Have you ever been walking along the street in Madrid and thought to yourself: ‘Quick caña and a tortilla?’ Me too. If you happen to have that thought whilst on Calle de Fuencarral, you’re seconds away from making that a reality. But if you’re half way across the city, jump on a metro – it’s worth the ride.
Cafetería Rocablanca is one of my favourite no-frills bars in Chueca/Malasaña because of that famous madrileño hum, the energetic waiters, and the beautiful no-frills interiors, but it’s their flawless Spanish bar food that brings in the devout regulars.
There are so many incredible tortillas in Madrid, so I daren’t claim that Rocablanca’s is the best, but it actually might be. They also have an impressive selection of fresh croquettes: spinach, cod, mushroom, blue cheese, chorizo, leek, prawn, jamón and more. They’re served hot: crispy on the outside and melty on the inside – anatomically perfect.
Rocablanca is a great place to spend some time. If there are just a few of you, or if you’re alone, my favourite place to sit is at the bar in the nook by the window (from where the tortilla shot was taken). It’s the perfect spot to do a bit of people-watching through the window or observe the waiters’ streamlined service operation. If they catch your eye, expect a bit of a natter – it’s what good old neighbourhood bars are for.
At the back of the long bar is the dining area with around ten marble-topped tables where you can have a menú del día or a pile of delicious croquettes – all at very little cost to the old billfold.
If you fancy a coffee afterwards, or could squeeze in a slice of the best carrot cake you’ve ever had, another favourite hideout of mine is just around the corner.