Lost in Spain: Favorite Spots in Madrid

Dispatches from the Road, Food & Wine, Spain, Studying Abroad, Tours & Attractions — By on January 27, 2010 at 6:00 am

By Molly Gallagher
LG Travel Correspondent

Malasa’a and Bilbao are about 15 minutes away from Sol (the center of the city) in Madrid. For me they had the perfect combination of liveliness as well as relaxation. At any time of the day you can find local Madrilenos shopping, sitting in cafes or eating at restaurants in these two neighborhoods. There are several small boutiques, restaurants, bars and cafes. If you’re already in the area (or one of the travelers planning last minute holidays to Spain) be sure to check out my favorites:

Bilbao SpainLa Musa
I found this restaurant online and when I tried it I was very pleased. They have a great weekday lunch special (€11), which means you chose an appetizer, main dish and dessert off of the menu of the day. If you don’t like the menu of the day-the regular menu also has great food at reasonable prices. It gets crowded at 2:00 for lunch and around 8:00 for dinner (surprisingly). Calle de Manuela Malasa’a 18

Café Comercial
This was my favorite café to do work in. It is always bustling with couples, families or local customers. It is one of the oldest cafes in Madrid. Coffee with milk (café con leche) is about €2. Glorieta de Bilbao 7

Molly Malone's

Molly Malone's

Molly Malone’s
This bar has a great atmosphere and even though it is an Irish bar in Madrid-locals do like this spot. When there is a soccer game going on they always have it playing. Calle de Manuela Malasa’a 11

This is my favorite bar in Madrid. It is always packed at night and they have great dink specials. They are also known for their potatoes or French fries-you can order them in many varieties, but make sure to try the bravas sauce (very similar to hot sauce). Calle Fuencarral, 98

Plaza Dos de Mayo
This is the heart of Malasa’a. There are outdoor cafes that surround a main square. Although it may look like an unsafe area because of the graffiti that lines the walls of the square-it’s not. Tourists do not usually visit the area, so it’s very unlikely to get pick pocketed here. On Saturday’s there is a small flea market in the square. My favorite stand was a jewelry designer who makes everything by hand: Pilar Lozano. Walk down Calle de Manuela Malasaña to reach the plaza.

La Rama (tapas)
This restaurant is off of the Plaza Dos de Mayo. I tried it on an offshoot when one of my favorite restaurants was full. They have an interesting selection of tapas and the service is great. Calle de San Andrés, 26

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