Dinner, Out of London

Taberna La Carmencita, Madrid

On our last night in Madrid we wanted to try something typically Spanish. That sounds a bit touristy, doesn’t it? It was our big mistake. What we didn’t think about was that all the tavernas and bars in Madrid are doing something typically Spanish, largely by virtue of being, well, spanish! So, we can’t really blame what was to come on anything but our own stupidity.

Living La Vida Loca

A friend pointed us in the direction of Taberna La Carmencita as the epitome of Spanish eating. And she was right, but at a price.

This is among the oldest restaurants in Madrid, and it’s beautiful. The tiled walls are stunning and, combined with high ceilings and dark wood, it’s a very cool setting for dinner. The staff are extremely friendly and made us very welcome. On the decor front, this place has the wow factor in spades.

The food was fine. Lovely and, as requested, typically Spanish. It just wasn’t anything more than that. The simple dishes could be found in any of the local bistros and, crucially, at a fraction of the price. I really don’t mind paying a bit extra for good food, but I don’t like feeling that I’m being fleeced. At the end of this meal I felt I’d been shorn completely.

We loved the complimentary pate that was served while we investigated the menu, but I was disappointed to see that they charged us for the bread! A selection of tapas resulted in a plate of brown food, served with the regulation crisps. We shared main courses and enjoyed the succulent albondigas with patatas fritas – but  €14 for meatballs and chips is a ridiculous. We also had the house salad and tuna escalopines.


A great place to come if you want an authentically old-fashioned Madrid dining experience. If it’s the food that you’re after, you’ll find plenty of places doing this better for a fraction of the price.

Loos Review (PMC Rating): ★★★☆☆ Finding the flush is a challenge!

Taberna La Carmencita,Calle de la Libertad 16, Madrid

Sunday, 16th July 2017


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