(* small bars where you can drink and dance)
The number of garitos in Madrid is almost infinite, but they are not all the same. There are few that feel comfortable, with good music, without imitation drinks, and surrounded by people who just want to have fun. For that reason, and because having a good time is what it’s all about, I tell you these #chivatazosMCB that will make your nights in Madrid unforgettable.
It’s one of those garitos in Madrid that’s rogue and elegant, with its slogan: “dinners, cocktails & rock and roll”. It’s a small place in Alonso Martínez where you can breathe fun for those afterwork hours you never want to end. If the public is very dedicated to the fun, sometimes the waiters start to sing rock classics. Either “bareback” or with a guitar, on top of the bar or sitting next to you. But not everything is partying, there’s also room for low tables with dim light, in which to have oysters as a couple.
Not a day passes by when this place isn’t (almost) full of people. Before it was El Parnasanillo, a café that hosted gatherings of writers and artists of the Movida Madrileña (The Madrid Scene). Nowadays, groups of friends frequent it, wanting to chat with a good drink in their hands. Red velvet sofas, marble tables, walls lined with wood and mirrors… and a certain rogue and uninhibited air. You will hear laughter mixed with the riffs of AC/DC or the flamenco of Spanish singer Camarón de la Isla. The place opens at noon offering the aperitif with vermouth on tap, and more than one extends the visit until the night…
The pin-up atmosphere of the 50s and the personality of Lorena Castell floods the premises. Some say they are going to work there with their laptop while having a coffee, but I think that’s a lie. They have very crazy plans, like the “Bingo for Ladies”. On alternate Tuesdays, starting at 8:00 p.m., Lorena starts handing out bingo cards and that’s done over cocktails and glam rock. And no posturing, huh? To eat, homemade meatballs from Bolero MeatBalls and their baked potato chips.
Three floors with a rogue and eclectic atmosphere for those who want to convert a dinner is a mayhem until dawn. It has an ambience of New York’s Meatpacking District, but with a festive spirit that only exists in Spain. What’s more, I have not done it, but a friend told me that the bench seats for the dinners become platforms to dance without taboos. Its gastronomic offer is based on traditional Japanese cuisine, with niguiris and “modernetes” makis. Go to this place for light dining that doesn’t lie heavy in your stomach so you can still be the king (or queen) of the dance floor.
Rock & roll rampant by one of the more fun garitos in Madrid. From Thursday to Sunday you can enjoy live performances, jam sessions and DJ sessions; always with great songs. A room in which you will feel at ease if what you like is the air guitar and see groups that cover the rock greats. It’s a step away from Alonso Martinez, so after dinner at Fellina, MEAT or Lady Madonna you know what your destiny is to start the night through the front door.
Bala Perdida * Open only for private events
Its hashtag is #jaranaisallowed (#revelryisallowed), so you can imagine where the shots go. It’s the subterranean cocktail bar of Las chicas, los chicos y los maniquís, which offers original cocktails and snacks for the afterwork, the “pre-dinner” and the first drink. In the middle of Atocha Street under the Axel hotel, it’s the perfect option to leave the center without falling into a shabby place with imitation wine. The drinks aren’t cheap, but good things almost never are. My favorite cocktails? The “Eloise” and the “Mari Carmen”, although they also have non-alcoholic options if you don’t want to finish very tipsy.
One of the first garitos in Madrid that I went to, on a hot August night. More than 20 years in La Latina filling the nights with alternative rhythms, usually funky and soulful, although not always. It’s a bit hidden under the bridge of Bailén Street, the well-known Viaduct of Segovia. They say it’s one of those places to drop in on a weekday when you would not go out… I do not know if you understand me. There are concerts and jam sessions almost every day, and you can download their sessions to go in the heat!
One of the best garitos in Madrid , but not suitable for all audiences. It is a piano-bar of private detective films of the 20s. The mix of people is the most heterogeneous, and you have to have a mixture of respect and lack of shame in equal parts. From the early hours of the morning, a pianist plays great hits of yesterday and today while skilled singers and sixty-somethings sing in the microphone. Enjoy the show, singalong on the choruses and have a couple of drinks while you are looking for a partner between one of their grandchildren.
Now you can’t say that you don’t know where to go to give everything in the Madrid nights. I still have a good number of garitos in Madrid that I will reveal to you little by little. Now you can wander like a real “cat” through the streets when night falls in the city. Enjoy without getting mad!
Translated by Story Of Madrid, the podcast about Madrid in English.