Toledo and Madrid - June 8 through June 18

Just know that Mercado de San Miguel will be very, very crowded since it´s now a huge Madrid tourist magnet. Most stands are run by the Arzábal group, whose food is fine, but we go to Arzábal’s other original outpost on Menéndez Pelayo facing Retiro Park for a more non-tourist environment.

We’re headed tonight to Castelados but with reservations. Reservations here in Madrid have become absolutely essential, even for the casual tabernas, just so that you’ll know. We laughed last Saturday when looking for a place to drop in for a beer around the Edition and all the bars were jammed to the rafters, not even standing room. That’s why we ended up with a nice, quiet lunch at Jerónimo in the Edition.

About the Cava Baja tapas crawl–it’s really not what it used to be and on weekends becomes quite filled with hen parties and the like.
Taberna Tempranillo is still good bet as is Casa Lucas. I think of Casa Lucio more of a sit-down restaurant although one can have a bite (somewhat uninteresting) at the bar. Across the street is the Huevos de Lucio for his famous broken eggs, but they’ve taken the bar space and placed tables for two there.
This has been a common practice post-covid in the Madrid bars. For example, at Castelados one can only come in for a drink and tapa standing at either end of the bar, while the rest of the bar consists of high tables for two, which must be reserved in advance.

The other day we discovered two wonderful gastro bars that have opened on Cava Alta, the parallel street above, that were very well reviewed last week in El País. We hit them both. These two will bring back serious diners to this area, I hope.

The first, Trèsde, may transport you to the Left Bank of Paris, very reminiscent of a Parisian bistro, serving a la carte but also a formule for 41 euros. The chef trained with William Ledeuil of Ze Kitchen Galerie. Emphasis here is on vegetables and aromatics, and the food is absolutely first rate, from the finest local purveyors, as is the wine selection by the glass and desserts. It´s a project of 3 friends and has only been open for under 2 months.

The second is Barmitón, the sibling of the excellent Marmitón bistro, both in La Latina. One can sit at the bar here for tapas as well as sit down dining in the small dining room. We had wine and tapas here, then continued to Trèsde for lunch.
Both I would highly recommend over the options on the Cava Baja currently.

There are two Bodegas de la Ardosa, one on the bar/restaurant lined Ponzano and the other in Chueca/Malasaña. We prefer the latter (more atmospheric) and their tortilla is one of the best in town. And vermut on tap.

We were a bit disappointed with Comparte Bistro, as I think it’s over rated, although it was awarded a Repsol sun this year. I think the hype has to do with the unusual French-Andalusian combo. Some dishes just fell short.
In comparison and in the same general area, we much prefer the new-ish La Llorería, where we had a fabulous omakase style lunch the other day. The owners (Jesùs was our guide) will present to you their greatest hits and you decide how many courses you would like. We stopped at 6. Highly creative. And there is a very nice selection of small producer wines by the glass. My chef friend (1 Repsol sun) sent us here as well as to Brutalista in Argülles and Haranita off the Gran Vía.

The current “hot, hip, young, highly innovative, new kids in town” getting a lot of buzz from the local gourmands-
La Llorería
LaLópez Bar (a must for us in the authentic Mercado de San Antón–just terrific)
María Sarmiento
Los 33 (for grilled meats from the folks at Charrúa)–one of the hardest tables in town to snag
Bichopalo (tasting menu only)


Thank you! All very good to know. I have a reservation at Castelados, so all set there. Sad to hear about Cava Baja. Fortunately, I would be heading down there on a week night (Tuesday), but will adjust based on suggestions.

Will keep everyone posted. I still have 4 days to plan. And Toledo! Still have Toledo to plan as well.


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El Mercado San Miguel has re-opened after some structural damage which could have incited a fire.

It has been renovated and it is re-opened.

A must visit if you are in Madrid Capital. It is a true gem.

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El Mercado de San Miguel was closed on April 28 for a structural risk in the ongoing works but was reopened shortly after (24 hours after) so that it would be fully functioning for the long holiday weekend, Labor Day and Madrid Day, when an influx of diners, locals and tourists alike, is always expected. The market receives 10 million visits a year.

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Just a little correction–Casa Lucio hasn’t changed hands. It’s simply that the owner, Lucio Blásquez, now 90 years old, has retired but still greets the diners in his much acclaimed restaurant
He still goes to his restaurant every day around 2:30.

He received an homage from the mayor and from fellow chefs in February, many of whom prepared a version of his famous “huevos rotos” in his honor.


Sacha - Will grab a reservation when they open them. Going Monday for Dinner (June 12)
La Castela - Have a reservation at their sister restaurant down the street for Lunch on Tuesday (June 13)
Lua - Dinner on Wednesday night (June 14)
Comparte Bistro - Lunch on Saturday (June 17) (Still want to give it a try)
Bodega de la Ardosa - Lunch on Wednesday at the one in Malasana (June 14)
Corral de la Moreira (going to do the tasting menu and the show) - Have a question in on the restaurant - Trying to reserve for Thursday night (June 15)

Still doing the Cava Baja crawl on Tuesday (June 13), and added Casa Lucas. Will do more looking in the places I have listed there.

So, that leaves the following:

June 15 - Lunch
June 16 - Lunch - La Lloreria - Just booked for lunch today.
June 16 - Dinner
June 17 - Dinner - snacks at Barmiton followed by dinner at Tresde (thanks for that rec!)
June 18 - Staying at my hotel and hitting the pool- Fly to London in the evening. Given Platinum Marriott status, get a 4 PM Check Out.

Still planning out things, but I appreciate all the recommendations.

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For your Cava Baja crawl it’s great that you’ve added Casa Lucas. Since it’s tiny, I would get there early when he opens at 8 pm.

Have you reserved at Lakasa? We still think it’s the best traditional bistrot dining in the Ponzano area (just off the Calle Ponzano on a quiet square) in addition to the tiny and inventive Sala de Despiece (were just there yesterday).

Before your dinner at Taberna Laredo on Dr. Castelo in the Retiro, you might want to stop in at tiny “La Raquetista” at the miniscule bar when it opens at 8 pm (a favorite of ours) on the same street to sample the Aparicio brothers’ famous torreznos, their bravas, their ensaladilla rusa, buñuelos de bacalao or their rabo de vaca al curry Massaman.
La Raquetista won a Metrópoli award for best bar in Madrid.

Since then the brothers have opened the even more creative bistro, “Salino”, in the Retiro district on Calle Menorca (as good or better than the 2 Castelas but more innovative, with flavors from around the globe) and a Raquetista spin off, “La Raquetista en La Habana” on Juan Bravo in the Salamanca district, adding some Caribbean dishes—best key lime pie in the city and ropa vieja.

We love the Aparicio brothers’ tabernas.


Here are the guys from Trèsde–the chef is on the left and maitre on the right.

These two and the chefs of Barmitón, says the article, are bringing back serious diners to La Latina, as the locals missed good dining there that wasn’t just food for tourists.
“La gente echaba de menos comer bien dentro de La Latina y que no fuera comida para turistas.”

The Barmitón is a spin off of the Marmitón Bistró, also in La Latina, that now has a Repsol rec.

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Toledo city has never for us been a culinary hotspot, but you can try these, that have been well reviewed by the Madrid professional critics and are all found in the Judería:

Taberna Botero at Ciudad 5 (closed Mon/Tues)

La Orza on Descalzos 5,(closed all day Wed/Sunday night/all day Monday)–nice atmosphere, regional cooking, gets a nod from both Michelin and Repsol, always a good sign.

La Cábala at Sinagoga 6 (closed all day Sun/Mon and Tues/Wed nights)

La Clandestina de las Tendeillas, at Tendillas 3 (closed all day Monday and Sun/Tues nights)–gets a thumbs up from Capel, the gastro critic of El País and has 1 Repsol sun

Yes I had read this in both the El Pais and The Guardian.

Thank you for posting the article link. I am new on Hungry Onion was uncertain that we could post newspaper or magazine article links or not.

Stil getting accustomed. Truly like your posts. Very up to minute on the dining scene.

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Toledo: There is the ***Michelin Starred Chef Adolfo Muñoz who owns several venues in Toledo.

From my point of view, he is quite exceptional and so are his two sons.

Thanks and agreed about Adolfo.

Adolfo just lost (or let go of) the concession for the restaurant in Palacio de Cibeles, according to Twitter. Don’t know who is going in in Adolfo’s place.

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Now I do know who is going to take Adolfo’s place on the 6th floor of the Palacio de Cibeles. It´s the Azotea group that runs the rooftops of Picalagartos, Círculo de Bellas Artes and now the rooftop hot spot in the city, the Club Financiero de Génova, co-run by Azotez and La Ancha.

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So sorry to hear. Adolfo and his wife are so lovely. Perhaps Chef Muñoz, had decided it was too much for him since he has several businesses in Toledo and he is getting up there into his Senior Years.
He also has a wine estate plus other related venues in Toledo.

Thank you for the latest update.

It wasn’t that he and his wife were overextended.
Yes, the winery, the restaurant and the hotel in Toledo are going strong but the casual restaurant Adolfo Colección near the cathedral has closed.

It was that after Javier Muñoz of Adolfo had the concession for the last 11 years, …this year there was a new “concurso” and the owners of the space, Madrid Destino, wanted a “revolution” and opted to renew the concession not to the Adolfo group but instead to give it to the Azotea group, who manage the “hot” azoteas in Madrid and the new El Cuartel del Mar on the Costa de la Luz. Adolfo will be leaving on May 12.
This is according to the several press reports that I’ve read.

The Adolfo empire

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Thank you for the update.

For your meal at La Llorería,
José Certucha was our “host”, rather than his partner, Jesús Cetina. It is run by a threesome, with Carmen Alti as the other member of the team who met each other while working at Diego Guerrero’s DStage.

It received a review from Guía Repsol today (I subscribe to the newsletter). José is the one featured to the left in the photo. You can see some of the dishes that we enjoyed, including the bread from Panic, one of the city’s best bakeries.
La Llorería has only been open for a year so hasn’t been featured yet in the international press but is certainly on the radar of the local “foodies”.
We ignored the chalkboard menu and simply let José be our guide. Each dish consists of 3 major ingredientes which are listed on the chalkboard menu. Don’t miss the “coliflor–bacon–puntilla”, which I’m sure that José will suggest. He will ask if you have any dislikes or food allergies. Since I’m not a big offal fan, he didn’t serve us the lengua (tongue) dish. The sea basss (corvina) dish we thought was terrific.

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As a step down the rustic path you might try Casa Mingo:

Rather a change from your choices, but I usually take visitors there, and they love it. Plus Goya’s tomb is 100 feet away, in a chapel he decorated. Worth a visit (no charge) before dinner.

On your Cava Baja tapas crawl for more creative tapas I would venture just a tiny way off that well trodden path to Juana la Loca for Basque style pintxos and one of the city’s best tortillas. It’s on Plaza Puerta de Moros, just steps away.
We still keep it on our rotation when in La Lstina .