The 14 Best Places To Eat Paella In Madrid
When done right, Paella, one of the best-known dishes in Spain, is a hearty and satisfying rice dish, combined with either meat or fish and a combination of herbs, spices and vegetables. The challenge in most tourism hotspots is avoiding the gloopy microwave version and searching out the truly authentic Spanish dish. Here we’ll help you do exactly that. Although Paella isn’t a traditional dish in Madrid, you can find great examples of this Valencian cuisine right across the city. Our top tip is to check with the restaurant if advance orders are required. Real Paella can take 3-5 hours to prepare, so if the restaurant isn’t preparing huge amounts in advance, a pre-order may be required.
Casa de Valencia
Casa de Valencia was born in 1975 and inaugurated by the King and Queen of Spain. This is a traditional restaurant, specialising in Valencian paella. They serve a variety of different rice dishes. As well as the traditional Valencian paella, you can also choose a vegetarian or seafood option, or splash out on their signature lobster version.
Paseo del Pintor Rosales, 58
Although a Murcian restaurant, don’t overlook El Caldero when searching out the best Paella in Madrid. Opened 40 years ago when chef Antonio Valero wanted to bring a taste of Murcia to the streets of Madrid. The name ‘El Caldero’ comes from a dish of rice and seafood, cooked on the beach by fishermen at Cabo de Palos. Top of the list is the ‘Paella Alicantina’, served with chicken, clams, squid, vegetables, and prawns. Try their acclaimed rice with Murcian pork and wild mushrooms, or opt for the seafood version, cooked with Mullet from Mar Menor.
Calle de Las Huertas, 15
North of the city centre, Samm has been serving up traditional Valencian Paella since 1973. This reasonably priced restaurant offers takeaway, as well as dining on the inside terrace. The ‘Paella Valenciana’ is their top dish, or the vegetarian ‘paella de verduras’. Finish off with their ever-popular cheesecake.
Calle de Carlos Caamaño, 3
Bar La Gloria
La Gloria opened in 2013 with the stated aim to NOT serve brunch (this was around the time brunch restaurants were spreading like wildfire around the Malasana neighbourhood where the bar is located. The owners wanted to get back to their Valencian roots by simple stating, "There is no brunch here, there is paella". As you’re outside of the main touristic areas, you’ll mainly find locals here experiencing real Valencian Paella, cooked by Valencians. Uniquely, Bar La Gloria only cook up their Paella at noon on Sundays, prepared with chicken, rabbit and vegetables. If you’re not lucky enough to be visiting on a Sunday, you can choose from a wide selection of Andalusian dishes.
Calle del Noviciado, 2
Socarratt Valencian Food
This is a truly Valencian restaurant, so expect the classic version of Paella to be served up here. This small venue sticks to traditional technique and ingredients. Seating is limited so you are advised to order in advance, or you can opt for their takeaway service. The traditional Valencian Paella is served with Chicken, rabbit, artichoke, green beans and garrofón beans. They also offer vegetarian versions or for something a little different, try the paella served with black pudding, pork chop and chickpeas.
Calle de San Marcos, 2
Que Si Quieres Arroz Catalina
One of the more expensive Paella restaurants in Madrid but as the reviews will tell you, this Paella is worth the price. Literally translated as ‘if you want some rice’ this is the place to go. Around 30 minutes outside of the city centre, you’ll need to order your paella in advance is it takes 3 hours to prepare. The traditional paella is served with chicken, rabbit, sugar snap peas and when in season it also comes with the snails.
Palacio de la Misión, Calle Principal de Provincias, 9
Ordering in advance is recommended at El Garbi, located in the Cuzco area of Madrid. This is a modern looking restaurant, offering a varied choice of rise dishes. The signature is the ‘El Pinoso’ the traditional Valencian version served with rabbit, snails, and rosemary. The Paella is cooked and plated up at a central podium in the restaurant so diners can watch them being prepared.
El Garbí, Calle Infanta Mercedes 92, Madrid, Spain
La Bomba is a relatively new chain of restaurants, specialising solely on rice dished. More of an informal place to eat, this restaurant was opened by Cristina Querol and Christoph Pais in 2013 in the Charmartin area of the city. Choose from a variety including Leek, duck and artichoke, prawn, or vegetable. La Bomba gives a modern twist to this traditional dish.
One of the oldest restaurants on our list, The Solis family have been serving traditional Valencian cuisine at La Barraca since 1935. You can choose from 16 different rice dishes. The décor is traditional and cosy, with a warm, friendly ambience. You obviously need to try the Valencian Paella, but if you visit more than once, try the braised pork cheeks.
Reina Street, 29 – 28004 Madrid
Tres en Lavapies
Liliana, Fabio and Adrián serve traditional, affordable Paella from Tres en Lavapies 7 days a week. Paella is popular here on Sundays so get there early to bag a prime spot on the terrace. They also have an extensive choice of pasta, pizza, and meat dishes to choose from.
Address: Calle de Lavapiés, 16
Taberna el Arco
Rice is the speciality at Taberna el Arco, along with tapas and tortillas. Even though the restaurant is in the heart of the tourist district, the quality is good, and the staff friendly. Try the Paella with squid ink, which goes perfectly with a jug of sangria.
Calle de las Huertas, 7
Rosi La Loca Taberna
Although a tapas bar, you can get reasonably priced Paella from Rosi La Loca. You can order individual tasting portions of their paella, a great choice if pairing it with a few of the local wines or beers on offer. This colourful restaurant offers “The Joy of The Garden, Flavours of The Sea”.
Calle de Cádiz, 4
Mercado do San Miguel
Mercado de San Miguel describes itself as a monument to Spanish cuisine, hosting over 10 million visitors every year. This is about as touristic as it gets in Madrid, but this hub of gastronomy is home to one of the best food markets in the region, with the finest hams, seafood and vegetables brought in every day. You can spend time browsing the stalls before stopping at Paella by Rodrigo de la Calle, a michelin star chef adding a personal touch to centuries old recipes. Try the Spanish Paella, the signature dish.
One of the highest rated restaurants in Madrid, Casa Beningna is a small family restaurant that has been serving some of the best Paella dishes in Madrid since 1990. The rice dishes here are actually served in a Patella, similar to a Paella but without the handles. This is possibly the best kept secret in Madrid. The restaurant is worth visiting just for the eclectic décor and style, it’s hard to find, and you may need to knock on the door to be let in. It is a small restaurant so expect to be elbow to elbow with your dining companions, the ambience is more akin to a dinner party at a friend’s house than a meal at a restaurant Customers recommend the smoked salmon starter and chocolate mousse to finish.
Calle Benigno Soto 9, 28002 Madrid Spain
Now you've chosen your perfect paella restaurant, you'll need a A few paella facts to impress your travelling companions while you wait for your order to arrive :)
- Paella is considered by most tourists to be the national dish of Spain. Although popular across the country with a number of local variations, the dish hails from Valencia, where ‘Paella’ refers to the wide pan used in its preparation
- Paella was originally a meal served at lunchtime to farm workers, and was usually served with onion tomatoes and snails, along with eel, rabbit, or duck.
- 1840 was the first recorded instance of the dish itself being referred to as ‘Paella’
- Seafood Paella, or ‘paella de marisco’ is also considered an authentic version of the dish, though historically was only really served on the coast
- The largest Paella every prepared was in 1992, when Valencian chef Juan Galbis fed 100,000 people
- Outside of Spain, chorizo is often included as an ingredient in Paella, but this is considered scandalous
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