Without a doubt one of the most legendary places in Madrid. To begin with, it is a place with history, where at the beginning of the century one could see all the intellectuals of the period like Unamuno or Valle-Inclán. The latter was precisely the one to include the place in his book "Luces de Bohemia" and thanks to which he has a plaque in that street.
However, San Ginés is where everyone ends a good party night, especially in the winter when at 7 am the best you can have is chocolate with warm churros. It is a place that moreover is always open, that is to say if you feel like chocolate at a more reasonable time it is absolutely possible. Also if the party only goes until 2 am, it is also open. The question is: when does this place close?
The prices are good, ironically of the best ones if you compare it with other places of the like but less famous. But it is true that it is packed from 6 am onwards so you always have to wait a little.
One of my favorite places to have a tea in Madrid. This warm cafeteria is located only a few meters from Princesa Street and the Conde Duque Cultural Center, on a small square with swings and a restaurant I could also recommend (the Aladino).
The specialty of El Jardín Secreto is the very tasty teas and a delicious variety of homemade desserts. This "secret" spot only opens in the afternoon and is usually packed so I recommend going early. It has tables of different styles, sizes and privacy and you can usually see "recent" couple and fans of good tea.
You got it, an essential place if you visit Madrid.
A very good pastry shop. I especially enjoyed the tropical smoothie and the coconut-pineapple smoothie, as well as the cherry and cheese one. The raspberry tart and pistachio tart are also delicious. The macaroons themselves are worth the return visit. The best part is that you pay only for what you eat and the prices are more than fair.
Every producer must know how to group locations to cheapen the costs and make the shooting more practical. The same thing that a traveler does when he plans a route, but this one must know when it is worth to go to a farther place to discover special places, for example those that made Madrid the pre-revolutionary Moscow.
In the axis Legazpi-Atocha, more movies that you can imagine have been filmed. And in the Legazpi square was shot the only neorealist film of the cinema during the dictatorship, Furrows, next to the slaughterhouse, an interesting architectonic space, which today is the center of contemporary creation with theater, cinematheque, exhibit halls, and a greenhouse for tropical species.
Built between 1911 and 1925, it functioned until 1996. In front of it, there is a small group of houses worth visiting and whose name couldn’t be stranger: Colonia del Pico del Pañuelo. Built in 1930 to accommodate the workers of the slaughterhouse, today it is a small Dominican Republic where the mixture of cultures is notorious (you can taste typical food from the country) and its streets have been quoted in works by Pío Baroja and also in the movies in Maravillas by Manue Guitérrez Aragón (by the way in this movie you can see how the area of Torre Picasso was, which used to be the highest building in Spain, before the area was developed).
Before, I talked of Russia in this neighborhood. If you go up the Paseo de las Delicias you find the Delicias Station, which was transformed two times in Moscow: in Reds by Warren Beaty and in Doctor Zhivago, the great David Lean classic with Omar Shariff, Julie Christie and Geraldine Chaplin.
Inaugurated in 1880, today you could almost relive the same atmosphere because it is an interesting Railroad museum with convoy reproductions from all time periods. It was also seen in Lovers, Love can Seriously Damage your Health, The Things of Love and Camarón.
In Reds, you could not only see the station, at the ending it was shot in a nearby place, in the patio and halls of the Reina Sofía Museum, which was semi-abandoned at the time. It used to be a hospital (this is where the ghost stories come from, so parapsychology lovers, you are welcome).
In front is the Atocha Station, where many different movies have been filmed, such as The Grifters with Tony Leblanc perpetrating the scam of the stamp, or the Bourne Ultimatum with Matt Damon running along Atocha street.
I also mentioned the Barbieri Café, I haven’t forgotten. After so much walking you can stop in this place, with good cakes and even better atmosphere. It is located in Ave María street, next to the Lavapiés square, it opened its doors in 1922 and it’s basically the same. The Beehive was not shot there, but it could have been, but the mythical The South by Víctor Erice was indeed filmed here, it may be one of the best Spanish movies of all times.
Surely one of the most popular cafés in Madrid. It has always been one. It is obviously not a cheap place of popular prices. It is an exclusive place in all aspects, starting with the location: magical. Right on Plaza de Oriente with direct views to the Royal Palace of Madrid.
From the inside it is not disappointing either: a lovely decoration and an excellent service, usually. On top of it, Café de Oriente has something very special in the lower floor: private lobbies where it is said that the King goes to have dinner sometimes.
Peeling walls, vintage furniture, lots of black-rimmed glasses, and the occasional dog: this is the Bicicleta Cafe. The atmosphere creates a "peaceful chaos" where everything seems to be half done, but to nice effect.
I've only been there for a drink, so I can’t talk about their food, but what we saw at least looked quite appetizing. They define themselves as a cafe passionate about bikes (if you didn't guess from the bikes decorating the walls), coffee, and creating the perfect workplace. And they've actually done a pretty good job! They have quite spacious tables, perfect to come on in with your laptop and use the wi-fi and outlets at our disposal.
The Jardin Secreto de Salvador Bachiller is a oasis of peace, flowers, and cold drinks hidden out of sight on a rooftop on Calle Montera, one of Madrid's busiest streets which runs from Gran Via to the Puerta del Sol. If you're wandering around the touristy heart of Madrid and need a place to cool off or grab a drink, I'd recommend the Jardin Secreto. The bar is located on the rooftop of Salvador Bachiller, a high-end Spanish store mainly selling small home furnishings, luggage, and ladies' bags.
As you reach the top, you enter into a quiet and charming little cafe that seems miles away from the sweaty hustle and bustle happening on the streets below. Chill music plays and the walls are covered with ivy, potted plants, and flowers. Overhead, a jet of cooling mist shoots out of an artfully hidden nozzle. The menu is pretty basic, with a small selection of beers, wines, teas and cocktails, as well as a couple tapas-style snacks. Although I'm an avid beer-drinker, I almost always order the "green tea mojito" as it's one of the most refreshing things I've ever tried. Basically, it's smooth green tea with mint and lime served in a pint glass with tons of ice. It's just the thing to get you feeling refreshed and reinvigorated for another few hours trudging around the hot and congested streets of downtown Madrid.
For the life of me I can't understand why the place isn't more crowded. The store even puts a big sign out on the street advertising its rooftop bar but in the three or four times I've been there, there hasn't been more than five or ten people in the place! I shouldn't complain though, as that means that you can pretty much always get a great table at this cute and friendly little rooftop bar.
The Chocolaterías Valor are known for the exquisite chocolate and all the places have a small shop where you can get a variety of chocolates.
In Madrid there are five franchises. We went to the one at the exit of Callao subway station, in Postigo de San Martín street, number 7. The chocolate (served in cups) is thick but it does not stick together. The taste is delicious and one appreciates the quality.
The porras (thick stick of fried dough) however, were a little disappointing. Although they were not bad, I must say I had better ones. The place was quite full. Actually, we had to eat our chocolate at the counter because all the tables were busy, including on the terrace.
A café with a cozy atmosphere also makes a great coffee. It is a good place for both breakfast and for snack time. The staff is very nice and they have homemade cakes and biscuits. They also serve meals at a great price, always seem to have some menú or offer. The truth is that it is great to have such a business in the heart of Madrid.