The menú del día is one of the great culinary joys of Spain. They’re the filling, often delicious, multi-course midday meals provided by bars and restaurants for a very reasonable fixed price, booze included.
And if you consider price, quantity and quality, I’d say they represent the best lunches in Madrid.
But the little wrinkle with menús del día in Madrid is thus: you can pay €10 for a really average 3-course lunch, or €15 for a great one. If you know where to go, the different in cost can be minimal, but in quality dramatic.
Hence this list of the best menús del día in Madrid. Certainly not complete… but I only have one mouth and one wallet and so I’m slowly eating my way through city. Bear with me.
Why these places? Because they do reasonably-priced menús del día with a little more thought, skill and nous than you’re average tavern. Some will include three courses, some two, some a bottle of wine, some (in fact, most) just a glass. You may not have the meal of your life (then again, you may), but it’ll be better than a kick in the head (or a sticky bowl of microwaved paella).
Remember menús del día are only available on weekdays and only for lunch (where a restaurant provides them on the weekend or for dinner, I’ve noted it).
Or, if you don’t want a full sit-down lunch… why not just head for tapas (see below!)