Good foreign food in Madrid can be a bit of a challenge to find, both for eating out and buying ingredients to make tasty curries or pad Thai en casa. To help the situation, I have assembled this short, Asia-centric guide to some good restaurants and supermarkets.
Price Guide: €= <€15 pp, €€ €15-€25pp, €€€ €25+pp
Thai: Thai Phuket (C/ Atocha 115) Good Thai food, or any Thai for that matter is a tough cookie in the capital. While there are a few places, quality can be lacking. However, Thai Phucket is a welcome exception. Excellent Tom Yum, Pad Thai and curries will round out any good evening on the town. As Thai is a relatively new phenomenon here, expect to pay twice as much as you are used to and be sure to ask for normal (e.g. non-Spanish) spiciness. Recommend: Tom Yum soup, Panang curry. €€
Chinese: Cafeteria Chino (Plaza de España Parking Garage) So authentic, it doesn’t even have a western name, this hole-in-the-wall is tops for great home-made noodle soups and dishes. To find it, go into the parking garage and follow your nose. Once there, expect a bit of a wait as there are only a few tables in this tiny joint. Recommend: Any noodle soup. €
Cheapo-Chinese: Wok to Walk (C/ Hortaleza, 7) Cheap, quick street food in Madrid has been limited to kebab shops and pizzerias. However, this is changing with the addition of the Madrid branch of this chain. For around €5, you can order a great stir fry to taste. Recommend: It’s made to order, knock yourself out! €
Indian: Cocina India (C/ Lavapies 42) Calle Lavapies has quickly become ‘Little India’ as it is lined with good, cheap curry houses with great terraces. My personal favorite is Cocina India, located at the top of the strip. While all these restaurants are no frills, hole-in-the-walls, they offer good, spicy food at a great price with a location perfect for people watching. Recommend: Masala, Vindaloo. €
Mexican: Taquería Mi Ciudad (C/ Fuentes, 11) Have a hankering for nopales or carne asada? Check out this authentic taquería near Sol. Diners order by the taco so you can go crazy, or not. Recommend: Tamales, tacos al pastor. €
Sushi: Nagoya (C/ Trafalgar, 7) Madrid actually has many good sushi places. One of my favorites is Nagoya. With an extensive, quality menu and reasonable prices, Nagoya has satisfied many Sushi cravings. Recommend: the sushi boat, tempura. €€
Asian: Supermercado Oriental (Calle Mozart, across from the Principe Pio cinemas) This little gem can satisfy your pan-Asian shopping needs. From fish sauce to woks, they have it all at very reasonable prices.
Indian: Shops along Calle de Miguel Servet (Metro Lavapies or Embajadores) Tons of family-run shops carry curries of every color and variety. Plus, in the vegetable shops you can find okra and chili peppers.
Do you have any recommendations? Post them!