There is no Madrid without taverns. History tells us that taverns started to arise in the Spanish capital around 1085 and today whoever visits it will notice that the old wine and vermouth routes shine more than ever. Prepare yourself to discover hundreds of narrow streets calling for one thing: the art of conversation whilst enjoying a good glass of wine. Follow the local rules and don’ t lose sight of the bar…
Image: Old Madrid by Cheapinmadrid
Beers: Don’t forget the tapa!
Cervecería Alemana. Around 1904, German beer found its place in one of the most Spanish squares in the city and apparently it convinced the neighbours and the famous Ernest Hemingway as a place to visit almost every day. Today, the place hasn’t really changed and apart from enjoying the same Prussian style, visitors still can taste very Iberian tapas such as croquetas, all sorts of squid tapas and cod dishes. Last but not least, classic German sausages are still available on the menu!
6,Plaza de Santa Ana, Madrid
Image: Cervecería Alemana by Boca Dorada
Irreale. Let´s face it. Craft beer has nothing to do with the other commercial beer. If you are looking for a good place in Madrid where to find it Irreale might deserve a visit. Based in the trendy Malasaña, it offers a wide variety of beers, which you might want to accompany with a ración of calamares or any other pincho.
20, Manuela Malasaña, Madrid
Vermouth: 100 % Iberian style
Bodegas Ricla. Founded in 1867 Bodegas Ricla is one of those tiny and noisy family businesses in the centre of Madrid that hosts thirsty regular clients looking for Izaguirre vermouth. Its tapas menus will definitely encourage you to stay in for hours. Anchovies and callos are some of the star dishes available and probably the ones that disappear first. Top tip: For those who need to use the toilets, the experience will be guaranteed, as the only route available is crossing the bar tender (don’t forget to say hello to Ana María, the owner)
6, Calle de los Cuchilleros, Madrid
Image: Stop Madrid by Valesa Cultural
Stop Madrid. Its location might be no very visible, but the truth is that there is a lot behind its walls. Stop Madrid opened in 1929 as a wine cellar and today visitors can still taste all kind of red and white wines. But there is much more behind the bar. Here the food menu won’t disappoint you. Whether you go for a tapa or a ración, this tiny place gives you the chance to taste great delicatessen such as cecina de León (smoke meat from Leon) empanadillas and all kind of manchego cheeses. It is said that Stop Madrid is one of the best places in town to experience “la hora del vermut”.
11, Calle de Hortaleza, Madrid
Jerez wine: The best of Andalusia in Madrid
La Venencia. Based in the busy Echegaray road (this street is the perfect one to visit if you are looking for true flamenco nights) this tavern opened its door near a century ago and since then it hasn’t stopped receiving customers looking for the pleasure of enjoying a glass of manzanilla (sherry) a fortified wine made from white grapes that come from Jerez, in the South of Spain. La Venencia is also another bar that The Old man and the Sea’s author used to visit. Top tip: Do not never ever order a soft drink or a glass of wine, as waiters here only serve Andalusian sherry.
7, Echegaray, Madrid
Image: Mercado de San Miguel by José Pestana
The Sherry Corner. Based in the Mercado de San Miguel (one of the oldest scenarios in town and also a market that has been inspiring writers over the years), the Sherry Corner invites visitors to taste the best sherry in the country. For instance, you can enjoy sherry tastings in six different languages (20 Euros). Once you are here, don’t hesitate to pop in at the different stands offering all kind of Spanish delicatessen.
Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid
Liqueurs: Strong flavours in small doses
Licores Madrueño. It´s definitely the most antique place in town (It opened its door in the 19th century) when it comes to discovering the most delicious bottled flavours. Located at the popular Postigo de San Martín street, it hides an amazing historic value, something that Madrilean people know very well, as this is the place chosen by neighbours when purchasing tequila, run, gin and all sorts of strong liqueurs. Last year the Madrueño family opened a new store in the lively Latina area (19, Calatrava). Apparently the place is always busy!
3, Postigo de San Martín, Madrid
What’s your favourite place in Madrid to enjoy a vermouth aperitif?