In the candy-coloured streets of this multicultural barrio lies a traditional Madrid institution serving up some of the best seafood around. Not one frill is to be found on its exterior, but step inside, back to 1949, and discover a gold seam of Andalusia that’s made it all the way up to Lavapiés.
Horses and carts were still being used to collect Lavapiés’ rubbish when this bar opened!
… said one of the regulars. It’s that kind of place: where elderly locals chip in on your conversation whether you want them to or not, and I love it. A lot of Madrid No Frills’ articles came from such chitchat.
I’m a sucker for Andalusian tiles, especially these hand-painted ones from Spain’s famous ceramics town of Talavera de la Reina – a tiny riverside town in the region of Toledo.
The griddle is front of house, so when you order a ración of sweet, juicy prawns, watch it get weighed on the old-fashioned dial scales and then sizzle on the grill manned by owner Pablo. He’s a fella of few words, but always keen to point out a framed newspaper article about El Boquerón from some 10 years ago. Fresh oysters are also served here, adding a touch of glamour for a very no-frills price.
- Address: Calle de Valencia, 14
- Nearest metro: Lavapiés (L3)
- Opening hours: 12 pm – 4 pm / 7 pm – 12 am