Madrid - Around Town : Comunidad de Madrid (part 2) - Historic Places to Eat

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A Day in Manzanares


To get to Manzanares, take bus No. 721 from Plaza de Castilla, alighting at Avenida de Madrid. There’s a supermarket near the bus stop if you want to take a picnic. Take Calle del Castillo as far as Calle de Cañada and the restored 15th-century castle, from where there are good views of the storks fishing in the reservoir. Return along Calle de Cañada to the old town square, Plaza del Generalísimo, where you’ll find several nice cafés and bars if you are ready for a coffee stop.

Cross the tree sheltered Plaza del Raso, passing a small cemetery, and you’ll come to the 16th-century Church of Our Lady of the Snows with its elegant Renaissance portico. Walk around the church for more views of the lake. Return to Plaza del Raso and take Calle Real, crossing the River Manzanares to the ruins of the old castle (castillo viejo). Then follow the river to the Chapel of the Holy Rock (Ermita de la Peña Sacra), built on a huge granite slab. Every Whitsun a procession in honour of the Virgin makes its way here from the cemetery.

Cross the river and turn left to Calle del Tranco, where the El Tranco restaurant makes a pleasant lunch stop.


Spend a leisurely afternoon enjoying the invigorating, fresh mountain air and splendid vistas of La Pedriza regional park.

Historic Places to Eat

  1. El Charolés

    Considered the best restaurant in town. If you’re here on Wednesdays, all the better because chef Manuel Miguez’s cocido madrileño is renowned. Summer terrace.

    • Calle de Floridablanca 24, El Escorial

    • 91 890 5975

  2. Las Viandas

    This restaurant serves good, seasonal food. There is a small, summer terrace where you can enjoy a drink before your meal.

    • Plaza Constitución 2, San Lorenzo de El Escorial

    • 91 890 3944

  3. Fonda Genara

    Reasonably priced restaurant also in an 18th-century building near El Escorial’s Teatro Coliseo, hence the theatre memorabilia. Castilian cooking, featuring dishes such as rabo de toro (bull’s tail). Set price menu.

    • Plaza S Lorenzo, El Escorial

    • 91 890 4357

  4. Horizontal

    Classy restaurant with wonderful vistas of the sierra book a terrace table in summer. First class international cuisine.

    • Camino Horizontal, El Escorial

    • 91 890 3811

    • Closed Mon–Wed D in Winter

  5. Parrilla del Príncipe

    Grilled fish is the speciality of this hotel-restaurant based in an 18th-century palace.

    • Calle de Floridablanca 6, El Escorial

    • 91 890 1611

    • Closed Tue, 15–28 Feb

  6. La Buganvilla

    This café-restaurant was once the royal coach house. Castilian fare with bacalao (cod) the house speciality.

    • Calle del Rey 41, El Escorial

    • 91 890 6669

    • Closed Sun–Tue D

  7. El Antigua Convento

    Located in a restored 17th-century monastery, this restaurant serves a range of sophisticated dishes. Part of a hotel, it is worth exploring the lovely cloisters and gardens.

    • Calle de las Monjas, Bodilla del Monte

    • 91 632 082

    • Closed Aug

  8. La Parra

    A traditional restaurant serving heart-warming country fare, such as stew made with beans and hare (fabes con liebre) and roast kid (cabrito asado). No smoking is allowed inside.

    • Calle Panaderos 5, Manzanares

    • 91 853 9577

    • Closed mid-Aug–mid-Sep

  9. Los Arcos

    This Castilian restaurant, with traditional wood fired oven, is as good a place as any to savour roast lamb, suckling pig or kid.

    • Calle Real 14, Manzanares

    • 91 853 0490

  10. El Tranco

    This pleasant restaurant serves up basic but tasty home cooking including jamón Ibérico. The terrace is open in summer.

    • Del Tranco 4, Manzanares

    • 91 853 0063

More Places to Eat

  1. Asador Felipe

    This restaurant in a stone farmhouse is worth seeking out. Chef Felipe del Olmo is known for his stylish cooking – try the grilled hake in a delicious squid sauce. During the summer ask for a table on the large terrace.

    • Calle Mayo 2, Navacerrada

    • 91 853 1041

    • Closed Oct–Jun: Mon–Fri

  2. Las Postas

    This roadside hotel-restaurant serves Castilian meat dishes in an attractive dining room, the centrepiece of which is a 16th-century retablo. You can also enjoy live music here on Saturday nights.

    • Road N-601, 10.2 km, Navacerrada

    • 91 856 02 50

  3. La Balconada

    Nicely situated, “the balcony” overlooks Chinchón’s main square. Typical Castilian fare – sopa de ajo (garlic soup), menestra (lamb and vegetable stew) and pepitoria de gallina (chicken in an almond and egg sauce).

    • Plaza Mayor, Chinchón

    • 91 894 1303

    • Closed Wed

  4. Mesón Cuevas del Vino

    This old olive oil mill with its wine cellar offers traditional sierra cooking. Try the charcoal-grilled chorizo (spicy sausage), the beans, and almond dessert, before rounding off with the local liqueur, anís.

    • Calle de Benito Hortelano 13, Chinchón

    • 91 894 0285

    • Closed Tue, Aug

  5. Mesón de la Virreina

    Spanish and Mediterranean dishes.

    • Plaza Mayor 28, Chinchón

    • 91 894 0015

  6. Casa José

    The cuisine is based on home grown produce including the local artichoke.

    • Calle Abastos 32, Aranjuez

    • 91 891 1488

    • Closed Sun D, Mon, Aug

  7. Casa Pablo

    This homely restaurant with bullfighting decor has the feel of an old tavern. Meat and fresh fish are the mainstays.

    • Calle Almíbar 42, Aranjuez

    • 91 891 1451

    • Closed Aug

  8. El Castillo 1806

    In the grounds of the Casa del Labrador. The house speciality is faisán a la cazadora (roast partridge).

    • Reales Jardines del Príncipe, Aranjuez

    • 91 891 3000

    • Closed Mon

  9. Hostería del Estudiante

    One of the dishes to try here is migas castellanas (bread crumbs in garlic with fried eggs). The restaurant is no smoking only.

    • Calle Colegios 3, Alcalá de Henares

    • 91 888 0330

  10. La Kontxa

    If you want a change from Castilian cooking, try this Basque restaurant. Specialities include chuletón de buey (ox steak).

    • Calle Tinte 1, Alcalá de Henares

    • 91 878 9317

Unless otherwise stated, all restaurants accept credit cards and serve vegetarian meals.

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