A Foodie’s Favorites Near Monte Esquinza
EMILY FRITZSON- I’ve been in Spain for about 13 weeks now, and although I will often make a PB&J at home and buy a yogurt or fruit cup at VIPS to eat at the program center for lunch, I have also tried a lot of restaurants in the Colón area. Oftentimes, I don’t want to travel too far away from the program center to eat between classes, so I have found some places nearby that I like to go. Here are some of my favorites!
I love this place because they have a great menú del día that gives you 6-8 choices for both the first and second plate and includes a drink and dessert or coffee for 12.50€ but cheaper if you want just one plate. They often offer Spanish classics, like jamón ibérico, in addition to universal favorites, like spaghetti or even fish and chips. Because the service is quick in Spain terms and it’s just across the major street off Monte Esquinza, this place is a favorite of many students.
I was beyond excited when someone told me about this “bagel place” near the Alonso Martinez metro stop. A taste of America in Madrid, this place offers a wide variety of tasty food: bagels, wraps, crepes, frozen yogurt, yogurt/fruit bowls, coffee, smoothies, juices and more. It’s also very reasonably priced and you can eat there or take it to go, no problem. If you want something basic and quick, this is the place to go!
Okay, this restaurant is little bit farther away (between the Tribunal and Bilbao metro stops) but it’s worth it. It’s a small Mexican place wedged in on Calle Fuencarral, one of the coolest streets in Madrid in my experience. They have a menu del día with a fair mix of Mexican classics and novelty dishes. Their chocolate cake is the perfect size to get just the right amount of sweet without feeling like you’ll have to walk miles to make up for it. Also, it’s just far enough away that on a warm, sunny day, it makes for a wonderful walk. But if you want a closer Mexican option, I also recommend Tierra, a Tufts-Skidmore student favorite for sure. It’s essentially Spanish Chipotle but slightly better in my opinion. As someone that loves Mexican, I’d say both do the job quite well.
Of all the places to eat in Madrid, I probably frequent this spot the most. It’s a simple and chic salad and sandwich spot located just down the street from the program center. I love it because 1) when you walk in, you can see all the salad options laid out under a glass counter top so you can pick exactly what you want, 2) I don’t have to know the Spanish word for “cucumbers” or “beets” because I can point to their respective bowls under the glass, 3) it’s a healthy alternative to the carb-filled Spanish diet and 4) the salads are big, super filling, and come with a free pack of breadsticks. The 8.95€ salad is well under the 11€ stipend, if for some reason you still are hungry and want to buy one of their always delicious-looking bakery items, and lets you choose two bases and five generously large toppings.
Also check out Tommy Mel’s for classic diner food and desserts, Crustó for a Panera-like experience and stylish ascetic, and Prep’ La Crêpe for sweet and savory crepes!
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