Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid)

Posted by: Marie

Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 06/30/00 10:02 PM

I am spending a week or so in Madrid in late July with a friend and we are very concerned about money - we are broke, basically. We have Hostal Lopez (thank god) and now we need to figure out how we will eat. We want to experience Spanish culture and of course the wonderful food but we are hoping that all of you experienced Madrid travelers will know of places to eat that are good but inexpensive. Any ideas?

Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 06/30/00 11:17 PM

Posted by: Eddie

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 07/01/00 08:48 AM

I generally travel 'on the cheap' in Spain: If breakfast isn't included in the lodging price I find a churreria and have chocolate (or cafe) con churros for breakfast. Midday is my big meal, as it is for most Spanish people. One of my favorites is Amarillo, a taverna on C/ Mayor across from Madrid City Hall (Ayuntamiento). The cook is Asturiana and she prepares some hearty meals. Figure on about ESP 1.100 (includes pan y vino).
For the evening I 'make do' with some tapas y un chato de vino or una canya de cerveza.

[This message has been edited by Eddie (edited 07-01-2000).]
Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 07/01/00 12:55 PM

Posted by: Diana

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 07/01/00 03:11 PM

Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 07/01/00 04:57 PM

Posted by: Diana

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 07/01/00 10:41 PM

Madridman, your experience at Hnos. Santiago is one I wish everyone could have! Spain is full of great little restaurants like it. They're all over - you just have to look for them! One of the best I ever ate at was part of a gasoline station on the road to Teruel. Here I thought we were going to eat badly, and now one of my favorite recipes is one I made up based on something I ate there. Hey - what about making a list of the ones people find on their stays in Madrid? It would be a great resource for people visiting, not only those on a budget, but those who just plain like good Spanish food in a comfortable setting. Hnos. Santiago can be a start, and I'd add one called Restaurante Miramar, which is on a side street just off Bravo Murillo - east side - close to metro Tetuan. I haven't been there for about 5 years (I'm on the wrong side of the gran charco now), but we went there a lot for many years before that, and it was great - and super cheap!

And, since you're advertising cookbooks, I'll add my favorite, which my mom found on a bargain table at a US bookstore: The Heritage of Spanish Cooking, by Alicia Rios and Lourdes March. You should get it, Madridman! Not only are the recipes excellent, the book is filled with gorgeous Spanish paintings of food, and it's filled with fascinating information about food in Spain!
Posted by: nicholas

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 07/08/00 04:27 AM

i'll add my favorite secret find story to the list. one of the very best meals i ever ate was when i was in toledo, and completley at random.
i had gone there early on a very cold morning. (it was february)along with my regular clothes and pea coat i had on flannel long underwear. well these things drove me nuts all morning. i was wandering through the cathedral and though "blah, i have to get these things off!!" lucky for me my tummy started growling at that time (1:30) so i away from the cathedral i went and down a hill towards the back end of the juderia. i ducked into what i thought was a small bar but turned out to be a little restaurant with three tables. while i waited i went into the restroom to get rid of the purgatory clothing. the restroom was so small i couldn't stand up in it. anyway, i came back out and was served consome, ensalada judias blancas, and cordoniz escabeche with wine and bread. all for esp 1000. ah twas grand. i just wish i could remember the name of the place!!! =(
Posted by: megia

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 07/08/00 01:30 PM

Posted by: JARABOAN

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 07/09/00 01:11 PM

Cheap places:

Almendro 13
Cava de Pedro in the same street.
Meson de Paredes 12, Antonio Sanchez Tavern.
Posted by: pizzi

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 07/11/00 05:46 PM

well dudes, I like your ideas. my personal favourite has always been patatin patatan, even though its probably not estilo espanol I always found prices pretty attractive, you get a meal of chips, bocadillo and a soft drink/beer for something like 750 ptas. there should be several locations and 2 I've been to are at c/goya esquina (corner) dr. esquerdo and the other at c/ibiza and c/menendez pelayo at the east side of the retiro park - just in case you should be visiting that area.... have fun, I myself will be going back in september - for some great 3 years at least :-)
suerte !
Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 09/29/00 08:21 PM

Hi group (and Diana)! Consider this thread resurrected! You can be SURE that when I get back from Madrid (or while I'm there: Oct.2-18) I'll add A LOT to this thread and many many others!! Museo del Jamon and El Brillante, here I come!!!

Saludos, MadridMan
Posted by: Andrés

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 09/30/00 07:28 AM

Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 01/14/01 07:37 PM

[originally posted by rgf....]

This is the first of many tidbits I am going to pass along from my WONDERFUL 10 days in Spain in January. On Sevilla street (metro: Sevilla, a 3 minute walk from Sol) is a bar/restaurant called HONTANARES. It's been there forever, and has great churros con chocolate. But the real deal is the menu del dia (daily lunch) for only 1500 ptas, which is cheap. And what a meal!! The food is great, includes a huge carafe of red wine (or beer etc), and home made cakes/ice creams etc for dessert. Typical menus include good fish, meats, salads, etc. We ate there every day and I highly recommend the atmosphere (informal, but cloth tablecloths and halogen lights). It has one of those little neon ticker signs outside so you can't miss it, and Sevilla is a short street. Same side of street as hotel asturias.
Posted by: cantabene

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 01/15/01 10:40 AM

I don't know if it's true today. But some years ago the last resort of the penurious, hungry traveler seeking sustenance was the bocadillo de calamares--which becomes a gourmet item if you can afford a cold copa of fino to go with it.
Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 01/15/01 01:11 PM

PLEASE cantabene, you're killing me!! I'm having El Brillante flashbacks and stomach pangs!! ARGH!!!!
Posted by: cantabene

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 01/15/01 02:36 PM

I can understand your anguish. I suffered similarly for years, until I made a dedicated effort to master the basics of Spanish cooking.

The toughest part was finding the ingredients. Eventually I tracked down reliable sources for chorzio and morcilla. And I practiced a lot using the Penelope Casas books. Her book on paellas was a breakthrough for me. I can now boast of being able to whip up a excellent paella in minutes, thanks to Ms. Casas.

I also bought a small electric deep frier, and started buying good olive oil by the gallon. Finding moderately priced sources of fino was a challenge, but even that can be done.

Now, with some squid always in the freezer, along with some shark meat for bienmesabe, and a bottle of fino and good olives always in the fridge, I need never suffer those hunger pangs for long.

Go thou and do likewise. :-)
Posted by: Guida

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 08/03/01 07:08 AM

Thank you for the recommendations on this thread! I went to Diamantino and was great... I didn't have any trouble finding it because they were handing out leaflets outside some museums. But if I hadn't read about it here, I probably would have thought it too good to be true and wouldn't have gone there!
Thanks all!

Guida smile
Posted by: Booklady

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 09/05/01 09:15 PM

I'll be in Madrid for Noche Buena, what restaurant would you all recommend ? Particularly those serving roast suckling pig. A friend recomended Casa Botin in Cuchilleros.
Gracias wink
Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 09/05/01 09:42 PM

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 09/06/01 04:40 AM

I am very fond on NOrthern food. The southern have also some great dishes, but any GAlician, Asturian, Basque, or Castilian will offer you very tasty food.

Like roasted ham, fabada (a stew with beans and sausages and more...), chorizo boiled in cider, partridge, snails, frogs' legs, wonderful fried fish, fish made in casseroles, suckling pig roasted, young lamb cottelettes or leg, steaks, shellfish,..., depending on their homeland specialities.

For roast suckling pig, in Madrid I recommend ANY castilian restaurant (it's a castilian speciality). Just check names containing Segovia (town of the roast suckling pig), asador, or Aranda (a town famous for roasts). With this premises you'll find a lot in Madrid for you to select.

I'll tell you one, not better or worse than the rest, to add a two cent's coin too:
El Segoviano, Ciudad de Barcelona Avenue number 108
Posted by: rere

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 09/29/01 04:39 PM

Marie, for something different try Spanish health food. There is a small store and cafe around the corner from Hostal Lopez . It's northwesterly I think. They serve 3 course healthfood meals for less than $8.oo. I ate there 4 times on my last trip. Have fun.

[ 09-29-2001: Message edited by: MadridMan ]
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 09/29/01 09:16 PM

Posted by: mick nick

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 09/30/01 04:59 AM

La Farfella on c/de Santa Maria in Huertas is the place to try.I never saw people queuing to get into a restaurant at 1.30 am before I went there and me and my wife were the only tourists in there.We ate a 3-course meal with wine , beer and water and it came to about 4000pts for the two of us in perhaps the most atmospheric restaurant in the world.
Posted by: notyor

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 12/18/01 04:13 PM

MadridMan - this has got to be the best thread I have come across on here so far!
I hope you don't mind me putting it back to the top (I'd hate those who only view topics from the last 10 days to miss out!).

I'll be writing many of these places down for my trip to Madrid in January - any more that can be added in the meantime would be much appreciated!

Where can I get the best Calamares in Madrid? (crispy NOT chewy!)
Posted by: vieve

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 12/19/01 04:22 PM

I know that it's been a while since this topic was discussed, but I'm new and would like to add my absolute favorite in Madrid... Platero... it's on calle Espoz y Mina... right off of Puerta Del Sol... last year it was 1.000 pts for the menu del dia which was incredible (soup or salad, main dish, desert and wine/water/soda). There are always olives and bread on the table and the place is run by a family... mom does the cooking, dad is the ONLY waiter, and the daughter is sometimes around to help... 'dad' will call you cielo and carino and remember you when you come back a year later... so if you don't mind spending a little extra time chatting and eating olives while you wait, it's DEFINATELY worth it!!!
Posted by: Ed S

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 12/20/01 06:38 PM

While you may not be looking for food other than Spanish, I can recommend a nice, inexpensive Italian restuarant. Looking for a change of pace last visit, we tried Nabucco at Hortaleza, 108. I came across it in a few travel guides. The pasta was excellent. We had the carbonara and the 4 cheese pasta, both under $10 and incredible. Comes close, even better than some of the dishes I had in Italy. Great pizza too. In fact we will be stopping there again in our next visit this February!

[ 12-22-2001: Message edited by: Antonio ]
Posted by: charlost

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 12/23/01 11:53 AM

Ed s, Nabuco is a good restaurant but in my opinion with a similar cost youll find Don Giovanni, close to Real Theather, a great place to enjoy the italian food.

About spanish food, Casa Botin is excelent. the Guiness book said that is the most antique restaurant in the world (1725)the furnace is over 300 years old eek
Posted by: viequense

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 02/05/03 01:11 PM

Ok, I have to bump this post back up to the top. I now have a long list of places to eat in Madrid.


Posted by: Marie

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 02/05/03 01:28 PM

Posted by: espanglish

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 02/11/03 10:03 AM

Just as an aside--James Michner said in his epic travelogue "Iberica" that any culture that can eat churros and chocolate in the morning has no need to prove its bravery in any other manner. I am just paraphrasing here since I don't have the book with me but you get the idea.

BTW, I am not knocking churros and chocolate. I love them.

Make sure you get out and try all Madrid has to offer but don't forget that you can go to most mercados and get wonderful fresh bread, cold cuts (chorizo, lomo), olives and the best fresh fruit I have ever eaten. Just don't think that you can pick up the fruit and pick out which ones you want--you're liable to get yelled at. Even if you only have a limited Spanish vocabulary you should be able to shop in a corner grocery--un cuarto de kilo de chorizo, tres manzanas get the idea. Get a decent phrase book and you are all set.
Posted by: notyor

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 02/18/17 05:40 PM

Still a great, great thread - I thought it had been about 10 years since I visited Madrid. This suggests it was even longer!

Research gives me the impression Madrid has changed little...
Posted by: pedmar

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 02/19/17 06:25 AM

hey welcome back! wow amazing to bring back this old thread!!!. Indeed in 10 years Madrid has not change much; I go way back so for me it has....back there in August again lol!
Posted by: Espanvol

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 10/10/17 11:50 PM

Is Casa Mingo still operating near Principe Pio?
Posted by: pedmar

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 10/11/17 01:22 PM

of course alive and kicking at Casa Mingo ::)
Posted by: esperanza

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 03/11/18 07:35 PM

I love Casa Mingo! And to go across the street to see Goya's Pantheon
San Antonio de la Florida
Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 08/12/18 05:03 AM

I have to admit that I'm kind of put-off by Casa Mingo now. The lines to get in are sometimes prohibitively long, the service isn't that good anymore (rush, rush, rush) and, well, roasted chicken, beer chorizo, salad and cider is a bit boring. Maybe it's okay to try once because of the place alone - AND ONLY IF you can get a table downstairs. If they put you upstairs, it's defeating the whole purpose of the visit. No reservations OR CREDIT CARDS accepted, as I recall. Parking can be a REAL challenge too and it's not city-center either so reaching it will take some effort, going first to Principe Pio and then walking. The prices aren't bad, but I wouldn't put it in the "Cheap Eats" category.

Saludos, MadridMan
Posted by: pedmar

Re: Cheap Eats - Please help! (Madrid) - 08/14/18 04:11 PM

Casa Mingo is falling pray to its years of popularity like many other places do. I just hope they stay open for the sake of history and not another one of those goners in Madrid.