I warn you, here you won’t find the last fashionable place where the whole jet-set of the capital goes. And it’s very likely that none of the places that I’m going to talk about haven’t Instagram or Facebook account. In these places it doesn’t matter. I’ll tell you where to eat authentic foreign food in Madrid. Yes, those restaurants that are full of expats remembering their country through the belly.
Ceviche de la Cafetería Lili. Foto de www.plateselector.com
In my post on Madrid’s gastronomic markets I already told you that Mercado de los Mostenses was a great unknown. And Cafeteria Lili is a good example of the authentic foreign food that I like so much. In the small stall of the Chinese Lili Xu and her Peruvian husband, there are both customers from China and Peru who enjoy their daily menu of €7. My recommendation is to order “aeropuerto”: noodles sauteed with beef and chaofan rice with vegetables and chicken. Authentic 100%.
Combo de Fass. Foto de www.nuestroavion.com
The photo picks up one of the most famous combos: cooked knuckle, sausages and “Sauerkraut” (“sauerkraut”). I know it’s not the healthiest dish in the world, but it doesn’t pretend it. If you have ever been to Germany, go to this restaurant to do a full gastro immersion. In fact, you can order the menu in German. It has the feel of a typical German tavern, with its selection of German beers included. If you are looking for more, in its headquarters of Chamartín you have butchery, deli and pastry. Authentic foreign food.
Fideos fríos de Winnie The Pooh. Foto de www.lookingfood.com
Its name is Xiong Zi Jie Chan Fang, but “Winnie the Pooh” is an easier name, right? The reason is its deco, where this little bear appears everywhere. The usual clientele are young Chinese who go out partying in the area, eating dishes that are worth €4. If you do not control Chinese language so much, do not worry because the menu is also in Spanish and the waiters are super nice. The highlight are “homemade cold noodles”, authentic foreign food, simple and great.
Picapollo de Kuracamakara.
If you are looking for order, silence, tablecloth and quick service do not go here. On the other hand if your real objective is to taste authentic Dominican food in a huge amount, this is your place. Homemade and tasty that can be rewarded with a few drinks. Very recommendable its “picapollo” accompanied by “patacones” and on Sundays the “sancocho”. A different and very funny option to eat if you have gone to Matadero Madrid or to take a walk on the Madrid Río. Even if you do not know what you are asking for, you’ll have fun.
Pizza de berenjenas de Piccola Napoli. Foto de www.madridcoolblog.com
There’re several places to try real Italian food in the capital. The transalpine colony is abundant and they love to set up restaurants, almost as much as Venezuelan people. But for me, there’re very few sites similar to Piccola Napoli. This is not a place to take pictures for Instagram. It’s a restaurant to eat homemade Italian dishes, made at the moment. My favorite one is the “Sicilian pizza”; but believe me, it’s worth traveling to Tetuán just to taste its “tiramisu”.
El festín iraní de BaniBanoo. Foto de BaniBanoo.
The best place in Madrid to bite into the new Persian cuisine. The food is as healthy as if they had invented flexitarianism in the Middle East. In this Iranian restaurant run by a “young lady” (Banoo) called Bani, you’ll find refreshing and very aromatic dishes with rice, sweet potato, hummus … Black tea and toasts of feta, cucumber and nuts will make you start the day full of energy. When you see photos of its recipes on its Facebook you’ll start salivating immediately.
Hamburguesa de canguro de Federal. Foto de www.federalcafe.es
You may not know it, but “Federal” is the name of a small town in Australia. And it was two Australians, Tommy Tang and Crick King, who set up the first Australian coffee in Barcelona, and who came to Madrid with the brunch boom. Their blend of English, European and Asian cuisine hits the spot for a perfect brunch. A “plowman’s” and a kangaroo burger with a cold “Coopers” is not bad to eat like a real Australian.
Arroz con pollo y chorizo ahumado de Gumbo. Foto de www.gumbo.es
Now the theme of foreign cuisines with an exotic spot is very fashionable; like Creole food. Spanish, South American, African ingredients with a French touch. Malasaña has the honor of hosting “fried green tomatoes”, “Bourbon chicken wings” or “rice with chicken and smoked sausage”. I assure you that the mix of New Orleans cuisine will not leave you indifferent.
Habanero de La Negra Tomasa. Foto de www.delimaalimon.com
A little piece of the Malecón de La Habana is near Sol with a decoration full of Cuban essence. Although it’s in a very touristy area, the place is very homey with very homemade food, like its “habanero”. Picadillo, fried egg, white rice and tostones with a couple of mojitos and live music make it the favorite Cuban restaurant in Madrid.
Merluza con almejas y pesto de Los Chuchis. Foto de www.nakedmadrid.com
No, do not go here to eat “fish & chips”, Scott Preston has so much more to offer. Although we all have a friend who is in the UK and says that he eats awful there, we must recognize that its “hake with pesto and clams” is delicious. I still have not tried their “low-temperature roast pork” on weekends, but people speaks highly of it. This place is very cozy and small, but the home of authentic foreign food of the British Isles in Lavapiés.
Madrid is full of options to eat dishes from all over the world, but of course, it’s not about eating American food at a KFC. The choices of authentic foreign food are varied, but beware. Rule #1 must be followed: if there’re customers in the restaurant of the country of origin, there is no failure. Do not miss the rest of my restaurants in Madrid and plan your next meal away from home. Bon appetit #bonvivantcastizo !
Translated by Story Of Madrid, the podcast about Madrid in English.