Madrid is fast securing its place as one of the world’s gastronomic capitals. The Spanish capital has over 3,100 restaurants, a sprawling network of vibrant neighbourhood food markets, and a growing arsenal of Michelin stars under its belt. In case you missed the memo, last year five new restaurants were awarded stars for their exemplary efforts in the kitchen.
However, Madrid’s food culture is much more than its celebrity chefs, haute cuisine, and high-end eateries. Once you slice through the headline-grabbing fanfare, a new generation of talented youngsters is busy cultivating a grassroots scene that is not only delighting local diners but also paving their own way to future stardom. Come and meet some of the new talented kids on the block and pull up a chair to taste their culinary creations.
Calle Valverde 42. Metro: Gran Vía or Tribunal
Everyone seems to be talking about Navaja. Located in the colourful Malasaña district, this small restaurant was opened just a few months ago by two gregarious Gallegos. Chef Alex Álvares from Orense and front-of-house extraordinaire Libia Veiga from Vigo joined forces to offer a relaxed and wholesome eatery that offers up colourfully concocted dishes of Galician-Peruvian fusion. Álvarez and Veiga like to deliver the plates to each table themselves, explaining the ingredients and cooking methods to adoring audiences. Be sure to try the navajas (razor clams), tangy oysters, octopus and quinoa salad, and the particularly popular pork buns. It all seems to wash down rather well with pineapple and mandarin flavoured piscos, so be sure to ask the extra-friendly staff for a tipple.