In the last few years, Madrid has got its mojo back, and nowhere is that clearer than in the rapidly developing restaurant scene that has, over the last two years, been described as the most exciting place to eat in Europe.
Latin American food has taken hold of Madrid, most obviously in this restaurant of hanging palms, lush jungle prints and luminous stuffed peacocks, which almost distract from the dishes such as shrimp ceviche marinated in lime and yuzu, fire-grilled meats and dragonfruit cocktails. restauranteamazonico.com
Around the corner from the extraordinary Prado and Reina Sofía museums is this laid-back cafe. Prop up the bar or squeeze yourself into a tiny table with a big bowl of soup, aubergine fritters, a salad, roast lamb, spare ribs, meatballs – the works.
Celebrity chef Aurelio Morales’ latest restaurant fuses Madrilenian and Catalan cuisines to create haute cuisine, Spanish style – think tiny quisquilla shrimp in citrus foam, or nigiri with beef aged for 180 days. cebomadrid.com
Taberna Los Huevos de Lucio
This is rural Spanish eating packaged up for city slickers. Think huevos rotos – fried eggs smashed over a pile of chips and covered in chistorra sausage and pisto vegetables (like a Spanish ratatouille). loshuevosdelucio.com
For a city that basks in sunshine from May to October, there is a surprising dearth of outdoor restaurants in Madrid. So step up to Dos Cielos, a Michelin-starred spot in the historic gardens and stables set next to the Royal Palace, with sumptuous food inspired by Madrid’s medieval past.
Set in a former cinema, this creative space has been converted into a gastronomic market with 10 restaurants. Try El Foso for its flaky patisseries, El Patio for tapas and Canalla Bistro, which serves high-end food without a white tablecloth in sight. plateamadrid.com
Cathay Pacific flies to Madrid from Hong Kong five times a week