Platea, “Espacio Gourmet” in Madrid

Platea Madrid

 One of Platea’s many bars

With an endless carousel of pop-up marketsrutas de tapas, gin and tonic routes, and other food-based ventures, Madrid sometimes seems as if it’s one big gastronomic fun park. I can’t check my RSS feed these days without being bombarded with news about an old-market-turned-gourmet or a summer project with the foodie-o-meter aimed at 10.

Platea Madrid

Nowhere has the food or wow factor been dialed up as high as at Platea Madrid. An unassuming facade on Calle Goya falls away to reveal an “espacio gourmet” with a staggering 6,000 square meters. To give you an idea of just how big that is, the site can supposedly welcome up to 1,100 people! The entrance may not be showy, but the interior sure is. The body of the building–a former cinema–makes it seem as if you are embarking on a voyage over the high seas. And boy, oh boy are there plenty of provisions to carry you through the journey.

I first heard about Platea when I learned that Mamá Framboise, my fav French café/pâtisserie, was opening up a second locale there. It was hard to envision the final outcome of the project, but one glance at their promotional video told me that a visit was in order. I made a mental note to check it out but, as the opening was still a couple of months away, I promptly forgot about the new venture until I was in Goya last week.

Platea Madrid Platea Madrid

That day, I happened to be standing outside when a food stall caught my eye. A peak inside revealed the poshest place to stuff your picnic basket in all of Madrid. Just as you must maneuver through the gift shop to reach your airplane terminal, Gold Gourmet sidetracks you with shiny bottles of olive oil, a lavish charcuterie counter, and the plumpest figs you’ll ever see. By the time you get to the other side of the tunnel, you’ve forgotten what you originally came there for.

Platea Madrid

Platea’s showboat-esque interior

At the heart of Platea lies a grandiose common area filled with bars, food counters, and tables for patrons. (Think mall food court tempered for royalty–some waiters wore suits.) The main level–planta del calle–is the area for little nibbles and bites. This includes a cheese counter, cocktail bar, a take-away place selling tortillas and croquetas, as well as a few other options. The first floor holds a swanky, 2-star Michelin restaurant called–appropriately–Arriba. The second floor has a swanky cocktail joint and the third floor boasts a smoking area. The floor just underground sets the stage for world cuisine, offering flavors from places such as Mexico, Italy, Peru, and Japan. No matter where you are in these areas, you’ll be treated to jazzy tunes and the revamped cinema screen, which changes colors with the music. If “ambiente” is what you’re after, Platea has an edge over the other modernized markets in Madrid.

Platea Madrid

 When I first walked through Platea’s ground floor, I was afraid the extravagant price tag would be pushing my not-so-gilded wallet. Luckily, this was not the case, and I was happy to see that there were options for several different price ranges. My friend and I each bought a glass of vermouth on tap (2 Euros) as well as olives (1 Euro) and a generous portion of potato chips (2 Euros). Another day I might be tempted to visit the cheese counter, or try the mini tortillas or fried avocados (4 Euros/each). If you want to splurge, you can always treat yourself to oysters or flowers or the fancy restaurant upstairs.

Platea Madrid

La Hora del Vermut has 5 different kinds of vermouth on tap

Platea Madrid

Mamá Framboise, as classy as ever

As for Mamá Framboise, I will definitely be coming back soon to have coffee and pastry in their old-fashioned yet sleek and modern second locale. Lately their first cafe has been quite crowded, but Platea has made it possible to provide the space needed now that their fame has grown.

Perhaps it seems like an odd time to sink so much money (60 MILLION Euros, to be exact) into a splashy venture like Platea. Wandering the halls stuffed with everything from turmeric to pulpo to gourmet potato chips, I couldn’t help but wonder how many actual Madrileños will be able to enjoy a drink here. The vermouth aperitif that I tried was quite affordable, but it was probably the least expensive thing on all four floors. Will this market soon be as crazily elbow-to-elbow as Mercado San Miguel or Mercado San Antón, which cater to cash-happy tourists?

Does Madrid need another “espacio gourmet”? No, not really. Will I bring visitors to Platea Madrid to take a look around? Sure, why not. After all, whether you’re a tourist or a local, Platea is merely “un espectáculo.

Platea Madrid, C/ Goya, 5-7

Sunday – Wednesday 12:00–24.00, Thursday-Friday 12:00–02.00
Metro: Colón or Serrano

Have you made it to Platea Madrid yet? What are your thoughts on the venture?

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4 Comments

  1. Good job that the price ranges weren’t too restrictive as I’ve been in that position more than once of sitting down in a nice looking place, getting comfortable, and then having a heart attack because the cheapest thing on the menu is 9EUR.

    • Cassandra

      Definitely, I hate when that happens too! If you stick to simple drinks (i.e. no cocktails!) and light snacks, you’ll be fine.

  2. Cool! Love it when a larger, fancier building doesn’t mean an increase in price and decrease in quality – though I feel like this is more the case in the US than it is abroad :)

    I’ve been away from blogging for a bit and must catch up with all-things Madrid! How have you been?

    • Cassandra

      Thanks, Erica, it was an unexpected discovery! And Madrid is…very, very hot these days. But it’s

      I’m glad you’re back to blogging! Any summer plans? How’s Seattle? I was jealous of the coffee and mountains that made an appearance in your latest post ;)

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