La Barraca: Dining in the Best Paella Restaurant in Madrid
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Madrid is a place that has an alluring combination of old and new. When in the city, one would be able to see an old-fashioned book store in one corner and another fancy-looking café in the other, but it wouldn’t look strange at all. Aside from its sights, however, the food of Madrid also has an amazing combination of all sorts, and I was able to personally appreciate these dishes.
After having a long and interesting walking tour of the Spanish capital, we returned to our hotel for an hour’s worth of rest. We had a reservation at a place called La Barraca Restaurant. I read online that it is one of the most famous paella restaurants in Madrid.
It was exactly 8 in the evening when we left our hotel, and I can’t believe the sun is still up! It’s not something I see back at home, so it was amazing and surprising at the same time.
We reached the restaurant in less than five minutes or so. The restaurant had a large “Restaurante La Barraca” sign that greeted us. Since the place was founded in 1935, I imagined that the same old-fashioned sign had greeted generation after generation of paella-craving diners.
When we entered the building, the receptionist immediately welcomed us and guided us to our reserved table. It was a rather busy place, and I was glad that we had a reservation. The restaurant was elegantly lit, and the atmosphere of the place was very inviting. There are other dining areas aside from the one where our table was located. The interiors were decorated in a very local and traditional way.
We ordered from the restaurant’s menu after settling in. While the menu featured several Spanish seafood dishes, I had my eye on their list of paella varieties. After all, the place was renowned for serving the best of the sort. I wanted to personally sample the paella.
There were more than 10 different types of rice dishes in the menu. One can choose from mild, strong, seafood, vegetables, and varying consistencies.
While we waited for our meal to be served, we met a group of Filipina flight attendants of Saudia, or the Saudi Arabian Airlines. We got into a brief conversation and they told us that they decided to dine in La Barraca Restaurant because it had positive reviews online.
After a while, our table was served freshly baked bread for starters. They don’t serve butter so I asked for olive oil instead. My request was granted immediately.
Our drinks came in afterwards. We ordered sparkling water, still water, and the restaurant’s special Sangria. I thought the Sangria was mild because it tasted like normal grape juice, but I felt its potency after I finished my first glass.
For our appetizer, we were served Desgarrat, a salad with red peppers, olive oil, pimiento, and stripped cod fish.
For our main course for the night, we ordered the restaurant’s signature dish, the Mariniere of the House Paella. The seafood paella featured clam, king prawns, a giant red prawn, squid, mussels, and tender grouper. La Barraca has been voted for having the best paella in town, and I finally understood why. The plate was very satiating, and the flavors of the topped seafood complemented each other. The rice consistency was just perfect, and the burnt-to-taste crisps added texture to the dish.
We were served Prawns Orly for side dish. It was a Spanish version of shrimp tempura, and although it is not as crispy as the usual tempura, the batter was very tasty. It is very similar to our own Camaron rebosado.
Crema Catalana and Sorbete de Limon were on our plates for dessert. The Crema Catalana was served in a small ceramic bowl, and is one of the best crème Brule I’ve ever tasted. There was a perfect balance between the sweetness and the crisp of the burnt sugar on top. The Sorbete de Limon, on the other hand, served as a good dessert to cap off our flavorful, seafood-y meal.
After finishing our meals and resting for a while, we left the restaurant happy and satiated. We had a wonderful evening. The food was superb, and the atmosphere of the restaurant was perfect for the occasion. It was rather busy when we arrived but the staff were all very courteous and responsive to our needs. If you haven’t tried out paella yet, La Barraca Restaurant is the best place to have it in Madrid. Make sure to get a table reserved because the best paella restaurant in town is mostly always busy. On average, a main course meal will cost 16 euros. A 3-course meal, on the other hand, will cost around 37 euros.
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This Spain Street Photography and Food Tour was made possible by Spain Tourism Board, Turkish Airlines, Madrid Destino, Visit Barcelona, La Rioja Tourism, Donostia San Sebastian Tourism and Convention Bureau and Turismo Bilbao.
La Barraca Restaurant
Address: Calle Reina 29, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Telephone: 915 327 154
Metro: Gran Vía
Official site in English: http://www.labarraca.es/?lang=en
Click here to make a reservation online.
13:30 – 16:15
20:00 – 23:45