Madrid’s Best Casual Dining

“Foodie” Gastro Bars in the Retiro District

Where Iberian Traveler Dines

Rather than slogging down the always packed tapas bar filled Cava Baja, we highly recommend for a more authentic, non-touristy tapas crawl, or casual gourmet sit-down meal, visitors to the city find their way to the upmarket residential area just east of Retiro Park.  This neighborhood has by far the best taverns per square meter in the entire city, the city’s “golden mile”, for small plates style dining.
Head to the streets of Doctor Castelo, Menorca, Avenida Menéndez Pelayo and Ibiza for great food, fair wine prices, and with each glass of wine, a complimentary small tapa.  
This is the district where we always do our own tapas crawl or casual dining, as the cuisine and ambience are more sophisticated than those found in the La Latina’s more traditional, tourist-filled bars.  The gastro bars/neo tascas here cater to the well-heeled, food-savvy, local crowd, including food bloggers/professional critics, and chefs on their nights out.