Where to Take Your Mom in Madrid – Round 2


Knowing where to take your mom in Madrid can be tough, especially if she’s already visited you five or six times. So here’s a follow-up to my first version of this post with some fresh ideas, some favorites, and some recommendations from fellow Naked Madrid writers – and my mom, too, of course. She also helped me edit this whole piece. Thanks ma! 

Not to mention these ideas are great for any out-of-town guests. Here goes:

1. Museo del Romanticismo for an intimate art experience

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Madrid has several charming museums worth visiting, and if you’re like me, you’ll appreciate their small size. My mom and I loved Museo de Artes Decorativas and Museo Naval; but we enjoyed Museo del Romanticismo the most. Something about wandering around someone’s former mansion makes it unique, and each room tells a different story. Just stay on the grey carpet or the attendant will scold you, like she did my mom when she wanted to take a closer look at the 19th-century furnishings and art! Plus it has a wonderful tea room.

For more ideas, check out Madrid’s obvious and not-so-obvious museums (and how to get in for free!)

2. Mad Improv events for fun and laughter

Mad Improv jams at VeraContent

This was such a great discovery. My mom has been to Madrid several times over my ten years of living here, yet we never quite found the right way to spend an evening out that didn’t just involve food. Mad Improv is an English-speaking theater group that holds shows (right now on Thursdays at La Escalera de Jacob) and regular workshops and jams at VeraContent (Naked Madrid’s sister company).

Jams cost 3€ and include a first drink. Anyone is welcome to get up and join in on improv games, or you can just watch if you’re on the shyer side – understandably so, as you’ll see some pretty impressive improvisors up there. Either way, you’re going to laugh a whole lot. I promise.

Here’s a full post on Mad Improv to find out more.

3. Juana la Loca for excellent Spanish food

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Juana la Loca is an exceptional family-run restaurant in La Latina, serving Spanish food with lots of fusion and lots of love. Everything you eat here is exquisite, from the pintxos at the bar to the main dishes. I had been several times before I finally got the chance to speak to one of the family members, the son, who explained everything on the menu with such passion. Culinary arts clearly run in the family.

4. Bosco de Lobos and Ana la Santa for cozy and chic diningBosco de Lobos Madrid

I wanted to include a few more restaurants on this list so I asked for recommendations from Cat, one of Naked Madrid’s most active writers. With no hesitation at all, she said: “Bosco de Lobos and Ana la Santa are both mum pleasers!” Bosco de Lobos is situated in a beautiful courtyard of an architecture school in Chueca, and its casual-chic look immediately lures you in. Ana la Santa also has a great location, right in Plaza Santa Ana. Cat especially recommends going here when it’s cold outside, as it’s the perfect place to warm up.

Check out Cat‘s articles on Bosco de Lobos and Ana la Santa – I’d definitely take her word for it.

5. Chuka for Japanese ramen and gyozas

Chuka Ramen Bar Portada

Once you’ve had your taste of Spanish food, you shouldn’t feel bad about going to an international restaurant. Really, it’s okay. Madrid’s culinary scene is full of fusion cuisine from all over the world, and Madrileños love it. Chuka is one of our all-time favorites for ramen, gyozas and baos. And we just found out the owners are actually two Americans who have been living in Madrid for over a decade. Go figure!

Here’s a full post on Chuka. Another great restaurant nearby is L’Artisan Furansu Kitchen, offering French-Japanese fusion cuisine and a menú del día that changes daily.

6. Salmon Guru for fun cocktails

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Before going into Chuka we had a half hour to kill so we walked down the street and got a drink at Salmon Guru. This funky bar has a great cocktail selection and truly unique decor. If we’d stayed a little longer and sampled another round, my mom thinks we might have solved the mystery of what “Salmon Guru” actually means.

Read our full post on Salmon Guru here.

7. Swinton & Grant for when you’re working

Swinton & Grant art books and coffee Naked Madrid

Coffee shops are always great places to park your mom while you’re working (or napping). If she hasn’t brought her own book with her, she’ll surely find something to read at Swinton & Grant – a café that sells art books and also has a downstairs gallery – while enjoying a cortado, a spicy ginger soda, or a beer.

Another one of my mom’s favorites, mentioned in the previous article, is Café La Libre, right by the Reina Sofia museum. She couldn’t resist going back twice on her most recent visit. And we always make a pit-stop at Desperate Literature to check out their international book selection and delightful event calendar.

8. Templo de Debod for stunning views

Templo de Debod Naked Madrid

This beautiful ancient Egyptian temple is perched on a hill providing breathtaking views of the city, making it the perfect spot to watch the sunset or have a picnic. Templo de Debod is also a great place to walk to after a visit to the Royal Palace or the Cerralbo Museum which are both a hop skip away. You’ll find a free-entrance museum inside the temple – one of Mad Improv’s organizers, Summer, said her parents loved it.

9. Casa Pueblo for another cocktail

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I’ve been going to this bar since my first year in Madrid. You can bring anyone here – a date, a friend, a colleague. There’s something warm and special about Casa Pueblo that makes me keep coming back. And my mom couldn’t agree more. There’s also a small stage in the back where they regularly put on live music. 

10. The Rastro for a Sunday flea market experience

When I asked for a recommendation from Leah, she said: “My mum absolutely loves the Rastro, of course. She wants to buy everything but can’t fit it in her suitcase, but she always manages to squeeze something in like a spoon!”

Leah has been writing about and capturing the Rastro for years on her awesome blog, Madrid No Frills, and instagram accounts @rastrolife and @portaitofmadrid. Here’s her latest Rastro-inspired post: Seven eccentric museum-worthy collections found only in the Rastro

11. Shopping day in Malasaña – and a mandatory drink afterwards

Mojitos at Cubanismo, a rooftop bar in Malasaña

Mojitos at Cubanismo, a rooftop bar in Malasaña

When it comes to shopping, I like getting it over with in one shot on Calle Fuencarral (which merges with Gran Vía if you want to hit all the big stores like Zara and H&M). Afterwards, there’s beer and tapas waiting for you at some of our favorite spots. I recommend going into one of the happening food markets in the area – Mercado de San Ildefonso or Mercado de San Anton – both with great outdoor seating areas.

Another amazing place for a post-shopping drink is El Paracaídas. This multi-story and multi-purpose concept store actually has two rooftops – our favorite is Cubanismo, a tropical rooftop escape!

12. Food tour for insight into Spanish bar culture and cuisine

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Another Naked Madrid writer, Melissa, recently went on the Context Tavernas and Tapas Tour in Barrio de las Letras. Melissa is a true foodie, and works as a full-time writer and translator at VeraContent, where she researches Spanish food on a daily basis. She said the culinary tour was truly insightful, and a wonderful way to better understand the history and nuances behind Spain’s delicious cuisine as you enjoy every bite.

Read Melissa’s full article on the Context Travel Tours here.

 

Don’t forget to read round one of Where to Take Your Mom in Madrid for more ideas!

You might also like: Take a Peek Inside 5 Historical Madrid Bars

Of course Madrid is full of more options that mothers will love, so please feel free to share in the comments!




Let’s Raise a Toast to The Toast Café


If you’re lucky enough to live in Madrid, as I do, it often feels like the city is your playground. There are exhibitions to see, bars to frequent, parks to embrace, restaurants to sample and of course, come the weekend, long, lazy brunches to be had. I always have the intention to be one of those people who whips up breakfast without breaking a sweat.

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I buy the eggs, the avo, occasionally the chorizo, but when Saturday morning rolls around, frankly, my working week is done and the desire to cook (or clean) for that matter often falls by the wayside. I want to go out. To get dressed up and to head to a place where the mimosas are free flowing and the washing up is SEP (someone else’s problem). So to kick start a week off from work, I headed to The Toast Café so that someone else could poach the perfect egg on my behalf.

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A sister restaurant of Roll Madrid (a recent review of mine), it’s clear to see that good breakfasts run in the family. There’s a fixed brunch menu, which my friend and I plumped for. Needless to say, I don’t think either of us needed feeding again until the evening had swung round as the portion sizes were far from stingy.

We both had coffees to start (natch), followed by croissants, eggs benedict and an omelette respectively. We chased this up with multiple mimosas and to conclude our breakfast of champions we split a cheesecake which was as good as any that I’d had in the States: I’m a fan of a buttery base and this one was so delish that I could’ve eaten it twice.

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With Halloween on the approach and the city turning its attention to all things gruesome and ghoulish, Toast is getting in on the act by offering its own version of a fright night. Order yourself a beer and the bartenders will toss a coin – if it lands on pay, you pay. But… if it lands on freebie, you get to enjoy your tipple on the house. There’s nothing scary about that. Well, apart from maybe the hangover that’ll follow come November 1st.

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It’s worth mentioning that the aforementioned Roll, will also be on the Halloween bandwagon and are offering the exact same deal – pretty tempting with Madrid enjoying a bank holiday the following day. I fully expect most of the city will be nursing sore heads.

Fast forward to November and Toast is hosting its very own Thanksgiving celebration – I’m spotting a pattern, this is a place that likes a party, we’ll get along well. With a menu that will appeal to people from not just across the pond, it’s well worth a look if you know you’ll be pining for turkey and for time spent with friends.

So if boozy brunches are your bag and potential freebies float your boat there’s really only one thing for it. Check out The Toast Café. Great food, great service, and a great excuse to dodge doing the dishes.

Info

  • Facebook, Website & Instagram
  • Address: C/ Fernando el Católico 50
  • Metro: Moncloa, Arguelles, Quevedo
  • Phone: 915493802



What to See in Barrio de Las Letras


Madrid’s Barrio de las Letras is a timeless neighborhood that stays true to its Spanish roots, while still giving a modern feel that leaves visitors coming back for more. With its amazing food, culture, and ambience, you can’t go wrong when it comes to exploring this classic barrio.

Here are a few insights into its history, hotspots and 3 restaurant recommendations!

History with a Modern Twist

Barrio de las Letras, also known as Huertas, is less than a 10-minute walk from Sol and was once home to some of the greatest Spanish writers. The streets are paved with recognizable quotes from writers such as, Miguel Cervantes and José Echegaray.

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There are even plazas and streets dedicated to writers such as Plaza Jacinto Benavente and Calle Lope de Vega. The houses of some of these writers still stand today and are open to the public, such as Casa Museo Lope de Vega which offers free guided tours.

Plaza Jacinto Benavente

Plaza Jacinto Benavente

Calle Lope de Vega

Calle Lope de Vega

Nowadays, this historic neighborhood has become a trendy spot for people to get together and have a drink paired with a few tapas. Calle de las Huertas is the main street where you can easily find great shops, cafes, and some of Madrid’s finest eateries.

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While exploring the side streets that branch off the main road, keep an eye out for the various boutiques, art galleries, bookstores, and antique shops that make this neighborhood so authentic.

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Must-Sees in Barrio de las Letras

Plaza Santa Ana is a well-known hangout spot in this neighborhood. Here you can find a number of restaurants with outdoor seating areas that are perfect for enjoying the ambience with a nice wine or beer.

Plaza Santa Ana

Plaza Santa Ana

Plaza Santa Ana is also where you can find monuments of Calderón de la Barca, Federico García Lorca, and the Teatro Español, making it a popular spot for tourists.

Monument Calderon de La Barca

Monument Calderon de La Barca

Monument Federico Garcia Lorca

Monument Federico Garcia Lorca

Teatro Español

Teatro Español—Madrid’s oldest theater

 

3 Restaurants in Barrio de las Letras

This neighborhood is a hot spot for some of Madrid’s oldest taverns and restaurants that serve typical Spanish dishes and tapas. Here are some of the best ones.

Cervecería Cervantes is a favorite among the locals. It’s decorated with beautiful tiles that give a traditional Spanish feel. Every time I walk past this bar, it’s always packed with people enjoying tapas and beer. This cervecería is known for its seafood that can be ordered in small portions. So stop in and try them all!

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Another go-to place is El Lacón on Calle de Manuel Fernández y González. This place has been around since the 60s and has been considered a classic ever since. It’s known for its drink and tapa deal, meaning that with each beer you order, the waiter will bring a small plate of tapas to your table. Not only is this restaurant famous for its incredible deal, but it’s also known for its full plates such as, cocido Madrileño and the meat or fish tablas that can easily feed 3 people or more.

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And if you’re looking for a place that has it all, Casa Alberto is the place for you. This restaurant is hard to miss with its red exterior, antique writing, and open door which allows people to take a peek inside.

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When first entering Casa Alberto, it’s hard to get past the crowd of people drinking and ordering tapas at the bar. But once you’re in the dining room, you are guaranteed a great sit-down meal. For starters, the croquetas de jamón are an amazing way to start your meal. Another great starter is the gazpacho de melon with a prawn tartar. This gazpacho gives a modern twist on the classic Spanish plate by creating a sweet but savory infusion.

Not only are their appetizers high quality, but so are their main dishes. Casa Alberto makes an incredibly flavorful and hearty callos a la Madrileña that’s perfect for a mid-day feast. As a U.S. Midwestern girl who loves red meat, I had to second guess myself after trying the ventresca de bonito. This fish plate was grilled to perfection topped with quality olive oil, fresh garlic, and a side of potatoes.

Make sure to leave room for dessert because Casa Alberto won’t disappoint. Their cream-filled crepes topped with homemade blueberry and cheese ice cream are the perfect go-to dessert. But if you’re looking for something with a bit of an alcoholic twist, the apple and cider sorbet is highly recommended.

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Check out all the spots in Barrio de Las Letras featured on Naked Madrid!




Kittens & coffee at Polineko, an ethical cat cafe in La Latina


You may have heard of the Japanese concept of a ‘neko café,’ or a cat cafe, which has made a splash in the world’s biggest cities in recent years.

In Japan, the idea was born because most landlords don’t allow pets. So animal lovers go to a cat cafe and pick which cat they’d like to play with. Each time they visit, they spend time with the same cat, forming a relationship with him or her. It’s kind of like having a part-time pet.

In other cities though, like London and New York, it works a bit different. You simply pay to hang out in a feline-filled cafe, and the cats roam free while you sip a latte and relax.

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The latter has arrived to Madrid. There are a handful of options, but my favorite is Polineko, recently opened in La Latina. It stands out for several reasons:

  • Its authentic Japanese style. Between the decor, the Japanese snacks like doriyakis, and the anime-themed items in their shop, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a real neko café.

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  • Its mission. Above all, Polineko aims to foster loving relationships between humans and their feline friends. Unlike other cat cafes in Madrid, you can touch and play with all the cats, and almost all of them are available for adoption. They partner with animal protection agencies like ALBA that facilitate the adoption process, guaranteeing that all cats are healthy and vaccinated, and that they end up in loving and reliable ‘furever’ homes.

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  • Its staff. Everyone who works here is incredibly friendly and knowledgable, from Steven (the warm and open co-owner), to Juan (barista extraordinaire), and its other co-owner, Melisa, who I didn’t meet but is a veterinarian and does free behavioral consultations for your cat every Friday!

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  • The environment. The cafe is spacious and opts for couches instead of tables and chairs. There’s free wifi and they won’t bat an eye if you choose to work on a laptop, or if you prefer to sit on the ground and play with the kitties.

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  • The coffee. It’s delicious. That’s all. Oh, and they have every kind of milk variety you can think of. Try it with almond milk!

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In addition to coffee and Japanese snacks, Polineko also offers bowls of cereal (Froot Loops and Lucky Charms, oh my!) and Japanese beer and tea.

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Polineko is open Sunday-Thursday from 11am-10pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11am-11pm.

Prices are as follows:

  • 4€ for 30 minutes and a beverage
  • 6€ for 30 minutes, a beverage, and a Japanese snack
  • 6€ for an hour and a beverage
  • 8€ for an hour, a beverage, and a snack

The staff is also planning to launch intercambio nights soon—stay tuned for more info by following them on social media.

Here are more cat pics.

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Photos courtesy of Polineko and the author.

 

Info

  • Address: Carrera de San Francisco, 11
  • Metro: La Latina
  • Facebook 
  • Instagram & Twitter: @polineko_madrid
  • Website: www.polineko.com
  • Phone: 680 85 83 89



Plántate Café, a specialty coffee & plant shop in Lavapiés!


Specialty coffee shops are in demand in Madrid, and thankfully so. I’m sorry old-school bars, but after trying high quality espresso, it’s really hard to enjoy your café con leche anymore.

This feeling was particularly strong for Kevin, a Canadian who’s been living in Spain for eight years and is the owner of the newly-opened Plántate Café. “Everybody who’s into coffee will be able to tell you a story about their first good cup,” says Kevin. “After that moment there’s no turning back.”

Plántate Café by Naked Madrid

Kevin’s first was in London at Brown’s of Brockley, and it literally changed his life. While living in Lavapiés for years, he longed for a good cup of coffee so badly that he’d bike up to Malasaña’s Toma Café every morning. When the daily trek turned unsustainable, he decided to buy their coffee beans and start making cold brew at home. Then he got a V60 to make filter coffee.

Little did Kevin know, he was slowly becoming a coffee connoisseur. “Opening up a coffee shop was just a side project.” But as is often the case with side projects, they become your full-time job. And that’s just what happened.

Plántate Café by Naked Madrid

Kevin opened Plántate Café in July. Before setting up shop, he and his two friendly baristas – Antonio (Spain) and Fernando (Brazil) – went to train with the top roasters at London’s Square Mile so they could bring their skills back to Lavapiés.

Plántate Café by Naked Madrid

The guys at Plántate Café are fully dedicated to spreading the specialty coffee culture done right, and proud of the relationships they have with their suppliers. They get their house espressos from three top roasters: Puchero, from Valladolid; Right Side, from Barcelona; and Square Mile, from the UK (whose decaf is said to be the best in the world).

Plántate Café by Naked Madrid

Their drink menu features the musts: flat white, macchiato, cold brew, filter coffee, an assortment of teas, and more.

Plántate Café by Naked Madrid

And if you’re in the mood for a snack, you can order toast with avocado, a cup of yogurt with chia seeds or cake.

Plántate Café by Naked Madrid

You can also buy plants such as cacti and orchids (hence the name, Plántate Café), plus magazines and coffee-making gear from leading brands like Hario (Japan).

Plántate Café by Naked Madrid

Since opening they’ve received a lot of local love from the neighborhood, thanks to a balance of excellent coffee and treats at fair prices, a friendly staff and a great ambience.

Plántate Café by Naked Madrid

So come on in and check it out!

Info

  • Instagram: @plantatecafe
  • Address: Calle Mesón de Paredes, 28
  • Metro: Tirso de Molina / Lavapiés




María Pandora, a dark and artistic champagne bar in La Latina


If you’ve ever spent an evening watching the sunset with a liter of Mahou in Parque Las Vistillas (and if you haven’t, get on that ASAP), you may have spotted this beautiful, borderline-creepy cocktail bar.

María Pandora Café by Naked Madrid

María Pandora Café by Naked Madrid
Cryptic, dripping golden letters read MARÍA PANDORA, and the sound of a dramatic poetry reading demand the curiosity of passersby not yet in the know.

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Once inside, you’ll already be hooked: every inch of the walls is covered with sinister sketches, the tables are adorned with misshapen melted candles, and vintage furniture adds the finishing touch to make you feel like you’re in a haunted mansion.

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But despite the ghoulish vibe, the servers here are cheery and chatty. When we ordered champagne and white wine, our server plopped a frozen raspberry in our glass, assuring it would add a little somethin’-somethin’.

Oh, and the tapas here are my kind of food: mounds of candy and fruit.

María Pandora Café by Naked Madrid

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But the best it yet to come. A meeting point for lovers of art, the bar also functions as a stage for poetry readings, microteatro, and literary chats several nights of the week. The wall of antique books are for sale (but the century-old portraits of the owner’s family are not).

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Sign up for an event, order a glass of bubbly, and if you get there early enough, grab a window seat. María Pandora does not disappoint.

*Just note that their opening hours can be a little funky – they tend to open at 7pm except on Mondays, although sometimes they throw private events. So it’s best to call ahead to make sure they’re open!

Info

  • Website & Facebook
  • Phone: +34 910 42 82 13
  • Address: Plaza de Gabriel Miró, 1
  • Metro: La Latina or Ópera



Honest Greens, feel-good food that tastes good too


For me, eating is always an emotional experience. I want to eat food that makes me feel good, both physically and mentally. Depending on my mood, that can mean very different things. Sometimes all I want is a creamy croqueta or my mom’s mac and cheese… but other times, my body begs for whole grains, greens, and lean protein.

To be completely honest (pun intended), I didn’t realize how much I missed healthy, home-cooked meals until I found Honest Greens. This brand new spot in Nuevos Ministerios may at first glance look like just another hipster cafe, but I swear it’s something special.

Honest Greens in Madrid features an airy space and an open kitchen

The space itself is impeccably decorated and practically begging to be Instagrammed. The open kitchen means you can watch all the magic happen. But even more exciting is the fact that most of the menu items are on display right in front of you, so you can browse the options before making your (very difficult) choice.

Honest Greens by Naked Madrid

This is one of those places where I would happily devour anything on the menu, so ordering is a considerable challenge. Luckily, they break it down into a nice and simple process: choose between a market plate or a garden bowl, then pick your sides or protein. Easier said than done.

The market plates come with either chipotle marinated chicken, rare beef, tuna tataki, homemade falafel, or black pepper tofu. Each is accompanied by a fresh green salad with pesto dressing and organic sourdough bread with herbed butter.

Market plate with chicken and vegetables at Honest Greens in Madrid

Chipotle chicken and seasonal vegetables

Is your mouth watering yet? I’ve barely gotten started. After you choose your base, you get to add extra sides from an overwhelming list. Cold options include coleslaw, beet salad, creamed eggplant, lentils, hummus, and roasted watermelon (yeah, you read that right). Hot sides include mashed pumpkin, baked cauliflower, roasted beets, herbed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and organic sweet potato, each with creative garnishes ranging from spirulina to spiced yogurt.

I highly recommend the chicken, and although the beef was a bit raw for my liking, it’s received rave reviews from plenty of my friends. You can’t go wrong with the seasonal vegetables or the sweet potatoes, which add some color and carbs to the plate. And speaking of carbs, the bread might actually be the best part of the dish. Freshly grilled and soaked in butter… how can you argue with that?

Market plate from Honest Greens in Madrid with beef and sweet potatoes

A market plate with ternera madrileña and roasted sweet potatoes

Garden bowl salad toppings at Honest Greens in Madrid

Salad fixin’s

If you want to put vegetables front and center, opt for a garden bowl instead. Spicy kale, ginger honey goat cheese, peanut chili lentils, sesame greens, wild coconut quinoa… with names like that, you can hardly imagine the possibilities. Each bowl is filled to the brim with various veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and dressings. You can also add any protein for an extra boost.

Oh, and did I mention there’s a soup of the day?

Once all that has sunk in, turn your attention to the drinks. They’ve got cold pressed juices, homemade fruit-infused waters, wine, beer, and vermut—plus organic fair trade coffee. In fact, one of the highlights of the place is the adorable coffee truck parked outside, advertising their specialty beans.

Fruit flavored waters at Honest Greens in Madrid

Self-serve aguas frescas

The portions here are generous and filling, proving once and for all that it’s possible to feel fully satisfied after a healthy meal. But if you manage to save room, try one of the sugarless and gluten-free desserts. Their takes on classics like carrot cake and apple crumble might not be exactly what you’re expecting, but they have their own charm. If you’ve got a real sweet tooth you might be disappointed, but it’s totally worth it to at least give them a chance.

The best thing about Honest Greens is that it combines the trend of vegetarian and vegan cafes with a selection that caters to meat-eaters as well. While I love a good veggie burger and am slightly addicted to kale, I won’t deny that every meal can be improved by a grilled chicken breast or a juicy steak. For me, this place is the best of both worlds.

Business cards at Honest Greens in Madrid

The business cards say it all

Whatever dietary camp you belong to, you’ll find something here that fits your tastes. And the next time you’re craving some good, honest greens… well, you know where to go.

Info




Plenti, a great new café & brunch spot in Barrio de Las Letras


I love seeing new family-run places like Plenti pop up in Madrid. Opened just two weeks ago in Barrio de las Letras, the café already feels like it’s been around for a while thanks to the friendly service and comfortable ambience.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Before opening Plenti, owners Sophie (England) and Gonzalo (Spain) had both worked in the restaurant business for years, and spent last year training at Sophie’s mom’s café in Brighton.

They found most of the furniture and decor items at flea markets and antique shops in England, and brought it all back with them in a van. That’s why the menu is written on an old chalkboard that reminds me of my elementary school days.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

And the food is served with vintage cutlery and tableware.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

There’s also a long bench in the back from Munich, the typical kind you’d see at a German beer garden.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

The menu features a nice variety of fresh and tasty dishes at great prices, so you can try a few different things, or just have a light snack. There are three types of main dishes – huevos a la cazuela (egg casseroles), open sandwiches and salads – all ranging from €4-6. Breakfast items include yogurt cups with fruit, nuts and cereal, and different types of toast, ranging from €2-3.50.

We ordered two “huevos a la cazuela.” The first had tomato sauce, peppers, green onion, black beans and guacamole. So simple and delicious.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

And the second had tomato sauce, mozzarella, pesto, black olives and cherry tomatoes… also excellent.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

We also tried the open sandwich (similar to a “tosta”) with guacamole, cherry tomato, green onion, and Greek yogurt – my idea of the perfect snack.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Lastly we had a fresh salad with cherry tomato, green onion, avocado, and celery. As you can see I have a weakness for avocado and this all hit the spot entirely.
Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

As for drinks, Plenti offers freshly squeezed juices, typical sodas from England, and excellent coffee. You also can’t miss out on the desserts that Sophie makes from scratch. We had the homemade flapjacks and banana cake, which reminded me so much of my grandma’s recipe.

Plenti Madrid by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

So folks, all I can say at this point is I’m happy to now have Plenti in Madrid, and know you will be too.

Photography by Jose Luis Magaña from A Second Art (Facebook & Instagram)

Info:




Boconó Art Wall, Madrid-based photography by "A Second"


About three weeks ago I went into a new specialty coffee shop in La Latina, Boconó, and ordered a cortado to go. The next time I stopped in, I had the chance to sit down with the owner, Carlos, and my friend, José Luis, who happens to be a regular Boconó customer. Our conversation gave me plenty to write about for a first post on Naked Madrid, but there’s so much more to the story!

Bocono Coffee Shop Madrid by Naked Madrid

What do you do with a big white wall?

As we were talking, we couldn’t help but notice the blank wall in need of attention. José Luis, who’s a photographer, took out his phone and started snapping photos of coffee cups located around the café, adding filters and creating unique images. One thing led to another, and we all agreed we should transform that floor-to-ceiling canvas into a photo gallery.

Then…

Bocono Coffee Shop Madrid

Now

Boconó Art Wall by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

The process

It took José Luis, Andrea (another friend) and I over a week to get it all set up. I couldn’t possibly count how many hours we’ve spent in Boconó’s basement cutting paper, fitting photos and tinkering with random bits of material. Nor how many trips we’ve taken to the print shop and hardware store. Not to mention how many picture frames we bought, and how many we broke…

Boconó Art Wall by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Boconó Art Wall by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Boconó Art Wall by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Boconó Art Wall by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

And today, as I look at the wall, I see so much more than beautiful artwork on display. I see the entire creative process that went on behind it, from the first day we sat down with Carlos at his café and pitched the idea, to the way the photos catch your eye even as you walk down the street and peer through Boconó’s window.

Boconó Art Wall by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

It’s thrilling to see how that seemingly random idea is now something real.

Boconó Art Wall

No longer a big white wall, Bocono Art Wall has become a showcase for local Madrid artists. Come and enjoy your coffee and take a look at the featured exhibits which will change monthly. If you’re an artist and want your work to be showcased, get in touch with A Second on Facebook.

Boconó Art Wall by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Current exhibit – A Second / Art

The first installation features the images shot at Boconó itself – photos that capture the essence of its coffee, ambience and the neighborhood. All photos are by José Luis Magaña, creator of A Second, a Madrid-based platform meant to create, inspire and share art projects in the city (show some support by liking the Facebook and Instagram pages, please!).

A Second Art by José Luis Magña photography Madrid

More to come

Thank you, Carlos, for your generosity and openness to create a space that supports artists in your café. We look forward to collaborating with you on the Boconó Art Wall and other art-related projects that are currently in the works.

Stay with us as we announce upcoming exhibits, as well as other venues in the near future!

Info

  • #boconoartwall
  • Where: Boconó Specialty Coffee Shop (calle Embajadores, 3)
  • Who: @bocono.coffee @asecond.art @nakedmadrid
  • When: February 17, ’17 (ongoing)

Also read our full article on Boconó, a Specialty Coffee Shop in Plaza de Cascorro

 

 

 




Boconó, a Specialty Coffee Shop & Roaster in Plaza de Cascorro


Having grown up in a family-run café, it goes without saying that cozy coffee shops have a special place in my heart. And Boconó is one of them. Recently opened and situated in Plaza de Cascorro, at the start of the Rastro flea market, here you’ll find top-quality coffee from around the world – lovingly roasted on site – plus homemade desserts and an ambience to suit all moods.

Bocono Cafe by A Second Art Photography Jose Luis Magaña

The feel

Having coffee here feels like going into a hipster café in Brooklyn, NY. It’s a small space with modern decor, yet you have several seating options: a bench in the window, high tables with stools, and low couches to get comfy in. Whether you feel like meeting a friend for coffee, reading or working on your laptop (they’ve got fast WiFi!), Boconó is always a good choice. The baristas are friendly and speak English. Plus everything is homemade and the coffee is beyond excellent.

Bocono Cafe by A Second Art Photography Jose Luis Magaña

Bocono Cafe by A Second Art Photography Jose Luis Magaña

Bocono Cafe by A Second Art Photography Jose Luis Magaña

More than a café, a new concept in Madrid

Last time I went, I got the chance to speak to the owner, Carlos, who’s from Venezuela (his son works alongside him, too!). Carlos had opened cafés in Venezuela but his dream was to open the first specialty coffee shop in Madrid. He said that the city has a big coffee culture but not specialty coffee, which is a concept that’s popular in other countries. After years of hard work, his dream finally came true on January 6th.

Bocono Cafe by A Second Art Photography Jose Luis Magaña

All the coffee grains at Boconó are carefully selected based on the rigorous SCAE (specialty coffee association of Europe) quality standards. What’s more, it’s roasted by a “master roaster” and served by professionally trained baristas with top-quality machines.

A latte art school and coffee haven

IMG_1738

Boconó is also unique because it has a special license to train baristas. In fact, one of the baristas, Sergio, participated in the national “latte art” contest (the foam design on coffee). That’s why each coffee you receive with have a unique and beautiful foam design on it. They’re also going to have coffee tastings and other coffee-inspired events.

Art, events, furniture, and more!

Boconó Art Wall by Naked Madrid and A Second Art

Pop in to Boconó café today (a few months after the publication of this article) and you’ll immediately see a wall of photographs, Boconó Art Wall, created by the Madrid-based art platform, A Second, and the creators of Naked Madrid.

Bocono Cafe by A Second Art Photography Jose Luis Magaña

You’ll also see restored furniture all around that you can actually purchase on site. Not to mention the downstairs area is being refurbished to host events in the near future. So stay tuned!

Boconó is also child- and pet-friendly!

Bocono Cafe by A Second Art Photography Jose Luis Magaña

Photos by José Luis Magaña from A Second Art (asecondart.com / @asecond.art)

Info:

  • @bocono.coffee
  • Facebook & Website
  • Address: Calle Embajadores 3
  • Metro: Tirso de Molina & La Latina