Very nice arty Jazz club and although in the famous Calle Huertas, is not touristy in that sense. Two sittings and the repertoire changes every a few days.
If anyone feels like having a pleasant evening with candlelight and intimate ambiance, try 1917 Blinis & Vodkas. They have a good assortment of smoked fish (salmon, tuna, herring, etc) on top of freshly baked blinis and a choice of 30 different kinds of vodka from Estonia, Russia, Poland, France, Argentina, etc. And the location is perfect: next to the Teatro Real (Madrid's Opera House).
Calle de la Independencia 1, 911 429 800, Opera metro station, bar1917.com
Many people know Spain as a tourist destination.
Many people know Spanish wines. But nearly nobody enjoys wine tourism in Spain.
There are lots of wine regions and marvellous wineries to visit. The areas where wineries are located usually offer excellent food and at budget prices. The offer is enormous.
You can laze around feeling really decadent in this place. A chilled bar experience awaits you as you are served contemporary modern European food as you stretch out and your weary limbs recover from a day pounding the streets of the Spanish capital.
There are plenty of sidrerias (cider bars) in Madrid, but this one in the gay-friendly Chueca district is a huge stand-out for the quality and, especially, the quantity of the complimentary tapas. 1.50 a 'caña' isn't cheap, but you'll get a steaming pile of piggy, bready delights along with it, and that's every time you take a drink.
Also a great place for vast filled 'bocadillos' (baguette sandwiches), and various other tasty 'raciones'. Just watch out for complimentary paella - myself and others have been laid low by food poisoning for some time after a visit. The fact that I'm still recommending the place tells you just how good it is.
One final thing - get there early if you have any kind of designs on a table.
c/ Infantas, metro Chueca
It's a poor guide book which doesn't mention this place (go for the tiny taberna on c/Victoria, rather than the larger, more restaurant style versions on c/ Nunez de Arce and c/Goya).
However, I'm not sure any of them mention that if you order a 'racion' of langostinos a la plancha rather than the road-more-trodden gambas a la plancha, you get twice as many for just 20 cents more. Tastes just as good to me. Upon leaving, I've always been given a voucher for a free 'chato' of the delicious sticky house wine at one of their other restaurants. Ask if they don't volunteer it.
12, c/ Victoria, metro Sol
Wonderful wine and tapas bar that is small enough to get to know the owners well and who may even treat you to a glass of cava gratis! The tapas are amazing and the design of the bar is intimate yet light and airy unlike many tapas bars. Very reasonably priced (for a student!).
Chueca, Calle Pelayo 24
Metro: Chueca. Turn left off Plaza Chueca and Pelayo runs parallel.
This is a bar on the popular road Calle Hortaleza. This road is full of fun bars, but this one is by far the best. They serve amazing cocktails, AMAZING and the bar has a slightly Morrocan feeling to it with lots of cushions on the floor and even a big double bed to sit on, but you will be very lucky if you actually get it!! There is a great vibe in the bar - very laid back! But get there early as it can get very busy, some nights you will find people actually queueing outside!
A definate must, by far my favourite bar! Also they have amazing food, especially the Samosas!!!
Calle Hortaleza, nearest tube - Alonso Martinez or Gran Vía.
Malasaña is a street and an area well known by all true 16-30 Madrileños. In the day time you can shop for some retro treasures in the two 'Popland' boutiques (one for bags, badges and tee-shirts, the other for sixties home decorations and posters). Then, well after dark, you can return and be part of the Madrid sub-culture night life. Go into some bars off Plaza Dos de Mayo and you'll think you've stepped onto the set of Austin Powers (without the irony!) There are all types of bars and clubs round here, but they all have one thing in common: the cool factor. The music is cool, the people dress cool, but most importantly, the attitude is cool, that is to say, laid back.
Malasaña district. Nearest tube: Tribunal.
Centro Cultural Conde Duque, on Calle Conde Duque, is a very little known permanent museum, temporary exhibition and concert venue. The 18th-century building is impressive in scale, and the area around is quiet and relaxed. Full of bars, restaurants and some beautiful shops, it is difficult to believe that you are in the centre of town, surrounded by Calle Princesa, San Bernardo etc.
Take a stroll to Plaza Comendadoras for a drink in one of the many "terrazas" while you look at children playing in the playground. On the same plaza there's a "Sauna" (a brothel); opposite you'll see the also impressive building of the Convento de las Comendadoras. The area has the air of a small village about it; it's a mix of bizarre, genuine and unique Madrid.
Zona Conde Duque, nearest tube is San Bernardo or Noviciado
An area of the city a lot of tourists shy away from but full of great bars and resturants, live music street performers and pleasantly free of shops selling toro t-shirts and flamenco aprons.
Calle Argumosa is one long stretch of terrazas in which to drink red wine and watch the world go by, and in the narrow side streets there are great little bars everywhere. La Candela is great for real flamenco and late drinks.
Metro Lavapies or Anton Martin. La Candela. Calle del Olmo
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