A few years ago breakfast in Madrid rarely consisted of more than a cafe con leche in one of the more traditional tapas bars. Nowadays the coffee shop scene has really taken off, and it’s becoming more and more common to see quirky little cafes offering brunch, iced coffees and other less traditional options.
Martina Cocina fits perfectly into this category. It’s situated in the La Latina/Tirso de Molina area, where you can find a whole host of cute coffee shops. My friend Elefteria and I went on a Thursday morning, hoping for brunch and a good place to catch up.
The cafe is dotted with people working on their computers (they have wifi), reading, or having breakfast with a friend. The ambience is fairly calm and quiet, and you can choose to sit on the communal bench in the middle of the room, or to tuck yourself away at the back on the cushioned sofa. I guess Martina Cocina has gone for the “shabby chic” look, with bulbs hanging from the ceiling from rope and an eclectic mix of distressed wood furnishings. The look works, and the vibe reminds me of somewhere I would find in my hometown of Brighton.
The cafe only serves brunch on Saturdays, but we still managed to have a great make-shift brunch, as the cafe has a fairly wide range of breakfast options. Each day they make a selection of different quiches and empanadas, and we ordered one of each as well as the more traditional pan con tomate and some yoghurt and fruit. Elefteria is a vegetarian and there were plenty of options for her to choose from. All of the food was good, and we would especially recommend trying the cheese and onion empanada. Our waitress was really friendly and warm, which made us feel comfortable enough to sit for a while and work.
The cafe specialises in teas (they literally have a whole menu just for tea) and they also serve coffee from all over the world. I should probably also mention the amazing looking cakes displayed by the counter – seriously regretting not ordering one!
The cafe isn’t just a breakfast spot; at night they dim the lights and serve beer and wine, making it the perfect place for a relaxed dinner with a friend. It also got pretty busy around lunchtime, and their menú del día is a good price, at 10,60 euros for three courses and a drink.
In short, Martina Cocina offers great service, a comfortable setting and great homemade food in one of the most up-and-coming barrios of Madrid.
Article by Laura Blaskett
Photos by Elefteria Garos
You’ll also like these spots:
- La China Mandarina, a flashy new bistro in Plaza Cascorro
- Lamiak, Basque pintxo bar in La Latina
- Cosy Wine Bars in La Latina (with gluten-free options!)
- El Cafelito, a trendy spot for coffee lovers in Lavapiés