When I came to this city a few years ago, one of the friends I met took me to know the most authentic Madrid, the bars of a lifetime. Since then, even if I’m on the lookout for the new cool pub I’ve opened, I occasionally like to go back to those taverns. Taking the vermouth in Madrid is quite an experience, and it’s time for me to do the same and tell you my favorite places for the appetizer.
There aren’t things more typical than the vermouth. I’ve been hearing this expression since I was a child, which contains a concept in itself: take the appetizer on a holiday or Sunday, which is enjoyed with family or friends and not looking at the clock.
It’s true that lately ther’s also a certain resurgence of vermouth as a drink, and there’re opening new bars that rival with the old ones. There’re taverns that have been opened for more than 100 years, which are authentic museums that reflect the life of this city many years ago, and others that are renewing the art of the appetizer. The vermouth is a well-established tradition in Madrid. To be a real Madrid “gato” (name adopted by Madrid born), take a walk around one of these taverns.
A new bar that a few years ago began to claim the “castizo” stuff, the tavern of a lifetime but with a modern touch. At Plaza del Rey, surprisingly without crowds of tourists, you can enjoy a quiet appetizer with the winter sun coming through its windows, or directly at the terrace. Do not miss its Chicken pot pie.
The place is small, with a small private room that’s reached by passing the bar top. It maintains almost the same decoration since 1892, and one of the best Tortilla de patata (Spanish omelette) in Madrid along with Sylkar. Tasca (tavern) of the old Madrid, it’s worth to go there even if it’s just to see it.
Yes, in Chueca there’re also places with an excellent vermouth, and this is one of them. While others are sleeping because of the party of the previous day, others fill this bar more than 100 years open. Usually full at weekends, I recommend you going early.
It was there a lot before all the others turn Ponzano Street into the mecca of “tapas”, afterwork, meals, dinners and everything. They’ve cool vermouth, but the best are the TAPAS. If you are lucky, there will be paella and you won’t be angry later.
Hortaleza Street is full of people and striking bars, but this establishment is opened since 1929. With an extensive wine list, good to eat snacks and know a real tasca of Madrid without getting too far from Gran Vía. Tap of Miró de Reus, served with orange.
One of the tascas with the most charisma of Malasaña, who have even created their own cocktail with vermouth, which is called Yayo: vermouth, gin and gaseous. They’re always accompanied by tapas since opened at the 20’s. The decor remains the same since then, with customers of lifetime. A good place to live the “castizo” experience in Madrid.
I went a lot when I lived around the area, until it unfortunately closed. Now it has reopened by young people and is one of the vermouth places of Madrid, with more than 20 different varieties. All well accompanied by servings of anchovies, pickles, “gildas”… The best of the old taverns, updated, and with very good musical selection.
I know you’ll tell me that was a bit of Spanish grandparents, but I’ll tell you that grandparents often know what they’re doing, “experience is a rank in itself.” And as my grandfather said when my grandmother quarreled because we always began to eat on Sundays at four in the afternoon: “Appetizer is sacred.”
Translated by Story Of Madrid, the podcast about Madrid in English.
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