Bars

All the best Madrid bars, including bar reviews and editors' picks

Bars and pubs

Secret bars in Madrid

Uncover clandestine spots where you can grab a bite and have a drink

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Bars and pubs

Madrid bars with free tapas

Discover some of the most generous bars in the city – where they give you free tapas when your drinks!

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Bars and pubs

¡Viva el vino!

A look at the Madrid's best wine bars where you can enjoy a glass of vino along with a few tapas

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Bars and pubs

Post-work drinks in style

From the cheapest to the most exclusive, these are the most stylish 'afterwork' bars in Madrid

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Bars and pubs

Aperitivo time!

Find the best bars in Madrid to go for the city's popular pre-lunch 'aperitivo' hour

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Cafés with charm

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Café Gijón

Still charming after all these years, this is Madrid's definitive literary café, open since 1888. It still holds poetry 'tertulias' (roundtable discussions) on Monday nights, and publishes a magazine filled with doodles and thoughts from visiting writers. A pianist tinkles the ivories to a packed terrace in summer, while in winter it's heaving inside. Look out for the aged Alfonso, who has been selling cigarettes, matches and lottery tickets, just inside the entrance, for over 30 years.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Bars and pubs

Café Comercial

Still the classic Madrid bar, with its original battered brown leather seats, revolving doors and marbled walls. A nod to the modern age comes in the shape of the Internet terminals upstairs, where foreign gap-year students write home about the old men playing chess alongside them.

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Bars and pubs

Café Manuela

Stacked to the rafters with board games, Café Manuela has been a hive of activity since the Movida days. Its handsome art nouveau decor and conveniently nicotine-coloured walls are still the backdrop to occasional live music and other performances, but otherwise it's a great place to reacquaint yourself with Connect Four and Mastermind. Look out for the absinthe.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Café de Oriente

The belle époque interior is entirely fake yet utterly convincing, making this one of the most peaceful and elegant spots to flick through the newspapers or recover from the exertions of the Palacio Real opposite. Despite its location, with tables outside on the stunning Plaza de Oriente, the café seems to be as popular with locals as tourists, who are perhaps put off by its air of grandeur.

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Top bars

Bars and pubs

Bocadillo de Jamón y Champán

A ham sandwich and a glass of champagne? Together? Yes! Though it doesn't seem likely in this bar in the Alonso Martínez neighbourhood, they've managed to find a perfect combination in the pairing. It helps a lot, of course, that they use premium-quality Iberian ham and serve French champagne. Everything in this place invites you to stay, from the chic décor to the attentive staff. The sandwiches are delicious.

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Bars and pubs

La Chula de Chamberí

One of the best examples of a new-style-tavern in the city. Well-cooked dishes with quality produce and tempting wines. Cold cuts, small stews, open toasted sandwiches… The dining area features a few high tables and a lower table that seats eight where you can chat with friends about being a foodie in the know.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Bars and pubs

Docamar

If you want to try some of the best 'patatas bravas' in town, you’ll have to head out here, beyond the M-30 ring road. The merit of the dish is shared equally by the potatoes and the house sauce. Other specialities include pig’s ear and casseroled snails. The tables on the terrace are attractive when the good weather arrives.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Bars and pubs

Gorila

A comfortable place to come with your laptop and work a little over your morning coffee. Breakfasts are served and there’s always something to snack on during the day. In the evening, smoothies give way to mojitos and daiquiris. As well as samples of street art on the walls, temporary exhibitions are held here.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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The best cocktail bars

Bars and pubs

Del Diego

This New York–style bar is perfect for women in stiletto heels and elegant men. You can easily imagine Frank Sinatra sitting here with one of their elegant cocktails, which are the house speciality. The bar is king here, serving everything from mojitos and caipirinhas, to international classics like dry martinis and Manhattans, to trendy cocktails like cosmopolitans, apple martinis, mai tais and sex on the beach. They also have some of their own creations such as the Del Diego and El Soltero Tranquilo. The owner learned his trade at Museo Chicote in the 1980s before going on to open this bar.

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Bars and pubs

Museo Chicote

Its art deco interior is starting to look a bit shabby around the edges, but Chicote is still the doyen of Madrid cocktail bars. This was famously where Hemingway and international press hacks would spend their days sheltering from the artillery shells flying down the Gran Vía during the Civil War. Grace Kelly and Ava Gardner, along with just about every Spanish writer, actor or artist of the last 60 years have passed through too.

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Bars and pubs

The Gin Room

A few metres from El Retiro, in one of Madrid's most exclusive neighbourhoods, this  establishment is minimalist and warm at the same time. At the entrance you’ll be greeted by your host – an impressive statue of a black horse which also serves as a lamp. In addition to the bar, decorated with lamps, designer chairs, and a number of lounges with black leather Chesterfield sofas and comfortable poufs, The Gin Room has a VIP area for the most discerning guests. Premium-quality gins and drinks are also on offer. It’s a place that will leave no one indifferent.  

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Bars and pubs

Martínez Bar

From breakfast to cocktail hour and beyond, this lovely corner of Malasaña, practically touching the Gran Vía, has what you're looking for. Modern yet vintage and industrial at the same time, Martínez Bar has become on of Madrid's most fashionable cocktail bars, and boasts a wide selection of premium gins and first-rate cocktails. With a touch of the New York about it, Martínez Bar owes its success to its menu, which includes tarts, cheeses, a variety of ham, juices and a delicious weekend brunch.

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Restaurants

Punk Bach

This classic brasserie looks to London and New York for inspiration and adds its own roguish touch. In addition to tasty food, you can order sophisticated cocktails served with care by the friendly waiters. The decor is simply stunning. Thick curtains (in true cabaret style) separate the entrance from the premises, and the large bar with sturdy wooden stools contrasts with the beautiful bottles that fill the walls and the modern gilded lamps made of tubes. This place has pulled off the magical trick of successfully combing the old and new to produce a completely harmonious effect.

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Bars and pubs

Gin Club

Inside El Mercado de la Reina there’s a space reserved exclusively for G&T fans. After eating at the market’s restaurant, a lovely, quiet, chill-out style space awaits to help you with your digestion before leaving. Cocktails here are made with great care, with the bartender following all the canonical steps before your very eyes, from the lemon twist to the splash of tonic water. It’s a modern and sophisticated spot to go to with friends for good conversation.

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