On our third day in Madrid, my friend and I concluded that we were terrible vacationers because we hadn’t gone to brunch even once. So we desperately searched online to find a potential place. The only problem, though, was that it didn’t seem as if brunch was a very popular thing in Madrid, probably because people usually eat later. We decided instead to settle for a place that offered a good breakfast, and that was how my friend stumbled upon Olivia Te Cuida.
The only way I can describe Olivia Te Cuida is urban-shabby. The restaurant’s name is a bit perplexing and mysterious. Who is Olivia and what should Olivia watch out for? The place itself is quite small and utilizes simple décor. White walls made the restaurant brighter, and the mix of seemingly-worn wood and metal furniture added character. I thought a table against the wall with mirrors on top was just for show, but it actually also doubled as an eating table, with stools stored underneath. It’s a clever way to maximize space yet keep with the nontraditional layout. The chipped, mismatched bowls and plates were also endearing. For morning-goers, there were also magazines and newspapers.
The food at Olivia Te Cuida is all organic and vegetarian. I ordered a basket of bread with homemade marmalade – cesta de pan con degustacion de mermeladas caseras (€3.00). There were two types of bread: white and rye. The strawberry marmalade resembled more of a sauce than marmalade but it tasted so good. The butter was unsalted, as it should be. My friend also introduced a new concept to me: spreading butter on the bread first and then putting marmalade on top of the butter. I always thought layering the two would be a messy affair, but now I think it’s mind-blowingly tasty.
The fun thing at Olivia Te Cuida is that you get to toast your own bread. At the center table, there are retro, ‘50s-style toasters plugged into the ceiling – pretty ingenious. Even if you don’t sit at the center table, all you do is walk over, put your bread in, and then go back when it’s done. The other diners didn’t seem to care whenever I reached over for the toasters.
I also ordered a glass of ecological yoghurt with muesli and seasonal fruit – vaso de yoghurt ecologico con musesli y fruta de temporada (€3.00). The yoghurt was made with whole milk, and the fruit was so sweet that I didn’t even need any extra sweeteners for the yoghurt. The seasonal fruit comprised of kiwi, strawberry, pear, blueberries, and something else I couldn’t identify. The glass was pretty large, so there was a good amount of each component.
My friend ordered the fruit soup, sopa de fruta (€4.00), which consisted of fresh orange juice with seasonal fruit and mint. The mint was a bit strong because there was so much, but it did complement the orange juice well. I thought that the concept of a fruit soup, not in gazpacho form, was pretty unique, and my friend found it very filling.
She also ordered a toast with tomato, spinach, and Parmesan – tostada de pan con tomate, hojas de espinaca y parmesano (€3.80). It was an open-faced sandwich dressed with slivered almonds and cracked black pepper. My friend ate this with gusto, and I took that as a stellar review for the dish. It certainly had a beautiful presentation for something that seemed simple on paper. As you can see, the chef was not skimp on the Parmesan.
Olivia Te Cuida is a great place to have a calm and relaxing breakfast with the locals. The breakfast menu is light yet offers a good range of options. The DIY toast and communal table also add to the restaurant’s laid-back atmosphere. And don’t be wary of the menu’s focus on organic and vegetarian options. The food is stellar, and the use of local ingredients is a plus. Breakfast doesn’t always have to be about pancakes, eggs, and bacon, and Olivia Te Cuida didn’t make us miss any of the traditional fare at all.
Olivia Te Cuida
Santa Teresa 8
28004 Madrid, Spain