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Bars and pubs Chamberí
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

With good products and great passion, it doesn’t take long for a new place to become a hotspot. That’s certainly the case with Arima, which—after just a month of business—had firmly cemented its place on the neighborhood’s map. Opened in 2016, this Basque tavern is simple but never boring. It draws on classic recipes but consistently seeks to draw hip clientele, the kind of people who like the ritual of vermouth just as much as a fun cocktail. This bar surely manages to capture the soul (‘arima’ in Basque) of both past and present. Half restaurant and half bar, Arima is a must-stop on any vermouth fan's route. They've got some 30 varieties selected from around the country – from Tarragona to Coruña, and Amurrio to Castellón – and they serve your choice in an elegant glass (with an olive and a bit of orange). Not only is vermouth revered here, it's also reinvented. Try a vermouth ‘slushy’ for a real treat when the weather heats up.

Vermouth traditionally goes down best with snacks, and the ubiquitous 'gilda' (usually an olive, a chili pepper and an anchovy stuck through with a toothpick) opens the door to a showcase of 'pintxos' using remarkably fresh ingredients that recall the best tradition from San Sebastián (where Arima's owner is from). Among the cold dishes, standouts include the bonito with mayonnaise and anchovy, the smoked cod with piperade, and the 'baserri' salad. Among the hot options, try the duck confit 'talo', the Beasain 'morcilla' blood sausage (a must), and truffle croquettes. It's a splendid spot to stop for a pre-lunch vermouth and snack any day of the week, but we recommend snagging a seat in the late afternoon when it’s a bit less crowded.

They save the heavy-hitters on the menu to serve in the six-table dining room; here you can order seasonal creations and specials that aren't on the printed menu. You might find Iberian pork jowls with baby fava beans, pork cheeks, hake, cod—well-executed classic recipes.


Address: Ponzano, 51
Transport: Ríos Rosas (M: L1)
Opening hours: Mon closed; Tue-Sun 12.30pm-5pm, 8pm-2am
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