The best bars in Madrid, Spain...

 

Madrid boasts one of the best nightlifes in Europe, with the famous Flamenco tablao bars a unique highlight of the city and a must-visit when in town. In fact, it is said that Madrid has more bars per capita than any other city in Europe. Wine, vermouth, Sangria, Jerez (sherry) and balloon glasses of Gin & Tonic especially are the drinks of choice.

 
 
  • The bars in Madrid normally get busy after 21:00. Most bars close at 02:00 - 03:00 with tablaos and night clubs open until 05:00 or 06:00
  • Madrid is a large city, although still possible to explore easily by foot. It's best to plan your route ahead and use the Metro or Cercanias train to speed up journey times if necessary
  • When in Madrid, you should try the Tinto de Verano, a summer wine like drink diluted with lemonade
  • Interestingly, there is no standard measurement for beer in Madrid's bars, however a "jarra", "pinta" or "triple" is usually around 0.5l 
  • It's often slightly cheaper to drink at the bar than sitting at a table or outside, and prices also often increase after 22:00 or 23:00
  • Most Madrid bars accept payment by credit or debit card, although you may be asked to show your passport when paying sometimes
  • Staff in most, but not all, Madrid bars do not speak good English
  • Most Madrid bars offer free WiFi, even at some of the older establishments
  • Smoking is not allowed in Madrid bars
  • Locals normally only leave small change as tips for drinks or 5% for meals

 

 Best Bars Madrid ~ Platea Madrid / Photo: plateamadrid.com

Best Bars Madrid ~ Platea Madrid / Photo: plateamadrid.com

1 ~ PLATEA

Opened in June 2014 in an old 1950s style cinema, this six floor gastronomic hall is a must-visit when in Madrid. With a host of bars alongside reasonably priced tapas offerings from Michelin Star chefs, cake shops, cheese stalls, meats, fruit and vegetable markets, a kitchenware store and even a florist, it's easy to spend hours in this gourmet palace, There's three cocktail bars to choose from where you can enjoy classic drinks or more innovative concoctions. El Patio, El Foso (The Pit) and the highlight, El Palco (The Box), a spectacular cocktail bar from top mixologists, Diego Cabrera and Luca Anastasio, located on the second amphitheatre with spectacular views of the stage, where there's always something going on, be it live latin, swing, jazz, soul, funk, R&B, flamenco, or top DJs in the evening. There's also an exclusive bar from the Frinsa canned seafood company where you can enjoy mussels, cockles, razor clams, tuna and octopus with an Estrella Damm beer. With Italian, Japanese, Mexican and Peruvian restaurants adding to the mix, drinkers can also grab a Campari, sake, tequila, or Pisco Sour if they have time.

Cocktails €10+     Beer (0.5l) Not known  Wine  €3+

Serrano (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Corral De La Moreria

Best Bars Madrid ~ Corral De La Moreria

2 ~ CORRAL DE LA MORERIA

Although it's a tourist trap, this historic tablao makes it high on our Best Bars in Madrid list, not just because it's probably the most famous flamenco bar in the world, but also because it hosts two performances from national leading flamenco artists every night. Originally opened by Manuel del Rey in 1957, making it one of the oldest flamenco establishments in Spain. It is certainly more pricey than other establishments (especially when choosing to dine there). There is probably no other bar in the world however, where so many famous artists, Hollywood stars, politicians, and sports heroes mix with the general public in such a tiny space, like they do here. When you sit in the small room, with a glass of Jerez (sherry), the chairs cramped together and pillars blocking many a view, it's incredible to imagine that the same experience was had by the likes of Che Guevara, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dalí, Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Mohammed Ali, Ronald Regan, Pelé, Roger Moore, Sofia Loren, Marlon Brando, Omar Sharif, U2, Maria Carey, Nicole Kidman, Michael Douglas, Richard Gere, Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, Samuel L Jackson, Jude Law, King Hussain of Jordan, and... erm... Justin Bieber, amongst many, many more. The best seats at the front are reserved for diners, although it is possible to visit just for drinks and a show (€50 including one drink). Book online.

Cocktails Not known     Beer (0.5l) Not known   Wine  €3.50+

La Latina (8 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ La Venencia

Best Bars Madrid ~ La Venencia

3 ~ LA VENENCIA

This famous old bar on the cobblestone street of Calle de Echegaray is probably the most reflective of the Spanish Civil War during 1936 to 1939 and an absolute must-visit for lovers of history, Jerez and Hemingway. It was frequented by Republican soldiers and supporters of the anti-fascist cause, who met sympathetic foreign journalists here, including Ernest Hemingway, to exchange stories from the frontline of their fight against Franco’s forces. The bar has remained exactly as it was back then with large wine barrels, old bottles and faded sherry festival posters. The wooden bar, with its antique cash register, doubles up as your tab, with the moody, silent waiters scrawling your order in chalk on its surface. The menu consists of only Jerez or tap water, with five delicious varities of the sherry available, each served with delicious green olives. There's strict rules of the house you need to be aware of, all dating back to the 1930s. (1) No spitting on the floor - in the interest of hygiene; (2) No photographs - in case you're a fascist spy; (3) No tipping - in line with its socialist roots; and the unspoken rule... (4) You must hold your sherry by the stem - failing to do so would "out" you as a spy. The modern rule (5) of no smoking, obviously didn't apply back in Hemingway's day as the interior is still so tobacco stained that you can only imagine what the lungs of those Republican soldiers must have looked like.

Wine  €2+

Puerta del Sol (5 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ 1862 Dry Bar

Best Bars Madrid ~ 1862 Dry Bar

4 ~ 1862 DRY BAR

If, like us, you like cocktails how they were intended to be, back in the days they were invented, then this is the place for you. Named after the year in which both the building that houses it was built and also in which Jerry Thomas first published his famous "The Bar-Tender’s Guide", this tiny bar in the trendy Triball area is ran by the friendly owner, Alberto Martínez and seems to be the chosen hangout for many of Madrid's mixologists when they're not working elsewhere. Alongside the 30 or so classic cocktails, there are over 150 vodkas and gins whilst the decoration is beautiful, the stunning wooden bar carries a quote in large print from the 1953 Raymond Chandler novel "The Long Goodbye", about how to make the perfect Gimlet. And this bar certainly knows how to.

Cocktails €8+     Beer (0.5l) Not known    Wine  Not known

Noviciado (1 minute walk)

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 Best Bars Copenhagen ~ Jernbane / Photo: jernbanecafeen.dk

Best Bars Copenhagen ~ Jernbane / Photo: jernbanecafeen.dk

5 ~ MERCADO DE SAN MIGUEL

Dating back to 1916 and re-opened in 2009, the beautiful Mercado de San Miguel (San Miguel Market), is a must visit for all gastronomy lovers whilst in Madrid. Located in the heart of the old town, just outside of Plaza Mayor, and open until midnight (02:00 at weekends), its 33 stalls aim at offering the different specialties that make Spanish food and drink famous across the globe. Each of its traders have been selected for being among the best in their industry. Your first stop here should be at The Sherry Corner, who have a very original idea for ow you can experience the rest of the food hall and taste sherry wines at the same time. Along with six huge servings of different Jerez, served in a "Moroccan" style tray, they also provide you with an audio guide, which describes each of the drinks you are tasting (in Spanish, English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Japanese). You can then take these around the entire market (although you'll need to leave your passport with them as a guarantee). They also give you six coupons which can be redeemed at different stalls in exchange for free tapas to perfectly match the respective sherry you are tasting. It's advisable to visit during a quieter time of day as the market gets incredibly busy and it can be hard to manoeuvre your sherry and tapas to an available table. Amongst the delicatessens, butchers, grocers, fishmongers and pastry shops, you'll also find seven other bars, El Pascado Original (beer and tapas), Beer House, Cold Beer Cart (for ice cold San Miguel), Cocktail Cart, El 19 de San Miguel (wine), La Hora del Vermut (Vermouth Hour), which offers red, white and pink vermouth aperitifs on tap, alongside stuffed olives and pickles, and the amazing Pinkleton & Wine, which sells over 500 different wines and Champagnes by the glass.  You can literally spend half a day in here and never get bored.

Cocktails €8+     Beer (0.5l) Not known    Wine  Not known

Puerta del Sol (6 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ La Casa Del Abuelo

Best Bars Madrid ~ La Casa Del Abuelo

6 ~ La CASA DEL ABUELO

This historic tavern opened at Calle Victoria 12 in 1906, and has remained a Madrid institution thanks to its offering of succulent gambas (prawns) and the best sweet wine. "Grandpa's House" has passed through four generations of the same family in the last 100 years, finding their niche following the food shortages caused by the 1936-39 Civil War, deciding to sell only shrimps, served together with the sweet Alicante wine; which for a long time earned the bar the name "La Alicantina", a title which still stands proudly above the door today. Tradition dictates that you throw the shells of the prawns on to the floor. In 1974 they opened a second tavern just around the corner at Nuñez de Arce 5 and in 1996 a third branch across town at Goya 57. A further branch, on the corner unit directly opposite Calle Victoria 12, helps deal with the popularity of this legendary venue, where one generation of Madrileños continues to introduce the next. A fifth more modern branch was opened not too far away at Plaza Mayor in October 2015. 

Cocktails  Not known  Beer (0.5l) Not known   Wine  Not known

Puerta del Sol (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~Kikekeller / Photo: kikekeller.com

Best Bars Madrid ~Kikekeller / Photo: kikekeller.com

7 ~ Kikekeller

Opened in 2009, this is possibly the most unique bar in Madrid.  A designer furniture store which doubles up as a stunning bar.  The personal project of its owners Kike and Celia, the result is a store-gallery-bar to get lost in for an entire night, enjoying drinks whilst admiring the bi-monthly art exhibitions and contemplating purchasing the beautiful design pieces and prototypes on which you sit and are surrounded - everything here is for sale. Giving the venue an almost secretive speakeasy feel, the shop at the front of the building closes earlier than the bar, which is open until 21:00 Monday - Wednesday and 02:30 Thursday - Saturday.  Closed Sunday.

Cocktails  Not known  Beer (0.5l) Not known   Wine  Not known

Callao (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Taberna Antonio Sanchez / Photo: Facebook TabernaAntoniSanchez

Best Bars Madrid ~ Taberna Antonio Sanchez / Photo: Facebook TabernaAntoniSanchez

8 ~ Taberna Antonio Sánchez

From the outside, this historic bullfighter's taberna has been beautifully preserved whilst, inside, it has barely changed since it opened in 1830, with 100 year old wine bottles, wooden barrels, an old cash register, antique clock and a beautiful metal bar.  Owned throughout its time by one bullfighter or another, the walls are decorated with photographs of matadors alongside mounted bulls heads, one of which belonged to the animal that gored Antonio Sanchez in 1922. The tapas is superb and you even get a free salad with your drinks.

Cocktails  Not known  Beer (0.5l) Not known   Wine  Not known

Tirso de Molina (2 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Cafe Del Principe / Photo: cafedelprincipe.com

Best Bars Madrid ~ Cafe Del Principe / Photo: cafedelprincipe.com

9 ~ Café Del Príncipe

One of the finest and most historic bars in Madrid, this former jewellery shop treasures its legacy with mahogany furniture and bronze and plasters of the early 1800's over three floors complemented by high ceilings, large windows and spacious lounges. Today it serves as a backcloth for movies and hosts celebrities and politicians. From breakfast, coffee, lunch and dinner through to late night cocktails until 02:00, accompanied by stunning views of the surrounding historic buildings from the top floor, this is Madrid at its most romantic.

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Puerta del Sol (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Azotea Del Circulo

Best Bars Madrid ~ Azotea Del Circulo

10 ~ AZOTEA DEL CIRCULO

The rooftop bar and tapas restaurant at the Círculo de Bellas Artes, one of the most important private cultural not-for-profit art instititions in Europe, offers arguably the best viewpoint of Madrid, overlooking the Castellana and Plaza de Cibeles. Open from 09:00 until 02:30, there's not many better places to sip cocktails with an almost 360º view of the capital. Entrance to the rooftop of this beautiful 1920s building costs €3 (which is waved if you're dining at the pop-up restaurant, from top chef Javier Muñoz Calero).

Cocktails Not known     Beer (0.5l) Not known    Wine  Not known

Banco de España (1 minute walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Stop Madrid

Best Bars Madrid ~ Stop Madrid

11 ~ STOP MADRID

When it opened back in 1929, this excellent tavern was the first los embutidos (charcuterie) in Madrid. Almost a century later and many of the original fittings still exist, although now it's an incredibly popular wine bar instead, still serving some fantastic cold cut meats, cheeses and pies. There's over 40 different wines by the glass from all across Spain, local keg beers and some of the best vermouth to be found in Madrid.

Beer (0.5l) €3.50+    Wine  €2.50+

Gran Via (2 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Chocolateria San Gines

Best Bars Madrid ~ Chocolateria San Gines

12 ~ Chocolatería San Ginés

If you're looking for time out from all that alcohol, an absolute must-visit is this hot chocolate cafe in the old town. A Madrid institution since 1894, it can be found up a rising cobblestone passageway near the Iglesia de San Ginés, one of the oldest churches in the city. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the locals normally visit for breakfast or after they've finished partying. Whilst you can also order coffee and cakes, there is no menu, as virtually everybody opts for the delicious hot chocolate, served thick, dark and strong with fresh deep-fried churros (like a long crispy donught), which you dunk into your mug. You need to order inside the cafe and take a ticket, which you then give to the waiter. You'll find many chocolaterías in the Spanish capital, however this one is the most famous and the busiest, so expect to wait for a table. If you like the idea of Chocolate con churros, then you should also check out the delightful Chocolat on Calle Santa Maria (see below), which serves arguably the best in town and offers variations that include brandy, hazelnut liqueur, coffee liqueur and rum.

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Puerta del Sol (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Poncelet Cheese Bar

Best Bars Madrid ~ Poncelet Cheese Bar

13 ~ PONCELET CHEESE BAR

Cheese lovers must make a pilgrimage to this amazing bar and restaurant next to the Gregorio Marañón metro station. The menu features more than 149 rare cheeses from the 17 Spanish regions, as well as France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Britain, Ireland and Portugal. The wine list is extensive and varied, and adapted to the supply of cheese to get the best pairings. Likewise, you can find natural ciders and a selection of craft beers from small producers. Set over two beautiful Scandinavian inspired floors, the bottom houses the wine and cheese cellar, whilst upstairs is the library, where a number of books and magazines on the world of cheese are available for you to leisurely leaf through. Prop yourself up at the bar or grab a Hans Wegner wishbone chair in the more formal dining section. Here you can order from a menu complete with dishes that always contain at least one kind of cheese as an ingredient, or from the "Anti-Cheese" menu for people who do not like or can not eat cheese. Opened in 2011 by the same team behind the Poncelet Punto Selecto cheese shop on Calle Argensola (which has over 320 cheeses), in the summer of 2014 they've now opened a second Cheese Bar in Barcelona.

Cocktails Not known     Beer (0.5l) Not known    Wine  Not known

Gregorio Marañón (1 minute walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ La Taberna de Mr Pinkleton

Best Bars Madrid ~ La Taberna de Mr Pinkleton

14 ~ LA TABERNA DE MISTER PINKLETON

This intimate Flamenco tavern is situated in the Old Town, just metres from the Mercado de San Miguel (above), where you'll find its amazing sister wine bar, Pinkleton & Wine. Every day you'll find flamenco singing, dancing and guitar playing on the tiny stage. As you'd expect, the wine and spirits list is equally impressive as the one at Mercado - with over 600 wines, Champagnes and spirits to choose from. If you are looking for a different evening whilst in Madrid, having wonderful tapas, the best Iberian ham, incredible wines and watching a unique show, or if you're simply just wanting a place where you can have a fantastic drink while you enjoy great flamenco, then this is the place for you. Whilst less renowned as some of the historic tableas in town, it's a lot cheaper (€25 with a drink), and the overall offering is arguably better. Book online.

Cocktails Not known     Beer (0.5l) Not known    Wine  Not known

Tirso de Molina (5 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Terraza Solarium Jardines De Sabatini / Photo: jardinesdesabatini.com

Best Bars Madrid ~ Terraza Solarium Jardines De Sabatini / Photo: jardinesdesabatini.com

15 ~ Terraza Solarium Jardines de Sabatini

When it comes to rooftop bars in Madrid, you won't find any with a more regal view than that at the Apartosuites Jardines de Sabatini hotel. Here, during the Spring and Summer, you can enjoy stunning views of the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) and Templo de Debod and stare at magical sunsets. Sit back and relax after a hard day and take in the chilled out atmosphere with a cocktail or a good glass of Rioja wine. The hotel even has its own classic car museum for guests.

Cocktails Not known     Beer (0.5l) Not known    Wine  Not known

Intercambiador de Príncipe Pío (8 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Casa Gonzalez

Best Bars Madrid ~ Casa Gonzalez

16 ~ Casa González

Little did Vicente González Ambit know that when he started selling groceries, sausages and cheese in his Madrid home back in 1931, that the tiny establishment would still be one of the most loved places in Barrio de las Letras (The Literary Quarter) 80 years later. Now ran by his grandchildren, it has been remodelled not just as a shop but as a fantastic tapas bar. Here, in the back room that was previously the family home, you can enjoy a glass of wine, beer, or coffee in a romantic, relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The wine list is amazing and the famous sausages are just as popular now as they were back in 1931.

Cocktails Not known     Beer (0.5l) €5+    Wine  €2.50+

Antón Martín (2 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ The Roof / Photo: melia.com

Best Bars Madrid ~ The Roof / Photo: melia.com

17 ~ THE ROOF

In a city full of rooftop bars, it's hard to choose which ones make it into our list for the best bars in Madrid, however the terrace at the posh Hotel ME Madrid Reina Victoria is extremely classy and probably the most famous (and expensive). Take the private lift up to the top floor and you’ll be rewarded wth beautiful views over the busy Plaza de Santa Ana below, which itself is packed with bars and restaurants. Purple lights shine onto the stunning building's white towers, whilst marble tables and leather seats add to the luxurious ambience. It's the ideal place for enjoying a quiet afternoon or a seductive evening with good music and a delicious cocktail. It's not exactly cheap though - there's an entrance fee of €15 (which includes your first drink), and being one of the city's hotspots it can get extremely busy on summer evenings, with the queue for the elevator being as long as the bar's cocktail list. Therefore, if you're not actually staying at the hotel and you're frightened of being turned away, then make a reservation at the hotel's Restaurante Ana La Santa tapas bar downstairs first, to queue jump afterwards.

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Antón Martín (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Del Diego

Best Bars Madrid ~ Del Diego

18 ~ DEL DIEGO

Opened in 1992 by Fernando del Diego, a former apprentice of Perico Chicote (see below), this fantastic cocktail bar offers some of the finest drinks in Madrid in architecturally beautiful surroundings. The bartenders are incredibly experienced and the cocktail list exhaustive, combining classics with the recent trends, together with their own creations.

Cocktails Not known     Beer (0.5l) Not known    Wine  Not known

Gran Via (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ The Passenger

Best Bars Madrid ~ The Passenger

19 ~ THE PASSENGER

Designed by Madrid's leading interior designers, Parolio, this popular coffee shop by day and lively cocktail bar by night, in the trendy hipster neighbourhood of Malasaña, occupies a long and narrow room that has been created to appear like the plush restaurant cabin of an old train. To create the illusion of movement, three video screens play the role of windows, projecting images that have been recorded from real train windows all over the world. Open until 03:00 daily with a soundtrack of classic rock, there's photos of famous rock stars on trains and in stations, whilst the 8 metre long bar cabin serves good cocktails, craft beer, gin and whisky. Absolutely stunning.

Cocktails €8+     Beer (0.5l) Not known    Wine  Not known

Noviciado (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Oscar's Terrace / Photo: oscar.room-matehotels.com

Best Bars Madrid ~ Oscar's Terrace / Photo: oscar.room-matehotels.com

20 ~ LA TERRAZA DE Óscar

This roof terrace at the designer Room Mate Oscar Hotel, has become one of the most fashionable places in Madrid. Open until 02:00 all year around, it's the perfect place to enjoy a perfect view of Madrid’s skyline. Designed by Tomas Alia and decorated with lounge beds, chaise longues and an extensive bar counter, from which you can order 30 bespoke cocktails, visitors can also enjoy the swimming pool and solarium in the summer (for an additional €25). Closed Mondays in winter. Over 18s only. 

Cocktails  Not known  Beer (0.5l) Not known   Wine  Not known

Gran Via (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~Naturbier

Best Bars Madrid ~Naturbier

21 ~ NATURBIER

For a real taste of Madrid, you should head to Plaza Santa Ana, which boasts a huge selection of bars and tapas restaurants. For beers, our pick here is the city centre's first micro-brewery. Amazingly, this family ran bar and restaurant now sells over 100,000 litres of their beer every year. You can choose from their Cerveza Rubia (a traditional lager) or Cerveza Tostada (a toasted lager), both made on site using the strictest quality standards followed by German brewers. In fact, their Master Brewer, Alex Schmid, actually comes from Bavaria. Sit outside on the busy terrace and soak up the atmosphere of Plaza Santa Ana or find a spot in the bricked vaults underneath the square, which once belonged to an ancient church. Some of the tables even have beer taps from which you can pull your own pints. Staying on a German-theme, you should also visit the historic Cervecería Alemana next door if you have time (see below).

Beer (0.5l) €4+    Wine  €2+

Antón Martín (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Clubs Madrid ~ Joy Madrid

Best Clubs Madrid ~ Joy Madrid

22 ~ JOY ESLAVA

It's always difficult to include discos in our lists of best bars, as everybody has different taste in music. That said, you can't fail but be impressed by this grand venue, a former 19th-century theatre named after composer Hilarion Eslava, whose nephew once had a bar here. Opened on February 24th, 1981, the day after the failed coup d'état, it claims to have operated every single night for 35 years and is nearly always packed, with both tourists and locals alike - so expect to queue. Open until 06:00 with live music, tribute bands and top DJs, the music policy (and clientele) is eclectic with different themes each night that can include commercial chart music, electronica, house, funky R&B, classic rock, student nights (Thursday), and even a disco for 14-17 year olds (before 22:00 Saturdays).

Cocktails Not known     Beer (0.5l) Not known    Wine  Not known

Puerta del Sol (2 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Fogg Bar / Photo: Twitter FoggBar

Best Bars Madrid ~ Fogg Bar / Photo: Twitter FoggBar

23 ~ FOGG BAR

Opened in 2015, this beer and cheese bar offers 10 rotating taps of Spanish craft ales alongside many others in bottles.  To complement the beer, choose from their weekly changing menu of artisanal cheeses, all made by small Spanish producers. Tasty local brews include offerings from La Quince, Mad Brewing and La Cibeles, all from Madrid.

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Antón Martín (1 minute walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Bar Cock

Best Bars Madrid ~ Bar Cock

24 ~ BAR COCK

Inspired by the English Gentleman's Clubs of London, this historic backstreet cocktail bar dates back to 1921 and many of its original British features still exist. Both before and after the Spanish Civil War, it has remained the drinking hole of choice in Madrid for many famous artists, Hollywood stars and even royalty. For that reason, it's somewhat pricey (although a lot cheaper before 22:00) and photographs are strictly prohibited. The clientele tend to be a richer and older crowd but, after joking about the name, younger more hip drinkers will still appreciate the quality of the classic cocktails and the high possibility of bumping into a famous film star or two.

Cocktails €7.50+     Beer (0.5l) €4.50+    Wine  €4+

Gran Via (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Fatigas Del Querer

Best Bars Madrid ~ Fatigas Del Querer

25 ~ FATIGAS DEL QUERER

If you want to feel like a true Madrileño, then head to this delightful tapas bar on Calle de la Cruz, just around the corner from the main Puerta del Sol square. Whilst primarily a tapas restaurant, you can just visit for drinks - the wine and vermouth list is extensive and the place is always packed with locals. Dating back to the 1920s, it was reopened in 2006 but has kept it's original tavern look with Andalusian tiles and images of Spanish painter, Julio Romero de Torres, whose famous work "La Copla" is depicted on the building's facade. If you love the tiled buildings of Madrid, you should check out the excellent Album Viajero blog for other examples, including the popular España Cañi bar (below).

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Puerta del Sol (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Lolina Vinatge Cafe

Best Bars Madrid ~ Lolina Vinatge Cafe

26 ~ LOLINA VINTAGE CAFE

This adorable hipster hangout is decorated with original furniture, lighting and wallpapers from the 50s, 60s and 70s, giving it the charm of a dollhouse. A cozy cafe during the day before, late at night, DJs add the vibes whilst the girls prepare mojitos and caipirinhas following the original recipe from La Floridita in Havana, alongside other fantastic cocktails, wines, beers and 15 herbal teas.

Cocktails  €6+  Beer (0.5l) €2.50+   Wine  €2.50+

Tribunal (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Clubs Madrid ~ Teatro Kapital

Best Clubs Madrid ~ Teatro Kapital

27 ~ TEATRo KAPITAL

Located in a former theatre, over 20 years old and still one of the most famous clubs in Europe, this 3,000 capacity, seven-level monster is located in the triangle of art, surrounded by the Museo Thyssen Bornemisa, the Museo del Prado and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Reina Sofia. Open from midnight until 06:00 Thursday - Saturday, each floor offers something different and you'd be hard pushed not to find something you enjoy here. Some of the biggest DJs in the world mix House and Dance on the main dancefloor, whilst you'll also find Karaoke (2nd floor), Funky R & B (3rd floor), a gin cocktail bar (4th floor), a party zone (5th floor), Mojito and Cuba Libre room (6th floor) and the the terrace lounge bar (7th floor). With so much on offer, it appeals to everybody and it's not unusual to see the stars of Real and Atletico Madrid mixing with tourists and other VIPs.

Cocktails  Not known  Beer (0.5l) Not known   Wine  Not known

Atocha (2 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ El Anciano Rey De Los Vinos / Photo: Flickr El Anciano Rey de los Vinos

Best Bars Madrid ~ El Anciano Rey De Los Vinos / Photo: Flickr El Anciano Rey de los Vinos

28 ~ el anciano rey de los vinos

This classic red doored tavern, with its colourful glazed tiles, high ceilings and carved columns has stood opposite Catedral de la Almudena and Palacio Real since 1909 and is therefore popular with tourists and locals alike. In old Madrid, red doors used to indicate the premises served only wine, and drinkers would bring their own food.  Today, the wine and vermouth offering is still impressive, however is now served with great tapas at fantastically low prices and there's even a marbled restaurant in the back room.

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Opera (7 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ The Gin Room / Photo: Facebook theginroombar

Best Bars Madrid ~ The Gin Room / Photo: Facebook theginroombar

29 ~ THE GIN ROOM

This sophisticated and elegant bar located opposite the huge Parque del Buen Retiro should appeal to lovers of the best gins, with over thirty varieties to choose from, alongside other premium spirits and Champagnes.  A very classy affair with its white walls offset by black furniture and gold fittings, the gourmet tapas is equally as impressive. A good excuse for gin lovers to dress up. 

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Retiro (11 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Fabrica Maravillas

Best Bars Madrid ~ Fabrica Maravillas

30 ~ Fábrica Maravillas

Another in our best bars in Madrid list for the ale lovers. This very friendly, modern brewpub opened in November 2012 and is popular with a younger hip crowd who flock here for their delicious craft beers, which are made on site. It's a beautiful space and you can admire the whole beer making process, from milling the malt in the brewhouse to the actual packaging, before trying the range of home brewed beers such as Saison, IPA, Belgian Quadruple and their famous 9% ABV Imperial Stout

Cocktails Not known     Beer (0.5l) €4.50+    Wine  Not known

Gran Via (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Clubs Madrid ~ Flamenco Candela

Best Clubs Madrid ~ Flamenco Candela

31 ~ Candela

If you want to experience a true flavour of Madrid's flamenco scene, away from the famous (and expensive) tourist traps then there's nowhere else to match this legendary nightspot in the Lavapiés district. Open every day from 22:00 until 05:30 in the morning, performances from both professionals and amateurs take place every Thursday and Friday in the upstairs bar. If you're lucky however, you might be able to gain access to the cellar bar, where local gypsies and flamenco performers get together to drink and play. As it's one of the only places in the city open late, it can get very busy as the night progresses (especially after 01:00), when professional dancers often head here after their own shows for an impromptu jam session. In fact, some of the genre's biggest names have visited here. Seedier (and less touristy) than many of the other tablaos in town, it gives you a true feel for Spanish gypsy flamenco.

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Antón Martín (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Cerveceria Alemana

Best Bars Madrid ~ Cerveceria Alemana

32 ~ Cervecería Alemana

First opened in 1904 by some German manufacturers, this Bavarian style bierkeller in the popular Plaza Santa Ana has remained virtually unchanged to this date. Whilst almost every bar in Madrid claims to be a regular haunt of Ernest Hemingway, this one was genuinely frequented almost daily by the writer and notorious drinker during the 1950's (he took the marble-topped table overlooking a window to the right of the entrance). It's still busy to this day, and is an almost essential stop for many “Don Ernesto” fans visiting Madrid. There's a good selection of Spanish and European beers, although mainly from large International brewers, and the tapas includes German sausages. If you're more interested in microbreweries, then also pay a visit to Naturbier next door (see above).

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Antón Martín (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Clubs Madrdi ~ Banloo

Best Clubs Madrdi ~ Banloo

33 ~ BANLOO

When the famous Buddha Del Mar club closed down in 2014, the players of Real Madrid probably felt lost on a night out. Fortunately, for them, the management there are also behind this exclusive lounge, Italian restaurant and nightclub in the financial district, just 200 meters from the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The players of Los Merengues, the Spanish national side and the pretty girls they seem to attract, are all regulars at this three story club with most of the Real squad famously heading there to celebrate winning "la décima" (their 10th European Cup) in May 2014. The PR team of the club make no secret of this and it seems to work in their favour with many nights sold out. With a capacity of 1,000, set over three levels, there's a golden Moroccan theme throughout with a fantastic restaurant and chillout lounge on the top two levels, and a cool disco in the basement playing largely house, techno and commercial pop.

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Santiago Bernabeu (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Tablao Flamenco Villa Rosa / Photo: tablaoflamencovillarosa.com

Best Bars Madrid ~ Tablao Flamenco Villa Rosa / Photo: tablaoflamencovillarosa.com

34 ~ TABLAO FLAMENCO VILLA ROSA

Founded in 1911 on the site of an old chocolate factory, this beautiful flamenco tapas bar is the most emblematic of 1920s Madrid and one of the most beautiful venues in town with its original ornate wooden counter and artistic ceiling supported by golden arched columns. The picturesque Andalusian wall tiles both inside and out from Antonio Ruiz de Luna and Julian Santacruz depict scenes of Spanish monuments, flamenco dancers and bullfighters. There are two shows a day to enjoy with the Mediterranean cuisine accompanied by wines, sangria, beer and spirits. You can also watch a show without dining for €35 including a drink. Buy tickets online.

Cocktails €7+     Beer (0.5l) €3.50+    Wine  €2.50+

Puerta del Sol (5 minutes walk)

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 Best Clubs Madrid ~ Gau & Cafe / Photo: http://www.gaucafe.com/

Best Clubs Madrid ~ Gau & Cafe / Photo: http://www.gaucafe.com/

35 ~ Gau&Café

Since opening in 2006, this popular venue has developed a reputation as one of the most attractive roof-top terraces in Madrid. From the outside it looks like a derelict ruin, however this former 17th Century school and church, which was burned down during the Civil War, has been rebuilt as a university library with an all year round cafe bar and restaurant on top. You can take the lift or the more romantic stairs alongside the ruins, rewarding yourself for the effort with a nice cold Mojito, for which they have a reputation. The food menu is influenced by the best cuisines in the world, especially Mediterranean.

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Lavapiés (2 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Dry Martini Madrid / Photo: Facebook GranMeliaFenix

Best Bars Madrid ~ Dry Martini Madrid / Photo: Facebook GranMeliaFenix

36 ~Dry Martini at the Gran Meliá Fénix Madrid

Located inside the posh Gran Meliá Fénix Hotel, the second branch of the legendary Barcelona bar from Javier de las Muelas opened in 2010, repeating the same concept as its Catalan brother complete with the famous counter, showing how many Dry Martini cocktails have been sold.  In a city surprisingly short of top cocktail bars, it takes the mixology standards in the capital up a level or two.  Open until 03:00, alongside great tapas and seafood, the cocktail menu includes the signature classic Dry Martini and an exclusive selection of original recipes from the superstar barman like the Carnyvore, and the Sharon Stone. Other branches have since opened in sixteen cities around the world including Berlin, Munich and London.

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Colón (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Museo Chicote Music Club

Best Bars Madrid ~ Museo Chicote Music Club

37 ~ MUSEO CHICOTE

If you're visiting Madrid for the first time, then you've probably already got this historic bar on your to-do-list. Opened in 1931 by Perico Chicote, who had been a 16 year old bartender at the nearby Ritz Hotel, Bar Chicote became one of the most famous bars in the world as the rich, famous and royal headed there to taste his many inventions. Guests included Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis, Sofia Loren, Orson Welles, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Puskas, and, of course, Ernest Hemingway. In 1940, a bottle of cachaca, gifted by the Brazilian Ambassador, kick started "The Chicote Museum", which showcased Chicote's private collection of nearly ten thousand bottles in the bar's basement. Considered to be the best alcohol collection in the world, Aristotle Onassis even offered the barman thirty million pesetas for it. Whilst the bar was renamed after the museum, it changed hands various times after his death in 1977 and the famous collection was sadly sold at auction in 1983. Today, the venue is a live music bar with DJs and a restaurant (getting busy after midnight) but the 1930s splendor can still be seen in the furniture and the walls boast dozens of photos of the celebrities that have shared the same spot on which you also enjoy cocktails and a large G&T menu.

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Gran Via (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Clubs Madrid ~ 1912 Museum Bar / Photo: westinpalacemadrid.com

Best Clubs Madrid ~ 1912 Museum Bar / Photo: westinpalacemadrid.com

38 ~ 1912 MUSEO BAR

Ah, those fellas Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Dalí must have got around town, as every bar in Madrid claims to have been their "favourite". The lavish historic bar in the 5 Star Westin Palace Hotel is another to make that claim and, in this case, is likely to be true. As mentioned in Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises", it is reminiscent of a traditional English gentleman's club, with polished woods, table lamps, green leather chairs and a library of old books. A lively crowd of smart locals and rich hotel guests come here to enjoy the excellent cocktails, made with premium brands and ranging from the classics to the signature creations, like the Golden Palace - a boozy combination of rum, fruit, Cointreau, apple liqueur and Grand Marnier. The Spanish wine and cava collection is impressive whilst a miniature museum tells the history of the famous hotel. 

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Banco de España (2 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ A De Azarbal / Photo: Facebook AdeArzabal

Best Bars Madrid ~ A De Azarbal / Photo: Facebook AdeArzabal

39 ~ A de Arzábal

Recognised as having the best stocked bar in Madrid, this amazing Gastrobar and Japanese Kirikata offers Japanese and Spanish cuisine alongside 40 great cocktails and over 400 spirits, 80 wines, 140 Champagnes and more than 250 distillates. The sister to the equally impressive but more Spanish focused Arzábal, at the end of the same street (and a further branch at Museo Reina Sofia), this really is a hidden gem. Members (limited to 700 people, each paying €300 for the privilege) can also access an intimate hidden room, which is styled like an old British gentleman's club. Closed Sunday.

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Príncipe de Vergara (4 minutes)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ La Escalera De Jacob / Photo: Facebook EscaleraJacobLavapies

Best Bars Madrid ~ La Escalera De Jacob / Photo: Facebook EscaleraJacobLavapies

40 ~ LA ESCALERA DE JACOB

"Jacob's Ladder" is a unique cultural space where really cool cocktail bar and terrace meets a theatre, art cinema and exhibition gallery. Just as much a creative cocktail bar as it is a theatre, the on stage offering is worth checking out with shows for both adults and children, including storytellers, magicians and live jazz.  It's a great place to visit if you're in Madrid with or without kids en tow.

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Tirso de Molina (2 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Bodegas Ricla

Best Bars Madrid ~ Bodegas Ricla

41 ~ BODEGAS RICLA

Between Plaza Mayor and La Latina, you will stumble upon this absolutely tiny, standing room only bodega, which dates back to 1867. Brothers Emilio and Jose Antonio work behind the metal bar whilst their mother, Ana, makes delicious tapas in the kitchen. Locals can't get enough of the excellent vermouth on tap together with wine and jerez served from clay urns. Closed Sunday evening and Tuesdays.

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La Latina (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Cafe Central / Photo: cafecentralmadrid.com

Best Bars Madrid ~ Cafe Central / Photo: cafecentralmadrid.com

42 ~ Café Central

Opened in 1982 in a former mirror shop, which had operated here since 1908, this beautiful jazz cafe serves up live music covering all styles of the genre. Now recognised as one of the leading jazz bars in Europe, with its outside terrace and large windows, it's an all day affair that appeals to all lovers of live music, open from 11:30 until 03:30, with concerts running from 21:00 each day.

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Antón Martín (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Le Cabrera

Best Bars Madrid ~ Le Cabrera

43 ~ LE CABRERA

This chic 1970s style hangout in the trendy Las Salesas district offers amazing cocktails and great tapas over two floors. When top Argentine mixologist Diego Cabrera opened it in 2010, he had the whole of Madrid talking. This cool mix of stylish cocktail bar and fantastic modern tapas bar under one roof was a revelation and his 60-strong cocktail menu, served in the downstairs bar, was equally as celebrated as the creative cooking behind the tiny upstairs tapas bar from French chef, Bensoussan Benjamin, (which we recommend booking for). The original team has long since gone but it still remains a popular choice amongst Madrileños.

Cocktails €9+   Beer (0.5l) €8+   Wine  Not known

Recoletos (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Terraza Cibeles / Photo: Hilario Sanchez adolfo-palaciodecibeles.com

Best Bars Madrid ~ Terraza Cibeles / Photo: Hilario Sanchez adolfo-palaciodecibeles.com

44 ~ TERRAZA CIBELES

Located on the sixth floor of the most iconic building in Madrid, the Palacio de Cibeles, this terrace cocktail bar offers a great view of the skyline and the fountain below. The €6 entrance fee is reimbursed from your drinks bill, which, like the bar itself, is one of the highest in town.  Whilst the rooftop is exposed to the elements, it's open until 02:30 making it a romantic night with the lights of the city below. 

Cocktails €12+  Beer (0.5l) €9+   Wine €6+

Banco de España (2 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Espana Cani / Photo: Facebook ESPAÑA-CAÑI

Best Bars Madrid ~ Espana Cani / Photo: Facebook ESPAÑA-CAÑI

45 ~ ESPAÑA CAÑI

Open until 02:30, this authentic neighbourhood bar is decorated with Andalusian tiles from Spanish painter, Julio Romero de Torres, whose representation of the play "Cante Jondo" is depicted on the outside. Take a seat at one of the tables made from old wine barrels and enjoy the sangria or large collection of wines and gins whilst snacking on tasty tapas to the soundtrack of flamenco. Cash only.

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Puerta del Sol (5 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Matador / Photo: Google Maps Street View

Best Bars Madrid ~ Matador / Photo: Google Maps Street View

46 ~ MATADOR

Pretty ugly on the outside, a popular tiny dark bar on the inside accessed through a door with a swinging shoe on it. Decorated throughout with bullfighting memorabilia, this is one of those "best kept secrets" which, once visited, you will share with everybody else who tells you they are visiting Madrid. It gets incredibly busy so get there early to grab one of the rustic wooden tables for beers, sangria and tapas, enjoyed to the soundtrack of great Spanish music coming from the jukebox.

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Puerta del Sol (5 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Los Gatos

Best Bars Madrid ~ Los Gatos

47 ~ LOS GATOS

Madrileños are nicknamed "Gatos" (cats) because of their habit of stating out all night.  This quirky tapas bar, open until 02:00, certainly lives up to its name.  Alongside cold beer, the friendly owner, Lola, serves a wonderful home made barrelled Vermouth. Decorated with everything from gramophones to mannequins, motorbikes and life sized jazz musicians, the stools are even shaped like bottle caps.

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Antón Martín (5 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Gin Club / Photo: grupomercadodelareina.com

Best Bars Madrid ~ Gin Club / Photo: grupomercadodelareina.com

48 ~ GIN CLUB

Opened in 2006 by the same owners as the neighbouring Museo Chicote (above) and Mercado de la Reina, behind the long, curvy black Zimbabwe granite bar you will find over 40 gin brands, each paired up with their own tonic and trimmings. Gin Club´s gin list can be ordered at any of the owners other establishments, which, as well as Museo Chicote, also includes Diurno and Terraza De La Reina.

Cocktails  Not known  Beer (0.5l) Not known   Wine  €2.50+

Gran Via (3 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Bristol Bar & Gintonize

Best Bars Madrid ~ Bristol Bar & Gintonize

49 ~ BRISTOL BAR & GINTONIZE

An English-theme pub, complete with portraits of Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria on the wall, wouldn't normally make it into our list for the best bars in Madrid. You see, we normally try to only include bars of real unique standing, something you won't find in any other city, however this permanently busy gin shrine squeezes into our list, not just for its great selection of wine and cocktails but also because it is owned by Fran Ameijeiras and winemaker Ellie Baker who produce Ish Gin amongst other spirits. The whole place is decorated with Ish Gin bottles and promotions to remind you of the fact too. With the largest gin selection in Madrid (114 at last count), there's lots of rare specialities amongst those you will be more familiar with. The attached Gintonize bar boasts over 60 gin and tonics and a great gin-based cocktail menu, sticking to the British theme with gin-infused afternoon tea served in a teapot.

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Recoletos (4 minutes walk)

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 Best Bars Madrid ~ Chocolat Madrid

Best Bars Madrid ~ Chocolat Madrid

50 ~ CHOCOLAT

Having already included the famous Chocolateria San Gine, in our list of best bars in Madrid (see above), we'd normally be reluctant to include another hot chocolate cafe. However, this very friendly tiny place near Anton Martin station, on a backstreet in the so-called "Triangulo del Arte" (Art Triangle), not only serves arguably the best chocolate con churros in town but also offers variations that include brandy, hazelnut liqueur, coffee liqueur and rum. Open until 21:00, the chocolate is made fresh every day in the kitchen, very pure and low in sugar. There's also over 50 different kinds of tea available alongside other drinks.

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Antón Martín (3 minutes walk)

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Last updated 13 Feb 2016