Our five favorite places to meet with friends in Madrid. From a drink to a coffee or a good meal, Madrid is full of great options!
One of my favorite things about Madrid is that it has a little something for everyone. That also means that when it comes to picking a place to meet up with friends, there are tons of choices. The British have an expression that we don’t use often in the States, but I think it’s absolutely perfect for this situation; “spoilt for choice.” After living in the capital for five years and many subsequent visits, it wasn’t as easy as you might think to pick just five of our favorite spots to meet up with friends in Madrid. Also, since there are so many different occasions for meeting up with your favorite people, we broke this down into categories.
Favorite place to grab a coffee
Café de la Luz in Malasaña is hands down one of my favorite little coffee shops in Madrid. It’s on the quieter side of Gran Via and tucked away just far enough from the Plaza Dos de Mayo to allow for the possibility of finding a table without a huge line. The place is decorated in a vintage meets modern style and I must admit that many a blog post have been written while sipping on a café con leche and sharing a slice of cake with Pedro. I love the artsy vibe of Malasaña and this Café de la Luz has great coffee to boot. It’s the perfect spot to catch up with friends or for a lazy Sunday afternoon coffee break.
Café de la Luz
Calle Puebla, 8 Madrid
Favorite place for an aperitif
The best Sunday tradition in Madrid is, by far the aperitif. The idea is to open up your appetite for lunch, but in my opinion it is the best way to meet up with friends in a relaxed weekend atmosphere. If in New York friends meet for brunch; in Madrid we meet for an aperitif. Where is our favorite spot? Nothing fancy, it’s just across the street from the Royal Palace. El Anciano Rey de los Vinos is a beautiful centuries old tavern that serves up delicious vermouth with salty olives, potato salad or other little tapas. There is something about the classic decoration in this corner tavern, along with it’s proximity to La Latina and Ópera that make it perfect for a little drink before lunch. We’ve wound up here many times after a Sunday morning stroll past the Templo de Debod and the Royal Palace gardens.
El Anciano Rey de los Vinos
Calle de Bailén 19, Madrid
Favorite place to go for tapas
One of our favorite things to do with friends in Madrid (and Spain in general) is head out for tapas. The little plates of food are delicious, cheap and fun to share with friends. Of course, there are tapas bars on every corner of the capital, so how to choose? Well, after much trial and error we found a few little gems. One of our favorite spots is definitely Bar Cerveriz. This little traditional bar is right across the street from the popular (rather touristy) Mercado de San Miguel. It’s a little Asturian bar that is known for it’s delicious tortilla de patatas and the cider poured from high above, just like they do in Asturias. We’ve also had a few other tapas at this spot, but since it’s so close to the Puerta del Sol, this is often one of the first stops on our tapas adventures before wandering down calle Cava de San Miguel towards La Latina.
Plaza San Miguel 2, Madrid
Favorite place for dinner
Casa Mingo is well known among Madrileños for their delicious roast chicken and delicious side dishes. Another Asturian restaurant, the drink of choice is often hard cider. What I love most about meeting friends at Casa Mingo is that you can pack a bunch of people around the table and share dishes as if you were at home. That and the fact that everything is absolutely delicious. It’s great for lunch or dinner, especially if you’ve got a group with you, as you can try more of the different raciones (dishes to share).
Paseo de la Florida 34, Madrid
Favorite place for drinks
When we go out for cocktails in Madrid, my favorite options include a rooftop terrace. Of course you pay a bit more for the views, but who can resist looking out over the city and clinking glasses with your best friends? There are plenty of terraces to choose from, but I love the Room Mate Oscar Hotel in Chueca. The views of the plaza might not be the most exotic, but there is great energy and off on the other side of the rooftop you can see the tops of the stunning buildings on Gran Vía. Of course the cocktails are also delicious and there are enough seats to sit and lounge with your crew without feeling guilty for taking up space. That’s another one of my favorite things about Spain; the waiters are much less likely to rush you out of a bar. Cheers!
Room Mate Oscar
Plaza de Pedro Zerolo 12, Madrid
Of course, these are just a few of the many spots to meet up with friends in Madrid. I could probably list about ten places for each category, actually! If you are planning to be in Madrid or even if you live in the city, this map made by Uniplaces will definitely come in handy with all the best places to meet up with friends in the city center arranged conveniently on the subway map. Yes, please! Leave us a comment below with your favorite places to meet up in Madrid!