We'd be lying if we didn't say this is one of our favourite restaurants in Madrid. First for its location, on the top floor of the Escuela de Pías with a spectacular terrace. Having a beer while watching the sun set over the traditional Madrid 'corralas' apartment blocks or taking in the still-standing church ruins next to the school as they're lit up at night are a couple of the greatest pleasures of the city. In summer you might have trouble finding a table, whether you want to just have a drink or sit and have a meal. The menu is also among the strengths at Gau&Café. Aubergine and tempura, hummus, nachos, salads, egg dishes, salmon tartare... the list of treats is quite extensive.
The idea for the Room Mate chain of hotels and apartments came about when three friends decided to open in Madrid the kind of hotel that they would like to have found on their travels to other cities: somewhere central and reasonably priced with original decor. Room Mate Oscar has all of these characteristics and impeccable facilities, which have won it awards, including a terrace bar with magnificent views of the Chueca neighbourhood and an ambience that could rival that of any Ibiza club, swimming pool included. Access is €20.
The top floor of El Corte Inglés in C/Callao has become a meeting spot for gourmets. This space, which is also found in the stores in C/Goya and La Castellana, combines gourmet products tastings and sales. There are food stalls spread all over the ninth floor of the building where you can sample the delights of StreetXO, a more accessible version of the famous three-Michelin-starred DiverXO, a good selection of burgers at Hamburguesa Nostra, and 'pintxos' at Asador Imanol, among many others. The tables beside the terrace are much sought after. Perhaps the spectacular views of the Gran Vía have something to do with it.
The Madrid skyline is one of the most beautiful in Spain. And a perfect place to enjoy the view is from the rooftop of the Círculo de Bellas Artes in C/Alcalá. From the massive terrace there you can see the whole city, its big avenues, famous monuments, green spaces and even the city's skyscrapers, the Cuatro Torres. It's also an ideal spot to have a drink while you watch the sun set, or at night (in high season it closes at 2.30am at weekends) or try some of the delish bites they create in Tartan Roof, the seasonal restaurant from Javier Muñoz-Calero.
A hidden terrace in Chueca is the main attraction of this eclectic bar-restaurant. You can stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner thanks to their wide-open timetable, although the weekends are when it usually fills up fast, partly because they do a great brunch. Their speciality are 'casis' – bread rolls stuffed with garlic prawns, octopus or other fillings. The0r 'latitas' are also well-known, as they're an original way to serve drinks such as 'tinto de verano' (chilled red table wine with bubbly water and lemon), sangría, cider and energy drinks made of natural fruit, as well as cold beer. Try the salads, burritos and dishes to share as well. If you can, grab a spot on the interior patio, which is the best place when the sun's out in full force.
On the rooftop of the luxury design hotel ME Madrid Reina Victoria you'll find this exclusive terrace that hosts parties and events all summer. The views of Plaza de Santa Ana are fantastic, as is the lighting of the place at night, which invites you to relax in the comfy sofas and armchairs dotted around the space. In addition to refreshing cocktails, at night you also have music from local and international DJs. You can also get something to eat and hang out until the wee hours (in summer The Penthouse closes at 3.30am Friday and Saturday). Definitely have your wallet filled.
Hidden in this cosy two-storey Colonial-style chalet is a restaurante and tapas bar that's more than two decades old. At midday, the working set comes along to lunch, but the ambience changes at night. The comfortable and peaceful terrace is one of its biggest draws. You can try classic tapas such as the potato omelette, salmorejo (similar to gazpacho) and bread with tomato, and modern treats including the omnipresent mini hamburgers made with Galician beef, foie shavings, calamari croquettes with squid ink, and steak tartare with mustard, among them. They've also got sandwiches, salads and dishes you can share. The restaurant menu is bigger and just as good.
The old Luna cinema has been converted into this 'lounge resort' that has a gym, a restaurant, a space for events, and an impressive terrace that overlooks the streets of Malasaña. With a bit of a futuristic air about it, the rooftop of this innovative building boasts a bar that serves cocktails, coffee, and shakes/smoothies all day long and all year round. A great place to disconnect from the daily beat of the city. As far as the food goes, they've got a select menu that includes cream of wild mushroom soup with parmesan mousse, puff pastry filled with braised Iberian beef cheeks, beef carpaccio, salmon tartare, stuffed pasta, burgers, salads, sandwiches and various starters such as nachos, savour crepes, and the like.
The terrace here atop one of Madrid's most emblematic buildings features stelar views. You'll have to go up to the sixth floor of the Palacio de Cibeles, which is the headquarters of the Ayuntamiento de Madrid (City Hall), and also of the CentroCentro cultural space in order to see for yourself. The cocktail menu is extensive and full of premium brands. They've also got a small selection of dishes to share such as croquettes, cured venison, oysters and cheese plates, among others. The terrace is open late in summer (2.30am Friday and Saturday), so you don't have to keep an eye on the clock.
Donde Mónica, with its charming garden café-restaurant, twinkles like an oasis in the centre of Madrid. Their culinary offer is a gem as well, with original takes on classics, resulting in dishes with their own twist. There's a tasting of mini hamburgers that get even tastier as you go through the menu, and a dish with salmon and cream cheese with horseradish. Everything tastes just that much better in this idyllic space with a wonderful terrace surrounded by gardens.