NO COPY & PASTE HERE! FIRSTHAND INFO! BEST PAELLAS IN MADRID! Paellas tasted, reservation steps, locations and types of paella offered. My name is Andrés Jarabo and I offer the only Spanish wine tapas tour in Madrid.
Marina Ventura – right in the city center, the place locals go for paella
Pork with vegetables – very good
Very close to the Congress, the Westin Palace and the Villareal
Calle Ventura de la Vega, 13
How Does it work?
They open both at lunch and at dinner time. I recommend you to order one or two starters to make time because a paella easily takes 30 minutes to cook.
There must be at least two of you to order a paella.
You must understand something, paella restaurants offer three types of rice dishes:
• Paella: Thin layer of rice fully cooked to the point that the rice in contact with the pan may be burnt (socarrat).
• Light creamed rices: They are like a risotto but it is the type of rice and the cooking point that makes them creamy. There is no butter, cheese or cream here! In Spain we call this: Arroz meloso.
• Creamy rice: Broth and rice with diverse ingredients. Again no cream, butter or cheese here! In Spanish: Arroz caldoso.
Marina Ventura only offers one type of “arroz caldoso”, the Marina Ventura (Lobster, monkfish, shrimp, cuttlefish and touch of hot spice).
Que si Quieres Arroz Catalina – Classy, Awesome Paellas but out of the city center and only opens for lunch.
Paella We Tasted
Paella Valenciana (duck, rabbit, legumes, artichoke and snails) – Delicious
Casa de Campo, the largest park in Madrid and only a few Metro stops from the city center. Take the Metro at Alonso Martinez, Tribunal or Plaza de España and get off at Lago (line 10). The restaurant is inside an ancient mansion and has a beautiful courtyard with natural light.
Calle principal de provincias, 9
How Does It Work?
It only opens at lunch time. They have two fixed-price menus which include several courses being the last one the paella you choose. One menu for 31.9 and the other for 42 (drinks not included).
These menus make a lot of sense. They bring you different dishes while they prepare your paella, about 30′. Only problem is that if you stuff yourself when the paella arrives you will already be full. You can only choose one type of paella unless there are 8 or more of you. You can also order a la carte.
Types of Paella They Offer
• Huertano, only vegetables.
• Montanero, vegetables and ibérico ribs.
• Senyoret, squid and prawns.
• De Rape y Ajos Tiernos: Monkfish and scallions.
• Black rice with squid and prawns (the rice is black (negro) due to the ink of the squid). You always have this type with ali-oli mahonese.
• Vegetable Fideua (paella made with espaguettis instead of rice).
• De Manitas y Jamón Ibérico: Pork troters and ham.
Warning!: there is an 8th type of paella:
Paella Valenciana (duck, rabbit, legumes, artichoke and snails) but if you want this one you have to let them know ahead. Do it when you make the reservation.
Socarrat – The Real Mcoy at Half the Price and in the City Center (only lunch time)
Paellas we tasted
Castellón, abuela and rústica – all of them very good.
Right in the city center. A minute away from the Gran Via metro station. Calle San Marcos, 2
How Does it Work?
Socarrat is a paella take away. It opens from 12 to 16. There are two locals in the city center:
• 5 Manuela Malasaña st, where they cook. They only have one type of paella ready to be served and room for just two people.
• 2 San Marcos st, this one has room for at least 20 people and different paellas. They do not have a kitchen. I recommend you to be there at 1 pm, that is, when the freshly cooked paellas arrive. One big plate of paella is 8 euros, the average price in a restaurant is 20 euros.
They have cans of beer at 2.2 euros and about 8 different craft beer brands at 3.5 euros. I had La Socarrada (honey and rosemary) and I loved it.
Types of Paella
MEAT AND/OR VEGETABLES
Chicken, rabbit, artichoke, legumes and rosemary.
Paella de la abuela
Ribs, chickpeas and red peppers.
Paella de verduras
Zucchini, eggplant (aubergine), onion, mushrooms and red pepper.
Marinated ribs, chicken y setas de cardo.
Arroz a banda
Squid and shellfish.
Arroz al señoret
Squid, fish and shellfish.
Arroz a banda con langostino (9 euros a portion)
Squid, tiger praws and shellfish.
Squid, squid’s ink and shellfish.
Arroz del Turia (10 euros a portion)
Squid, artichokes,prawns and shellfish.
This is a take away, that is, no reservations but as long as you are there before 2pm you will not have a problem.
El del Medio, A Dream Come True
What we all look for when we travel. I small bistro with awesome regional dishes and more than reasonable prices. It is not a paella restaurant but they have a delicious rice with ossobuco dish: Arroz de rabo de toro (15.95€ )
Northern part of the city, Calle Costa Rica, 28
No online reservations, you have to call them to this number: +34 914 217 934
Gastromaquia, Great Reviews
This is one of those restaurants everybody is talking about. Gastromaquia is not a paella restaurant but they happen to have a seafood paella in their menu.
I tasted their “abanda” paella (prawns, mussels and clams) and it was good and even better with allioli. They also offer another rice dish but in this case it is a black risotto due to the squid’s ink. It is a famous dish I would have found awesome if the rice had been more cooked. It was too chewy for me.
Right in the city center. A minute away from the Gran Via metro station.
Calle Pelayo, 6
It is pretty common that they offer their seafood paella as a second dish of their “menu del dia” (13.90€ ). Seriously? You are visiting Spain but do not know what “menu del día” is?
AlliOli, Low Cost Paella (only lunch)
Calle de Carlos Arniches 14
Lavapies neighborhood, the poorest part of the city center.
How Does it Work?
Allioli is a take-away paella. The paella is only 5 euros to take away but 8 if you have it at the premises. Most people have the paella as the second dish of their “menu del dia” which is only 11 euros. If you are visiting Spain and do not know what “menu del dia” is, please, for God’s sake, google it now.
Tip: be there at 1pm, that is when their paellas have just been cooked and are at their freshest.
Types of Paella
They offer several types of paella but there are only two available to be eaten right away.
There are 6 tables inside the take away, as long as you are there before 2pm you will not need a reservation.