Best Cafe-bookshops in Madrid, Round 2!

Welcome to round two of Madrid’s best cafe-bookshops! As you may have noticed in round one, Madrid’s central neighborhoods boast quite a lot of quaint coffee shops and bars that encourage drinking and reading under one roof. While most specialize in their literary offerings, others provide a random selection of paperbacks and hardcovers. But to be honest with you, I don’t go for the books; I go for the ambience.

There’s something about drinking coffee amidst a sea of books that puts me at ease and lends me a feeling of utter comfort. So, whether you’re like me or actually want to dive into a good read, here are five more wonderful bookshop cafes in the Spanish capital that you’re bound to fall in love with.

1. La Central 

La Central cafe bookshop in Madrid by Naked Madrid

La Central cafe bookshop in Madrid by Naked Madrid

La Central is a trendy bookshop near Callao and hands down the most modern of all on this list. It boasts three floors, a happening bar with a full menu and a selection of much more than books on offer. At La Central, you can find funky mugs, quirky bags, useful calendars, board games, wrapping paper, you name it. Thus, it’s also a great place to get gifts in Madrid.

Address: C/ Postigo de San Martín, 8
Metro: Callao

2. J&J Books and Coffee

J and J's Books and Coffee Madrid by Naked Madrid

J and J's Books and Coffee Madrid by Naked Madrid

A long-time staple among Madrid’s expat community, this corner bar has a downstairs bookstore selling a large selection of primarily used English-language books, including ESL resources. Up at the bar, you can get craft beer, wine, coffee, bagels and other things to munch on. Also check out J&J’s free events that bring together an international crowd. For example, they hold language exchanges on Wednesday nights at 8pm and pub quizzes (trivia nights) on Friday nights at 11pm. Lots of fun!

Address: c/ Espiritu Santo, 47
Metro: Noviciado

3. italiana_madrid

italiana_madrid caffee librería by Naked Madrid

italiana_madrid caffee librería by Naked Madrid

This Italian café and bookshop is located on one of Madrid’s most vibrant streets — Corredera Baja de San Pablo — which is lined with fun bars, cafes and restaurants. Coincidentally, another one of our favorite Italian joints, Aió, lies just a few doors down. At italiana_madrid, you can get a strong espresso or aperol spritz, plus a wide selection of Italian reads ranging from cookbooks to children’s books.

Address: Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 10
Metro: Gran Vía 

4. Monpassa

Monpassa Cafe bookshop Madrid

Monpassa Cafe bookshop Madrid

Situated on an assuming street near metro Antón Martín, Monpassa is a travel bookshop that boasts high ceilings, wooden beams, brick walls and mismatched furniture. You can tell the building that houses Monpassa is quite old. The tall windows and tiny stools turn it into a fine place for a coffee and an afternoon chat with a friend.

Address: c/ Costanilla de los Desamparados, 13
Metro: Antón Martín

In case you missed round one, here’s the original article: “6 Best Cafe-Bookshops in Madrid

Beerlingual, a fun spin on a Thursday night

True or false? Both the Ukraine and Malaysia have two official languages (you’ll have to read till the end to find out!)

Last Thursday, my friend Mike brought me to Beerlingual‘s pub quiz which is held at a Mexican bar in La Latina called La Morena. I was a bit reluctant at first, thinking my knowledge of random facts wouldn’t be up to par. But I ended up joining in on the game, which turned out to be a lot of fun. The bar was packed with people from the world over, and the nachos were ridiculously good.

*Beerlingual has since changed its location. Now it is held at Cervecería Espuma on calle Arganzuela, 1 (metro La Latina & Puerta de Toledo). Same time. See info below for more details.

Included on the Guardian’s list of 8 Hidden Gems in Madrid, here’s the inside scoop on Beerlingual’s pub quizzes:

Naked Madrid

Nachos, beer and random questions about sports and the Ukraine.

In Madrid, Thursday brings in the weekend, not Friday. So why not add a fun spin on your regular Thursday night at the bar with friends and play some trivia? Since November of last year, Beerlingual has been hosting free trivia nights at 9pm every Thursday at La Morena, for foreigners and locals alike.

How does it work?

No reservations needed! Show up with your friends by 9pm, and organizers Matt and Betsey will be at the door to assign you a table (as long as one person from your team holds the table, it’s yours). From there just grab a drink, make up a team name, and pick a scribe. You can have groups of up to 8 people. If you’re more than 8, you might be asked to join another team, which could be fun as you’d meet new people (Matt and Betsey will help you out).

Naked Madrid

Before it gets packed for Beerlingual’s pub quizzes at La Morena

Matt says that lots of people come in pairs or even solo, so they try to add them to existing groups. Combining people from different countries also turns the event into a language exchange as well as a pub quiz.

Betsey, an American who’s been living in Madrid for five years, is the quizmaster. She’s on the mic all night asking questions in Spanish and English. They provide the paper, but you might want to remember to bring a pen (I almost ended up using eyeliner).

How long does it go for?

There are four rounds, and each round takes around a half hour. Organizers Matt and Betsey aim for it to end by 11pm, but sometimes it runs a bit longer.

What types of questions are asked?

Questions about everything from movie titles to current events are included in each round. When I went, in the first round we were given ten photos from different movie scenes. The people in the pictures were cut out, and we were asked to identify the movie without seeing any remnants of skin, hair or eyes (we killed that round!).

Beerlingual Madrid by Naked Madrid

trying to spot movie scenes from images in which the bodies have been cut out (image from Beerlingual’s Facebook page)

In the next round, however, we didn’t fare so well. Each question in round 2 pertained to two countries that were heavily featured in recent news–Ukraine and Malaysia. Hence, questions such as, “Which country to the north of the Ukraine borders both the Ukraine and Russia?” (in case you’re wondering, the answer’s Belarus). And the next round was dedicated to sports… yikes.

What’s the prize? 

A round of 5 drinks for the winning table! (winners can choose from La Morena’s extensive cocktail list)

Naked Madrid

winning team at Beerlingual’s pub quiz (image from Beerlingual’s Facebook page)

What type of people go? 

You’ll find people from all over the world, even Spaniards…!

What’s the answer to the first question in this article?