Madrid is understandably proud of its nightlife – it’s said that the city has one of the highest numbers of bars per capita in Europe. A typical night out tends to start late, at perhaps 10pm or 11pm, and revellers often party until the early hours of the morning. The Spanish capital is brimming with diverse venues and one of the best things about Madrid’s bar scene is that quantity here does not compromise quality. The city offers a host of authentic and interesting places that are frequented by locals and visitors alike.
Often described as a melting pot for all of Spain’s regional cultures, Madrid has a rich heritage which can be seen in the food and drink offered at its many restaurants and bars. So, whether you’re looking for a casual pub or a chic cocktail spot, there are plenty of good choices. We round up a selection of buzzworthy bars that represent the best of Madrid.
Named after the English city, Bristol Bar is the perfect place to indulge in an educational gin-tasting experience. The bar has one of the largest ranges of gins in Madrid and visitors should try out a few unusual gin and tonics or sample a gin-based cocktail from the menu. The décor is an atmospheric mix of dark wood and red, with chandeliers, sofas and portraits of British historical figures. The atmosphere is convivial and the food is hearty without ever being stodgy. Best of all, if you’ve overindulged the night before, Bristol Bar is an excellent place for a brunch that is guaranteed to restore your spirits.
Bristol Bar, Calle Almirante 20, 28004 Madrid, +34 91 522 4568
A hotspot for the city’s creatives, El Figurante is a popular bar with a distinctly cinematic influence. Every cocktail on the menu conjures up memories of a famous film, whether that is the strawberry daiquiri from The Godfather or a white Russian from The Big Lebowski. The venue also hosts regular film screenings of both indie and cult classic films on Tuesday nights. Owner Rodrigo Javier Demirjian brings his Argentine heritage to the bar, serving Fernet herbal liqueur with cola and Argentine-style beef empanadas.
El Figurante, Calle del Olmo 12, 28012 Madrid, +34 66 608 9013
Located in Barrio de Salamanca, one of Madrid’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, Beker 6 is a stylish Armenian-inspired restaurant featuring an intimate bar and terrace. Every season, head chef Álvaro Rodriguez-Cano creates a new menu of beautifully presented food to accompany the list of show-stopping wines. Customers can choose to eat either in the 40-seater dining room or on the stunning roof terrace. Our top tip is to arrive early and settle into a comfortable spot at the bar, then order little plates of food as you sip extraordinary wines and watch dusk descend over the city.
Beker 6, Calle Hermanos Bécquer 6, 28006 Madrid, +34 91 173 4397
Poncelet Cheese Bar
Cheese and wine are an age-old pairing and the novel concept shop Poncelet Cheese Bar brings the best of both of these together. The shop is more of a gastrobar, with a lively wine menu chosen to complement its impressive range of over 150 cheeses. All 17 of Spain’s regions are accounted for in the cheese selection, and there are also a few delights from other European countries too. The drinks list is dominated by white wines, alongside a smaller number of reds, cavas, Champagnes, sweet wines and a selection of craft beers from microbreweries. Choose your cheese and tipple, and relax in the comfort of the restaurant area, which boasts the city’s first indoor vertical garden.
Poncelet Cheese Bar, Calle José Abascal 61, 28003 Madrid, +34 91 399 2550