Madrid’s upscale neighbourhood of Salamanca is having a revival, with new quirky restaurants and bars attracted the young adults and even tourists from the centre to it’s beautiful terraces. Over the past year, many have chosen this part of town as the place for their business, and with the already chic image linked to Salamanca, it’s a perfect place to bring out the suave, classy and colourful side of bars and restaurants. As you move further from the centre, places have more space to establish their identity rather than just being one more drop in the already vast ocean. And when it comes to Mexican food, there’s one place that stands out: Gracias Padre (Calle de José Ortega y Gasset, 55). Open since December, like many places, it’s still in its youth but is definitely going in the right direction. The place seems to have brought over the colour and vibrancy of it’s country and culture, with fun, lively decorations covering the walls, and draping its furniture.

For starter you should try their Totopos with frijoles, chicken, two cheeses and pico de Gallo is surprisingly a big starter, enough to feed 3 people! It’s a colourful bowl resembling the Mexican flag, the red being the tomatoes, the white being cream, you get the gist. More than a bowl of Nachos, as you get deeper in the bowl, you’re hit with more ingredients and flavours, from delicious chicken, to the cheese, and always refreshed with a dollop of cream or a spoonful of tomato. We underestimated how much food this was actually going to be.

For mains a wide colourful assortment of tacos each have their individual and distinctive flavours. Their Barbacoa (not to be confused with BBQ) taco is especially delicious, consisting of pulled cheek just melts in your mouth. If you’re looking for something different you can go for the grilled cod taco, yes, grilled cod, which sounds delicious to most Brits, or if you’re a spicy person that loves chicken, then the Tinga de Pollo is for you.

If by chance you have any remaining space left (trust us, you would already be happily full at this point), you must try their Lemon tart. This looks like an espresso, but has the texture of a tiramisu, with the zing and bitterness of a lemon tart… pretty amazing.

You should make the most of this weather, as they have a lovely little terrace that makes you feel like you’re on a Central American beach, chilling. Or inside you have the lower floor which feels like you’re in the middle of everything, you can see the cooks as they prepare your food, like watching it through a big screen, and the waiter zip around you, all while enjoying the breeze, as the front of the restaurant is fully open. Or you can go upstairs, for a bit more privacy, where you will be surrounded by some truly Great Wall art! A perfect place for a special dinner, with a special person.


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