My new ‘Weekly Five’
As a way to keep this blog active, I am going to give you these “weeklies”. I am finding a lot of creative ways to keep things rolling, something I should’ve done a long time ago! I know—not much creativity on the name there. But it was the first thing that popped on my head.
The Weekly Five is anything from my top favorite travel destinations, spots within a city, shops, bars, restaurants, brands, and a range of related stuff that people are always searching for.
Here is my first group of Fives (in Spain, of course).
My Top Five Picks for Cocktail Bars in Madrid
I know that the US deploys an army of young people to Europe at the start of every school year—and we all know how much they like the bar-scene—so I came up with a few lists.
Cocktails are really not a specialty of the Spanish. They like their wine, whiskey and beer. So, it can be really hard coming across a good mixed drink even in a big touristic city like Madrid. This doesn’t mean that good cocktail bars—or good bartenders—don’t exist in Madrid.
Here’s a list of bars and restaurants you can’t miss.
Hotel Melia (ME) Madrid
If you like chic environments, lounge-style martini bars, you have to go to this bar. Not the cheapest, I’ll tell you that, but it is the price you pay for a good cocktail in Madrid. The drinks are gooood though. The bartenders seem to know what they’re doing. The bar is dimly lit, which (if you know bars and restaurants in Spain) you know how bright everything almost always is. There’s no need for so much light!
One of the (easiest) cocktails that I had the hardest time finding a good mixer for was Margarita. But at ME, they surprisingly make them good enough to calm your thirst until you can have it your way somewhere in the States or in Mexico. Their Manhattans were not so bad either.
The hotel is right on Plaza Santa Ana. At the same hotel, there’s a rooftop terrace & bar where you can go up from the ground floor in an elevator. There are some guys guiding the entrance, also checking the dress-code, etc., and they think they’re pretty special. But, don’t worry; once you pass that point, it’s actually nice up there. I found the open terrace a bit underwhelming. Not blown away. But you might like the view looking down on the crowded scene on Plaza Santa Ana. You don’t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy their bars.
This place is very centric, surrounded by a few subway stops, but the one I find to be the closest is Sol, line 1 of metro de Madrid.
Hotel Urban Bar
This is another luxury hotel with a full cocktail bar. It’s not too far from main attractions. It’s within walking distance from Puerta del Sol actually. The bar area is smaller than that at ME hotel, but the decor is different, more modern, urban. (The restrooms are out of this world! Very well-kept.) The cocktails are fantastic. They have a pretty good selection of cocktails. The atmosphere is perfect to start the night. Have in mind that these areas tend to attract a lot of “pijos” (snobby people) of Madrid, so I guess it falls under the category of upscale, which requires at least no flip-flops.
Urban 5GL also has a penthouse, and I hear it’s very nice. Try it for me and let me know how it is!
The nearest subway is line 1 and 2 of Metro de Madrid.
This bar is in the neighborhood of La Latina, a place I frequented a lot. Walking up and down calle Cava Baja, you can’t miss this place. I remember going to this place with my boyfriend and looking at their cocktail menu with glee. For the most part, bars in Madrid don’t have a drink menu and I like to look at the options. The bartender basically said she could make us any drink we wanted if it was not on the menu. I believe my boyfriend asked for the—sometimes never heard of—Martinez cocktail. She mixed it well. Lamiak also has great tapas and delicious desserts.
Weekends are a lot of fun at La Latina because of the contagious energy around you, but bars tend to be overcrowded. We found that visiting places weekday evenings was a better experience. Unless you’re single…and want to mingle.
The nearest subway is line 5 of Metro de Madrid.
I wouldn’t recommend the restaurant at Sí Señor (though it’s not THAT bad), but the bar and the Margaritas they make, I do. This is a Mexican restaurant with actual mejicanos working behind the counter, so drinks made with tequila were above average here. I tried their classic and frozen margaritas; both pretty good. The restaurant is on Paseo de La Castellana, right by the Real Madrid Santiago Bernabéu stadium. The place is also ideal to watch the game any day.
The nearest subway is line 10 of Metro de Madrid.
Just a cool, cozy bar in the gay district of Chueca. I only went there once with a group of friends and I really liked their drinks. There was potential for more visits had I not returned to the States. Their bar menu includes anything from Mojitos to Cosmopolitans. Their prices are not bad either. I remember there being a cute hidden corner with sort of like a bench and ottomans. I hopped on there and it was very comfortable! The bar area has large windows looking out the street, so you get a view while enjoying a good time with friends—or by yourself. The service is good and friendly. Worth checking out.
The nearest subway is line 5 of Metro de Madrid.
Questions, comments, suggestions, hit the ‘reply’!