Child Friendly Food in Madrid : Guest Post
The Flavors of Spain: Where to Eat in Madrid with Kids
If you’re travelling to Madrid with your family, you’re in for a fantastic treat—especially in terms of gastronomy. Spain has an extremely delicious and varied culinary culture and presents a wonderful opportunity to expand your children’s horizons with new and exciting flavors.
Madrid is a very child-friendly city to begin with, so don’t be surprised to see children at most types of restaurants, and at all hours.
Seven child friendly places to eat in Madrid to delight both parents and kids
Casa Mingo – This gem of a restaurant is just a stone’s throw away from the city center. Open since 1888, Casa Mingo is an Asturian ciderhouse. The main attraction is roast chicken. The menu has a selection of very traditional foods, such as Russian salad, chorizo sausage cooked in cider, Asturian bean stew, tripe, Cabrales cheese, and croquettes. It’s a very family-friendly restaurant and customers often share the wooden tables and chat. Definitely order a bottle of cider and ask the waiter to pour it for you—it’s a show in itself. Try that back in the hotel room with water! (and a towel nearby)
Ribera do Miño – Explore Galicia, Spain’s northwestern region, through food at this restaurant where the specialty is seafood. Located on side street in the Chueca neighborhood, this is a bustling locale with tons of atmosphere and delicious food. Get the seafood platter, piled high with crab, prawns, and razor clams, or order from the menu. Try the octopus, goose barnacles and velvet crabs for a new dining experience for the kids. Don’t be put off by the waiters who, although somewhat impatient, are very efficient, and they have to be, as this place gets very busy.
Museo de Jamón – This chain of casual restaurants located throughout the city, are perfect to grab a quick bite to eat. As you may have guessed, the specialty is ham, one of Spain’s most prized culinary treasures. Don’t leave the country without ordering a plate of it. Try the Ibérico de bellota, which is the crème de la crème. Try traditional foods like morcilla (blood sausage), garlic prawns, pig’s ear, grilled cuttlefish, and Spanish omelet. Eat standing up at the bar with other Spaniards for a more authentic experience, if you can.
San Miguel Market – Located right next to Plaza Mayor, this very popular tourist spot is pretty spectacular. It’s chock-a-block with stalls selling all kinds of food, from charcuterie and cheese to fish and meat. Everything is fresh and delicious, and you’ll most likely have a hard time deciding what to eat. Expert tip: try as much as you can. The real challenge, though, is snagging a table. For an equally interesting experience in a (potentially less-crowded) market-type environment, check out San Anton Market or the very fancy La Platea.
Casa de Valencia – Enjoy the flavors of Valencia, and Spain’s eastern coast in general, with a delicious paella. This slightly upscale restaurant makes some of the city’s best rice dishes. Eating paella—complete with snails, rabbit, lobster or clams—is a great cultural experience. This restaurant has lots of varieties to choose from, so you’ll find something everyone can agree on. Don’t forget to eat the socarratit. Locals think the rice that sticks to the bottom of the paella pan is the best part!
La Excentrica – If you want something very child friendly and want a good meal, this is an excellent option. Located in the central neighborhood of Opera, this restaurant has a special kids’ area. This area is supervised by monitors and kids can play, draw, read and do crafts while parents have a leisurely lunch. This service is only available on the weekends. La Excentrica has a varied menu, with lots of Spanish options as well as burgers, noodles and wraps, and a special kid’s menu to boot.
Feelfree – This is another restaurant with a special area for kids, in the upscale Salamanca neighborhood. It serves a wide of range of healthy dishes made with fresh ingredients, but its burgers are believed to be among the best in Madrid. It also has a great selection of salads, crepes, and sandwiches. Feelfree has ball pits, workshops, a soon-to-be launched urban garden, and other activities to keep your kids having fun while you enjoy a relaxed meal. It’s also worth nothing that they serve food all day long; many restaurants only serve during typical lunch and dinner times (see below for more details).
Mad Planet – Here’s one last suggestion if you’re looking for a restaurant that will keep your kids entertained. This locale, in the Legazpi neighborhood, has a special area for children aged 3 to 9 where they can participate in workshops and play different games while you eat. Mad Planet has a reputation for serving large portions of delicious modern Spanish fare (e.g. white truffle ravioli with gorgonzola and pear sauce, and goat cheese salad with duck). Be prepared to tuck into something quite tasty while your children have fun in the child friendly kid zone.
You’re pretty prepared at this point to take on Madrid’s child friendly dining scene with your family.
Things to Remember!
** lunch is typically served anywhere from 1 to 4:30 pm
**dinner is generally served from 8 pm onwards.
** Some places, especially those in popular tourist areas, will serve food all day long.
**Plan to keep kiddos happy so you can enjoy dinner as much as possible!
It’s valuable for kids to have new culinary experiences and try different flavors from around the world. Even if kiddos don’t immediately like new stuff, they should at least try them!
This post written by Samara Kamenecka who is a New York-born freelance writer and translator living in Madrid. When she’s not exploring the city with her boyfriend, daughter and dog, she loves to cook, read and travel. You can find her blogging over at Tiny Fry.