El Boqueron: the best seafood in Lavapiés

5 July 2016
El Boqueron Bar in Full Swing

In the colourful chaos of multicultural Lavapiés lies a traditional Madrid institution with the best seafood in the barrio.

It’s easy to miss with no terrace or glamorous exterior, but step inside and go back to 1949 when horses and carts were still being used to collect Lavapiés’s small amount of rubbish.

The first thing you’ll notice are the Andalusian-style tiles on the walls. They were hand-painted and made in Spain’s famous ceramics town of Talavera de la Reina, a tiny riverside town in the region of Toledo.

El Boqueron dining area

The Dining Area

The next thing you’ll fail to miss are the crabs displayed on ice – a rare thing to see in Madrid as normally the seafood is kept in a freezer in the back kitchen, and while we’re on: have you ever seen crabs sold fresh in a bar in Madrid?

Fresh Crabs on ice

Fresh Crabs on ice

The plancha (griddle) is also front of house, so when you order a ración of seafood by pointing at it on ice, you can watch it get weighed on old-fashioned dial scales, then thrown onto the grill run by owner Pablo, and served up to you within minutes.

Prawns and Crayfish a la plancha (griddled)

Prawns and Crayfish a la Plancha

Gambas a la plancha (Griddled Prawns)

Gambas a la plancha (Griddled Sweet Prawns)

Fresh, live oysters are also sold here and cost only a fraction above market price.


  • Address: C/ Valencia 14
  • Nearest metro: Lavapiés
  • Opening hours: 12 pm – 4 pm / 7 pm – 12am

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