Spanish Restaurants in Madrid: Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas

Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas - Madrid

Las Cuevas de Luís Candelas is a Spanish restaurant in Madrid which specialises in providing the best traditional Spanish cuisine in the city. This restaurant is full of history, from the location, to the decoration to the costumes that the staff members wear.

The Restaurant

Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas

Las Cuevas de Luís Candelas is located just off the historic 'Plaza Mayor' (Major Square) in the centre of Madrid. This whole area is steeped in Spanish history, including the building that houses the restaurant itself. As the name suggests, the restaurant is partly set in some ancient caves (the Spanish for caves being 'cuevas') which have their own story too.

The restaurant takes its name from the legendary bandit, Luís Candelas, who is kind of like the Spanish equivalent of Robin Hood. According to legend, Luís Candelas would rob buildings and stagecoaches and then store his loot in the caves - hence why the restaurant is called 'Las Cuevas de Luís Candelas' or 'The Caves of Luís Candelas'.

This Spanish restaurant is very proud of this history and it has therefore been themed accordingly. As soon as you approach the restaurant you will be greeted by a statue of the great thief himself complete with pistol. Outside there is a terrace which sits on the historic street which is a great place to sit and watch the world go by.

Once inside the restaurant you will then be met by the friendly staff members who dress in traditional Spanish clothing from the 19th Century. The very first thing you will see is the bar, before descending down into the caves which have been decorated in a traditional style. Hung on the walls there are many antique objects such as old plates, paintings and lamps. In some of the cave rooms, you can find large frescoes that have been painted onto the cave walls and others where the original brickwork and stonework has been left exposed. Everything about this restaurant is full of history and character which makes it well worth a trip when you visit Madrid.

The origins of the restaurant located in these caves dates back to the end of the 1940s, when the famous Spanish bullfighter Félix Colomo Díaz fell in love with the old caves and their history. He decided to convert the caves into a restaurant whilst preserving as much of the history as possible. Las Cuevas de Luís Candelas has opened everyday since and continues to draw a crowd for both the history and the food!

The Menu

In keeping with the historic theme at the restaurant, Las Cuevas de Luís Candelas uses old ways of cooking that have been used in the city of Madrid for years. The restaurant specialises in roast meats which they cook in their old wood-burning stove. They burn oak wood which gives the meat an authentic Madrid flavour.

Roast piglet

On the main menu at Las Cuevas de Luís Candelas are many roasted meat dishes such as 'Cochinillo asado' (Roast piglet) and 'Cordero lechal asado' (Roast Suckling Lamb). They also serve many other traditional Spanish dishes such as 'Rabo de toro' (Oxtail), 'Paella con pollo y marisco' (Chicken and Seafood Paella), and 'Merluza 'Candelas' en cazuela' (Candelas style hake casserole). Any people with a sweet-tooth out there will also be glad to know that they have an excellent range of typical desserts from Madrid and across Spain. This Spanish restaurant also has a Spanish tapas menu, great for sharing with family and friends, which can be enjoyed at the bar or down in the caves.

Las Cuevas de Luís Candelas, like any good Spanish restaurant in Spain, has an excellent wine collection in yet another of its famous caves. The wines, presided over by another statue of the famous bandit, have been chosen to suit the food served at the restaurant and contains a large number of Spanish wines.