Madrid – Barrio Salamanca – Tapas Bars in Goya neighbourhood

Goya is in the central southern part of Barrio Salamanca, bordered by Calle Principe de Vegara to the west (see my Recoletos posts), Calle de Don Ramón de la Cruz to the north (see my Lista post), Calle del Dr. Esquerdo to the east and Calle de O’Donnell to the south (see my Ibiza posts). Please see my separate posts for stuff to see, posh restaurants and cheaper places to eat in Goya. Map of the barrio here, my Google map here.

Here are a tapas bars I know in Goya, in no particular order. Some are better than others.

Ultramarinos Quintin (High Intermediate B+), 17 Calle Jorge Juan,

This is currently (Spring 2016) the trendiest wine bar in Barrio Salamanca according to our Madrileno area manager. My friend Nicky and I popped in for a couple of glasses of wine which were a bit pricey at €3.50 a pour but it was all good quality tackle. Not sure what the food is like but presumably it must be good.

Came back in 2018 to try the food. To begin the Croquettas Tigre which were very good (B+). Their Fabada is delicious too (B+). Those silky beans in a hearty broth with a few choice pork products are just what you need on a cold winter’s evening.

With two glasses of wine and a Magno brandy the bill came to €41. Go elsewhere for the brandy, it’s massively overpriced here.

Estay (Intermediate B+), 46 Calle Hermosilla,

This well-reputed tapas bar is on the other side of the block from the Hotel Centro making it the easiest quality option for many of my work colleagues. This is their House selection of canapes.

House selection

The decor is rather sterile and there is no atmosphere as such but the tapas are great and the wines are reasonably cheap.

Cabrales with toasted almonds is a personal favourite.

Cabrales with almonds

Lateral (intermediate B+), 57 Calle Velasquez

This is one of a small chain of tapas bars with a good rep for quality, well-priced tapas. They have good salads too and you can sit outside if you time your arrival right.

Their ‘Solorca’ Ribeira del Duero Reserva is excellent (A) if a bit pricey at €18.20 but I’d prefer spend the extra rather than get the cheaper Finca Vieja La Mancha at €13 (C).

Solorca Ribeira

Also near the Hotel Catalonia Goya are near neighbours Taberna O’Caldino at 74 Calle Lagasca and El Rincon de Goya at 46 Calle Lagasca are good quality but rather posh, and consequently a bit pricey.

La Casa del Abuelo (Intermediate C+), 57 Calle Goya (turn left out of the door of the Hotel Centro, it’s two half blocks, just before the green pharmacy sign on your side of the street)

‘Grandfather’s House’ is a typical ceramic tiled tapas bar a stone’s throw from the Hotel Goya, making it a handy spot for my workmates to meet at the end of the day for drinks and snacks. I’m not much of a fan as I find it quite expensive. It’s a hefty €2.70 for a cana (in 2009, more now) and they don’t do small tapa portions, only media-raciones, which are okay but not the best. The staff can vary from being mildly pleasant to downright rude but I’ve learnt to take them in my stride.

Santa Barbara (Intermediate B+), Calle Goya, on the corner where it meets Calle Alcala. NOW CLOSED!

This is a famous bar, founded since 1815, although the lovely neo-Mudejar building is occupies is ersatz. It’s very popular due to its location on a major crossroads and proximity to El Corte Ingles department store.


It’s famous for seafood; the prawns are great and the salpicon (seafood salad). is pretty good too, and you can sit outside in an oasis of calm amidst the hustle and bustle of two major streets.

A rack of eight Gambas a la Plancha and two dobles of cerveza will set two people back about €20, not something I can afford every day but a nice treat now and then when I need my prawn fix.

Sadly when I walked past in March 2017 I saw that this place is now a phone shop. Times inevitably change…

Pics uploaded May 2012

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