by Ben Curtis
Everyone who decides to have lunch in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor soon discovers that they have made a huge mistake. The Menu del Dia (lunchtime set menu) is far too expensive and usually not all that good. Walk a few minutes in any direction however, and you are likely to be far better off. My personal favourite for a Menu del Dia near the Plaza Mayor is Refra, at Calle Santiago 4 (just across the Calle Mayor – Map).
For 8.50 inside and 10.50 on the terrace, you get around 5 starters, 5 main courses and 5 deserts to choose from, in what is basically a top quality working man’s lunchtime menu served in a friendly, family-run establishment. You will be eating with the locals, you won’t get ripped off, and you will leave more than satisfied. I ate here almost every day for three months whilst living in the Hostal Santiago opposite (see book for details!), so I know what I’m talking about!