Fifteen years ago I discovered La Alhambra when an Algerian friend was visiting. She’d heard about Madrid’s thriving Moroccan community, so we went on a mission to find an authentic tasting tagine.
To be honest, I’d scarcely registered this place before, and had never been tempted to walk in. The interior is a bit institutional and the outside is less than appealing. It’s the kind of place that I’d have poked my head into, and then bid a hasty retreat. So I feel really lucky to have been pointed in the right direction that day all those years ago, because the food in La Alhambra is amazing, well-priced and consistent, making up for any other failings. It’s one of my favourite places to eat.
Try a tasty vegetable couscous topped with caramelised onions, or lamb tagine, grilled fish or Moroccan meatballs. Mixed plates come with spiced rice, chips and spiced vegetables. They have traditional harira soup, and Maghreb salad, as well as delicious traditional hot mint tea. Middle-Eastern pastries are the perfect way to finish off.
I absolutely love this place; there is nothing fancy about it; the food has a home-cooked feel to it, which is just what you want sometimes. What’s more, it is in the heart of Lavapies – wander down from the Sunday Rastro market, or up to or from a visit to the Reina Sofia museum.
Also, I especially recommend La Alhambra to Muslims; the meat is halal, and they don’t serve alcohol. See you there!