Madrid: A café connoisseur’s 5 favorite cafés

Passing the afternoon in Madrid's historic Café Commercial. Photo: Tnarik
Passing the afternoon in Madrid's historic Café Commercial. Photo: Tnarik

By Cynthia Kane in Madrid—

Imagine letting the hours pass by in Madrid. What comes to mind? My mind always conjures up images of the city’s cafés. And this is nothing new: Before moving to Madrid I dreamed about sitting at an outdoor café enjoying a café con leche, or finding the coziest corner inside to sip on a ColaCao.

After nearly four years of living here, I’d say I’ve become quite the café connoisseur, and I’m happy to share my favorites. He’s my quick list of the city’s best cafés:

Matilda Bar & Cocktail
Calle Almadén, 15
+34 914 2980
Metro: Atocha
Web site

Venture down this quiet street only steps from Calle Atocha and you’ll come upon Café Matilda. This light blue café is decorated with little knick knacks that give it a cozy feel, with a mish mash of tables and chairs, a small sofa and a bookshelf lined with assorted titles. The bathroom here is also a highlight, as its walls are covered with text from books and magazines.

Café de la Luz
Calle de La Puebla, 8
+34 91 523 1199
Metro: Tribunal

Relax, get some work done, or simply hang with friends at this bright and airy gem of a café. A variety of seating options span many decades and make it easy to get comfortable.

Bar La Piola
Calle León, 9
+34 67 974 4898
Metro: Antón Martín
Web site

This no-frills café draws more of a “30-something” crowd. Upon entering you’ll likely notice the chilled out vibe of not only the staff, but also the customers. Eavesdrop on conversations and you’ll learn about politics, art and literature.

Cafe Comercial
Glorieta Blbao, 7
+34 91 521 5655
Metro: Bilbao
Web site

Even though this is one of the best-known cafes in Madrid, it’s still one of my favorites. Mirrored walls with burgundy leather seats, waiters in white, and an upstairs where you can opt for a game of chess keeps me coming back. Also, they have outdoor seating, which makes for a great day of people watching.

La Marabunta
Calle Torrecilla del Leal, 32
+34 91 530 5555
Metro: Antón Martín
Web site

Located well off the beaten path and only a few months old, La Marabunta is both a bookstore and a café. Sit among the literary greats while you work, talk with others about the future of literature, or join in on one of their seminars.

About the author

Cynthia Kane
About the author: Cynthia Blair Kane is a freelance writer and editor who splits her time between New York and Madrid. She is the Madrid city guide writer for Blackbook Magazine, and recently co authored Take a Hike: The Best 50 Routes in the Community of Madrid.
Posted in: Madrid
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