Tapas are a great introduction to Spanish cuisine and they come in all different forms and prices. The smallest size is a tapa, followed by a media racion, and a racion is a larger portion (usually to share). Some popular tapas are tortilla de patatas, calamares, jamon serrano, and croquetas. Some bars offer a free tapa when you order something to drink. In restaurants you can order portions of tapas from €3 to €6. One of the most atmospheric areas to try tapas is La Latina, where the streets are packed with a variety of different bars.
Churros are another specialty of Spain, and you can find a lot of people eating these around 10.30am - 11.00am, when it is time for a second breakfast.
Besides restaurants that serve typical Spanish dishes, there are many restaurants serving food from all over the globe. In Lavapiés in particular you can find many Asian and African restaurants, while Chinese restaurants are a common sight all over the city.
The best time to have your main meal is at lunch time, which is at about 2:00pm in the Madrid region. Many restaurants offer a set menu on weekdays, which often includes bread and wine, for a very reasonable price (usually around €10-12). Most restaurants will close after lunch around 4:00pm, and will re-open for dinner around 9:00pm, but most Madrileños won't eat their dinner before 10:00pm or later.
Around Sol and Gran Via you can find many places that offer a all you can eat Buffet deal.
On Calle Lavapiés you will find 6 or 7 Indian restaurants. Anarkoli, Calle Lavapiés 46, is maybe a bit more expensive than the neighboring ones, but it also outclasses the others, as it comes to the quality of the food.
Restaurante Teatriz (Calle Hermosilla, 15) is an elegant option. Located inside a former theatre, it offers a wide range of spaces: a fancy restaurant, a tapas bar, a sushi bar and a cocktail lounge. With more than 20 years of history, it is one of the most unique places to eat in the city.
In Madrid there are a lot of place that offer a cheap lunch for workers. As it is really common in Spain to receive lunch tickets from your employer many Madrileños spend their lunch break by having a meal outside of the office. Most places will have a menu of the day, with a selected choice of a starter and a main course. A drink and a dessert are usualy included in the price. The maximum for a meal like this varies between €8 and €11. Which is a good deal, but expect simple and fast to prepare food.
Near Metrostop Torre Arias:
Restaurant Rast, Calle de Cronos, 8
Menu of 6 starters, and 6 main courses - €10 (ordered after 1:30pm: €10.50)
Near metrostop Suanzes:
Sabores, Calle de Albasanz 53
Menu of 4 starters, and 4 main courses - €9.30
Near metrostop Delicias and Legazpi:
Teleparilla (Argentinian). Jaime el Conquistador 31 - €9.80
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