Madrid

Madrid is a vibrant, beautiful, eclectic city that I had the pleasure of calling home for over 4 years. There are so many reasons why I stayed so long and had so much trouble leaving. One thing I love about living in any city is always having somewhere to go and something to do. From neighborhood festivals celebrated by live music as well as drinking and dancing in the streets, to walking through old below-ground tunnels to view graffiti art, this city has it all and more. Spain is a traveler’s paradise, whether you go for the beaches in the Mediterranean or the mountains in the north, each region provides its own unique feeling as well as specialty foods and scenery. What makes this country even more incredible is how cheap it is to eat well, go out, and have the ability to explore without worrying about breaking the bank. 

Madrid may be “more expensive” than regions in the north or south since it’s the capital, but don’t let that fool you. You can have a nice (huge portioned) dinner with a bottle of wine and dessert for 25-30 euro (and no tip). Going out is great too because a normal copa (mixed drink) is about 5-7 euro but is 3-4x stronger than a normal drink in the states. Wine ranges from 2-3.50 euros per glass and beer is normally 1.50-2.50 euros (unless you buy cans on the street for a euro). With thousands of bars and restaurants, it’s impossible to only name a few of my favorite places but I will break it down as best I can while ensuring you will always be getting the best bang for your buck. 

 

Best spots for:

Breakfast: Anywhere with “casa” and Spanish name, usually give coffee, juice, and a tostada deal

  1. Moon café 

  2. Casa Monolo

  3. Café de la luz 

  4. Federal, Carmencita, Zenith (American style brunch)

  5. Vacaciones

  6. Julietta’s 

Tapas:

  1. Casa Revuelta (near Mercado San Miguel, famous for bacalo which is fried cod tapa, also give you torreznos with your drink which is fried pork fat)

  2. Cava Baja (Street that is filled with places to tapas hop) 

  3. El tigre ( crowded student bar with large cheap drinks and free tapas)

  4. Taperia Malasana (bigger portions – be ready to eat)

  5. Museo de Jamon 

  6. Calle Ponzano (more upscale tapas and seafood hopping)

  7. Pez tortilla – tortilla isn’t mt favorite BUT I LOVE THIS SPOT (different falvors of traditional Spanish omelette by the slice, craft beer) 

  8. Bodega Ardosa (one of the oldest in Madrid)

  9. Café Melos (BIGGEST best croquettas, seriously my favorite. As well as the zapatilla – HUGE pork sandwich) 

  10. Malaspina (evening tostadas) 

 

Dinner:

  1. Casa Julio (croquetas of all flavors, famous place)

  2. La Alhambra (meat plates, anything on the menu)

  3. La Buha (gigantic style tortilla to share) 

  4. Mas el Sur (Venezuelan place but mixture of foods)

  5. La Pomorada (best asturian food – octopus, cachopo which is fried meat jam and cheese, pimientos padrones)

  6. La Finca de Susana (huge portions, amazing variety, cheap)

  7. La sanabresa (oxtails, only offered on Saturdays)

  8. Yerba Buena (vegetarian but AMAZING)

  9. Ramen Kaguru (best ramen) 

  10. Lateral (a little pricier tapas)

  11. Arroceria Marina Ventura (best paella you’ll find in Madrid)

  12. Taberna Tempranillo (always slammed, don’t take reservations

 

Markets:

  1. El Rastro (Sunday from 10-3pm entire neighborhood La Latina, antiques, clothes, backpacks, literally everything)

  2. Mercado San Miguel (touristy but beautiful and lots of different stalls to eat at)

  3. Mercado San Anton (nice rooftop)

  4. Mercado de San Ildefonso (trendier, good food) 

 

Rooftop Bars:

  1. Picalagartos 

  2. Círculo de Bellas artes ( usually a line but moves quick, 4 euro to get up. Also amazing place to watch the sunset)

  3. Centro Cibeles 

  4. The Hat

  5. Generator 

  6. El Viajero (also cool fun bar, 3 floors)

  7. Nice to meet you (Dear Hotel Rooftop)

  8. Gingko Skybar 

Clubs:

  1. Barco (10 euro entry with a drink) usually top 40 music as well as specialty nights

  2. Manama (10 euro entry with a drink, reggaeton club)

  3. Teatro Barcelo (20 euro entry, usually younger crowd

  4. Ocho y Medio (pricier entry, more Spanish rock/some American rock, Spanish classics)

  5. Joy (20-25 euro entry with a drink, has hookah great EDM / dance music)

  6. Teatro Kaptial (25 euro entry with a drink, 6-7 different floors each one different type of music, usually younger crowd, very touristy)

 

Parks: 

  1. Retiro (all-time favorite. Huge park with a workout area, multiple restaurants/bars, people rollerblading, and picnicking. So much green and in the spring and summer always filled with people )

    1. Make sure to visit the Crystal Palace (there's always different art exhibitions going on inside and it has a beautiful fountain out front) and the Lake which you can rent and take boats out  

  2. Templo de Dubod (houses the Egyptians temples that were a gift to Spain after helping them win a war with a museum inside. Great place to watch the sunset)

  3. Casa de Campo

  4. Parque Oeste 

  5. El Parque de San Isidro 

Miscellaneous:

  1. Tobacalera (always has different events here as well as underground tunnels filled with awesome graffiti art)

  2. El Teleferico (cable car gives you a nice aerial view of Madrid) 

  3. La Mucca – Menu del dia 

  4. Walking through the different neighborhoods Lavapies, Malasana, La Latina, Montcloa, etc. each has a distinct unique feel) 

Member Contribution : Fara Jill