As the saying goes “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper” is pretty much how they do it here in Spain. One of the best ways to lunch smart and economical is to eat a “Menu del Día”. These menus of the day are offered almost everywhere and include a starter, main course, desert and a glass of beer or wine, (you may even get a free coffee). The prices start at €10 which is pretty reasonable for all those plates, but here are a few that I continue to go to after all my time living here in Madrid. My favourites!

De Maria C/ Correo 2, 28012


This place is a “Parrilla” (Argentinian BBQ). You really get your fill here, and the quality of the food is simply excellent. Choose a “chorizo”, “morcilla” or “empanada” to start, then choose a succulent piece of meat or chicken for the main course with a side of fries or salad. Top it off with a dessert and a coffee. This is a bar menu so there is usually an extra charge for sitting on the terrace. It is a bargain menu of the day because the same piece of meat from the main costs €20 á la carte.

Taberna Marciano C/ Cadiz 4, 28012


The location is round the corner from Sol. It  has a daily changing menu that includes the usual starter, main, dessert, and drink. Paella is usually on the list even as a starter and Spanish stews and soups in the winter months are definitely a favourite. I particularly like the rice and bread puddings they serve for dessert.

Fragua De Vulcano C/ Avarez Gato 9, 28012

Paella for €6.50

They don’t have a menu of the day generally here, but as the prices are pretty cheap you can make your own. I usually go for the chicken and seafood rice paella which costs only €6.50 and a tapas of peppers, (pimientos padron) with a caña, which doesn’t break the bank and is delicious!

Indian Food in Lavapies – C/ Lavapies 42, 28012


Lavapies has a lot of competition when it comes to Indian food. While walking down the street you will be approached by PR’s offering their restaurants menus which is nice the first few times. Shapla is my regular, they (like many), have a few menu options throughout the whole day, (so this could be an evening meal also). You have a choice of 4/5 dishes for starter, main, side and desert (includes a drink also). The Spanish aren’t so used to their food being spicy so the Indian food is usually quite tame – I always ask them to spice it up and it still only has a little kick to it.