If you want to get away from the tourist bars and find something a bit more underground, start by heading away from Madrid’s most central square, Puerta del Sol to some other, more local areas of the city. Here’s a list of some cool and underground bars you may not find in the guidebooks.
Bar, Restaurant, Spanish, Tapas
While it’s a bit of a trek to La Manduca, the bar, randomly placed near the M-30 highway near the Ventas bullring isn’t a typical tourist spot in the least. This is the bar you head to when you want to watch the fútbol game, surrounded by shouting Madrileños. This brightly-lit bar where customers stand around barrels snacking on tapas ordering from bartenders who don’t speak a lick of English is well-known by locals as being a fun spot to drink and hangout any day of the week.
This funky spot is set away on a small street in the hip Malasaña neighborhood. Mordecai is extra-cool because the decor is made entirely of recycled materials. Think a ceiling made of old wooden shutters, industrial metal light fixtures that were once car parts and mismatched stools, chairs and sofas. The whole vibe of the restaurant is chill and the occasional DJ appearances make this spot a cool place to party.
One of the coolest wine bars in the city, this charming little spot in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Lavapiés is often ignored by tourists who aren’t in the know that this zone of the city is now one of the trendiest spots to party in. La Fisna is part bar and part wine shop, so you can buy a bottle of local or international wine in the attached shop and pay a small corking fee to enjoy it at a high-top table or the bar.
Located in the trendy Justicia neighborhood, La Bruta is always crowded with a chic selection of hip locals. Order delights like the red beet hummus paired with a glass of wine in this dimly-lit, trendy bar. Plus, if you aren’t feeling it, it’s next to about 20 other bars, so you can head over to any of them to enjoy some evening cocktails.
This spot will make you feel like you’re drinking during the elusive prohibition years, with its cool basement cave area filled with colorful glass bottles and wall art. At 1862 Dry Bar, you’ll find many cool Madrid locals demurely sipping creative cocktail concoctions late into the night.
The Hat is actually a relatively new chic hostal that just so happens to have one of the coolest rooftops in the city. Whereas the views aren’t ever-expansive, looking out past the tiled, red rooftops of Madrid’s apartments and the domes of the many churches is a special way to enjoy a drink and some snacks. Plus, the cocktails come in bags, which is creative and fun.
A new spot in the city, Angelita is all about curated cocktails. With highly-trained bartenders manning the basement bar, this is the spot to find one of those special mixed drinks you might only find on a New York City or London bar menu. Plus, the spot has over 500 varieties of wine by the bottle, and 25 by the glass, as well as a neat restaurant at the ground level too.