Jack Percoca: The Little Italian Joint with Big Hearty Food


“The amount of food on the plate says a lot about the person who put it on the plate,” laughs Luca. “I serve my customers like I serve my family.”

Naples-born Luca is a professional restaurateur. For eight years, he travelled around the world opening and running game-changing restaurants before finally settling in Madrid and opening Jack Percoca Bar & Kitchen, a cosy little Italian restaurant in the heart of the city’s Conde Duque district.

The bar area

The bar area

The cosy dining area

The cosy dining area with lots of natural light at lunchtime

The sheer wealth of experience Luca has picked up over the years becomes clear from the moment you walk in. A great deal of thought has gone into the style and layout: the lighting is soft, there’s no ‘short-straw’ table, the service is attentive, and the food is flawless.

FOOD FOR FOUR (TO EIGHT)

To start, we ordered Burrata Tricolore, served on a bed of rocket with slices of perfectly ripe tomato and drizzled with Luca’s famous basil pesto. We also ordered a bowl of “Smoking Bullets”: deep-fried, cheese and ham-filled rigatoni, like an Italian take on croquettes. We loved the tomato-laden Bruschetta and, on the opposite end of all spectrums, the (intensely) Creamy Meatballs.

Smoking Bullets, Creamy Meatballs, Bruschetta and Burrata Tricolore

Smoking Bullets, Creamy Meatballs, Bruschetta and Burrata Tricolore

The Bruschetta

The Bruschetta

Feeling full yet? For mains, we had the Spaghetti Burger – a succulent home-made burger perched on a crispy basket of spaghetti – and the Steak Tartare with chunky chips. The Donna Sofia pizza is right up there with the best pizzas in Madrid, but the colossal Truffle Mac and Cheese was, as usual, the star of the show.

The Spaghetti Burger

The Spaghetti Burger

The Truffle Mac 'n' Cheese

The Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Despite being pretty full, we ordered the Margherita Cheesecake and the Amaretto Connection for all of us to share, because when a dessert is good enough (and you know what I’m talking about here), you’ll find room for it.

The Amaretto Connection

The Amaretto Connection

WELCOME TO PROHIBITION-ERA NEW YORK

This excerpt from the menu sets the scene for the restaurant perfectly:

“It’s the era of prohibition and the state has declared war on alcohol. Social downfall in America has reached rock bottom and liquor is squarely to blame. But New York City has been hit by a new wave of crime – the black market. The word on the street is that immoral men are brewing their own high-proof alcohol. Hip flasks of this “moonshine” are stuffed into the boots of liberated women to supply hundreds of “speakeasies”. It’s also the beginning of the underground jazz movement – inspiration is thriving in these illegal alcohol-fueled parties, but only the coolest guys and dolls in town are in the know. It was here, in a speakeasy beneath the streets of New York, that Sandy met Jack…”

The infamous black market liquors of the Prohibition era echo throughout Luca’s cocktails, which are strong enough to cut through all three hearty courses and still leave you feeling merry.

A selection of the classic cocktails

A selection of the classic cocktails

Jack Percoca Bar & Kitchen is humbly priced, but with big hearty food, strong cocktails and a charming atmosphere, this Little Italy eatery is determined to keep Madrid’s restaurant scene on its toes.

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Amargo, the city's best veggie burger (and much more)


The title says it all.

On a cozy corner in Malasaña, Amargo Place To Be lures you in with its fairytale facade, enveloped with ivy and illuminated by twinkle lights.

Inside, the vibe is both industrial and homey. Friendly faces will greet you (not always a given in the city) and you’ll be overwhelmed by a menu so international you’ll forget where you are.

Nigiris, Mexican nachos, giant croquetas, dim sum, lasagna with wonton pasta and pine nuts, duck magret over hummus and a raspberry coulis….

But as we’re all biased—especially when it comes to food—what I wanna sell you on is their veggie burger.

I can’t even bring myself to try anything else from the impressively diverse and delicious menu, because when I come to Amargo, I only have one thing on my mind: that thick and savory soy burger piled high with zucchini in tempura, a fried egg, a thick slab of goat cheese, green shoots, caramelized onion, crispy onion crunch, and the special house sauce.

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Go starving—just half of this monstruous burger fills me up.

They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (from 9am-2am every day!), have a fantastic menú del día (€11.90 M-F and €13.50 on weekends and holidays), and boast a lengthy drink list that includes signature cocktails and organic wine (!!!).

But wait, there’s more.

If you venture downstairs (follow the 19th-century painting in which a stoic aristocrat dons some fly ass Nikes), you’ll find the seating area where diners become audience members.

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Since last year, Amargo has hosted concerts throughout the week. If you’re dining in (make sure to make a reservation—it fills up!), it’s just €2 to enjoy anything from flamenco to soul to acoustic while you eat. When I went, I was treated to Chisara Agor‘s achingly soulful voice.

Check out this month’s programming on Amargo’s website.

The incredibly talented Chisara Agor and the amazing Christian García-Fonseca Secher on cajón.

The mindblowingly talented Chisara Agor and the amazing Christian García-Fonseca Secher on cajón.

If you’re somehow not yet experiencing sensory overload, the lower level also functions as a revolving art gallery. The current artwork is by local visual and urban artist Misterpiro.

Just some pals having a very candid laugh.

Just some pals having a very candid laugh.

In a hurry? Amargo also does speedy-quick orders to go.

You have no excuse.

Info

  • Website Facebook
  • Instagram: @amargoplacetobe
  • Address: Calle Pez, 2
  • Phone: 910 84 79 90
  • Metro: Callao, Noviciado, Tribunal

 




Café del Rey, an unexpected restaurant behind Príncipe Pío


Situated on an unassuming street behind Príncipe Pío lies Café del Rey, a modern restaurant that’s totally unexpected. Although it’s a five-minute walk from the train station, as well as the Royal Palace, Templo Dubod and Plaza de España, the street it’s located on is quite off the beaten path.

James and I went on a Saturday night when the center was uncomfortably crowded, as per usual. Dodging pedestrians left and right, we headed down Cuesta San Vicente. Just before reaching the station, we turned right onto a quiet street called Paseo del Rey and bam! We’d completely escaped the city’s hustle and bustle and could finally breathe again.

Two minutes later we arrived at the restaurant, whose stylish decor stands out among the surrounding residential buildings. What is this modern restaurant doing here? It looks like it should be in Malasaña, Chueca, or even Salamanca. That said, we were happy it wasn’t located in those neighborhoods because it gave us the chance to try something new and head in a different direction.

cafe del rey front bar

photo from their Facebook, as are all the high-quality pics below!

The front part of the venue is a casual bar, delicatessen and shop. You’ll find sandwiches on baguettes, mouthwatering cakes and other treats on display, plus a great beer selection and wine list. We went for dinner so we sat in the dining area in the back, also chic and with plenty of space to remind us we weren’t in an itsy bitsy bar in La Latina (which we love, just sometimes we crave some leg room).

inside cafe del rey

As we were eating dinner, we couldn’t help but talk about how oddly situated the restaurant was. How could anyone find it if they weren’t looking for it? Bottom line is you couldn’t. That’s kind of why we like it. While in the summer I’m sure it’s always packed because of its beach-themed outdoor terrace, during the wintertime I imagine the clientele is more from the neighborhood, as well as people coming in from Principe Pio or after spending the day along Madrid’s river. They also hold events like wine and beer tastings that bring in patrons.

Café del Rey Madrid by Naked Madrid

Back to our dinner: James got a burger (which the waiter recommended) and I went with the salmon with vegetables (I’m on a bit of a health kick these days), accompanied by a few glasses of red wine.

Café del Rey Madrid by Naked Madrid

The table next to us was having a true feast and I must say the pasta and tuna dishes they ordered looked huge. We enjoyed our meal and the price range was reasonable. For example, the burgers cost €8-11. We didn’t end up trying their famous cakes which I honestly regret. That’s their specialty – the red velvet and carrot cake in particular – and they looked incredible!

cafe del rey cake

cafe del rey cakes

The wait staff were also very friendly and attentive. Since Café del Rey serves breakfast and brunch menus too, we’ve got plenty of reasons to go back. I also can’t wait till summer to check out their outdoor seating areas.

Info

 




Federal Café Madrid – Hipster in a Very Good Way


Not too long ago, Madrid’s breakfast scene was limited to traditional croissants, toast and churros. Now, however, it’s rivalling cities like New York and London. How did this happen so quickly? Don’t know. But boy are we loving it… One of the best places for brunch in Madrid is Federal Café, which may look like a stylish restaurant in Soho, but it’s actually located in Malasaña, near Conde Duque.

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

Last Sunday, I went for brunch with three lovely ladies – Cat, Aifric and Helen.

We all started with fresh smoothies. Mine had pomegranate and organic apple juice – health in a glass.

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

To eat, I ordered toast with avocado, poppyseed and lemon.

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

Aifric got the same, although with poached eggs (smart choice).

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

Helen had a veggie burger with freshly squeezed orange juice.

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

Then there’s Cat, who wins first prize by a landslide with her full-on plate of poached eggs, bacon, potatoes, sausage and toast. Damn. 

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

The first time I went to Federal was actually over a year ago with my friend, Nina (who’s sitting in the window looking at the little kid). We stumbled upon Federal while strolling around and were instantly lured in by the comfy window seats that allowed us to dangle our legs onto the sidewalk.

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

We started with a coffee.

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

That ended quickly. The menu featured such a wide variety of dishes that were chock full of local, organic and fresh ingredients – we just couldn’t help but order something to eat. I got a sandwich with feta cheese, spinach and olive tapenade. Nina had a burger. Simple but so good!

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

So if you’re looking for a hip place with healthy food in the center of Madrid, I think you’ve found it!

Federal Café Madrid by Naked Madrid

Info

Web
Facebook
Address: Pl. de las Comendadoras 9
Metro: Noviciado

You may also like:

Best Brunch on a Budget in Madrid

Little Big Café – my little big pick-me-up

Toma Café – Fuel Up, Feel Hip

Mamá Campo – a Restaurant/Market of Organic Delights in Plaza Olavide




Munchies, late-night burger joint and snack bar in Huertas


My friend Natasha would often sing praises of Munchies, an American-style snack bar situated in Huertas that is open for business until 6am. Always ecstatic to have more options besides kebabs & pizzas during late-night outings in my new barrio, I sampled this location in order to share my findings with my beloved expat community. Munchies lives up to its namesake, hitting the spot during intoxicated bouts of hunger. It is a cozy and charming spot reminiscent of the American small town diners that I am ever so fond of.

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This location provides swift and efficient service, and although I’ve only tasted their burgers, they also offer arepas, salads, hotdogs, homemade cakes and other sweets. Amber, the owner and culinary master of this establishment, gently applies condiments and toppings to the burgers with cariño. I admire her discipline, remaining awake and alert into the wee hours of the night in order to aid drunk people as they preemptively combat the next day’s hangover with greasy edibles. It is for that reason that I bestow upon this establishment the Dcat Seal of Approval.

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Info

Website
Facebook
Hours: 2pm to 6am
Address: Calle de las Huertas 25
Metro: Anton Martin or Sol



Naïf: King of Burgers


In a city so jam-packed with restaurants that one could eat out in a different place every meal and never repeat, it’s saying a lot to return to a place more than once, and then too many times to count. Such is the case with Naif, a cozy/grunge burger spot nestled into Plaza de San Idelfonso serving burgers, with a side of sass. Ask for a glass of water and one of the snarky waiters will return saying they’ve run out of water, but they do have gin. Alternatively, copas of beer and wine are available for cheap and are a must for washing down the grub.

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The jocular banter with the waiters, the hype that comes with having to (almost) yell over the music in order to be heard across the table, the flickering candles of the dining room, all contribute to making repeat Naif visits, but the real reason to return is for the burgers. Never a disappointment, never.

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Here, the king of burgers, is, undoubtedly, the Hamburguesa de Trufa: hamburger gold. The rich flavor of truffles oozes out of the burger with every bite. La Ibérica also pleases with its hefty slices of jamón and manchego respectively. Naif has the Goldy Locks principle working to its advantage: the burgers are not too big, not to small— they’re just right. Nevertheless, they can be a challenge to eat; baskets of napkins are placed on the tables for this very reason. Don’t mind about minding manners.

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A large chalkboard wall boasts nachos among the house specialities. What comes to the table is a casserole dish of chips bathing in a tangy bath of cheese, plus some avocados and peppers for a spicy punch. These are not skating rink nachos. They can be a meal in itself or something to share– cheesy fingers for all.

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DSCF3475And beyond burgers, dessert awaits on the horizon. There is carrot cake, of course, as well as cheesecake and American Pie. It’s not your mom’s recipe, but it’s pie! Inexplicably, it lacks the bottom layer of crust, but there’s a top. Let’s not be too picky, now. The carrot cake benefits from the addition of nutella and walnuts.

DSCF3489Eating at Naif is addicting. You want to be there, wrapped up  in this rough and rugged metropolitan environment, until closing time. Naif can serve as the backdrop for any social situation: friends, dates, and parental visits alike. The soundtrack somehow always fits the occasion and the dim lighting makes everything seem cooler than it probably is.

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Web
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Where: Calle San Joaquín, 16
Phone: 910 07 20 71
 
Photos courtesy of Pablo Arias
 

Looking for other cool spots in Malasaña? Check out:

La Paca, the perfect Malasaña café and bar

Pepe Botella, a coffee place where you can think

Toma Café, Fuel up, Feel hip

Best Café-Bookshops in Madrid

Best First Date Ideas in Madrid for foodies

 




Best Brunch on a Budget in Madrid


It’s noon on a Sunday, you have just peeled off the covers and opened the blinds, and it’s decision time: breakfast or lunch? Who says you have to choose? Brunch, combining the best of both meals, is a concept quickly growing in Madrid, and with multiple affordable options, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a delicious meal!

1. Ojalá (featured in the cover photo and rightly so)

best brunch in Madrid by Naked Madrid

Located on one of Malasaña’s narrow streets, you might walk right past Ojalá without realizing the hidden treasure that lies inside. At first glance, this café appears to be another one of Malasaña’s trendy locales, with groovy colored light bulbs dispersed around the café, and bleacher-like seating across from the kitchen, with a clear window allowing a look inside as mouth-watering food is being prepared. Head downstairs for more seating, and you will find yourself being transported quite literally to a sandbar, with sand serving in place of carpet or wood flooring. Get comfy on the lounge chairs and tables low to the ground, feeling warmed immediately by the heat lamps for added effect. A tikki bar completes the look at one end of the “beach.”

best brunch in Madrid by Naked Madrid

The extensive brunch menu offers a little something for everyone, and is all-encompassing, including a coffee or tea (taking care of caffeination needs), and the choice of juice, soda, beer or wine. No detail is overlooked, with fresh juice accompanied by a paper crafted straw served in a tasteful glass bottle.

As for the food, options include something for those looking for something on the sweeter side, with offerings of pastries and fresh fruits, or savory platters, including “World Mix”: organic cornbread with hummus, guacamole, poached egg, and a side of fruit salad and arugula lightly dressed, artfully served on a wooden plank.

It’s hard to leave the oasis that is Ojalá, but it provides the ultimate refuge for a weekend afternoon no matter the season, with outdoor seating when the weather permits.

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Price for brunch menu: €8-12€
Where: Calle de San Andres, 1
Metro: Noviciado/Tribunal

2. Little Big Café

Best brunch in Madrid by Naked Madrid

With less than 10 tables inside, the Little Big Café is a cozy spot situated in Chamberí, with chalkboards inside advertising the expansive menu offerings. You are drawn in immediately by the cakes, pies, brownies, and other assorted bakery items displayed on the counter before you have even glanced at the brunch menu. (Don’t worry, the sweets are on that menu too).

Best brunch in Madrid by Naked Madrid

This café, with the tagline “A little café with a big heart,” is just that, with friendly staff willing to spend time explaining the menu to you. Wooden benches and tables add to the neighborhood feel of the café, along with the bulletin board with Polaroid’s of the “Club VIP” of Little Big.

Best brunch in Madrid by Naked Madrid

The brunch menu allows diners the “Menu Cerrado,” a hearty offering that includes both a savory and sweet dish, choice of beverage, a dessert (head to the counter to survey which pastries suit your fancy), and a coffee or tea. Alternatively, diners can pick and choose from sandwiches, French toast or pancakes with your choice of toppings, or the brunch classic Eggs Benedict. The Eggs Benedict don’t disappoint, with an accompanying delicate side salad, and the pancake topping selection is overwhelming, served alongside the thin “tortitas” that won’t last long on your plate.

But the real star of the show is the previously mentioned dessert. Options vary, but the carrot cake is perfection, while the chocolate frosted chocolate cake will delight chocoholics. The best thing about the vast selection of desserts: you’ll have an excuse to return and try them all.

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Price of brunch menu: €16.50
When: offered Saturdays and Sundays-11am-4:30pm
Where: Calle Fernández de los Ríos, 61
Metro: Moncloa/Islas Filipinas/Quevedo

3. Martínez Bar

For those who have given up on finding any resemblance of a bagel in Madrid, wander over to Martinez on Sundays for a gourmet Bagel Brunch at a reasonable price. Soft jazz greets you as you enter Martinez, followed by mouth-watering smells you’ll find yourself hoping are coming to your table. The aesthetically simple design of Martinez has an antiquated feel reminiscent of times past, and the small tables lining the restaurant make it an ideal destination for smaller groups.

best brunches in madrid by Naked Madrid

Start off with a fresh orange or grapefruit juice, and then dive into the bagel selection. Bagels are served with a variety of accompaniments, including the salmon and cream cheese, hummus, or goat cheese and marmalade. The warm, freshly toasted bagel is presented on round wooden boards, with the option of a supplemental Bloody Mary or Mimosa to complement your meal. The bagel toppings are not overpowering, and allow diners to enjoy the simplicity of the bagel below at the same time.

best brunches in madrid by Naked Madrid

The brunch concludes with a coffee of tea, and one of Martinez’s fresh desserts. The cheesecake, topped with a berry jam and a perfectly thick graham cracker crust is a guilty pleasure to be enjoyed slowly. Other dessert options include a brownie, carrot cake, or apple tart.

best brunches in madrid by Naked Madrid

The simplicity of Martinez’s Bagel Brunch is what makes it so enjoyable-minimal ingredients allow diners to enjoy fresh flavors without any unnecessary additions. 

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Price of bagel brunch: €9.90
When: Sundays 1pm-4:30pm 
Where: Calle Barco, 4
Metro: Gran Vía

4. Carmencita Bar

Located on an unassuming street in Malasaña, Carmencita is anything but ordinary. Reservations are a must here, and you might even find yourself out of luck if you dare call past Thursday for the coming weekend. A popular expatriate hangout, you will hear a fair amount of English spoken here, and the restaurant offers a language exchange on Tuesday evenings starting at 9pm.

best brunch in Madrid by Naked Madrid

You can’t mention Carmencita without talking about the 1€ mimosa. Little hair of the dog never hurt anyone! You can treat yourself to one (or two, who’s counting?) without putting a dent in your wallet.

best brunch in Madrid by Naked Madrid

The brunch plates include Huevos Rancheros, Eggs Benedict, French Toast, and the “American Plate” complete with fried egg, sausage, bacon and hash browns. The fixed price brunch menu is generous: Eggs Benedict with your choice of salmon, avocado, or bacon, your preferred side (hash browns, potatoes, or salad), dessert of the day, coffee and mimosa.

The hollandaise sauce can be a bit excessive, but by the time you get to the hash browns you will have forgotten; these crispy potatoes are beyond compare, and a rare find in Madrid at that.

best brunch in Madrid by Naked Madrid

If you find yourself still having room left for a bit of dessert, you can’t go wrong with the dessert of the day. The fluffy cakes are featured on the counter of this small restaurant, so you will be tempted throughout your meal. Finishing the last sips of your mimosa you might find yourself already planning your next trip to Carmencita.

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Price for complete brunch menu: €14.
When: brunch served Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 12pm-4:30pm.
Where: Calle San Vincente Ferrer, 51
Metro: Noviciado

La Gringa (Carmencita Bar’s sister restaurant a few doors down)

Carmencita Bar has a sister location right down the street called La Gringa that serves the same delicious brunch. When it’s not holding brunch, it’s a fun Mexican restaurant that organizes language exchanges and offers great deals on Mexican beers, cocktails, tacos, burritos and micheladas. Here’s a sneak peak of their brunch menu, filled with a variety of burgers, egg dishes and of course, mimosas and bloody marys.

best brunch in Madrid at La Gringa by Naked Madrid
 
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Where: San Vicente Ferrer 57
When: Saturday & Sunday 12pm-4:30pm. Best to make a reservation: 679 183 399
Metro: Noviciado

5. The Toast Café

From the hanging light bulbs encased in mason jars to the freshly squeezed orange juice served in champagne flutes, The Toast is an Instagrammer’s paradise, and will satisfy your grumbling stomach too. Just one street over from the Little Big Café, The Toast is nearly always full of content diners lingering over the tasty two course brunch (coffee or tea and juice included) offered on weekends.

best brunches in madrid by Naked Madrid

Start off with a generous Bloody Mary as you consult the comprehensive brunch menu. The first plate options include pancakes, tostada, salad with light vinaigrette, or a croissant.

best brunch in Madrid by Naked Madrid

The fluffy pancakes don’t disappoint, while the mixed greens salad is artfully topped with fresh vegetables.

The first course is just a warm-up for the second plate options: the obligatory Eggs Benedict, Huevos Rancheros, Breakfast Burrito, omelet, or salmon bagel.

The breakfast burrito is complemented with guacamole, pico de gallo, while the filling inside surprises with potatoes.

The Toast is a popular weekend destination, so make sure to reserve a table ahead of time, so that the toughest decision will be whether to top your Eggs Benedict with salmon, avocado, or bacon!

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Price for brunch: €14
When: brunch served Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 11am-5pm
Where: Calle Fernando El Católico, 50
Metro: Arguelles/Moncloa/Quevedo/Islas Filipinas

By Meredith Parmalee




Gourmet Experience at El Corte Ingles in Callao


Spain’s major department store, El Corte Inglés, first opened in the 1940’s. Today, many of us Spaniards love El Corte Inglés as it sells virtually anything under the sun, from your laptop and underwear to your mattress and plane ticket. A little outdated indeed, one of the stores decided it was time for a facelift — a few months ago, the Corte Inglés in Callao converted the top floor into Gourmet Experience, a tantalizing food hall with stunning views of Madrid’s Gran Vía and the emblematic Shweppes sign.  

Gourmet Experience Callao by Naked Madrid

But why is it so special it? First off, we have a variety of food stalls serving anything you can think of — sushi, pizza, quesadillas, pinchos and hamburgers, etc. — all in the same space. You can also have your meal at each individual stall, or in the main dining area where the views will take your breath away. On the same floor, there’s also a supermarket specializing in international gourmet products, like sauces, jams and olive oil, just to name a few.

gourmet experience callao madrid by naked madrid

gourmet experience callao madrid by naked madrid

gourmet experience callao madrid by naked madrid

Gourmet Experience Callao by Naked Madrid

Here’s a look at all the food stalls you can find at this gourmet heaven:

1. HAMBURGUESA NOSTRA

Gourmet Callao

Hamburguesa Nostra is one of the most popular stalls. Trying to ask for a burger during the weekend can be a complicated task. And we’re not surprised. HN offers us a variety of more than 30 types of meat, as well as sauces and unique breads. Yet, surprisingly enough, it’s easy to order! You just have to choose the burger meat you want and customise it with your choice of bread sauce and other garnishes. Then wait for the call so you can pick it. You won’t regret it … we always end up returning.

Prices range from 9€ for a basic burger to 13€ for a gourmet burger. For 0.50€ and 1€ euro you can customize it.

STREET XSO

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Street XSO serves modern and contemporary food. Chicken marinated in sweet chilli, smoked razor clams in olive oil and grilled tataki butter fish are just some of the wonderful dishes that you can enjoy in this great stand.

LA MAQUINA

La máquina

If you’re in the mood for traditional Spanish cuisine, then go to La Maquina, where you can find delicious tapas and pinchos. Tortilla de patatas, pincho de jamón, cheese,  and delicious bocadillos. We love the food but we love the prices even more. What truly stands out about La Maquina is its simplicity and good quality food.

CENTRAL MEXICANA

Central Mexicana

One of our favourites is always crowded and don’t get me wrong, I understand why. On the menu, we can find all types of delicious Mexican dishes, from traditional enchiladas to wonderful tacos.  And let’s not forget about the generous salads and nachos topped with cheese and guacamole. My favorite dishes are the chicken taco Coyoacan and the nachos with guacamole. The prices are very reasonable. You can get two tacos for 6€.

TSE YANG DIMSUM CLUB

callao

If you love sushi and Japanese cuisine cuisine in general, then TYDC is for you!

AMORINO

Amorino

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Amorino will be your parries. Here you can enjoy ice cream, sorbets, waffles and pancakes with an infinite variety of topppings. They also serve great drinks, like milk shakes and frappes. Now they also sell macaroons that are out of this world!

AL CUADRADO

pizzas

There can be no Gourmet space without a place for pizzas and the ones here are simply delicious. These are served “al corte” and “al taglio” as the Italians say, and the price depends on the weight. What we like the most about this pizza place is that they try to innovate, although always with a very Mediterranean touch.

HARINA

Harina

Perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or an afternoon tea. Many Madrileños already know this space because it’s not the only Harina. We love how they mix the  minimalist touch of their decoration with the more traditional cuisine. The breads and cakes are simply delicious. Our suggestion: “empanada de bonito” (tuna empanada) and a cup of coffee.

JUANILLO CLUB

cocktail

A 1950’s-style cocktail bar located in the heart of Madrid! Here you can enjoy traditional cocktails as the caipirinha, mojitos, bloody marries, cosmopolitans, etc., to the most avant-garde cocktails. In addition, you can accompany them with some delicious oysters. What else can you ask for?

ASADORES IMANOL

Asador

Here we can find a  piece of San Sebastian and its traditional “pintxos”. We’ve fallen in love with their simple and unpretentious menu. Our suggestions: For cold pintxos, go with the Iberian ham and boqueron en vinagres (anchovies in vinegar). For hot pintxos, go with the croquettes and solomillo (pork tenderloin). When it comes to tapas: We are passionate about the tortilla española (Spanish potato omelet) and huevos rotos con jamón (french fries topped with two fried eggs and ham).

Plus, the prices are more than reasonable: 2.35€ and 2.50€ for any of the pintxos. 4.90€ for desserts. The price on tapas ranges from 8 to 11 euros.

So, what do you think? Are you going to leave Madrid without having had a gourmet experience atop El Corte Inglés? 

Where: Corte Inglés Callao. 9th floor.

Metros: Callao, Sol and Gran Vía.




Madrid's Best Rooftop Bars, Round 1


Madrid has magnificent rooftop bars, and you’ll find them perched atop unexpected places. Here’s round one of my favorites. What’s more, all of these places are within walking distance from one another, so you could turn this list into a rooftop bar crawl if you had the whole day to spend atop buildings, watching the sky change colors.

Image from Gau&Café’s Facebook page

1. Gau&Caféon top of a university

Considered one of 8 Hidden Gems in Madrid by the Guardian newspaper, this rooftop bar truly deserves first place on my list. Tucked away on a side street in Lavapiés, Gau&Cafe rests atop one of UNED University’s historic campus buildings.  As you enter the university and walk up four flights of stairs, you’d never imagine that Gau&Café would be so chic, inviting and beautiful–you’d never even know it was there. The space is divided into two sections: one for drinks, and one for dinner. In the drink section, you can order a delicious 8€ hamburger. If you’re looking for a sit-down dinner, do make a reservation (the menu features lots of local, seasonal products, namely zucchini, cous cous, eggplant and hummus dishes).

Addressc/ Tribulete 14, 4th floor
Metro: Lavapiés
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Casa Granada best rooftop bar in Madrid by Naked Madrid

2. Casa de Granada: on top of a residential building

At home in the sky, this rooftop bar holds a special place in my heart as it will always be the first rooftop I ever went to in Madrid. Casa de Granada is essentially a regular Spanish restaurant, situated on a roof that has outdoor seating and an enclosed area. Nibble on traditional Spanish dishes as you look out on Madrid’s short-story buildings, plazas, and terracotta-tiled roofs. You may also catch women hanging clothes out to dry and maybe even listen in on the neighbour’s telephone conversation. Although Casa de Granada has recently renovated, it’s maintained its nonchalant style which is what makes it fun. When it comes to food, you should stick to the Spanish staplescroquetas, huevos rotos, pimientos de padrón, calamares, you name it.

Address: c/ del Doctor Cortezo, 17, 6th floor 
Metro: Tirso de Molina or Sol
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Mercado de San Anton best rooftop bar in Chueca, Madrid by Naked Madrid

3. Mercado de San Antónon top of a gourmet market

This gourmet market is the hipper version of its uber-upscale pedestrian competitor, Mercado de San Miguel. In other words, Mercado de San Antón is infinitely cooler and more enjoyable. First of all, it’s in Chueca (enough said). Secondly, it has three floors and therefore much more seating area. And then there’s a stunning rooftop bar, perfect for people-watching! What’s more, the rooftop bar’s prices are reasonable; a glass of wine costs the same as at any other bar on street level. So why not pop up to the roof and have your drink there? Sometimes they have free live music too.

Address:  C/ Augusto Figueroa 24, 3rd floor
Metro: Chueca
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Tartan Roof Madrid

image from www.azoteadelcirculo.com

4. Tartan Roofon top of Círculo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Building )

The sky is the canvas atop this fine arts institution. Overlooking the Castellana and Plaza de Cibeles, and perched on top of the exquisite Circulo de Bellas Artes building, it’s no wonder why Tartan Roof has the most breathtaking views out of all on this list. For 3€, anyone can go up to the roof to have a look. The fee is waved if you have dinner reservations (an absolute must). My friend’s earlier post says it all here. This is also a really popular place for cocktails, though slightly expensive, you’re paying for the view, not the drink itself. The first time I went to this roof was on Día de la Música (Music Day). The Azotea (rooftop) was participating by holding a free swing and tap dance performance. It was incredible to be up there looking out on Madrid’s skyline.

Address: c/ Alcalá 42
Metro: Banco de España or Sevilla
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Madrid’s best roo

If you’re looking for more, here’s Madrid’s best rooftops, Round 2 and Round 3

And feel free to let us know about your favorite Madrid rooftop bars!

 

 




Goiko Grill, an awesome burger joint in Madrid


best burger in Madrid by Goiko Grill by Naked Madrid

Goiko Grill is the kind of place I wish I had known about years ago. Owned and run by Venezuelans, Goiko Grill is a down-to-earth, young and awesome burger joint, serving, in my opinion, the best burgers in Madrid. Plus it has a fun vibe and good service.

And though I’ve never tried anything off their burger list, they’re also known for their starters, especially the nachos and teques  (tequeños, a popular Venezuelan finger food, similar to mozzarella sticks) as well as for their fresh salads, sandwiches and great desserts.

Tequeños (image from www.facebook.com/goikogrill)

Teques (image from www.facebook.com/goikogrill)

All of Goiko Grill’s burgers are made with 180 grams of top quality Spanish beef, the beloved carne de buey to be exact, and come with ridiculously good homemade potato wedges.  What’s more, the burger menu has a number of mouth-watering combinations and quirky names to pull you in, such as the Puchi (cheddar, bacon and grilled mushrooms), La Philly (190 grams of top quality, tender Spanish beef, topped with crunchy fried onions and cream cheese) and the Aloha (topped with a slice of grilled pineapple and cinnamon, and a slice of ham). 

With so many options,  it’s nice that the waiters are friendly and even speak English. Luís, the waiter who I met last time, is originally from Venezuela but lived in the U.S. for many years. He told me all about Goiko Grill and helped me choose what burger to order as he saw the indecision written on my face. Everything is good here, he told me, so don’t be afraid to try something new.

best burger in Madrid by Goiko Grill by Naked Madrid

Aita burger del norte, topped with Arzua cheese and roasted red peppers

So far, my favorite two burgers are the M-30 Goat Cheese Burger (9.50E) and the Aita Northern Burger (12.50E). The Goat Cheese burger comes with a thick disc of  savory, crumbly goat cheese, and a warm layer of sweet caramelized onions oozing over. The Aita del Norte burger comes with Galician Arzúa cheese and roasted red peppers.

The last time I went to Goiko Grill I went with a friend of mine, Alondra, who has a passion for guacamole. Hence, she ordered the Chipotle burger which came with heaps of guacamole, chipotle sauce, and cheddar cheese. She said it more than hit the spot, and that the homemade potato wedges brought back memories of her mother bringing home a bag of potatoes, chopping them up and frying them.

Chipotle Burger with cheddar cheese, bacon and guacamole (image from www.facebook.com/goikogrill)

Chipotle Burger with cheddar cheese, chipotle sauce and guacamole (image from www.facebook.com/goikogrill)

My husband, who’s also smitten with Goiko Grill, has a slight problem–he wants to try out all the burgers but always ends up ordering his favorite: La Pigma burger. It comes with a fried egg, bacon, cheddar cheese and Maho Goiko sauce. Apparently, this burger is the favorite among the boys, and there’s a history behind it that you’ll have to ask the waiters yourself.

best burger in Madrid by Naked Madrid by Goiko Grill

In addition to succulent burgers, Goiko Grill also has great drinks. Monday through Friday from 5pm-8pm, Goiko Grill has different Happy Hour deals; 2×1 on mojitos, beers, wine and other drinks depending on the day. Since it’s located right across the street from Instituto de Empresa (IE), Spain’s most prestigious business university, the clientele is young and enjoys the casual scene.

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Address: c/ María de Molina, 16
Metro: Gregorio Marañón
Phone: +910 17 76 98

best burger in Madrid by Goiko Grill by Naked Madrid best burger in Madrid by Naked Madrid at Goiko Grill