Opera at Madrid’s famous Teatro Real is a thrilling, elegant affair, and it calls for an excellent meal to complete the experience. The convenient proximity of the venue’s excellent in-house restaurant makes it an obvious choice for a quick bite during an intermission and, after a performance, the natural continuation on the theme of sensory indulgence. Or give those sit-weary legs a stretch, and venture beyond the opera house to discover a wealth of tantalizing options mere minutes from Teatro Real’s doorstep.
Plaza de Oriente
From authentic to experimental, including cafés, fine dining, tapas bars, Iberian bistros, 24-hour pizzerias… Whether your preference is to eat on the go or to linger and people-watch, Plaza de Oriente offers a variety of dining options to suit any taste. Not to mention, evening is the best time to drink in the sight of the illuminated Royal Palace of Madrid—stunning!
La Candela Resto is a treat for the foodies. Offering a quirky spin on the fine dining experience, this Spanish/Mediterranean fusion restaurant specializes in semi-molecular cooking. Try one of the tasting menus of six, nine, or eleven dishes with wine pairings. While it is a bit pricey, it’s so much more than just a meal. It’s a guided culinary journey—and likely a night you’ll never forget.
In the midst of the bustle of Plaza de Oriente, Restaurante Algarabía is a welcome respite, offering authentic Spanish cuisine from Rioja, as well as a generous wine selection. This cozy little restaurant is run by two sisters: Isabel in the front of the house, and Pilar in the kitchen. The result is generous atmosphere and a personalized touch.
Mercado de San Miguel
Get ready to whet your appetite and pique your curiosity with a visit to Mercado de San Miguel. Comprised of more than 30 vendors, here you’ll encounter a bit of everything: Sample oysters and champagne for a flight of fancy, or keep things grounded with tapas and cervesa. Explore a selection of high-quality meats and fresh fish, choice produce, baked goods, sushi, caviar (and elvers, if you’re brave), homemade pastas, olive oils, cosmetics, and even edible flowers. With extraordinary food and very reasonable prices, the market is a gourmand’s dream. It can get a bit crowded, but the experience is all about embracing the chaos, and selecting and sampling on the go. San Miguel Market will certainly keep you on your toes, and after several hours sitting at Teatro Real it should feel good to move about.