You’re guaranteed good, hearty food in a scenic setting at this vegetarian restaurant in Madrid, El Estragon Vegetariano. With its blue-and-white-checked tablecloths and ceramic tiled floors you could almost imagine you had been whisked away to a tiny fishing village on the Spanish coast, especially as the view from the curtained window looks out over a quiet, leafy square. Except that you’re in the Latina-Austrias, the oldest area of the city, next to the Plaza Mayor and the Rastro.
Trendy young things meet here at lunchtimes for the great-value set lunch, where portions are substantial enough to keep you going all afternoon. Lunchtime menus start at 8 euros. Mousakas, couscous and tasty soups are the mainstay, but the menu varies daily. There’s internet access and even a non-smoking area, an almost unheard-of phenomenon in the Spanish capital.