10 Amazing International Food Experiences in Madrid


By: Rhea Baliwala

Top international foods to eat in Madrid, Spain
Coming from a country where every region has a different variety of food to offer, food was naturally an important part of growing up. So, when I first moved to Madrid by taking the International TEFL Academy Madrid course in January 2016 , I decided that I had to learn everything about Madrileño food culture - the Tapas, the Tinto verano, The Tortillas de patata, the Croquettes, the Chorizos, the Lenteja - all of it.

But after three months of exploring amazing Spanish food, I realized that Madrid, being a multicultural city, has a lot of amazing restaurants from the other parts of the world as well.

My first quest was to explore South American food. Spanish being the common thread that connects them, not to my surprise I found plenty of South American restaurants in Madrid across all budget levels.

(Please note: The approx budget is for food only, and drinks are not included in the price unless it is a Menú del dia i.e. Meal of the day)

 Food to try while living in Spain

Here below are few of my favorites:

1. Colombian

a. La Fonda de Colombia
Location: Calle de Ferroviarios, 27
Ambiance: Formal
Approx Budget for two: 35 - 40 euros
Things to try: Bandeja Paisa, Empanadas and Arepa

b. La Manyula
Location: Plaza de Cascorro 1
Ambiance: Casual
Approx Budget for two: 25- 30 euros à la carte; the Menú del dia is 12 euros per person
Things to try: They have very good Empanadas and their Menú del dia is definitely worth a try.

(Menú del dia is a meal of the day typically served all across Spain on weekdays during lunch hours. It includes a starter, a main course, dessert, a drink and bread) - Best bang for the buck and you can never leave the table without your stomach full.

You can also try the Sancocho which is a traditional soup with corn and often meat as well.

peruvian cuisine in Madrid, Spain 2. Peruvian

Cevicheria Mar Picante
Location: Calle San Joaquin 4
Ambiance: Cosy and casual
Approx Budget for two: The Menú del dia is 10 euros per person on a weekday and 12 euros on weekends
Things to try: Menú del dia. The Ceviche is definitely worth a try among the starter options and forthe main course do not miss Aji de Gallina.

 teach english spain madrid

3. Venezuelan

Arepa Ole
Location: Calle postas 26
Ambiance: Very casual
Approx Budget for two: 15 euros max
Things to try: This is a very local joint that sells amazing Venezuelan - Arepas

(Arepas is a type of food made of ground maize dough or cooked flour and can be topped or filled with meat, eggs, tomatoes, salad, cheese, shrimp, or fish depending on the meal)


4. Mexican

a. Taquería Mi Ciudad
Location: Calle de las Fuentes 11
Ambiance: Cosy and casual
Approx Budget for two: 20 - 25 euros

Things to try: They have the widest variety of tacos that I have come across in Madrid. The ones I like are Cochinita Pibil , Carnitas and Lengua. The Margherita is definitely worth a try too.

b. Comete Mexico
Location: Calle del General Pardinas 12
Ambiance: Fine dining
Approx Budget for two: 30 - 35 euros

Things to try: Flautas de pollo, Gringa de pastor and Tacos al pastor con queso. For drinks definitely try the Jarritos. They are typically Mexican and come in different flavors like Mango, Guava etc.

Another restaurant worth a mention is La Mordida. Very typical Mexican ambiance with colourful furniture and painted walls. Approx meal for two would be 40 euros or more. So it could be an expensive compared to the other options.. I would strongly recommend their Nachos with Guacamole. Simply delicious!

Next I decided to explore food from other parts of Europe.....

teach english spain madrid5. Greek

Location: Calle Apodaca 20
Ambiance: Fine dining
Approx Budget for two: 40-50 euros if you order à la carte. The menu was 15 euros each.
Things to try: Baked eggplants, Suckling lamb with walnuts and honey. For desserts definitely try the Walnut cake with olive oil and off course the infamous Greek Yogurt.


6. Italian

Location: Calle de Hortaleza 4
Ambiance: Very Casual
Approx Budget for two: 15 euros
Things to try: You can pick any of their pizzas and you will not be disappointed. Their Lasagna is delicious too.

7. French

Le Petit Prince
Location: Calle de Fernan Gonzalez 7
Ambiance: Fine Dining
Approx Budget for two: 30 euros
Things to try: Menú del dia

And finally decided to explore some food closer to home:


teach english spain madrid8. Indian

Location: Calle de Lope de Rueda 19
Ambiance: Fine dining
Approx Budget for two: 40 euros
Things to try: For starters try the Tandoori mixed grill. For the main course, any curry coupled with naan would be ideal. My favorite curry at this restaurant is Lamb Madras.

For dessert don’t miss the Gulab Jamun and the Mango Lassi. I would strongly recommend not to try the Menú del dia here, since the options are limited and the food à la carte is is much better.


9. Chinese & Thai

I personally prefer Wok to Walk which are tiny take out or sit in Chinese and Thai food joints at several locations around Madrid. For ~7-9 euros you can get a great wok of your choice with many options for sauces, meat and vegetables.


10. Vietnamese

Le Petit Hanoi
Location: Calle Velarde 8
Ambiance: Very casual
Approx Budget for two: 20 euros
Things to try: For starters you can try any one of their Vietnamese rolls. And for the main dish the Pho bo would be a great choice.


Spain-Rhea-Baliwala18.jpgAnd finally , this article would be incomplete if I did not mention my favourite tapas bar in Madrid

El Rincon de Jaen
Location: Calle Don ramon de la cruz 87
Ambiance: Very Spanish, cosy and casual
Approx Budget for two: Depends on the drinks you have..haha
Things to try: Just order a beer and/or wine and the generous portion of tapas will fill you up.

In case you are still hungry, the steak although expensive is worth a try.


And finally if you are looking for just a cool place to hang out and sip great coffee , feel free to check out Ojala (Calle San Andres 1). Has a young and alternative vibe. Great place to meet and hang out with people from Madrid. 

Madrid is a paradise for food lovers. I have been living here over a year now and I can’t seem to get enough of the different cuisines Madrid has to offer.

If ‘food with a flavour’ is your thing - Think NO MORE, Just head to Madrid!! 

Rhea Baliwala is 27 from Mumbai, India with an MBA in Finance from the University of Mumbai in 2014. She was a Financial Analyst with JPMorgan for 2 years before deciding to fly off to Madrid Spain to teach English.

Follow Rhea on Instagram via Rhearoundtheworld or her travel Facebook page & read more about her adventures teaching English in Madrid: Madrid, Spain English Teaching Q&A with Rhea Baliwala.


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