Imagina por un momento que Madrid fuera una jungla: nuestros altos edificios de ladrillo rojo serían los árboles y sus icónicos toldos verdes serían sus hojas. La M-30 sería el río –caudaloso y profundo– que fluye entre los árboles mientras sus hojas se extienden hacia el sol. Y eso es algo que bien saben los Amigos del Toldo Verde, un grupo de Facebook que nació «con el objetivo de dotar al toldo verde de la atención que merece, posicionándolo como símbolo de significación identitaria y, por ende, patrimonial».
Necesitas al menos cinco para comerte la tapa que te dieron gratis con tu caña, y otras tres para limpiar la condensación acumulada justo en el punto de la barra donde vas a apoyar el codo. Luego, necesitas una más para añadirla a la colección que tienes en casa. Estoy hablando de las servilletas de toda la vida.
heard about Bar Brusi before visiting Barcelona. It’s probably the most famous and archetypal no-frills bar in the city. It’s the ‘Bar El Palentino’ of Barcelona, except ‘Casto’ is a woman and she’s still going strong.
“How come your pincho de tortilla is only €1?” I ask Jorge. “Because it’s from Mercadona! I take it out the packet, cut it in four like this, put it on a plate and display it on the bar.”
In 1946, Valencianes José González and Pepina García caught wind that the market for horchata in the Spanish capital was untapped, so they packed their bags and hopped on a train from Valencia to Barrio de Tetuán and opened Oroxata (AKA the Horchata Factory) on Calle Pedro Tezano, 11.
Siempre he creído que los bares de toda la vida son lugares inspiradores. Son puertas de entrada al Madrid obrero, al alma migrante y también son involuntariamente bonitos, tal y como lo es la ciudad.
I’m proud to say that I grew up frequenting the neighbourhood bars of La Latina with my dad, and I have fond memories of their no-frills charm. But it took me many years living abroad in Denmark to appreciate the cultural richness of my barrio, and it came mixed with nostalgia and grief at the places that had closed.
‘Gracias por su visita’ , a photography project and zine after my no-frills heart, emerged out of British photographer Joseph Fox and designer Lizzie Frost’s desire to create something that was simple and fun, and a way to connect with Madrid.
It’s mid-morning by the time sunlight illuminates the grey facade of this no-frills gem in Estrecho, but the neighbours have been visiting Los Pepes since sunrise, just as they’ve done for years for their desayuno of churros and bracing café con leche, writes Juan Carlo.
I don’t use the word cool very often, but having your photographs turned into hand-drawn works of art? Now that’s cool. Welcome to my first ever art collection of local artists’ paintings and illustrations inspired by my photographs of Madrid.
Over the weekend, I had an idea: to set my Zoom background to one of my favourite no-frills bars. When I joined my meeting, I was met with laughter and bewilderment, with one friend even asking how I got into a bar despite them being closed.
Bodegas Rojo, like any diamond in the rough, lies unbeknownst to many, tucked away on a residential street. Families and groups of teens walk by but few so much as throws a furtive glance its way.
The bares típicos are one of the things I deeply love Spain for. The way you can pop in for a coffee in a glass, a caña, a tapa, a few words with the person behind the bar and other people in the bar – a sense of connection to simple uplifting things.
Where I’m from, little buildings like this that look very different from those around them tell us where a bomb fell during WW2. Many pubs were destroyed during the war but new pubs were quickly erected (priorities) and they look a lot like Casa 42.
Madrid’s no-frills vegan and vegetarian restaurants are built on radical foundations. None of the restaurants I’ve listed below shy away from expressing their opinions on feminism, anti-speciesism, communism or even all-out anarchism, and nor should they. What makes Madrid such an exciting place to live is the people’s unrelenting will to fight for what they believe in – a hangover from decades of oppression combined with real concern for the future we’re hurtling towards.