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La Platea Madrid

La Platea Madrid

La Platea Madrid

La Platea Madrid

La Platea Madrid

La Platea Madrid

Address Goya 5-7; 28001 Madrid
enter from Goya, Hermosilla or Marqués de Zurgena
Neighbourhood Salamanca, Paseo de la Castellana | See on map
Metro Colón [L4], Serrano [L4]
Website http://www.plateamadrid.com
https://www.facebook.com/plateamad
Price EUR 20-30. Arriba EUR 40-60.
Hours Sun-Thurs 12-24. Fri-Sat 12-02. (El Palco from 19:00)

With a cool 60 million euros (yes, sixty big ones) poured into La Platea, this food and entertainment emporium is one of the boldest projects that Madrid has ever seen. And occupying all five floors – a massive 6,000 square meters – of the historical Carlos III cinema in Salamanca, it’s also one of the biggest.

The culinary offering is equally vast. At street level, pâtisserie Mamá Framboise and the El Patio tapas area beckon. Head to El Foso downstairs for international cuisine, including Peruvian (good), Mexican (decent) and Japanese (forgettable). Upstairs there’s Arriba, Ramón Freixa’s bistro for a proper sit-down meal, and up on the second floor, El Palco for cocktails.

The place is undeniably impressive, from the line-up of Michelin-starred chefs (besides Freixa, Paco Roncero, Marcos Morán and Pepe Solla are also present) to the interiors by Lázaro Rosa Violán and the live entertainment on the stage. However, in spite of the sky-high ambitions, it’s still hard to shake the feeling of being in a glorified food court.

With the exception of Arriba, you buy your food from one of the stands and then go take a seat. And in practice that means trying to spot a soon-to-be-vacated table as they’re all taken. Yes, although the place holds some 1,200 people, it gets packed – often uncomfortably so on weekends. Drinks orders are taken at the table or directly at one of the bars.

For all of the eye candy, name-dropping and money invested, there’s none of the charm of Mercado San Miguel , the hipness of Mercado San Ildefonso or even the hot boys of Mercado San Ánton. Instead it ends up feeling a bit like Dubai Mall. But just as Dubai Mall is worth a visit, at least once, so is La Platea, even if it’s just for a drink.