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Café Gijón

Critics' choice
Restaurants & cafés

Still charming after all these years, this is Madrid's definitive literary café, open since 1888. It still holds poetry tertulias on Monday nights, and...

Paseo de Recoletos 21

Casa Alberto

Critics' choice
Restaurants & cafés

One of the city's most evocative old tabernas, hung with oil paintings and presided over by a septuagenarian. It still has its old zinc bar complete with...

C/Huertas 18

Casa Ciriaco

Restaurants & cafés

Pick your way down the side of the open kitchen to a deep dining room hung with pictures of visiting royals and grateful celebrities, along with rather...

C/Mayor 84

Casa do Compañeiro

Critics' choice
Restaurants & cafés

A tiny jewel among tapas bars, with wonderful tiling inside and out. The tapas are mainly from Galicia, with lots of octopus, gammon, pig's ear and, of...

C/San Vicente Ferrer 44

Casa Labra

Restaurants & cafés

Famously the birthplace of the Spanish Socialist Party back in 1879, this legendary bar, with its brown 1950s paintwork and luggage racks, is worth a visit...

C/Tetuán 12

Casa Lucio

Critics' choice
Restaurants & cafés

A restaurant unsurpassed by any other in Madrid for its famous patrons: King Juan Carlos, Bill Clinton and Penélope Cruz among them. This is the place of...

C/Cava Baja 35

Casa Marta

Restaurants & cafés

Every Saturday, according to the novel, Don Quixote ate duelos y quebrantes (scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, chorizo and brains) and you can still try them at...

C/Santa Clara 10

Cervecería Alemana

Bars & pubs, Restaurants & cafés

Famous for being Ernest Hemingway's daily haunt (his table, should you be wondering, is the one in the near right-hand corner). The decor is fin-de-siècle...

Plaza Santa Ana 6

El Parnasillo

Restaurants & cafés

Long frequented by writers, artists, journalists and intellectuals, the art nouveau El Parnasillo was very much at the centre of Madrid's cultural renewal...

C/San Andrés 33

El Sobrino de Botín

Critics' choice
Restaurants & cafés

The world's oldest restaurant (with a signed Norris McWhirter certificate to prove it) is still coming up with the goods after nearly 300 years. For all its...

C/Cuchilleros 17

Hotel Palacio San Martín


This hotel, housed in a 19th-century former palace on a quiet but very central little square, was converted into a hotel in 2001. Its comforts are...

Plaza de San Martín 5

Hotel Santo Mauro


Famous in recent times as the Beckhams' first residence in Madrid, this exquisite hotel is discreetly hidden away in the embassy-lined streets that separate...

C/Zurbano 36

La Bola Taberna

Restaurants & cafés

Holding court on a quiet backstreet, this dignified, classic Madrid restaurant is considered by many to be the home of cocido, the huge and hearty stew...

C/Bola 5

La Dolores

Restaurants & cafés

Another Madrid classic, with wonderful tiling outside and rows of dusty beer steins inside, La Dolores has been serving ice-cold frothy beer since the...

Plaza de Jesús 4

La Taberna de Antonio Sánchez

Critics' choice
Restaurants & cafés

Little changes at this historic bar, from the zinc bar to the bull's head on the wall. Its various owners have all been involved in bullfighting, and...

C/Mesón de Paredes 13
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