123 Years in the Making: Lunch in Los Galayos Restaurant, Madrid

We ended our artistic and historical tour in Museo del Prado for a gastronomical adventure in Los Galayos Restaurant. The restaurant is located in the southeastern part of Plaza Mayor, one of the busiest and liveliest part of the city of Madrid.

One of the gates of Plaza Mayor in Madrid
One of the gates of Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Los Galayos has been serving the people of Madrid since 1894. During then, the restaurant took the name of Casa Rojo, and exclusively served tapas and drinks. However, during the course of the years, the cozy tavern eventually transformed into a full-fledged restaurant and took its present name, serving not just tapas, but also traditional Spanish dishes, roast meat, and more.

Los Galayos Restaurante
Los Galayos Restaurante

The restaurant currently has several dining rooms. Our group chose to reserve a table in one of the two terrazas of the restaurant. Our seats provided us an excellent view of Plaza Mayor. Dining outside under the umbrellas was a very wonderful experience—but not as wonderful as our food.


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Spanish Red Wine
Spanish Red Wine

The chefs of Los Galayos served us the most excellent of Spanish dishes. For starters, we were served Jamon Iberico con Picos de Cadiz, a flavorful slice of meat that had the right amount of marbled fat. We also had Langostinos Villaroy con Mahonesa de Pimientos del Piquillo; Esparragos Trigeros Emapanados con Salsa Ali Oil, a plate of deep fried breaded asparagus which made me change the way I see the vegetable; and Pincho de Brandada de Bacalao, a refreshing, bite-sized appetizer. The names of our dishes sure are a mouthful, but they were very tasty! These delicious dishes was also accompanied by Gambas al Ajillo, shrimps with garlic and smothered with rich olive oil.

Green Olives
Green Olives
Jamon Iberico con Picos de Cadiz
Jamon Iberico con Picos de Cadiz
Pincho de Brandada de Bacalao
Pincho de Brandada de Bacalao
Gambas al Ajillo
Gambas al Ajillo
Esparragos Trigeros Emapanados con Salsa Ali Oil
Esparragos Trigeros Emapanados con Salsa Ali Oil
another spanish appetizer
another Spanish appetizer
Cochinillo Asado a la Segoviana
Cochinillo Asado a la Segoviana

For our main dish, we had Cochinillo Asado a la Segoviana. This dish is prepared for at least eight hours in the kitchen, and taking a bite into it was truly a delight—tender, flavorful meat, with an excellent texture and little to no fat.

Bistec
Bistec

We were also served Bistec, a plate of beef steak from Avila. I was already nearly full due to the previous dishes that I sampled, but there was no way I could not eat my helping of Bistec. Los Galayos is the maestro in roast meat, after all.Finally, for dessert, we had Manchego Cheese, a soft and creamy bar of cheese made from the milk of sheep in the La Mancha region of Spain.

Refreshing Sangria
Refreshing Sangria

Finally, for dessert, we had Manchego Cheese, a soft and creamy bar of cheese made from the milk of sheep in the La Mancha region of Spain. We also had Grapas, a drink made from coffee, cinnamon, and lychee.

Grapas
Grapas


Torrijas de Leche de Pan Candeal con Helado de Turron
Torrijas de Leche de Pan Candeal con Helado de Turron

Our most grandiose dessert in terms of presentation was the Torrijas de Leche de Pan Candeal con Helado de Turron, a heavenly plate of something similar to French toast but creamier, topped with a helping of light ice cream that fully cleansed our palate.

Lunch in Los Galayos Restaurant in Madrid
Lunch in Los Galayos Restaurant in Madrid

Los Galayos is a must-go to restaurant when one is in Madrid. It’s a hidden gem in the iconic Plaza Mayor.

Plaza Mayor in Madrid
Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Reserving a table is a must here. I recommend reserving a table in the terrace facing Plaza Mayor like what we did. Tasting the tradition of the city went well with the sceneries of the plaza, but the downside of the location is that there were occasional peddlers who approached us when we were still waiting for our meals to be served. To avoid this, you may opt for the other dining halls.

Los Galayos Restaurant
Los Galayos Restaurant

In overall, my dining experience in Los Galayos was exquisite. It was rather busy when we got there but the staff was very attentive. The dishes that was served were all beautifully plated, and one can feel the delicate effort poured into each dish. It feels as if I’m eating the meals that have been perfected through the 123 years of cooking.

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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.

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