It took me seven years of searching, but only one bite to know I had finally discovered Madrid’s most authentic Greek restaurant, Taberna Griega.
Although I grew up in New York City, my father was born and raised in Greece. Like many Greek-American families, we were the proud owners of a Greek restaurant. We also took regular month-long summer vacations to Greece, eating our way through small mountain villages, seaside spots and family gatherings large and small. So I do feel somewhat of an authority on Greek food to tell you that Taberna Griega is the real deal!
Taberna Griega is owned and run by Teo, a Greek man from Volos who has been living in Madrid for 37 years. Located in a residential neighborhood near metro Pacífico, this restaurant is the kind of place you won’t find out about in guidebooks, mainly because of its location and lack of modernity, which is precisely what gives it its charm. I only heard about it from a friend who lives in the area.
My friends and I had been planning on getting Greek food for a while because we like to try each other’s home cuisine. We’ve gone to Taberna Bulgara with Kaloyan, and to a Filipino restaurant with Lorelie. With James it’s pretty easy, as he’s from Spain. With Edison, however, it’s a bit tricky as he’s from Taiwan and there are no Taiwanese restaurants that we know of in Madrid. But since he’s also of Japanese heritage, he makes us Japanese curry at home and we frequent Japanese restaurants like Kintaro and Sumo.
So it was time for us to eat Greek food in light of where my father’s from. When we arrived at Taberna Griega on a rainy Sunday at 2pm, we instantly realized how wonderfully Greek this place was. The walls are painted blue and white to match the Aegean sea. In case that’s not enough to tell you it’s Greek, you can also look around at the statues of Greek gods, or of course, at the Greek flags displayed in every corner.
But these over-the-top decorations shouldn’t surprise you if you’ve seen the film, ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’. What will surprise you, however, is the delicious meal you can get for under 20€.
We started with a round of drinks at the crowded bar alongside neighborhood patrons. Teo appreciated my effort to speak in the little Greek I remembered (my vocabulary is that of a three-year-old). Make sure to thank him and the staff with an enthusiastic efharistó (thanks) when leaving! When we moved to our table beside Aphrodite, we ordered four starters to share — a Greek peasant salad, taramá, tzatziki and spinach and cheese pies.
For the main course, Kaloyan ordered souvlaki (meat skewers), and I ordered gemistá (roasted red pepper stuffed with meat and rice). And James, Edison and Lorelie ordered the mixed meat platter of two chicken skewers, befteki (Greek hamburgers filled with feta cheese) and gyro meat.
For dessert, we got the two most popular and delicious Greek sweets, baklava and kataifi, both made of honey, nuts and filo dough.
At the end of our meal, Teo gave us a round of shots to help us recover from what we had just devoured, and the bill came out to 20€ each. So if you’ve craving some real Greek food or want to experience an unpretentious neighborhood restaurant in Madrid, then here you are!Facebook Address: Juan de Urbieta, 6 Metro: Pacífico Phone: 914 34 89 19