When traveling with kids, mealtimes are one of the most important yet most complicated parts of the day.
You might barely understand what everything is yourself, so just imagine how foreign all of this food must seem to a little one! Luckily, eating in Madrid with kids doesn’t have to be much of a hassle. With these tips, you’ll be able to find the best kid friendly restaurants in Madrid and discover what to order so they’ll enjoy every bite.
Figuring out where to eat in a new country can be complicated enough, but dining out with kids adds an extra challenge!
A different language and unfamiliar food can make even the simple experience of dining out seem like a whole new world for kids. And as parents, it can be tough to try and figure out where you all can go out to eat to leave everyone happy.
This comprehensive guide to the best kid friendly restaurants in Madrid, as well as Spanish food for kids, will help you narrow down your choices and make your eating experience much easier. It is possible to eat like a local, even when visiting Madrid with kids!
Eating with Kids in Spain Overview
Locals love taking their kids along when they enjoy a meal out. As a result, kids are not only welcome, but their presence is embraced at most eateries.
For littler travelers, some restaurants in Madrid do have high chairs—you just have to ask! A high chair is called a trona in Spanish.
Many Spanish restaurants don’t have kids menus; instead, children will simply eat whatever the adults are eating. However, later we’ll dive into some great options for Spanish food that is kid-friendly by nature!
Kid Friendly Restaurants in Madrid
Restaurants Geared Towards Kids
If keeping the kids happy is your main concern, there are plenty of great places in Madrid that feature fun play areas and other children’s spaces. Kids can run around and play to their hearts’ content while parents and grandparents enjoy a quiet meal. Here are some of the best restaurants for kids in Madrid with spaces specially designed for them.
- La Excéntrica offers delicious, authentic Spanish food and kid-friendly fun. This brightly decorated, friendly restaurant in the city center makes for the perfect place to enjoy a family meal. They do offer a special kids’ menu, as well as a kids’ play area that opens on weekends.
- Mamá Campo: Natural, ecological products are the pride and joy of this lovely little restaurant in the family-friendly Chamberí neighborhood. This beautifully decorated space is home to farm-fresh traditional dishes using only the finest local, organic ingredients. There is a small kids’ space onsite, and its location just off of picturesque Plaza de Olavide makes for a great place for kids to play as well.
Parks & Plazas
Home to countless perfect plazas and lush green spaces, Madrid makes it easy to enjoy a leisurely family meal out in the fresh air. These types of places are home to some of the best kid friendly restaurants in Madrid. These are especially popular among local families—parents can hang out on the terrace enjoying their meal or drinks while kids have a blast running around!
- Restaurante Cabreira: Plaza Dos de Mayo in the hip, happening Malasaña neighborhood might be one of the most picturesque terraces in Madrid (and that’s saying a lot!). It’s home to a handful of great bars and eateries, among them Cabreira. This modern, trendy restaurant makes sure to pay tribute to traditional recipes and cooking methods, as is evident in the fresh and flavorful menu options, with plenty of simple, delicious dishes to choose from that kids will love.
- La Taquería de Birra – Comendadoras: Located in splendid Plaza de las Comendadoras, this place was one of the first Mexican restaurants in the city. As home to delicious and authentic tacos, nachos, quesadillas and more, there’s no shortage of kid-friendly options on the menu! And to top it all off, there’s a great playground right in the square itself, making it the perfect location for a family meal.
- Madrid Rio: Okay, so this option is technically a park, rather than one of the best restaurants for kids in Madrid. However, if you’re looking to enjoy a simple, casual meal out in the fresh air while the kids play, you can’t get better than Madrid Río. This lovely riverside park is dotted with dozens of food trucks and kiosks where you can grab a quick bite, as well as a whopping 17 total play areas, each geared towards a different age group.
Simple, Delicious Food
Some of the best restaurants for kids in Madrid don’t have fancy play areas and kids’ menus. Instead, the best option is often just simple food at a normal restaurant that locals love. Here are some spots where you can enjoy a delicious family meal everyone will devour.
- Casa Mingo: If there’s one thing kids the world over love, it’s roast chicken. That’s the star of the show at this Asturian-style restaurant and cider house in Príncipe Pío. They’ve been serving up perfect rotisserie chicken since 1888, and the place still retains much of its old-school charm from decades past.
- Los Huevos de Lucio: This spot in La Latina is famous for their huevos rotos, an egg-and-potato dish that kids are sure to gobble up. A family-run favorite, they also serve up more kid-friendly options like croquetas and fried fish.
- Juana La Loca‘s dishes take inspiration from traditional Spanish classics. Eating here is a true feast for the senses: in addition to the simple yet fabulous food, you’ll be swept up in the friendly, vibrant local atmosphere. Most madrileños agree that this is home to the best tortilla de patatas in Madrid, and kids will love this simple favorite: just eggs, potatoes, salt (and possibly onions!).
We’re huge fans of Madrid’s incredible market scene. In addition to being truly authentic places to go grocery shopping, many of these great market bars are also some of the best kid friendly restaurants in Madrid. The sheer variety of choices inside most markets means there’s something for everyone!
- Mercado de San Fernando: A true staple in the Embajadores neighborhood since 1944, you can’t get much more local than Mercado de San Fernando. The market has undergone renovation efforts in recent years, bringing it a fresh look while still retaining its old-world, traditional charm. You’ll feel at home among the locals as they go about their shopping and stop for tapas at one of the market bars, and kids will enjoy playing in the large open space in the center of the market with madrileño children their age!
- Mercado Antón Martin: As one of Madrid’s most storied and traditional markets, this market is truly a classic. Many of the more than five dozen stalls have been around for generations. The vendors are truly passionate about their high quality products—plus, its proximity to Retiro Park makes it a great place to pick up supplies for a family picnic!
- Mercado de la Paz: Madrid’s trendy Salamanca neighborhood is one of the best neighborhoods in Madrid for families and home to one of the city’s oldest markets. The lovely, welcoming space is home to dozens of family-run stalls and restaurants. For a quick, kid-friendly bite, be sure to enjoy the unbeatable tortilla at Casa Dani!
Best Spanish Food for Kids
Despite the lack of kids’ menus at most places, there are a handful of Spanish foods that are perfect for young eaters. Any place serving these dishes is guaranteed to be one of the best kid friendly restaurants in Madrid!
1. Churros and Chocolate
A classic for breakfast or an afternoon snack, this yummy treat will awe travelers of all ages. Be sure to try a churrería where they fry the churros to order. This ensure perfectly crisp churros for dipping into your steaming mug of thick hot chocolate!
One of the best places for churros in Madrid—and a true local icon—is Chocolatería San Ginés. Locals have adored this cozy churros spot since 1894. Step inside this Madrid favorite and learn how to enjoy churros like a local in the video below!
2. Huevos Rotos
What could be better than a heaping plate of hand-cut french fries topped with fried eggs and thinly sliced ham? Huevos rotos (broken eggs) is a traditional Madrid tapas dish that’s both delicious and fun! When the large plate arrives, someone has to do the honors of cutting up the eggs (hence “broken”) and mixing the golden, runny yolk into the potatoes.
Though jamón is the traditional topping, you can also get huevos rotos with grilled chorizo or other cured meats. Or eliminate the meat altogether for a great vegetarian tapa!
Who doesn’t love meatballs? In Madrid, they’re known as albóndigas and are served in a yummy sauce made of stewed onions and extra finely diced carrots.
Albóndigas are a typical lunchtime meal that come with french fries or steamed rice. They are Madrid comfort food at its best, and a perfect meal for little adventurers.
4. Sandwich Mixto
Spain’s gift to grilled cheese lovers is the sandwich mixto, a classic choice for breakfast time and for an afternoon snack that we call merienda. As one of the best Spanish foods for kids out there, it’s a heavenly combination of melted cheese with ham between two slices of bread, grilled to crisp and buttery perfection! Even if it’s not on the menu, most places will be able to whip this up quickly if you ask.
No trip to Madrid is complete without a thick slice of tortilla! This classic dish is a Spanish potato and egg omelet with rockstar status in Madrid.
Tortilla represents everything we love about Spanish cuisine: simple ingredients that together are more than the sum of their parts. This kid-friendly Spanish dish is great at any time of day: either on its own or served in a bocadillo (a hearty baguette sandwich).
6. Sopa de Cocido
Cocido madrileño is Madrid’s beloved hearty meat, vegetable and chickpea stew. Enjoying a cocido is usually a three-course, several hour affair that can be tricky even for adults to polish off in its entirety!
That said, young eaters will love the soup made from the cocido broth and fine noodles. It’s an abridged version of the full experience that many restaurants offer at lunch time.
7. Pasta con Chorizo (or con Atún)
The menú del día, or set lunch menu, in restaurants around town often offers comfort foods perfect for young eaters. Kids in Madrid go crazy for pasta con chorizo, penne or fusilli pasta with tomato sauce and bits of smoky chorizo (no worries—it’s not spicy!). Another popular variation on this dish is pasta con atún, or excellent Spanish canned tuna.
Croquettes, or croquetas, are fried balls of goodness that are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. They consist of bechamel sauce studded with everything from bits of ham to cooked chicken. Some restaurants even specialize just in croquetas, and they are perfect for little hands!
Tips for Eating in Madrid with Kids
Whether you’re headed to one of the best kid friendly restaurants in Madrid or grabbing a quick bite on the go, here are some tips that will make eating in Spain’s capital much easier with little ones.
Get the Hang of Spanish Mealtimes
Locals in Madrid eat quite a bit later than what your family might be used to. It may be hard to find restaurants open for lunch at noon, or for dinner at 6 p.m.
The good news, though, is that there are even more mealtimes worked into the schedule throughout the day here in Spain. Keeping these in mind will make eating in Madrid with kids much easier as you plan your day and meals.
- Breakfast #1: 7–9 a.m. Usually eaten at home before heading out for the day.
- Breakfast #2 (mid-morning snack): 10–11 a.m. Many Spaniards will enjoy this meal out at a cafe near their workplace.
- Lunch: 2–3:30 p.m. Many restaurants will open at around 1 or 1:30.
- Afternoon snack: 5–6:30 p.m. This is known as merienda and is practically sacred among Spanish children! Now is the perfect time to indulge in churros or a sweet pastry, though sandwiches are also a common choice.
- Aperitif: 7–9 p.m. The majority of bars in Madrid will give you a small tapa to enjoy while you sip your drink. Often, this is a kid-friendly option such as a dish of potato chips or nuts.
- Dinner: 9–10 p.m. Restaurant kitchens will usually open around 8 or 8:30. If you need to eat earlier, check out one of the places in our guide to eating early in Madrid!
Order Tapas & Raciones
Everyone knows what tapas are—or at least they think they do. Tapas are simple small plates, many of which come free when you order a drink (but not always).
If many people in a group want the same thing, they may opt to order a media ración (half portion, good for about two or three people) or a ración (full portion, good for four or five) rather than everyone ordering the same tapa. Raciones are a popular shared-plates style of eating in Madrid, so embrace the local custom!
What might not be so obvious is that tapas and raciones are great for eating in Madrid with kids. Tapas are small and inexpensive, and raciones are a great value as well. Even if your child doesn’t like the first thing they try, this style of eating allows for lots of variety, so there’s sure to be a kid-friendly dish they’ll love!
Eating in Madrid with Kids FAQs
Madrid is a wonderful city for families. Spanish culture is very family-oriented and welcomes children just about anywhere—even when out to eat—so there are plenty of kid friendly restaurants in Madrid. The city is also full of parks, playgrounds, and other activities that little ones will adore!
Curiously, most Spanish children simply eat whatever the adults at the table are eating! That said, there are a few dishes that are all-around kid favorites. These include croquettes, pasta with tuna or chorizo, Spanish potato omelet, any kind of sandwich or bocadillo, and of course, sweet treats like churros and chocolate!
For a European capital, Madrid is surprisingly friendly on your wallet. While you can certainly find expensive, high-end restaurants, it’s easy to eat well in this city for surprisingly little money.
Update Notice: This post was originally published on July 28, 2016 and was updated with new text and photos on July 14, 2021.
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