In my eighth volume of 10 no-frills finds, I bring you a last survivor, a no-frills chocolate con churros place, royal ruins and missing pieces of Berlin and Galicia. I also take you back in time with traces of Madrid’s bygone high-streets, and I encourage you to look up because a worm’s-eye view is highly underrated.
Ten no-frills finds has always been a space to put all of my uncategorisable curiosities together but, looking at the now 6th collection, I’m starting to wonder if this collection might be developing a personality of its own – one that pushes the boundaries of reality and even seeks to capture glitches in the Madrix.
Lined up for you, I’ve got two bars, one of which is 316 years old. Also, two no-frills eateries on two different continents, a few local architectural phenomenons spanning various eras, and a virtual ticket to some of Madrid’s nethermost barrios. Sound good? Then dive in…
In this volume of no-frills finds, we reveal the location of two classic bodegas, one no-frills microbrewery, and a bustling seafoodie gem. We also document two separate sightings of Madrid’s past, which had been lying dormant beneath our feet this whole time. It paid to go little off-grid too, leading us to a burnt-out train driver’s cabin and the quirkiest museum we’ve found yet.
Madrid in August is a giant ghost town, except for the fraction of establishments that remain open for business (even the vending machines have closed for the holidays). But August is also the most curious month, with roadworks suddenly exposing a proliferation of ‘rabbit holes’ that lead to a forgotten era.
Walking around the streets of Madrid never gets old. This time, we’ve uncovered everything from ancient books and up-cycled monastery doorways to secret colour-coded facades and the largest shanty town in Europe. Enjoy!
Usera, just south of Madrid’s Manzanares river, is a fascinating neighbourhood that feels like a completely different continent. Join us as we explore some of the lesser-known corners of this barrio, including some wonderfully no-frills Chinese and South American eateries.
Let this collection of offbeat finds inspire the new year’s resolution you never made: to slow down (or even stop) and look at the Madrid around you, and you might just see something you never knew was there.
Madrid is a complex city that likes to reveal itself slowly, keeping you in constant awe of its depths, expanse and infinite detail. The forgotten secrets, concealed corners and vibrant subcultures in just this city alone could keep you exploring for a lifetime, but here’s a good starting point.