This immensely stylish and classy Michelin 3-star restaurant (the only one in Madrid, and the first Spanish restaurant to receive the honor) was named after the adventurous hero of Basque author Pío Baroja's 1909 novel, Zalacaín El Aventurer.  The cuisine is also Basque-inspired, but founding chef Benjamín Urdaín is credited with bringing nouvelle cuisine to Spain.  Zalacain is also renowned for having the best service in town:  15 chefs and a wait staff of 20 attend to the relatively small number of diners’ needs.  Old world formal etiquette prevails (men must wear jacket and ties), and this is reflected in the restaurant’s luxurious interior. 

A suite of intimate, claret-covered rooms showcases outstandingly beautiful modern paintings by contemporary Spanish authors that contrast and complement wonderfully with the apricot-colors.  There is dramatic dark wood, custom made crockery, designed by Villeroy and Boch, silver cutlery by Plata Meneses and soft candle lighting. By the peak Spanish dining hour of 10:30pm, the gentle hum an eclectic mixture of languages wafts from room to room.  The patrons may be cosmopolitan, but you should be insular when pairing wines: the 35,000-bottle wine cellar was acclaimed by Cigar Affiicinado as “probably the most comprehensive offering of Spanish wines in the world.”  It is easy to see why the restaurant has become a favorite of Spanish royalty and politicians, as it is one of the most elegant restaurants at which we have eaten.


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Calle de Álvarez de Baena, 4
91-561-4840 / 1079
    Benjamin Urdiain, Chef


    • Madrid
    • Spanish
    • Best Decor
    • Best Service
    • Best Wine Lists
    • Private Dining Room Dalí Lounge Imperio Lounge Vajilla Lounge Urbasa Lounge
    • Romantic
    • Tasting Menu



    • manita de cerdo rellena de setas - pigs' feet stuffed with wild mushrooms
    • ostras con caviar y gelatina de jerez - oysters with caviar and sherry jelly
    • ravioli relleno de foie gras y - ravioli stuffed with foie gras and truffles