Cava de San Miguel street and Cuchilleros street are located near Plaza Mayor. They are famous for its many restaurants, some of them over a hundred years old.

Short history of this is street and the formation of Madrid

This street has an interesting shape, like an ‘S’, because this was the location of the 11th century Christian City Wall. Madrid was a small city at that time, recently reconquered from the Muslims. What is now the Plaza Mayor was therefore outside the walls and when the city grew, the shape of the wall was transformed into a street!

Also if you look at the buildings, they are noticeably wider at their base than on the upper floors. This is so because they act as retaining walls for the Plaza Mayor, which is at a higher level than the street (it can be clearly seen on the stairs of the Arco de Cuchilleros).

Mesones Plaza Mayor

A selection of restaurants

Today, this area is occupied by numerous restaurants, which allow us to see the exposed brick caves and thick granite walls.

  • Mesón El Rincón de la Cava: Although it looks very touristy on the outside, it is still very nice to eat inside this alcove, they even have one original granite well that you can use as a table. I was very surprised with the portions, the Spanish omelette and the Padron peppers were very tasty (they serve half portions if you ask for them nicely!).
  • Mercado de San Miguel.
  • Mesón del Champiñón: Mushrooms, as the name suggests! are their specialty, and it’s no surprise that they are very good, but the decoration is quite bland and unattractive compared to other restaurants/caves on this street.
  • Mesón de la Tortilla: As you can imagine with its name, the they are specialized in Spanish omelette.
  • Mesón del Boquerón
  • Mesón de las Cuevas de Luis Candelas

Following this little street is Cuchilleros street, with the same tradition for tapas and traditional restaurants, such as:

  • Bodegas Ricla: Small and always full of people, food is served at the bar, so you must eat standing. Very good wines, very nice and friendly waiters. Traditional Madrid Callos (tripe) are the specialty.  Manchego cheese with anchovies is also delicious here.
  • Casa Sobrino de Botín: Since 1725 they continue cooking their suckling pig in their stone oven. According to the Guinness book it is the oldest restaurant in the world that is still in use!

And crossing Puerta Cerrada square, you could continue on your tapa adventure along Cava Baja Street, the main artery of La Latina, “Mecca” of Madrid’s tapas.

More about food in Madrid:

potatoes, croquettes and drinks on a bar

1 Comment

LB · March 31, 2020 at 7:20 pm

Mesón de la Tortilla serves one of the best Spanish omelette I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve had a few ;)

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