pumpkin soup, turkey, green beans, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes.
35 Euros per person plus beverages

Corredera Baja de San Pablo 19

The Hard Rock Café

The Hard Rock Cafe is great for large groups, especially those with kids as you’ll find plenty of space for strollers and they have high chairs.

Paseo de la Castellana, 2, Madrid

914 36 43 40

Pecado Carnal

This restaurant has various locations in Madrid and specializes in grilled meats, but their restaurant in the Chamberi neighborhood offers an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving menu.

Calle Covarrubias, número 24

914 456 886

Image via Rubaiyat

Image via Rubaiyat

Rubaiyat

Rubaiyat will offer a special Thanksgiving menu that includes appetizers, cream of corn soup, turkey with all of the fixings and pumpkin pie.

55 € per person (wine included)

Calle Juan Ramon Jimenez, 37

913 59 10 00

New York Burger
Here, you’ll find some of the best burgers in Madrid. In honor of Thanksgiving, they are doing a special turkey burger menu which includes cranberry sauce and potatoes. There are two locations, one by Retiro Park and one near the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Calle General Yagüe, 5

Paseo de Recoletos, 4

Image via The Ritz

Image via The Ritz

The Ritz Hotel

Should you want the ultimate in luxury, you need look no further than the Ritz. This year, they’re offering pumpkin soup, turkey with sweet potato puree and blueberry parfait

€59 per person (beverages not included)

917 01 6767

Plaza de la Lealtad, 5

Where to find Thanksgiving ingredients

Taste of America

This has become one of the most reliable places to find Thanksgiving items. Here you can find everything from ready-made pies to Stove top Stuffing. This is their busiest season, so call ahead and reserve your items. You can also order online and have them delivered.

El Corte Ingles

El Corte Ingles is a convenient option simply because they have various locations throughout Madrid. If you want to cook, you can find uncooked, cleaned turkeys at any El Corte Ingles grocery stores, also called Hipercor.

El Sabroso

If you want to skip the hassle of cooking a turkey, you can order a roasted turkey at El Sabroso, but make sure to call ahead to ensure availability.

Sabores del Mundo

This store has an abundance of ingredients from all over the world. Here you’ll find everything from canned pumpkin to curry spices. They also offer delivery in case you are not able to go to their physical location.

 

 

 

Lavapiés and Its Market – the Real Food Emporium!

 

Greek olives at the market

Greek olives at the market

Madrid’s El Mercado de San Fernando, or “el mercado de Lavapiés”, as it is more commonly known, is a vibrant indoor market where bars selling imported German beers, local Spanish wines, Italian breads, sushi, homemade Greek food, oysters and much, much more are nestled in right alongside the cobbler, grocer and butcher.

Local wine cellars

Local wine cellars

German beer

German beer

La Pistola

La Pistola

Oysters with green peppers

Oysters with green peppers

Washoka

Washoku

 As in all big cities, neighborhoods go in and out of style as fast as Zara’s storefronts. Madrid is no exception. Once considered a dodgier side of town, Lavapies is fast becoming the city’s newest nightlife destination, attracting Madrid’s trendiest young hipster crowds. Great restaurants and bars, from urban chic to authentic Moroccan, are interspersed within the demographic makeup of the neighborhood. And the prices are still modest in comparison to other hotspots like Malasaña and Chueca.

Fuet wrapped in paper

Fuet wrapped in paper

Carneceria

Carneceria

All neighborhoods of Madrid have their local markets. Many, especially in the more upscale areas, have been refurbished and turned into fashionable displays of Spain’s haute cuisine, such as Mercado de San Miguel and Mercado de San Anton. But in 2012, Mercado de San Fernando — el mercado de Lavapiés — decided to reinvent itself making it more reflective of the eclectic tastes of its host neighborhood. Unlike the others, Lavapiés’ market has managed to embrace the new while maintaining its laid-back, local and traditional essence.

The carniceria at Bond 40

The carniceria at Bond 40

Greek olives and olive oil

Greek olives and olive oil

The streets of Lavapiés are lined with Indian restaurants, hipster cafés and independent boutiques, and its market is just as diverse as all the small alleys and plazuelas surrounding it. Here you will find a wonderful mix of traditional Spanish shops and foreign options. The fruit-seller and the good old Bar Barroso blend happily together with the higher-end oyster/wine bar, Bond 40, and the stylish leather handbag maker.

Bar Barroso

Bar Barroso

Leather handbag maker

Leather handbag maker

Mojitos at Bond 40

Mojitos at Bond 40

When I first went to Mercado de San Fernando, it was by chance. I was walking up Calle Embajadores and stumbled upon a rather austere building with a grey facade. Little did I know that I was about to slip through the market’s winding aisles to discover stands selling quiches and empanadas, as well as full bars crowded with patrons from all walks of life–families with children, the older generation, groups of hipsters, foreigners and locals alike.

The facade of the market

The facade of the market

La Sal

La Sal

Lasaña Vegetal

Lasaña Vegetal

Quiche

Quiche

I like to start off by browsing through the market’s many stands, and graze a bit before I settle down at the German bar for an imported beer. Then I head over to the Greek’s for dinner–moussaka, kalamata olives, feta cheese and spinach pie. It just doesn’t get any better than that. For me, that is. For you, who knows?

Though the possibilities are endless when it comes to food, here you can expect, above all, a great ambience. Judging from the live music and boisterous company I experienced the last time I went, it’s safe to say that the word is out.

To check out Madrid’s other great markets, read New Markets of Madrid.

Information:

Facebook

Metro: Embajadores/Lavapiés (yellow line 3)

Address: C/ Embajadores, 41

Email: mercadosanfernandomadrid@gmail.com

Schedule:

Mon: Fri: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Sat: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sun: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

 

In love with Dray Martina

Image via Dray Martina

Image via Dray Martina

Dray Martina has only been open for a couple of months and is quickly becoming the place to go in Madrid for an intimate night with friends or a romantic dinner for two. The simple tables and vintage chairs fit in quite nicely with the rest of the décor. And while the setting is nice during the day, you’ll be in for a treat at night when they turn down the lights and turn on the candlelights at each table.

This is part of the Madrid in Love designers so you’ll find similar features as one of our other favorites, Maricastaña restaurant. The kitchen at Dray Martina opens early for breakfast (8:30am) stays open all day long.

Image via Dray Martina

Image via Dray Martina

Here, the food is a mix of Spanish and contemporary. The menu has classic items like croquetas that are made with spinach and a type of ham that make for some of the best croquetas we’ve ever tasted! We also tried the Pez mantequilla (fish with butter sauce), the buffalo mozzarella salad and the pulpo (octopus). All of the food items we tried were delicious and the service was wonderful! They staff there are all very kind, patient and a couple of them even try to explain menu items in English. The prices are quite reasonable, we paid  about 25€ each person for a starter, a main and a glass of excellent red wine. They post their menu del dia (fixed lunch menu) on their twitter account each day. Make sure to call ahead and make a reservation!

Where: Dray Martina is located on Calle Argensola, 7
Metro: Alonso Martinez
When: Open Monday to Thursday from 8:30am to 2am
Friday from 8:30am to 2:30am
Saturday from 10am to 2:30am
Sunday from 10am to 2am
Telephone: +34 910 810 056

La Zaguina: A Charming Spanish Restaurant with Generous Tapas, Flamenco and Good Service

If you’re looking to dine in a real Spanish restaurant, then La Zaguina is the perfect choice. Here you can expect a three-hour dinner with plentiful portions and live flamenco, or delight in a boisterous bar with overflowing tapas and ever-running beer on tap and wine by the glass or bottle.

The only thing tailored to non-Spanish speakers is that reservations, menus, and the good service are all offered in English, thanks to the owners Santiago and Franco, and to Vitto, the waiter!

In one of the most genuine neighborhoods of Madrid–Chamberí–La Zaguina stands out for its intimacy, charm and excellent cuisine. It’s Andalusian décor invites you in with framed photographs of old Spain scattered over the walls amid fresh flower pots and traditional tablecloths.

Inside La Zaguina

Inside La Zaguina

With flavors from the North and the feel of the South, La Zaguina offers a variety of authentic Spanish dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as nightly flamenco performances. What’s more, with every drink you order you get to choose from a bountiful array of tapas such as boquerones en vinagre (white anchovies) and different types of sausage–butifarra, chistorra and chorizo.

Boquerones

Boquerones

A variety of tapas to choose from

A variety of tapas to choose from

For breakfast, neighborhood dwellers and businessmen file in as early as 7am for a quick coffee with toast or a pastry. If you go for un almuerzo (brunch) from 10am-12pm, I suggest you order un mollete, a typical Andalusian toasted bread roll topped with Iberian ham and olive oil, plus a café con leche and zumo de naranja natural (fresh-squeezed orange juice).

A mollete at La Zaguina

A mollete at La Zaguina

For lunch, call ahead to reserve a table as its the busiest time of day. La Zaguina offers two different set lunch menus — the standard for 12.50€ and the “executive” for 20€ — in which you can choose from three starters and three main dishes, and it comes with bread, a drink, and a coffee or an assortment of homemade desserts. Typical dishes include garbanzos with tripe, stuffed red peppers with cod, pork tenderloin, and swordfish. The set lunch menu is posted daily online, where you can also make reservations.

For dinner, you can choose from four set dinner menus ranging in price from 20-45€ or order a la carte, and you can also call ahead to request a flamenco performance from 8:15pm-8:45pm (no extra charge!).

For adventurous eaters who want a taste of Spanish cuisine, the owners recommend ordering off the set menus and sharing.

If you’re new to Spanish cuisine and fancy a lighter dinner, don’t worry, you can order a la carte from a wide range of cheeses, salads such as octopus salad, or salad with goat cheese and nuts, appetizers including gazpacho and salmorejo (a typical cold tomato soup from Cordoba), and main dishes like paella. You can also choose media raciones or raciones (half or full-size platters).

I went to La Zaguina for dinner with my husband, James, and we arrived at 8pm for the flamenco performance. James ordered a beer and I ordered a glass of albariño (white wine from Galicia), which came with a plate of orejas de cerdo (pig ears) and canapés with Iberian ham.

The flamenco performance was the perfect half hour show. Tucked in the corner were the guitarist, dancer, cantaora (female singer) and the internationally acclaimed cantaor (male singer), Pablo Orellana, who dances quite famously, too.

The Flamenco singers at La Zaguina

The Flamenco performers at La Zaguina

After the performance, our dinner began. We both ordered the 20€ menu, as recommended by our waiter, Juan. The starters are meant to be shared, and in our case we ate an assortment of croquettes, fried calamari and revuelto de morcilla (scrambled eggs with blood sausage). Hardly light, but delicious. After our main dishes of steak with potatoes and sea bass with garlic and roasted red peppers, we ordered homemade natillas for dessert (similar to pudding).

Steak

Steak with potatoes

 

Seabass

Seabass with garlic and roasted red peppers

Dessert

Natillas for dessert

By the time we finished it was already midnight, the perfect time to top off with a gin tonic.

Gin Tonic

Gin Tonic

All in all, a great night in Madrid.

Information:

Website: www.lazaguina.es

Where: Calle Rafael Calvo, 36

Metro: Rubén Darío

Telephone: 917023997

Email: lazaguina@lazaguina.es

Online reservations

Price Range for Dinner — 20-30€