Somos Restaurant, the Jewel in Barceló Torre's Crown


Sometimes hotels are just a place to lay your head before an obscenely early flight – I mean, why else would you ever willingly opt to stay in a Holiday Inn? Then on other occasions, they’re the scene of pure indulgence and relaxation (that’s where Mr and Mrs Smith properties come into the equation). But more often than not, hotel restaurants remain unloved and overlooked in favour of their rooftop pools or swanky spas. The poor relation of the hotel bar as it were.

Somos Restaurant Madrid in Barcelo Torre Hotel

However, just last Tuesday, instead of dismissing Somos (the restaurant located inside the achingly chic Barceló Torre Hotel), I made myself a reso and headed towards the always vibrant Plaza de España to discover that Somos is very much the jewel in this hotel’s crown.

Not just a place to rest your weary self after a day pounding the city’s pavements, Barceló Torre can be surmised as a luxury designer hotel, located in one of the most iconic buildings in Madrid. At first this felt like a bold claim from their PR team, but one that I can attest to having enjoyed nothing short of 5-star treatment; something that I could easily get used to.

Somos Restaurant Madrid in Barcelo Torre Hotel

First things first, the concept of the restaurant is actually genius – when you eat out as much as I do it’s easy to get jaded by the standard gastronomical offerings, but not at Somos. Madrid is a city with a differing day and night scene which Somos sought to encapsulate through its very different menus.

I’m a sucker for attention to detail, but Somos has elevated this into an art form – let me explain. Somos is actually the first dual restaurant that evolves with the city. Everything from your plates (which I was quite tempted to shove in my handbag), to the menu, to the breathtakingly beautiful skyline that Somos looks out onto, changes over the course of the day.

Case in point: the evening menu looks like a CD – for those of you who’ve spent much time in my beloved Madders, you’ll know that Madrileños don’t shy away from a fiesta, or a dancefloor for that matter so this felt like a very fitting touch.

Somos Restaurant Madrid in Barcelo Torre Hotel

Somos Restaurant Madrid in Barcelo Torre Hotel

Somos Restaurant Madrid in Barcelo Torre Hotel

Back to the skyline, it’s worth noting the setting is nothing short of being truly stunning. Each table faces outwards, so should you be tired of looking at your companions chops over your delicious dinner, you can cast your gaze over the city which never fails to impress.

If you’ve read one of my previous restaurant reviews (cheers Mum and Dad) you’ll know that interiors are my porn. I mean it, I get giddy over a well upholstered chair like no other, therefore  it’s necessary to note that Somos has been decorated by the prestigious designer Jaime Hayón; an international icon of contemporary design and considered by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 important creators of our time. They weren’t messing about with the dreamy decor.

Somos Restaurant Madrid in Barcelo Torre Hotel

What I ate basically reads like a roll call of my version of a last supper: cherry gazpacho, ceviche, marinated tuna with a delectable avocado hummus (yes that’s a thing), a perfectly seared ribeye fillet, finally rounded off with two puds as I sat and watched the sunset over Gran Via, Madrid’s answer to Broadway.

Somos Restaurant Madrid in Barcelo Torre Hotel

Somos Restaurant Madrid in Barcelo Torre Hotel Somos Restaurant Madrid in Barcelo Torre Hotel Somos Restaurant Madrid in Barcelo Torre Hotel

Somos is the most recent offering from Grupo Le Cocó and with there being whisperings of a new locale opening this September in Chamberí; it looks as though they’re set to become quite the foodie tour de force. The entire experience from top to toe felt like an ode to the city that I’ve come to call home.

Call me soppy, but a trip to Somos made me fall in love with this city all over again. Admittedly this happens fairly often but make no mistake, dinner at Somos isn’t an invitation – it’s an obligation.

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Buns & Bones: mouthwatering baos & Asian fusion near Malasaña


If you’re not yet hip to the ‘bao’ trend that’s winning the hearts of foodies everywhere, we’ll give you the scoop: a bao is a super-soft steamed bun with various fillings ranging from meat to veggies. If Tom Haverford were to describe it, he’d likely call it a mouth pillow. Sometimes they’re sealed at the top like a dumpling, sometimes they’re flattened out and served like a thick taco, but one thing remains the same: they are always fire.

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Pictured: three baos, the vegan (eggplant, hummus, walnuts, & sundried tomato), the veggie (tofu tempura with pisto), & the Tonkatsu (Iberian pork, coleslaw, & tonkatsu sauce).

Restaurants in Madrid are quickly jumping on the bandwagon (‘baowagon,’ if you will), but one stands out for its prices, location, decor, varied menu, and incredible flavors: Buns & Bones, a streetfood oasis on near Plaza España and Gran Vía.

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This place has much more than baos, though. Their menu is broken down into three sections: ‘buns’ (baos), ‘bones’ (meat and fish dishes), and ‘ni buns ni bones’ (other options), which includes alluring and modern Asian dishes such as yellowtail sashimi with ponzu sauce and jalapeño, mint hanoi spring rolls, charcoal-grilled octopus, or the farmer’s market vegetable tempura.

We started with some delicious edamame and veggie tempura.

We started with some delicious edamame and veggie tempura (both vegetarian options).

As you can see, there’s something for everyone here: the vegans and the meat lovers, the healthy and the indulgent, the daring and the traditional…

Go starving if you're planning on ordering the BBQ spareribs.

Go starving if you’re planning on ordering the BBQ spareribs. They are bigger than my face.

 

Salmon and veggie rice bowl with chili threads

‘Poke,’ another foodie trend sweeping the nation, is a Hawaiian salmon and veggie rice dish with chili threads. Healthy and bursting with flavor.

If you somehow have room for dessert, they have some unique options—we tried the green tea panna cotta with chocolate chips, and it was delightfully light and not overly sugary.

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Buns & Bones is open for lunch and dinner (except on Mondays) and has two other locations: in the Antón Martín market and in Chamberí. All have a super laidback atmosphere and are open late, inviting you to digest over a Corona while you admire the quirky decor (one wall reads ‘reserved for Banksy’).

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Info:

  • Website & Facebook
  • Address: C/ San Bernardo, 12
  • Metro: Santo Domingo, Plaza de España
  • Phone: +34 913 92 89 53



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.

INFO




Marisqueria las Chalanas, Asturian Cider and Seafood in Plaza España


Despite its absence of an ocean, delicious and affordable seafood can be found in Madrid for those who seek it. My friend Jacqui brought the existence of Marisquería las Chalanas to my attention, praising it for its attentive staff and the quality of the portions. With my interest piqued, Jacqui brought myself and our companion Nanor to this location on a Saturday night in order to nibble on sea critters and drink Asturian cider.

We arrived early and perched ourselves at a table in the bar area and later received lingering glances from standing patrons keen to usurp it from us. For this reason it’s pivotal to arrive before the crowd; deshelling shrimp and crabs without an adequate surface to rest the plate is an uphill battle.

The bar area offers specials where generous raciones of seafood cost 5€ with 6 glasses of cider included. We ordered two of these, the first being 1/4 kilo of cold shrimp and the second being a dignified king crab, to share between the three of us.

Marisquería Las Chalanas by Naked Madrid

Marisquería Las Chalanas by Naked Madrid

Our alert server kept our cider glasses full and was empathetic to Jacqui’s needs as a celiac; he was proactive and double-checked with the chef that none of our plates were exposed to gluten. In addition to these portions we also ordered garlic prawns and Mussels a la marinara off of the restaurant menu.

Marisquería Las Chalanas by Naked Madrid

Marisquería Las Chalanas by Naked Madrid

By the end of our meal we were indulgently full and content, all of the food pictured here cost 34€ in total. As we adjusted our coats and scarves to leave, the vultures pounced to claim our little table as their own. I recommend this establishment for celebratory occasions, parent visits or for private rendezvous for those entangled illicit trysts because the likelihood of crossing paths with anyone you know here is low.

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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

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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




The Quest for Bagels in Madrid: 5 Locations Offering the Elusive Comfort Food


Bagels were a staple of my life back home in the outskirts of New York City—the inaccessible status of bagels was the only demerit against Spain in an earlier draft of my “Should I Move to Spain” pros & cons list. I’ve craved them badly during my time abroad, to the point where I have even asked my closest friend from home, Jake, to allow me to witness his consumption of authentic bagels via Skype. Bagels are a foreign concept here—whenever I’m describing them to Spanish folks, they can’t visualize the distinction from a donut or roscon de reyes. 

However, due to Madrid’s growing American expat population, I held out hope that opportunist business owners would step up and fill the circular void. The ensuing investigation had me scouring the city, running down every lead and pressing on every underworld connection. These are my findings: I strongly advise purists to manage their expectations when sampling imitations of such an esteemed snack from the old country.

So here, my friends, is a list of Madrid’s bagel joints. In true form, I’ve saved the best bite for last…

1) Restaurante Olsen — Calle del Prado 15 (CLOSED DOWN)

The pursuit began with a rocky start for me and my friend Julie. Although the servers at Restaurante Olsen, a Scandanavian restaurant near the Prado, were kind enough to give us their leftover “bagels” for free, they weren’t at all what we were hoping for–in fact I would go as far as to call these circular bread sticks an abomination of nature.  This restaurant, which has since closed down, established the precedent low standard to which the ensuing specimens were held.

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2) La Bicicleta Cafe — Plaza San Ildefonso, 9

This popular hipster cafe in Malasaña has a few bagel sandwiches under the display case by the bar. They’re a bit too dry (and expensive) for my liking. Served with arugula and jamon, this sandwich might as well be served on any other type of bread.

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3) La Libre — Calle de Argumosa, 39

This cafe/bookshop in Lavapies offers a broad variety of tostadas, one of which is called “El Larson.” The bagels are imported from England and kept frozen, served to diners with cream cheese and lox and little bits of avocado. Due to its status as the bagel most accessible to me within my barrio, this is my default when the craving overwhelms me. Although not as crisp as I would like, it does the job adequately. The added sesame seeds are indeed a pleasant touch.

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4) Mür — Plaza Cristino Martos, 2

A large and comfortable brunch spot, Mür offers an 8.50€ euro “American” breakfast entailing a toasted bagel sandwich with cream cheese & lox, steak fries, and a cup of coffee. This location earns points for its product’s toasty crispness and presentation but loses points for its small size. The first bite is accompanied by the familiar crunch sound.

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5) J&Js Books and Coffee — Calle del Espíritu Santo, 47

This popular expat bar/English language bookstore swiftly cornered the market with their vast selection of homemade bagels. The only known establishment that manufactures bagels from scratch, it is apparent that they have a concise understanding of both the product and the expectations held by the consumer. Their offerings are flavorful, especially when served fresh during their weekend brunch. The pictures below document the process in which their bagels are produced.

Before...

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Have I missed anything in my investigation? Feel free to share the details of any other Bagel providers in the comments section!

Also check out our series on Madrid’s best cafe-bookstores!

Round 1

Round 2




Soy Kitchen - a Fusion of Asian Flavors


Previously, I wrote about StreetXO, a hip Asian fusion restaurant in Salamanca helmed by culinary wild child, David Muñoz. Though the food was intriguing more than delicious, I thought it was a decent and fun effort on Muñoz’s part – I also thought I’d probably found the best Asian fusion in Madrid.

Then I went to Soy Kitchen.

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Located in a old area around Grand Via, in Plaza de los Montenses, Soy Kitchen looks unassumingly like a typical neighborhood bar. Inconspicuously sitting in a familiar list of cocktails, vinos, and vermut sits tapas asiáticas, the only indication that this place serves altogether different fare than most bars. The lower half of the establishment serves drinks and tapas, the upper portion is the restaurant. The decor is simple, but that’s where the simplicity ends.

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The popularity of Soy Kitchen rests solely on the machinations of proprietor and sole chef, Julio. Born in Shanghai and educated in Hong Kong, Julio’s career in Spain began when he moved to Pamplona and won a prestigious tapas award. If you get a chance to speak to him, do. Julio is just like the dishes he serves: an eclectic mix of Asian flavors in a thoroughly Spanish setting.

Processed with VSCOcam with g1 presetThere is no menu (though they always check with the customer if they have any preferences/allergies), which means you are left in the hands of the chef – and what incredibly capable hands they are. This is Asian fusion done by an Asian, and you can taste the difference.

The image above is a noodle dish that comes with a peanut sauce made with four different types of soy, a lovely mild spice, and many other little secrets that I wish I knew. The image below is a coconut filled with a medley of seafood, and the image below that is a whole garlic and soy lobster that was finger-sucking good.Processed with VSCOcam with g1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with g1 presetThroughout the ten course meal (yes, Julio single-handedly cooks ten courses for each and every one of his tables), I was continuously surprised and impressed by the harmony of flavors. As I said earlier, I tend to be suspicious of fusions because they often reflect an ignorance about the diversity in Asian cuisine.

Every bite was an explosion of so many different flavors from all over Asia I kept expecting them to clash or become too overwhelming, but they never did. Julio is a master chef and finds the perfect balance between spicy, sweet, sour, and savory in each of his dishes.Processed with VSCOcam with g1 preset

Julio serves up at least eight dishes, and if you’re still hungry you can have an additional meat option of beef or fish. I had the beef. The chef himself came out to stir up the tender pieces in a hot pot and place the perfectly cooked meat on grilled rice cakes.

If you manage to get a reservation, my only suggestion is that you come hungry and stay for an after-dinner vermut downstairs – your palette will have gone around Asia and landed firmly back in Spain in a single night.

Info

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Address: Plaza Montenses, 4
Metro: Plaza de España 

More Asian restaurants featured on Naked Madrid:




Chocolates are nice (but this first date is better) Part 2


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So you don’t like Da Vinci or Michelangelo and don’t see what the fuss is about with graffiti artists like Banksy. I love that shit but not every girl is interested in it either. Again we want to take our date to 3 different places, it keeps momentum flowing and builds new experiences between you two in a short time. This will not turn all pumpkin dates into shining diamond-studded carriages of awesomeness but it is harder to get bored when you are going to new places.

For part 2 we will be exploring the scenic route of Madrid. Madrileños are crazy about their terrazas, so we will explore the skies and sights of this beautiful capital. The great thing about this is that you let the views do the talking rather than you. Any anecdote about the buildings you see always helps. One is that Palacio de Cibeles with its fountain of the Greek goddess Cybele is the unofficial party spot of Real Madrid. Any cup win will see thousands of supporters descend onto the roundabout. As with all routes you will be able to walk from one to the other. This route is one for the summer, which in Madrid you have plenty of. The views however do have their price and you pay something like a terraza tax. It is a price gladly paid.

Act One: Retiro park

Parque Retiro

Palacio de Cristal

It is an easy pick but a great place to start with because you get away from the noise and hectic life of the city. You invite your date for an aperitivo to the café (on paseo Venezuela) next to the pond in the centre of the park. However you shouldn’t linger too long with the drinks. After the first copa you should take your date to Palacio de Cristal in Retiro or show them the now abandoned zoo that used to be in Retiro. For both do a little research and make sure how to get there because you can get easily lost. My personal favourite is the rose garden located towards the side of Av. De Menendez Pelayo. It is incredibly impressive when you walk along and are met by a resident peacock. It will also take you to the restaurant. If the sun is setting though take the route to Palacio de Cristal.

What time: 19h-20/21h
Alternative: no just take him/her to the park.

Act Two: La Castela in Calle del Doctor Castelo, 22

La Castela

This is a truly excellent restaurant. You have two options when you decide to have dinner here. You can eat at the front of the bar and join in with the crowd. Definitely my recommended option to get the adrenaline pumping after the quiet walk. Even with a minimal Spanish you will get by and be able to order the local delicacies. You can also book a table for two and will be seated at the back, which is much more quiet and intimate. The last time I went a boyfriend gave his girlfriend a necklace for their anniversary (I took the picture if you were wondering).

What time: 21-23h
Metro: Take a walk / Ibiza
Alternative: Platero & Co. A very stylish bar that is located right next to La Castela. The restaurant was designed the Catalan interior designer Inma Rull. Very nicely done.

Act Three: Azotea on top of Circulo de Bellas Artes in Calle de Alcalá, 42

Azotea

Yes it is crowded with tourists, Spanish and everyone looking for a view but it still is an incredible view. On a first date confirmation is just as important as impressing. Further, walking by foot will give you an excuse to pass by la Plaza de Independencia at night down to Palacio Cibeles and up Calle de Alcalá, which is one of the most beautiful walks in Madrid once it’s gone dark. Once you arrive step ahead and pay for both entry tickets (3 euros each). It is a small token of chivalry, especially if you just split the bill 50/50. Once at the top you really have two main choices depending on your comfort level. On the right going down the stairs is an area where you can sit/lie and it is easier to get closer to one another. On the left are high seats with small tables. Daring wins the game in my eyes and I choose the right. It makes your intentions clear in a subtle way.

What time: 23h to 02h
Alternative: Room Mate Óscar in Plaza Vázquez de Mella 12

Oscar Mate

The terrace at the top of this hotel has just been renovated. Good thing too because the white plastic surface has been replaced with wooden planks. The special thing about this terrace is that it has a pool but if you fancy a dip you will need to reserve. The terrace has a nice feel due to the artificial grass spread across the ground. Also not a cheaper option as a gin tonic will cost 12 euros and a glass of wine 5 euros.

Metro: Gran Via / Banco de España

Read on…

 




Madrid's best rooftop bars, round 3


Welcome to round 3 of Madrid’s best rooftop bars! We hope that by now you’ve already visited and enjoyed some of the ones we’ve mentioned in round 1 and round 2.  This third list includes 5 magnificent rooftop bars–all but one of which are located right smack in the center of Madrid. Thus if you find yourself strolling along the Gran Vía or the Royal Palace, please know that there is a rooftop terrace with champagne and wine awaiting you!

*all photos are from each place’s official webpage, unless noted otherwise 

8. Apartosuites Jardines de Sabatini

Address: Cuesta San Vicente, 16
Metro: Principe Pio and Plaza de España

Best Rooftop Bars in Madrid by Naked Madrid

Named after the Gardens of the Royal Palace (Jardines de Sabitini), this hotel has a very nice advantage, as it overlooks both the beautiful Jardines and stunning Palacio Real. What’s more, during the summer, the royal garden plays host to a series of traditional theater, music and dance performances, from flamenco to Zarzuela. This hotel rooftop gets a private concert as it’s a stone’s throw from the stage!

9. Bar Terraza Palacio De Cibeles

Address: Plaza de Cibeles, 1 (Palacio de Cibeles 6ª Planta)
Metro: Banco de España

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Overlooking Plaza de Cibeles, Paseo del Prado and Madrid’s breathtaking skyline, this iconic and postcard-perfect building used to be the city’s main post office, although it has just recently been refurbished and turned into a museum and cultural center with free entry. The building’s interior is beautiful; the first few floors are dedicated to art exhibits, while the 6th floor is now known as Terraza Cibeles, a fancy restaurant & cocktail bar overlooking the city with stunning views. Prices on drinks are high, as you can imagine, but the whole experience is a real treat. What’s more, every 30 minutes there are scheduled visits to the mirador (lookout point) for just €and €0,50 for under-12-year-olds. Opened to the public for the first time, the visit takes you to the highest point of the building, situated at the very top of the tower on the 8th floor.

10. The Roof at ME Madrid Reina Victoria Hotel

Address: Plaza de Santa Ana, 14
Metro: Sol, Sevilla

I’ve never been here, mainly because it’s way too fancy and exclusive for my taste, but The Roof is one of Madrid’s most famous rooftop bars, located atop the high-end Meliá Hotel in Plaza de Santa Ana, one of Madrid’s most famous squares full of bars and restaurants. Take the elevator up to the top floor and you’ll find beautiful views, purple lighting contrasted against the building’s white tower, expensive cocktails, fine cuisine and lounge chairs. It must make for a truly glamorous experience.

11. Hotel Urban

Address: Carrera de San Jerónimo, 34
Metro: Sevilla

Madrid's best rooftop bars by Naked Madrid, Terraza Hotel Urban

As its name entails, Hotel Urban is extremely fashionable and modern. The hotel also prides itself on having an art deco look and contemporary-style interior design. Its high-end restaurant is named Europa Decó, its oyster bar is named The Glass Bar, and its spectacular rooftop is named La Terraza del Urban.  If you like sipping on cocktails in chic bars with exquisite views, you will absolutely love this place…

12. Hotel Silken Puerta América Madrid

Address: Avenida de America, 41
Metro: Cartagena

Terraza Hotel Silken Puerta America

image from societeperrier.com

This is the first rooftop terrace we’ve mentioned that is not within walking distance from Sol! Hotel Silken stands out along Madrid’s major highway for its multicolored facade and unconventional shape. Making it even more unique, each of the hotel’s 12 floors was designed by an internationally acclaimed architect, including Arata Isozaki from Japan, Zaha Hadid from Iran and Norman Foster from the UK. Highly modern to say the least, this hotel is situated near Avenida de America, a transport and business hub that draws in all kinds of crowds. The hotel’s rooftop terrace is absolutely incredible in summer; it is an open-air nightclub that offers a much appreciated breeze, plus a significant drop in temperature as it’s so high up!

If you’re looking for more of Madrid’s best rooftop bars, check out round 1 and round 2 of this series.

And of course, if we’ve missed any, let us know!

Also check out a few of our other “best of” Madrid lists:




Casa Federica, a cozy Argentine restaurant on calle manzana


Casa Federica is one of those places that very few people know about, one of those Madrid treasures worth discovering. I actually had a hard time writing about this restaurant, because I wanted it to remain a unique and special place, which only a few had access to. Though I’ve decided it’s time I spread the word.

Last Saturday, I was getting ready to spend the night in the company of good friends and wanted to take them here. We called to reserve a table, and were kindly informed that there were no free tables until 11pm. My first tip: go very early to grab a table (the restaurant opens at 8pm).

Casa Federica Madrid by Naked Madrid

 

When you arrive, you realize how special and original this restaurant is. The exterior decoration itself is unique–the menu is placed on a stand with funny flippers on top. Then there’s a rather oddly-placed sculpture a few inches away, not to mention the bird cages. These details make this place one-of-a-kind.

Upon entering you figure out why it’s so difficult to get a table; the restaurant is very small and cozy. You can count the tables with the fingers of your hands. The atmosphere is friendly and lively. You see people enjoying themselves, and hear them laughing. Plus the food looks great.

When we sat down, the waiter brought us the menu featuring home cooked Argentine dishes, from empanadas to pizzas, and my favorite, the desserts.

We opted to order several things to share. First, an assortment of empanadas–cheese, calabaza (squash) and meat. They are all so good, but wow, the empanada de calabaza was truly a winner–who would have known that a squash empanada could be so incredible?

Casa Federica by Naked Madrid

 

We also ordered pollo a la milanesa (breaded and covered in melted cheese and tomato sauce), understandably one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. Although the chicken was recommended by the waiter, the next time I went we ordered the ternera a la milanesa (bread veal instead of chicken), and I simply love them both. For its generous portion and simple presentation, this dish really makes you feel like you’re eating at your own home.

 

Casa Federica by Naked Madrid

Then the waitress kindly suggested we go for a riskier dish, which apparently is another star house dish–buñuelos de espinaca (the spinach fritters). Well, there are no words!!! Unbelievable!

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For dessert we decided on a brownie that absolutely hit the spot.

Casa Federica‘s prices are very reasonable. We ended up paying less than 12 euros per person.

All in all, it was a great night. If you like good food, special places, and good prices, this is definitely your place.

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Address: c/ Manzana 19
Telephone: 915 42 96 75

 

For other homey and family-style restaurants, check out:

Lambuzo, a family-run restaurant in the heart of Madrid, offering a taste of the South with a mix of fun activities in their wine cellar–wine tastings, olive oil tastings, micro theatre and more!

Taberna Bulgara, an off-the-beaten path restaurant that takes you right to Bulgaria

Aió, a wonderful Italian restaurant in Malasaña serving home cooked Sardinian food and providing a haven for Madrid’s bikers!