Midday meal in Madrid near Atocha?
February 23, 2024 6:52 AM   Subscribe

Flight lands at 8, train leaves from Atocha at 2:30. I'm planning on stowing my bag at the train station and wandering around for a few hours. Do you have a recommendation for a good place nearby to have lunch? It would have to be on the earlier side I think, probably around noon or even a few minutes earlier (just for my own peace of mind, I don't want to be running through the train station searching for my platform at like 2:25). Or is there something else I should be doing with this time? This will be on a Tuesday a couple weeks from now, and I'll be on foot. Thank you!
posted by CheeseLouise to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
Lunch in Spain is 2-4pm, though in Madrid you should be able to find something open at American lunchtime, especially bakeries. There’s also a number of places in the train station with traveller-friendly hours so you won’t starve if you want to get a jamón sandwich or some empanadas and take them with you on the train or eat at the station.

The museum Reina Sofia is right next to the train station (which is huge and easy to get turned around in). If you like contemporary art and the hours work, that’s what you should be doing. Advance tickets mean you don’t have to stand in line but you do have to use a different, less obvious back entrance to the building.
posted by A Blue Moon at 7:21 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]

That's quite near the Prado and the Reina Sofia museums, if you like museums, and I know I've had a very good if pricey lunch on a sidewalk somewhere around there, though I can't find the specific place on maps. Also near the enormous parque de retiro for a nice walk.
posted by Mngo at 7:24 AM on February 23

Response by poster: Sorry, I was too broad in my question: I know it's early for lunch, but I was hoping maybe someone has a specific suggestion for a place you know that does happen to be open early, thanks. I have museum tickets for later in this trip, so no museums during this brief stopover. Thank you!
posted by CheeseLouise at 7:42 AM on February 23

Best answer: If you're for a meal of a sandwich (or bocadillo) and a drink, any bar inside or around the station will feed you at noon, and it's quite nice to sit in an inner terrace in Atocha and watch the greenery even if the bars inside the station do have a price markup. The environs are mostly filled with government buildings and museums (Reina Sofía, Caixaforum, Prado, and so on), but if you want to kill time, you can take a stroll through the Jardín Botánico that is right next to El Prado, a short walk along Paseo de Castellana.

What you're not going to get is a regular Spanish three course lunch meal before one in the afternoon, though.
posted by sukeban at 8:00 AM on February 23

Best answer: If you want a traditional taberna, Bodegas Rosell opens at noon. I don't know your budget but TimeOut Madrid has a list of 24 places to eat near Atocha across different price ranges.
posted by vacapinta at 8:59 AM on February 23

Atocha station is just south of a very busy and lively tourist area. with 3 or so hours to spend you can stroll north of the station and find a wide variety of bakeries, street food , markets and restaurants catering to any taste. We stayed on P de Atocha a couple of years ago and found food abundant and easy, all ten minutes walk from the station.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:58 AM on February 23

Aside: anyone care to comment on the atocha restoration. I haven't been since.
posted by j_curiouser at 10:50 AM on February 23

Best answer: The Lavapies neighborhood is about a 40 minute walk away, with a number of good Pakistani (halal) restaurants. The local metro has a stop there too. And it's home to a lovely cat café! (Make reservations!)

More on the castellano side: the Mercado San Miguel. Just about any kind of characteristically Spanish food you can imagine. It's bustling for a reason. Also within walking distance and on a train line.
posted by rabia.elizabeth at 11:20 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Nomade Cafe and Oveja Negra are both easy walks and open midday Tuesday. My son loves in Madrid and those are both places I've enjoyed enough to mark on my map (I usually stay right across from Atocha). Have a great time!
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 6:55 AM on February 26

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