For the past few centuries, Spaniards from all over the country have been packing their bags, saying adios to their towns and villages and setting sail for the big city. When they arrive in Madrid, they disperse into many different lines of work, but there’s one business over any other that harks back to the most recent migration boom. You guessed it: Madrid’s no-frills bars.
In the thick of bustling Indian restaurants and foreign food stores, a jazzy facade with bold retro lettering stands out from the crowd. This neighbourhood veteran is Bar El Jamón, the Godfather of Lavapiés.
This small collections of Spanish vintage Christmas cards celebrate Spain’s traditional occupations, but look closely at the design details of each card. These beautifully ornate illustrations give us a fascinating insight into the bygone era of these time-honoured professions, especially into those that are now obsolete.
In the depths of the financial crisis, biologists Guillermo and Laura took over the neglected family olive grove and embarked on a risky project: to make farming a sustainable way of life once again.
We’ve already declared our love for Bar Lozano but, after spending some time there recently, we noticed that its popularity seems to be waning once again. It might seem like we’re fighting a losing battle at times, but I for one refuse to give up.
Have you ever been walking along the street in Madrid and thought to yourself: ‘Quick caña and tortilla?’ Me too. If you happen to have that thought whilst on Calle de Fuencarral, you’re seconds away from making it a reality. But if you’re half way across the city, jump on a metro – it’s worth the ride.
Manuel Moreno de Valle, the owner of Cervecería La Carpa, has fallen asleep on shift again. It’s an unusually hot afternoon and the 69-year-old waiter is perched on a bar stool outside…
“Do you know about the toy hospital?” a friend asked. “It’s the last one in the whole of Spain and the owner is about to retire – you have to write about it!”
Why are so many iconic no-frills Spanish bars closing, and what does this mean for the future of Spain?
Cervecería Azul y Blanco takes its name from everyone’s favourite Mediterranean colour combination, but as its bold colours fade to dark grey and dusty pink, this little corner bar slips into a bygone era and has become totally kitsch.
If simply wandering around the Rastro gives you a buzz, then a visit here will make you feel like you’ve plugged yourself straight into the national grid.
The tinned food craze is sweeping the hipster capitals of the world but Spain has long been aware of the treasure inside these little tins.
Cafetería Hinojar has been open 24 hours a day every day for 40 years and hasn’t changed at all.
Every Saturday, all of the seafood stalls group together and transform the mercado’s aisles into electric avenues of seafood bars.
In the candy-coloured streets of this multicultural barrio lies a traditional Madrid institution serving up some of the best seafood around. It’s the last marisquería in Lavapiés but step inside, back to 1949.