That world-famous yellow rice. The most well-known dish of the Spanish cuisine and the quintessential dish on Sundays. Although not everything earns the right to be called “original Valencian paella”. There has always been a debate about what is “authentic paella” and what is just “rice with things”. It’s kind of funny to see the experts making statements about whether you can mix meat and fish, whether you should add onions or about whether you should use water or broth.
But, something we can all agree on is that paella requires time, care and quality ingredients. With this in mind, we can highly recommend these seven restaurants where you can eat the best paella in Madrid. Go on a Sunday or not, it’s your choice!
Address: Calle Reina, 29
Price Range: €€
La Barraca is a family restaurant specializing in delicious rice and paella that opened its doors in 1935. It is located right in the center of Madrid, in the Chueca neighborhood, and it is decorated with ceramics and souvenirs from Valencia. We can confirm it has an excellent quality-price ratio. Of the infinite types of rice that can be cooked, they prepare here it in 17 different ways. Whether you are more of a seafood person, love traditional or vegetable paella, or you prefer to try new things, this is your place. Its motto is “discover the pleasure of simplicity well done.” How does that sound to you??
Address: Calle Manuela Malasaña, 5 and Calle San Marcos, 2
Price Range: €
Chueca and Malasaña are two neighborhoods that every traveler should visit during their stay in Madrid, and you are lucky because there is a Socarratt restaurant in both. Now, what is ‘socarrat’? It’s that slightly burnt part of the paella, that crispy layer that many foreigners leave stuck to the edges and bottom of the pan, sacrilege! Surely, they think that it is not meant to be eaten, but in reality, this part is a well-appreciated delicacy. The Valencian is always going to ask for ‘un poco de socarrat’ on his plate, so trust those who know and ask for it with your meal. Their paella is made by Valencians and the best part, it’s only €8.50 a plate! Eating well was never so easy…
Credit: Socarratt Web
TABERNA EL ARCO
Address: Calle de las Huertas, 7
Price Range: €€
This family tavern serves tapas and rations of Spanish cuisine, but their specialty is rice and tortillas. The name frequently appears in any compilation of the best paella in Madrid. And although it is in an area frequented by tourists, the quality of the food and the friendliness and attention of its staff also attracts the locals. Go ahead and try their black paella (made with squid ink) something as different as it is tasty. The place is small so go ahead and book in advance, you can walk in a few minutes from the hostel!
Credit: Taberna El Arco Facebook
ROSI LA LOCA TABERNA
Address: Calle de Cádiz, 4
Price Range: €€
Rosi La Loca is a colorful tapas bar very close to Puerta del Sol which is popular for its combination of classic Spanish tapas and newer dishes. And although we are in love with all of their dishes, travelers agree that their paella is “authentic and delicious”. As you know, paella usually is meant to serve two, but here you can order a tasting for one person if you’re visiting on your own. It is a restaurant to visit again and again as it has good and quality food, with quick and pleasant service. Another good option is to try their daily menu, which costs less than €13.
Credit: Rosi la Loca Facebook
MERCADO DE SAN MIGUEL
Address: Plaza de San Miguel
Price Range: €€
Many might think that a touristy place where to eat in Madrid is the Mercado de San Miguel. This place is one of the best places in Madrid to eat good paella, however, we are sorry to say, YOU ARE WRONG! In the stand Paella by Rodrigo de la calle, they work with the best products chosen according to the season of the year. That’s why the result is always top-notch: traditional seafood paella, mixed paella, vegetable paella, and various other types of rice such as black rice and “crust rice.” We assure you that once you try it you’ll want to come back!
Credit: Mercado de San Miguel Web
Address: Calle Benigno Soto, 9
Price Range: €€€
It is one of the best restaurants to eat paella in Madrid but please note that prices are quite high. However, you will definitely dream of those flavors for the rest of your life, as everything is exquisite. Casa Benigna is a family restaurant that has been satisfying the most sophisticated tastes since 1990. Its owner is charming and enjoys explaining to customers the characteristics of the rice. One of the peculiarities is that they serve their rice dishes in a “patella” that is similar to the typical paella pan, but without handles and thicker, which helps it maintains the heat better. Its decoration draws everyone’s attention and with a good reason!
Credit: Casa Benigna Facebook