When you hear the word ‘Spain’ one of the first images that jumps to mind is the food, and Madrid is certainly no exception. The sunniest capital city in Europe, this goregoeus city certainly has a knack for whipping up novel ways for residents and visitors alike to kick back and enjoy the twilight hours over a timeless local stew, or far-out piece of far-flung fusion.
But what about those of us who have to get up in the morning, ricochet from meeting to meeting, or sprint, temple dripping, from private class to private class? Where do these busy bees stop to refuel, a 2 hour long menu del día being highly inappropriate for someone in the middle of the working day. Luckily some bright sparks on Calle San Pablo, 11 have thought up a solution, and it’s called Buenasaña.
Positioned slap bang in pulsing heart of the central district of Malasaña, Buenasaña is a deli with a difference. A formula one pitstop gone organic, serving up fresh pastries and lunchbox fillers prepared daily by the same hands that wave you goodbye as you dart back out into the fray.
On entering, we found ourselves in a light, airy, room punctuated by plant life and fountains. The restaurant is organised in an L-shape that extends out from the entrance. To the right, the dining area is flanked by a large bay window that opens the space out onto the street allowing those eating in to enjoy the sensation of sitting outside.
To the left, the deli bar is organised like a miniature market, offering pastas, tagines and couscous. There is also a bakery serving up empanadas (4’5€), focaccia (2’95€), bagels (2’95€), spinach puffs (1’5€) and molletes (Andalucian brochettes: 2’95€). And a fairly good selection of vegetarian options will be a relief for many in a city which marches to the beat of a single jamón.
Sweet tooth? Don’t forget to make a stop at the final food station on your journey to the till; cookies, chocolate cake, carrot cake, brownies and muffins. Throw in a capuccino for 2€ and you may as well stay for coffee!
What did we eat at Buenasaña?
We opted for the Menú Box meal: a 5.50€ schmorgesborg which includes any three dishes (cold, hot, and salads) plus drink. Coffee or pastries may also be added for an extra 1€.
Our lucky box contained grilled vegetables, tomato and cheese ravioli, vegetarian tabouleh (a middle eastern salad made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, and onion, with all prepared that same day)- highly flavourful, but not so heavy that we felt ourselves slipping into a food coma afterwards. We also picked up a hearty portion of tortilla española, well done but not too dry, and sneaky brownie to polish it off.
Verdict? Buenasaña is well worth the pit-stop if you’ve got the time between hectic appointments. An average price of 5.5€ a pop and laid back breather to your rat race. Fight on corporate warrior!