Madrid September Trip Planning

4 nights in Madrid in early Sept.
Our favorite is D-Stage - we definitely plan to return there.
Looking for a few other options. One night we will walk around and do tapas.
Need two more nights. Years ago enjoyed Street XO but that is too mobbed now.
Liked Triciclo in the past as well.
I was wondering of D-Speak food is different from D-stage?
Also curious if Smoked Room is worth going to?
Considering Alabaster too.
Other suggestions especially those that are seafood leaning would be most welcome.


My favourite is DiverXo - but already too late to reserve there (even more mobbed!).
For seafood our “go-to” is Restaurante Rafa - very reasonably priced (particularly if you pass on the Lobster). NOTE: Most fresh fish is priced per 100gm, so be aware. Incidentally, they stock one of my favourite white wines: Do Ferreiro Cepas Velhas - the cheapest place I’ve found anywhere; barely above retail.
Alabaster was mixed for us. Their seafood selection is unparalleled (only place we were able to find percebes) but we found the wine list patchy, and service ‘just competent’.
Haven’t been to Smoked Room.

If you’re there on a Sunday, many destinations are closed.
We ended up at Dani Brasserie (roof of Four Seasons) - but I can’t locate my detailed notes. Food, service and wine were all excellent - but you pay big bucks for the experience

I would definitely return to DStage since you enjoyed it the first time. But speaking of DSpeak…
We had a truly excellent recent meal at Guerrero’s “sibling”, DSpeak, with cocktails beforehand downstairs at DPickle Room.
Everything was perfection, including the service. We went on a Wednesday night and opted for the bargain 55 euro/p set menu, including 2 amuse, 2 starters, a main, a dessert and a bottle of wine—a bargain for such high quality. This menu is available only on Wed/Thur nights and Fri lunch.

Street XO is moving to the top floor of El Corte Inglés at Serrano 47 since the other ECI building at Serrano 52, where Street XO was formerly housed has been sold. And it’s always been a zoo.
“Dabiz” (“best chef in the world”) has parked his red GOXO hamburger food truck next to the other El Corte Inglés of Preciados.

We haven’t been to Smoked Room but it has earned a Michelin star in its first year. Critics rave about it.
Dani’s Brasserie atop the Four Seasons was a hit for us for a (pricey but festive) lunch during the Christmas holidays, but the fab outdoor terrace opening is weather dependent and usually only on weekends.

Like Estufarian, we’re loyal fans of Rafa and make it one of our first stops in the Retiro district, usually for Sunday lunch (no longer open on Sunday nights). We love the ensaladilla rusa con ventresca, the salpicón de mariscos, the steak tartare and all the fish. Very old school wait staff.
Reservations essential unless you can snag a place at the small front bar (usually impossible at Sunday lunch).

For more impeccable seafood, I’d consider the Madrid version of Barcelona’s Estimar, near the Hotel Palace and Las Cortes. It’s rated in the top ten in the Madrid Macarfi guide.

A fine dining experience on a Sunday night, when many top tables are closed, is La Bien Aparecida by Paco Quirós (of Cañadío, Santander). It’s at the end of Jorge Juan, Madrid’s elegant “restaurant row”. We also love his Cañadío, Madrid, but it’s not “central”–in the northeast corner of the Salamanca district–but just terrific, comfort food, with lower prices than La Bien Aparecida. Ditto to his other very casual but always packed spot, La Maruca, on Velázquez, where we had a very satisfying “drop in” lunch at the bar last month.

With the exception of sitting at the bar at La Maruca or Dani García’s Lobito de Mar (seafood), advance reservations have become absolutely essential in Madrid these days.

Meant to add that David Muñoz has opened his new RavioXO in the El Corte Inglés in the Chamartín district. The menu has an emphasis on pasta and noodle dishes from around the world.
The reviews have been solid but it’s not cheap.

And he’ll be moving his DiverXO out of the Hotel NH Eurobuilding to a forest inside the urbanización La Finca in the wealthy suburb of Pozuelo some time in the future, supposedly the first trimester of 2024.

Thank you Maribel for many excellent recommendations.
Enjoyed both DiverXo and StreetXo (at both new and old locations).
Too bad the line at StreetXo has grown ridiculously long these days.
One question, is D-Speak food different from D-Stage, or are those the same dishes but fewer in number?

StreetXO hasn’t opened in its new location yet in the ECI at 47 Serrano. The last service at its ECI location at number 52 was on July 24. The new StreetXO will have a longer bar. We didn’t go because we just weren’t up for a 2 hour wait.

You might want to try his new RavioXO (ravioli, dim sum, dumplings and other pastas) in the ECI on the Castellana, which has a separate entrance on the Plaza de Manuel Gómez-Moreno and takes reservations. It’s a very “hot table” to book. Muñoz says it’s even more “crazy creative” than DiverXO. Average price w/drinks: 80-90/p

Yes, DSpeak food is different from DStage—not the same dishes, not just an off shoot of DStage, and one can order a la carte at DSpeak. We opted for the set menu but most diners around us ordered a la carte.



DSpeak sound pretty cool, and only a 2-3 min walk from my hotel. Might do Sunday lunch there.
Thanks :slight_smile:

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Any thoughts on Sacha?

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I’m so excited for your trip, @PedroPero

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Sacha is a must, if you’re up for a taxi ride to the Chamartín district. It’s extremely consistent and one of the best bistros in the city. Chefs and gourmet critics love it. And it’s rated number 4 in the Macarfi guide.


Thank you! I think I’ll add it to the list. is it casual/smart dress and will they accommodate solo diners?

I’m excited too! I wish I had booked more time in Madrid, 4 days doesn’t seem like enough :frowning:

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Yes, Madrid restaurants are happy to accommodate solo diners and casual/smart dress is perfectly acceptable.


Perfect! I’ll get my hotel to make reservations when the month opens up.
Thanks again. :slight_smile:
And the Uber/cab is only 6-8 Euros from my hotel.

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Walk, Pedro, walk! Madrid is a beautiful city for walking.

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Yes, Madrid is indeed a beautiful city for walking, but Sacha is most likely not within walking distance of your hotel unless you’re staying at the NH Eurobuilding (where DiverXO is still located).
Bus 27, though, takes you up the Castellana and offers a great introductory “sightseeing” tour of the northern business district.

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Oh, I’ll be doing plenty of walking don’t you worry, but according to Google maps Sacha is an hour walk each way and I want to be so fresh and so clean clean when I get there :smiley:

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Yes, definitely too far to walk before a nice dinner(an hour each way from the hotel) the bus could be an option but I don’t mind taking a cab either. Fingers crossed that I can grab a reso :slight_smile:

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Hope your hotel can make that reservation for you (I’m thinking you might be staying at the Urso? since it’s just a stone’s throw away from DSpeak)!

Some of the signature dishes at Sacha:
his “tortilla vaga” ("lazy potato omelet with morcilla or chorizo)
false lasagna of spider crab & sea urchin
hake (merluza) a la romana
skate (raya) with black butter
hake cheeks with clams in green sauce
“deconstructed” cheesecake


They haven’t opened the reso’s for Sept yet, so I have to remind my hotel when they do.
I’m staying at the Hotel Sardinero, I had it booked for 2020 and they were kind enough to give me a full refund(on a non refundable booking) unlike my hotel in Valencia which only offered my a credit.
The menu and restaurant look amazing, thanks so much for the info! :slight_smile:

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