Top 10 bars in Madrid
Spain's capital city knows how to throw a party but some of the establishments around town are simply better party animals than others, knowing when to keep it chill or turn it up to 11. Whether you're searching for a cocktail, cool underground scene or a rowdy local hangout, we've got a selection of bars in Madrid you don't want to skip.
Fatigas del Querer
A great bar on Calle de la Cruz, which serves huge plates of tapas and larger meals, as well as offering an extensive list of wines. Always full of locals, this is a place to feel like a true madrileno. To top it all off, the staff are unbelievably friendly and fond of giving away free wine.
Taberna de Antonio Sanchez
This bar is a wonderful, dimly lit celebration of the bullfighter's art. The dark, wood-panelled walls are covered with mounted bulls' heads (one of which is said to have killed Antonio Sanchez, the son of the founder). At the back is a resolutely old-fashioned dining room where you can feast on jamon and queso tapas or tortilla de San Isidro.
Il Morto Che Parla
Italian for 'the dead guy that speaks', this is a drinking den with a dark ambience and subtle lighting – the perfect spot to bring friends for a bit of late-night partying. The concept is a cool fusion of Italian and South American styles. Good music, free popcorn, cheap eats and delicious cocktails are what attract the locals.
La Escalera de Jacob
With magicians, storytellers, children's theatre and live jazz in the basement theatre, La Escalera de Jacob (Jacob's Ladder) is one of the city's most original bars. It's worth stopping by just for the creative cocktails – the fray aguacate (Frangelico, vodka, honey, avocado and vanilla) is exceptional.
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An establishment that produces its own beer. Modern, friendly, busy and with a range of dangerously delicious brews, it's an easy and cosmopolitan spot to pop into for a swift drink, only to emerge hours later confused but happy – and with a lot of new amigos!
Como dice su autor: "A la rica birra local". Muchas gracias @jheras! #malasaña #cervezaartesanal #fabricadecerveza #craftbeer #brewpub #bebelocal #drinklocal #drinkcraft A photo posted by Fabrica Maravillas (@fabricamaravillas) on
This is a top place to go at any time of the day but it's especially chilled in the mornings, to have a coffee and browse the newspapers. In the evenings, it really livens up, so arrive early, grab a table, order some rioja and a platter of cheese and within the hour you will be enjoying a great ambience and world-class jazz in a fabulous, intimate venue.
Tucked away in a side street, just off the Gran Via Matador, is an authentic, very friendly madrileno watering hole. Rustic wooden tables, a cosy atmosphere and a great selection of Spanish music on the jukebox entice you to stay longer.
Azotea, Circulo de Bellas Artes
Fantastic rooftop location – it's a bar, but also a cafe and restaurant during the day. You enter via the arts centre on the Calle del Marques de Casa Riera and take the lift to the top floor. Fantastic views of Madrid, very reasonable prices and great service.
A gato is the nickname for a madrileno and this bar, decorated in both traditional and anarchic styles, really reflects the city's character. As well as beer, it serves a wonderful vermouth de barril (from the barrel) with splendid tapas. It's somewhere you can feel that you are as gato as anybody else.
This place specialises in Asturian food and the owner is always happy to demonstrate and instruct customers in how the region's famous cider should be poured (from over the head into the glass). The tapas are absolutely top notch and there's a big variety – served in big portions. Really authentic and not touristy at all.
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