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The essential cocktail bars in Madrid.

I’m going to whisper you where experts drink. Those places where you do not tell the bartender what you’re going to drink. The bartender asks you how was your day, what your mood is; and you will get the cocktail you need.

Some of these sites are the second home of more than one that lives Madrid more at night than by day. What I’m saying is that there’re many cocktail bars, but real cocktails not so many. I tell you the ones I know, but you know that you can write me because I’m all ears … Do you fancy a drink?



I do not know if it seems to me that it is small or that it is always at the top. It has one of the most outdated atmospheres of the Bilbao area. When it is well into the night, the same sounds like Joy Division, AC / DC or Shrimp. In the 80’s were frequented by writers and artists, now do the malasañeros at heart after its reopening a little over a year. Fact: the hour of the vermouth also does not give them anything bad, especially of lengthening it until the sun falls.


Barra de Garra Bar. Foto de


That Madrid has one of the most exclusive hotel offers in Spain is not a surprise. Although there’ll be few hotels that have a cocktail bar in its lobby, and less with the styling of Garra Bar. Housed in the formerly known Torre de Madrid at Plaza de España, it has a unique retro ambient. This cocktail bar would be a favorite of The Great Gastby and with the knowledge of its barman sure it will also your favourite.


Charla de amigos en Macera. Foto de


This place is a rare avis in the leisure world of the capital. Narciso, its owner, distillates from quality rums, gins, or whiskeys. His long experience behind the bars of luxury hotels makes each glass unique. It even gives workshops to learn how to distill your own drinks at home. But I warn you, it’s almost always full and it is one of the busiest places in Malasaña.


Interior y barra de cócteles de NuBel. Foto de


Within the space created by Jean Nouvel at the Reina Sofía Museum, more than 1,000 meters where it’s celebrated one of the most acclaimed DJ’s sessions on Sunday in the capital. Of course, if you do not like the mess and want to taste your drink, go a day out of the weekend. You will have Joel Jamal (Champion of Spain of Cocktail) alone for you. And that’s a luxury.


Interior de Bárbara Ann. Foto de

Bárbara Ann 

Yes there’s a local in Madrid with rock & roll, kitsch and the best American cocktails. Neon in a dark environment perfect for first or last drinks, its location in Alonso Martinez is perfect. They also have some casual and very elaborate food. That’s the ideal site to have an appointment with oysters and cocktails. Of course, it’s not uncommon on the night that the clients encourage little by little and the place will become a very lively place.


Coctelería Hemingway. Foto de


Clandestine cocktail bar located at the NH Collection Suecia Hotel. The access door is in the bathrooms of the Casa Suecia restaurant. But don’t be shine yourself and discover this space that has the bar where Ernest Hemingway was drinking the glasses when he came to Madrid. More than 300 references of spirits ensure that you can drink your favourite cocktail here: Old Fashionned, Spicy Amber, Clover Club … And then, if you want to see the sky, go up to the terrace of the hotel. One with the best views of all of Madrid.


Del Diego 

It is a classy place, created by Luis Buñuel’s favorite bartender of Museo Chicote. That’s really something. A whole institution in the world of nightlife. Of course, it has neither Facebook nor Instagram. Here there is no posing, there’re good cocktails served by lifelong waiters with tie. Among all the hustle and bustle of the Gran Vía area, this award-winning venue with many prizes for architecture and cocktails, is a must for anyone who boasts of being a bon vivant castizo.


Barra de Jose Alfredo. Foto de

José Alfredo 

Same or more castizo that eating a “bocata de calamares” (“squid sandwich”) or take a walk through the boats of the Parque del Retiro. Of course, in this case what is involved is to drink a classic American cocktail listening timeless themes of black music. If I want to have a drink when I’m in the downtown, I go there. They have loyal clientele, but do not worry they will treat you like one more of them.


Sure there’re more places. I know quite a lot of Madrid but there’s always a new site to discover. If instead of binge tourism you want a really good cocktail made with time and with mime, you know where you have to go. Of course, I recommend you have dinner before in one of the restaurants in Madrid that I recommend because if not the night will be very short.

Translated by Story Of Madrid, the podcast about Madrid in English.


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