The second oldest restaurant in Madrid and one of the most beautiful,
La Carmencita’s walls are covered with floral-patterned tiles surrounding a lovely wood and zinc bar. Lorca and his
literary circle used to hang out here, but the restaurant doesn’t rest on the glories of its past. Recently completely
renovated, it successfully marries its heritage with contemporary design, and its organically sourced food goes the same
way. Fresh farm eggs, slow-cooked lamb, Cantabrian beef, and fish delivered daily from the markets of Santander are

the staples of the menu. “Eco” meatballs in a recipe from 1854 sum up the mood. Then there’s the
hora del vermú, just
before lunch, when you can wake up your appetite with a glass of bitter vermouth, accompanied by
rabas de Santander,
fried squid rings.