Madrid has not always been known as the most adventurous of culinary capitals – sure the food here has always been fantastic, but the Spanish taste has until recently been firmly rooted in the known and the traditional. And who can blame them? The Spanish cuisine, and that of the Madrid region in particular is exquisite. But, the past 10 years or so have seen an ever-growing culinary crescendo in Madrid, with more adventurous and interesting purveyors of food opening up shop in our capital. As the locals open their minds to new tastes and flavours, travellers and visitors also benefit by having a wider range of adventurous foods to try.
A great example of this is the increasing popularity of African foods. Now, the very term “African foods” doesn’t give much away, as the cuisines from this enormous continent are rich, varied and offer a universe of variety. Just think of the possibilities – Moroccan, Egyptian, Ethiopian, and Nigerian, just to name a few. Now, they’re all available here in Madrid, and with the current explosion of African dining in Madrid, it seems sure there will be more to follow.
Kimbumbu is a great introduction to African cuisine in Madrid. The menu is simple, based on Cameroonian, Ghanaian, Kenyan and Tanzanian specialties. Try the delicious prawns with mango and sweet potato, or for vegetarians, the pumpkin and lentil curry is to die for. Portions are enormous, those thinking of ordering a starter and a main may find that the starter will completely suffice! Beautiful elegant African decor and friendly staff complete the evening. (Calle de Colmenares, 7 28004 Madrid)
If you’ve never tried Senegalese food, then Baobab in Madrid is the perfect place to give it a try. Famous dishes at this Madrid institution include the Mafe (lamb and potatoes in a peanut curry) and Yassa (braised chicken with Senegalese sticky rice). Mains begin at €7.40, so this is another great budget-friendly option in Madrid. (Plaza de Cabestreros, 1 Lavapies y Embajadores, 28084, Madrid)
Restaurant Al-Mounia Moroccan
Moroccan restaurants abound in the capital, but Restaurant Al-Mounia has to be among the most popular. Almost overwhelming in its grand decor, this is an authentic Morrocan experience. With all the delicious Moroccan dishes one would expect, such as tajin, pastella, and of course, endless variations on couscous, you’re sure to leave here satisfied. (Calle de Recoletos, 5, 28001 Madrid)
Nuria Restaurante Etiope
The trend for Ethiopian cuisine seems to be sweeping major cities internationally, and Madrid is no exception. A popular Ethiopian restaurant in Madrid is Nuria If you’re new to Ethiopian, try the tasting menu to get to know the distinct flavours. Think Indian curries, with a fresh African twist, with plenty of vegetarian options available, such as lentils and beans on delicious Ethiopian flat breads. (Calle de Manuela Malasaña, 6, 28004 Madrid)