It was one of Rizal’s favorite haunts in Madrid. A “hangout”, if you like, with fellow patriots, to enjoy tapas y vino. And how convenient that it is just a few meters away from his apartment and 3 other hangouts: Teatro Español, Hotel Ingles and Los Gabrielles, another hangout famous for its azulejos or glazed tiles. Viva Madrid is in the heart of Madrid’s historic center along Calle de Manuel Fernandez y Gonzales, 7. Not too far from Puerto del Sol and just a stonesthrow from Plaza Santa Ana, this restaurante is quite a looker from outside with its murals, and even better-looking inside. The warm interiors match the friendly service and delicious food. This place is good for both dining, people-watching or simply basking in “Rizal’s life in Madrid”.




Viva Madrid in Calle de Manuel Fernandez y Gonzales, 7.


Imagine Rizal enjoying his vino y tapas here.



The rioja y tapas were a perfect prelude to the blackest, inkiest, most flavorful paella negra to be had in Madrid. Very negra indeed. And muy delicioso,especially with generous servings of salsa alioli. Thanks to Jaime Marco, the go-to guy for Rizal’s Madrid, for bringing me here. Jaime is not only a Filipino historian and Rizal expert but a foodie through and through. Dining in Viva Madrid combines the best of both worlds: food and history. 😉  




Jamon y Salmon…. Con Brie.


Piece de Resistance. Paella Negra.



How fortunate that Viva Madrid exists to this day. Not like nearby Los Gabrielles, which has closed. Every Filipino visiting Madrid should dine here. Just be warned that the food may distract you from appreciating the lovely interiors of Viva Madrid. The same glazed ceramic tiles adorn the interior walls, framed by columns and dark wood panels. Imagine our national hero sitting in a quiet corner here, enjoying his light meals and vino. Imagine many of our propagandists whiling away their time here while discussing what gets printed on La Solidaridad.




Lovely Interiors. Then, as in Now.


Rizal’s Corner.



When you get here, do ask for Rizal’s corner. Jaime says it’s the one near the 2 columns. Check out the 6th photo. And on your way out, check out the Rizal marker. Doesn’t that make you proud?




Good for family dining too!