Paella is one of Spain’s most-recognized dishes around the world and a must-eat when you visit. Want to know where to get the best paella in Madrid? Here are five places that you just can’t miss!
What is paella?
Paella is a dish that originates from Valencia, which is 355 kilometers east of Madrid. The main component is rice, with spices like paprika, saffron, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper lending flavor to it. Any number of ingredients can go into a paella, depending on the type that you order. Most commonly, paella includes meat, seafood, beans, peas, or any combination of these ingredients. Sometimes you may even find vegetables like artichokes, mushrooms, and bell peppers, or chorizo, a meaty Spanish delicacy.
However you order it, a good paella should have a crispy layer of rice at the bottom of the pan, called the socarrat. It’s often the best part of the paella to Spaniards, and after just one bite you’ll understand why! Now that you know a bit about this scrumptious rice dish, here are the top places with the best paella in Madrid that you need to try.
1. La Barraca
La Barraca gets its name from the traditional style of homes in the Albufera region of Valencia, where the Solis family is from. Since 1935, this family has been pleasing the taste buds of madrileños with delicious rice dishes from their hometown. You’ll find this little corner of Valencia in the heart of Chueca, where you can try 17 (yes, 17!) different kinds of paella and rice dishes. If you want to get a taste of the real thing, you can’t go wrong with paella valenciana, the original recipe. Inside you’ll find rabbit, chicken, and a variety of beans, and each bite loaded with flavor.
Address: Calle de la Reina, 29
Opening hours: Every day 13:30-16:15; 20:00-23:45
2. Restaurante Samm
Restaurante Samm is a little bit north of the city center, in Chamartín, but is definitely worth the trip. This restaurant has been specializing in rice and Valencian cuisine since 1973 and is now a neighborhood favorite. You can enjoy your meal in the comfort of the dining room, or enjoy the beautiful terrace during the warmer seasons. Samm’s special is the arroz senyoret, a mouth-watering example of the best paella in Madrid. This includes squid, cuttlefish, and a variety of other seafood.
Address: Calle Carlos Caamaño, 3
Opening hours: 11:30-18:30 (Closed on Saturdays)
3. Mercado de San Miguel
The Mercado de San Miguel is a food lover’s paradise, where you can taste countless Spanish delicacies all in one place. Be sure to stop by Rodrigo de la Calle once inside, a stall that specializes in authentic paella with a personal touch from this Michelin-star chef. You can try the traditional paella valenciana, seafood paella, or step outside of the box and try arroz negro. This is paella with seafood is black from squid ink, which gives it a boost of flavor. So not only will you get to taste some of the best paella in Madrid, you’ll enjoy the experience of the city’s most emblematic food market, too!
Address: Plaza de San Miguel, 5
With a name like Socarratt, you know you’re in for something good. This eatery has two locations, in Malasaña and Chueca, where you can stop in to try any one of their 16 varieties of paella. It’s downright delicious and affordable, and even better, you can get this amazing rice delivered right to your home! Socarratt can deliver an entire paella, or just a ration, to your doorstep for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own kitchen, without any of the cooking and cleanup. This is the real deal, made real convenient.
5. Restaurante Casa Benigna
If you’re looking for an authentic meal that’s worth a splurge, you need to try the paella at Casa Benigna. This family restaurant has been around for almost 30 years, perfecting the art of their cooking techniques and ethos, striving for fresh, healthy ingredients that are sustainable and of the highest quality. This ideology shines through in every bite, and you’ll taste the commitment to excellence the Casa Benigna team has. Additionally, you’ll feel right at home as you soak up the quaint atmosphere of the dining room. This restaurant is pricey, but definitely worth the experience for the serious foodie.
Address: Calle de Benigno Soto, 9
Opening hours: 13:30-16:00; 21:00-23:30 (Closed on Sundays)
Ready to eat your way around Madrid? Come back to your home-away-from-home at the end of the day, Olala Homes!