Madrid is a city of more than 3,000,000 residents, and, as a big city, it has a lot of corners where one can get lost. In this article you’ll find some nice spots to visit, especially in the Malasaña Quarter, where a bohemian and alternative halo hangs around the neightbourhood: music, clothes, food and cafés. Then, a nice stroll through the most “castizo” (genuine) Madrid quarters, like “Ópera”, “Sol”, “Barrio de Las Letras” or “Huertas” will end your day with some wonderful views and pictures in your camera.
– TOMA CAFÉ (Calle La Palma, 49, Malasaña): Toma Café is a snug and small take-away café where to savour one of the best coffees of the city. A coffee made with great caress and cuddle: capuccinos, espressos, caffé latte, chili-capuccino and other more original offers that will cheer up our morning or afternoon next to some hand-made confectionery (vanilla-chocolate cookies, red velvet cake, brownie, lemon pastries…). Coffee, average price: 2 €.
– LA CIUDAD INVISIBLE (Costanilla de Los Ángeles, 7, Ópera): La Ciudad Invisible offers us a wide and tasty selection of coffees, teas, confectionery, salads, tostas and wines besides the chance of chilling out accompanied by a book, especially travel guides, although you will find some classic novels as well. Sweet or salad snacks. Coffees or spirits. It’s up to you. Sweet snacks, average price (tea+carrot cake): 5€.
– LA TABERNA DEL CHATO (Calle de la Cruz, 35, Barrio de las Letras): Previously we were talking about genuine quartiers of Madrid, and La Taberna del Chato, is placed in one of those: Barrio de Las Letras. Its look and its menu delights us with a traditional view of Spanish cuisine but not without forgetting the incursion in some other foreign genres like: Asian, Indian or South-American. Beside,s the restaurant comes with an originality in its dishes presentation: some of the tapas are placed in a chato (a short glass where the Spanish people drink red wine). What to taste? Partridge pâté, steak tartar, tuna tartar with seaweeds, curry chicken or ham croquettes. Dinner/lunch, average price: 15 €.
– LATERAL (Calle Fuencarral, 43; Calle Santa Ana, 12; Calle de Velazquez, 57): This successful Madrid franchise knows how to combine in their menu the most traditional elements of the Spanish cuisine with some other more closely related to Asian plates like sushi. Lateral possess a trendy and smart dinning room that accompanies us in the taste of marvellous tortillas (one of the bests I have ever sunk my teeth into), battered aubergines with salmorejo (a typical Andalucian cream made with bread, tomato, garlic and extra virgin olive oil), tostas (a rustic baked piece of bread) with sirloin and foie, sirloin with onion confit, Piquillo peppers with goat cheese, rich ham salads and a long and dribbling etcetera. Lunch/dinner, average price: 13 €.
– HOLY CUERVO (Calle Velarde, 13, Malasaña): Behind this name there is something more than a vinyl and clothes store. There is a discography label, a bunch of interesting bands and projects and a great deal of illusion. This alternative shop, placed in the heart of Malasaña, represents the artistic spirit of the quartier in a musical shape. Its decoration is oriented to music elements like speakers, turntables, amps and some other objects that bring reminiscences of a young and rebel creative trend. You will find vinyls and nice male and female garments (especially for boys). Do not miss that spot and in the meantime check their web site.
– AIO (Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 25, Malasaña) : If you are on the mood for some Italian cooking, AIO is a cool and not very expensive place to quench your craving.Andrea and Marcello have founded this restaurant, full of vintage furnitures and bicycles, that give us the chance to taste some traditional Sardinia plates: marinated pasta, lasagna, pizzas and nice Italian deserts. My personal recommendation: aubergine and tomato lasagna. And be sure to make a place in your stomach for a piece of handmade tiramisú.
– LA MONA CHECA AND MAGPIE (Calle Velarde, Malasaña): Velarde street if full of nice vintage and second-handed shops where to spend a few euros and get exclusive and original garments. La Mona Checa and Magpie are just two examples of the vast supply that we can find in that street. Male and female vintage garments and accessories: shirts, cardigans, sweaters, bags, vests, sunglasses, trousers…Affordable prices and big pinch of exclusivity and originality.
– CIRCULO DE BELLAS ARTES (Calle Alcalá, 42): Circulo de Bellas Artes is a private organization, located in the heart of Madrid, that offers a wide range of cultural activities like cinema series, Art expositions, lectures, concerts and many more projects that fill their interesting agenda. And apart from that, the building offers us another awesome gift: a roof terrace where we can contemplate the best views of Madrid. Be sure to end your day up there and take some pictures while the sunset is looming.