No Frills

Bar Vietnam: the beating heart of barrio San Cristóbal

It's one of those perfectly no-frills bars where you can get Valdepeñas wine – for ¢80. When I shared these photos on social media, comments came pouring in. The unassuming no-frills bar in Barrio San Cristobal that I'd stumbled across quite by accident turns out to be in the hearts of so many of you. Here's a small selection.

Los Toldos Verdes: La bandera de los balcones de Madrid

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».

Gracias por su visita: identidad, historia y resistencia en las servilletas

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.

Bar Brusi: The ‘Bar El Palentino’ of Barcelona

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.

“I’m tired”: our naïve nostalgia for Madrid’s no-frills bars

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.

Seven no-frills decades of Estrecho’s Bar Los Pepes

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.

The art of being a Madrid muse

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.

The prettiest little no-frills bar in Tetuán

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.