Deciding on somewhere to eat is hard enough back home when you know the area inside and out, never mind when you’re in a country you’ve never been before. On our last night in Madrid we had the same struggle, unsure as to where the best place to eat would be. After what seemed like many miles of walking around the streets of Chueca, Madrid’s gay district we stumbled across what I can only describe as Madrid’s friendliest restaurant – Baco y Beto.
Located in the heart of Chueca is a small restaurant called Baco y Beto. When we walked up to it they must have just been opening up because there was a small queue of people outside. When the lights came on and everything seemed to be in operation those people stepped inside. We were too nervous to follow them so we decided to call it quits and go find somewhere else. After stepping into this market/dining hall and looking around for some time, we were getting bored and just wanted to get some food. My stomach rumbles were growing louder and louder! I wanted to go back and try Baco y Beto again because I just had a feeling that it would be the best place to go. We wondered back and luckily business was running was usual. We stepped inside and we were shown to our table, groups of locals were sitting at the bar chatting while drinking wine and eating nibbles. To say it had just opened for the night it was already bustling with activity. We sat down and ordered drinks while inspecting the menu. As the night progressed other people started to fill the tables around us.
The waiter (who I think is also the owner) told us when to stop ordering our tapas because he knew it would be too much – he was right! I thought this was a really nice gesture because he didn’t want food or our money to be wasted on a full stomach. The food was just as nice as the hospitality and I got to try a varied range of authentic Spanish tapas. The restaurant was oozing with a casual atmosphere as people leisurely chatted over their meal. Twice in the evening the power cut out, each time the occupants of the restaurant roared with laughter. The power was back on soon and we could continue eating. These little quirks just give the place so much character and I really felt at ease here. When it was time for dessert our waiter recommend the cheesecake he made that day. I’m not a fan of cheesecake so had to pass and he pretended to cry, he was a really charming guy that obviously took a lot of pride in his business. I think he is the reason why the restaurant has its unforgettable atmosphere.
At the end of the meal we were pleased to give a generous tip and we left the restaurant in high spirits. It rounded off our trip to Madrid in the best possible way. If you’re pottering around Madrid looking for somewhere to eat then I think you should pay Baco y Beto a visit. The casual and chilled atmosphere, while you sit with rich wine and a decadent selection of tapas is not to be missed…. And if you’re lucky the power may trip once or twice!