Veggie Nirvana at VivaBurger in La Latina


In the foodie hotspot Plaza de la Paja, in barrio La Latina, lies a vegetarian oasis with an oddly beachy vibe, complete with pale teal walls, distressed white wood, and beaded curtains.

VivaBurger in La Latina by Naked Madrid

You can sit inside or at one of their lovely terrace tables in this little nook of La Latina. While there’s almost always a full house (and for good reason), the staff works like a well-oiled machine, and the owner treats everyone like family.

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Everything on the menu is vegan or vegetarian—and seriously delicious. Being shamefully addicted to cheese, I was admittedly nervous to try their vegan burger of the day. But it exceeded my expectations in every way: filling, creamy, and flavorful, it left me more than satisfied. It comes with a salad or soup, fresh fries, and a drink (can be wine or beer too).

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If you’re not feeling a veggie burger, the eatery offers an alternative menú del día: they celebrate a different country every day with a rotating international menu. Indian curry garam masala, Greek salad and musaka, Peruvian avocado ceviche, Moroccan couscous, Argentinian vegetable parrillada and empanadas… and about 20 others.

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For dessert, I had a fresh mint green tea smoothie. Having a huge sweet tooth, it wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was flavorful and refreshing, especially on such a hot day. If you order dessert a la carte, instead of with the lunch special, you have lots of other options like their scrumptious carrot cake or vegan ice cream.

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Amazingly, the burger for the menú is apparently a more “basic” veggie burger. If that’s basic, I can only imagine the full menu is mind-blowing. I’ll for sure be back for more.

Info

  • Facebook
  • Website: vivaburger.es
  • Instagram: @viva_burger
  • Address: Costanilla de San Andrés 16
  • Phone: 91 366 33 49



Peyote San, Mexican fusion at its most fabulous


I love Mexican food. I mean, I properly LOVE it. A holiday spent in Tulum with tequila on tap was possibly as close to utopia as I’ll ever get on the food front. Tacos, guac, and burritos – I love them all equally and don’t get me started on margaritas – second to gin (and possibly water due to pure necessity) it definitely edges its way into my three most supped liquids. So imagine my intrigue when I’d heard about the menu at Peyote San – a place that’s managed to fuse Mexican munchies with sushi. Definitely worth a gander I mused and suffice to say it was.

Located near Colon (or as I affectionately refer to the area with the ‘giant flag’) Peyote San restaurant is en route to where the good shops are. From the outside looking in it could easily be missed, but the interior is anything but shy and retiring. It’s instantly instagramable (yes, that’s now a word along with with TMI and FML) largely due to the bold graffiti-type images that adorn most of the walls.

Peyote San restaurant review by Naked Madrid

If you’ve travelled to the Big Apple it certainly feels reminiscent of somewhere swish that you’d find on the Upper West Side – choc-a-bloc with beautiful people sipping elaborately prepared cocktails. However, fear not, it wasn’t a case of style over substance as every last morsel was utterly delicious and well worth the late school night in my case.

I’ve yet to visit Japan (although it’s on my bucket list) and the cuisine at Peyote San was the next best thing. I worked my way through A LOT of food to make this review as authentic as poss so drumroll please – I can vouch that the tatiki tuna, chicken gyoza, black cod and the Japanese curry with bonito were all delectable as were the pretty potent Asian Malgalita’s – a Peyote San take on a classic Marg and unquestionably are to be enjoyed with an air of YOLO – and not the worry of reaching for ibuprofen the following day.

Peyote San restaurant review by Naked Madrid

Given the uniqueness of the food, it was also a really nice touch that the chef came over to talk us through the menu and his knowledge and evident passion for the food made the evening all the more gratifying. Peyote San definitely isn’t the type of locale to visit if you’ve got too much month left and not enough money. It’s definitely more of a date night treat or a birthday splurge.

Peyote San restaurant review by Naked Madrid

Having said that, come Saturday nights, tables are shuffled to the sidelines so that patrons can get their groove on. Having lived in Madrid long enough now to know that Madrileños would favour spending their last fiver on a night out (than something sensible), Peyote San shouldn’t remain on your wish list, pop it in on your hit list now.

Info

  • Facebook & Instagram
  • Address: Calle Marques de la Ensenada 16
  • Metro: Colon
  • Phone: 91 088 22 12

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Elemental Bistro, a local labour of love


Without doubt, we are a generation who want it all and we want it now. So if we’re pretty much always used to getting our own way, particularly when it comes not only to dining out but also to dining in (Hello Deliveroo you absolute game changer), then what is it these days that truly elevates a dining experience from mediocre to marvellous? Well in my humble opinion, it’s the service. The extra Je Ne Sais Quoi that turns a ‘meh it wasn’t bad’, to a ‘sign me up I want a loyalty card’ kind of vibe.

Good food will always be good food, but the story and the service at Elemental Bistro is the stuff that money can rarely buy. Not many 20-somethings these days know what they want to do when they ‘grow up.’ Us millennials have risen up through the ranks being told that we don’t have to stay loyal to a company and await retirement. We can chase our dreams and fulfil no end of goals. The issue being, where do you start?

Elemental Bistrot by Naked Madrid

Someone who faced that quandary head on and has lived to tell the tale is Sergio, the 25-year-old owner of the newly opened Elemental Bistro who spent years living in Paris and has brought some undeniable Gallic charm to the streets of Malasaña. 25 years old, I hear you gasp. Yes. I couldn’t quite believe it (but pardon the French related pun) I expect him to become quite the tour de force when it comes to gastronomy on this side of Gran Via.

Located on Calle Corredera Baja de San Pablo, Elemental is in prime position to capitalise on the hoards of hipsters that descend on this street daily. However, Elemental is far from being the only option for a foodie in that neck of the woods. So Sergio’s menu (which is of a French-Spanish fusion disposition) is instantaneously eye catching in an area where menus are becoming more than a little generic in style.

Elemental Bistrot by Naked Madrid

It’s not just the menu that is set to carve out a niche either. The décor is stripped back yet charming in equal measure. The walls are simplistic and white, with little nods to Parisian style through the flowers adorning the tables, to the antique typewriter that was perched atop a nearby table.

The owner Sergio who, might I add, won me over within minutes (largely due to his outfit and the soft sounds of the La La Land soundtrack playing in the background – a surefire winner for me) couldn’t be more hands on in his approach as a restaurateur. His knowledge about wine was second to none.

Elemental Bistrot by Naked Madrid

It’s worth noting at this point that the wine menu (along with all other drinks) were housed in old camera roll ‘holders’ for want of a better word. And as I’ve dined out about as many times as the late Hugh Hefner bagged himself a blonde, I can attest that I’ve never seen such a quirky and imaginative way to liven up a wine list.

The food was as downright tasty as anything I’ve sampled in Spain or fancied in France. The goat cheese and pumpkin croquetas were dangerously moreish. The duck salad had even a self-confessed carnivore eating her greens and the Galician short rib, well that really requires no explanation.

Elemental Bistrot by Naked Madrid

Let it be told that I am very much in the camp of ‘I’m a starter person’ rather than being partial to a pud, but Elemental may have just won the award for the best desert ever – I may drop round a certificate and everything. It consisted of a chocolate fondant, violet ice cream and decorated with crystalized parma violet type sweets. It was almost too pretty to eat and the plate that it was served on was very nearly swiped by this vintage loving lady.

There’s no shortage of fabulous places to eat in Madrid. Having said that, there’s far fewer that I don’t as much suggest that you should visit, but I positively implore you to frequent. Kudos to Sergio for marrying not just two nations (but two cuisines) and as a result, he brings the panache of Paris to the people of Madrid.

Info

  • Facebook & Instagram
  • Address: Calle Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 4
  • Metro: Santo Domingo
  • Phone: 911 475 237



El Columpio and Fellina restaurants, two gems on Calle de Caracas (Chamberí)


For those of you who’ve read previous posts of mine on Naked Madrid (hopefully there’s a few of you out there aside from my parents), you’ll know that I borderline patrol Madrid on the lookout for all things new, with the dedication of a big cat searching for prey. The thrill of finding somewhere new to eat, or to simply raise a glass is basically akin to me finding the perfect winter coat – aka, it’s seriously satisfying.

Now a couple of months back I wrote about the lovely Le Coco; one of the long-time offerings from Grupo Le Coco. Now should you venture from Chueca to Chamberí, this restaurant group is slowing staking its claim on the Madrid restaurant scene with not one, but two splendid spots on Calle de Caracas: El Columpio and Fellina. And both restaurants are bound to whet your appetite, figuratively and literally.

First up is the perfectly pastel hued El Columpio 

El Columpio restaurant by Naked Madrid

El Columpio restaurant by Naked Madrid

It’s a riot of colour upon entering and the menu reflects that. There’s something for everyone. The Spanish classic that is salmarejo sits nestled next to tuna tartare. Fret not, if you view all things fishy as belonging well under the sea, there’s a rabo de toro lasagne that was hands down one of the best pasta dishes that I’ve gotten my chops around in this city.

El Columpio restaurant by Naked Madrid

Effectively, El Columpio is the equivalent of that friend you’ll always be able to have as your plus one; a crowd pleaser. The décor is as delish as the food, but what particularly floated my boat was the unstuffy vibe, illustrated by the hordes of Madrileños animatedly drinking by the bar.

El Columpio restaurant by Naked Madrid

This place isn’t just for food, it’s for fun. And if you lay off the gin tonics, it’s the kind of place that you can frequent on a Friday night and still have cash to scour Zara with the following day.

Next up is Fellina restaurant, just across the street

Fellina restaurant by Naked Madrid

In complete contrast to El Columpio is the newly opened Fellina, which literally waves to El Columpio from across the calle. So if you’ll indulge me with a little analogy, if El Columpio is your friendly Spanish locale, Fellina is the chic Italian cousin that just rocked up in town clad in some eye catching D&G.

Fellina restaurant by Naked Madrid

Fellina’s menu is an ode to all things from the land of style and spaghetti. Wander in and you’ll be first hit by the piles of fresh produce that adorn every nook and cranny. It’s part Mercado, part ‘waiting to be discovered bistro tucked away on a side street in likes of Naples’.

Fellina restaurant by Naked Madrid

I was there on a Thursday evening and the service was spot on, as was the carpaccio that I devoured in all of about 47 seconds. It’s nigh on impossible to pick out just one thing to try (as I happily chomped my way through the menu with gusto *all in the name of research of course).

Fellina restaurant by Naked Madrid

Fellina restaurant by Naked Madrid

But you’d be hard pressed to find a more impressive ‘tabla’ of antipasti than if you were holidaying on the sunkissed and perennially popular peninsula that is Italy.

Like two latin lovers jostling for your attention, don’t feel obliged to choose between the two. Akin to earrings, El Columpio and Fellina are to be found as a pair. Maybe lunch at one and do dinner at the other. But make no mistake, these two little gems are bringing the magic of that good old Mediterranean diet to Madders.

El Columpio

  • Facebook
  • Address: Calle de Caracas, 10
  • Phone: 913 78 75 12

Fellina

  • Facebook
  • Address: Calle de Caracas, 21
  • Phone: 91 410 92 50



El Sombrero Azul – pupusas, yuca, enchiladas and more


It’s not uncommon for even the most veteran madrileños to stumble upon tucked-away eateries they’ve never noticed. That’s exactly what happened to me when I was strolling along the surprisingly calm Calle de las Hileras near Plaza Mayor. The spicy smells stopped me in my tracks, but what brought me inside was the menú del día written on the window in puff paint.

Monday through Friday, El Sombrero Azul offers a menú salvadoreño-mexicano that includes a bebida (Coke products, beer, sangria, or wine) with a starter big enough to fill you up (like the pupusas shown below), a cocktail (margaritas, mojitos, you name it) along with a delicious main entree. And for dessert, you can choose from coffee/tea, cheesecake, bizcocho de tres leches, and more. All for 12€.

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What’s a pupusa, you may ask?

Most countries have their own version of a warm, breaded ‘sandwich’ filled with meat, cheese, and/or veggies. Food pockets, if you will. Pupusas are the food pockets of El Salvador, and El Sombrero Azul has them down to a science. Shown above are two veggie versions, one with zucchini and the other with frijoles and cheese (my favorite).

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Admittedly, I was a little disappointed in the main entree options, but only because I’m vegetarian. Meat lovers will feel right at home here among the pastelitos de carne, cazuela de cochinita pibil, tacos flauta, and the plato de carne. However, the accommodating staff offered me some pretty good alternatives, like fresh yuca (above) or huevos rancheros.

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If you have room after the first two courses, kick back with a fresh cocktail. Pictured is a delicious blackberry margarita, but they also have mojitos and micheladas, as well as fresh Mexican fruit juices and horchata (although those aren’t part of the menú).

TIP: The best time to go is during the week, because on weekends and holidays the menú price is 15€.

Oh, and the same space hosts a totally different concept by night: it’s called La Cueva de Lola, and it’s all about Spanish food and flamenco shows. Post to come soon on that!

Info

  • Facebook
  • Address: C/ Hileras 6
  • Metro: Ópera or Sol
  • Phone: 910 18 54 53

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Lady Madonna, because Sundays are made for brunching


As an ex-pat in Madrid there are a couple of things that I really miss from home. The M&S food hall (say no more). Boots – I mean who doesn’t love a decent 3 for 2 offer; and last but by no means least, a Sunday roast. So in lieu of Roast Beef and Yorkshire puddings, Sundays in Madrid are all about brunch, as opposed to lunch.

Lady Madonna restaurant by Naked Madrid

Lady Madonna has always been a firm favorite of mine (you can even read my review on the restaurant here). With its pretty little terraza, it’s an ideal spot for a post work drink, or a solid choice when you’re looking like a decent dinner that won’t break the bank.

Lady Madonna restaurant brunch spot by Naked Madrid

Little did I know that brunch was an option and this was no half baked attempt; they offer a set menu that will set you up for the day – I mean breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day right?

Lady Madonna brunch spot by Naked Madrid

I opted for eggs benedict followed by carrot cake – both paired with coffee, juice and a mojito that proved to be quite the effective hair of the dog. But there were a good five savory options as well as deserts, and if mojitos aren’t your thing there’s also bloody mary’s and mimosas on offer.
Lady Madonna restaurant brunch spot by Naked Madrid

I arrived feeling slightly fragile from my Saturday night antics and left with my appetite having been satiated and feeling virtuous that I’d even enjoyed a little bit of sun all by midday. The best bit, the fixed brunch menu comes in at only 18 euros. Well, it would be rude not to indulge at such a snip.

Info

  • Facebook
  • @ladymadonna_restaurante
  • Address: Calle Orellana, 6
  • Metro: Alonso Martínez
  • Phone: 915 02 41 82



Nudista restaurant, not naughty but very, very nice


So I have a confession to make. I hardly ever read. Whilst this might sound like a somewhat dramatic claim, what I actually mean is, I hardly ever read books (unless you count what I devour annually whilst on a sun lounger and manage to bulldoze through in a day). I read the news, I read blogs and I read glossies, but it’s rare that I sit down and take the time to turn actual pages – this is made all the more shameful by my day job being the lead of English in a primary school. Somehow life gets in the way (or perhaps more accurately, Netflix does) and books wallow neglected on my shelves.

However, this summer I read a book called You are a Badass. Now I loath to admit that I read the occasional ‘self help’ book, but this one resonated with me in a way that’s not a particularly regular occurrence. It’s based on the notion that everyone is capable of ‘living our best life’. The premise is that we shouldn’t just tread water because we’re too scared to dive into the unknown; it’s about unapologetically jumping in headfirst and being brave.
Conservas Nudista by Naked Madrid
At this point I’m sure you’re wondering how on earth these ramblings link to a restaurant recommendation but bear with me. Someone who most definitely took the stabilizers off and took a leap of faith is Micky. The owner and creative clout behind Nudista; the restaurant that he affectionately calls his ‘fifth child’ – he’s a father of four. Having spent twenty years grafting away as a TV producer, he literally quit his day job to follow his dream – and from where I was sitting last Friday night, his dream has literally become a reality.

Nudista is the brainchild of Micky and the result of his lifelong love affair with gastronomy. The concept behind the restaurant is disarmingly simple but achingly cool. Nothing is cooked. There’s no kitchen. Everything is fresh. The food is either served from a jar or a tin without even a hint of a preservative or additive in sight. As the clean eating movement shows no signs of abating, Micky is striking while the iron is hot. The food is in a word – delicious, largely because you know exactly where your food is coming from (Navarra in most cases) and it’s simply seasoned with olive oil and salt.

Conservas Nudista by Naked Madrid

I ate leeks that literally melted in the mouth like butter (and as a Welsh girl, the bar for decent leeks is set pretty high but these were epic). Next I sampled some marvellous mackerel (I’m not one to shy away from some alliteration) and some zingy lentils that were lip smacking good. Served in tandem were two wonderful wines that were personally selected by Micky and partnered the food to perfection. What added further appeal to a place where I couldn’t have felt more relaxed, was that dessert was created by a friend of Micky’s – a moreish cheesecake served in a dinky little sardine can. I’m a sucker for attention to detail and this had me reaching for my iPhone to pap.

Nudista almost felt like going round to a friend’s house for dinner, albeit a friend’s house with excellent taste and an eagle eye for interiors. We stayed until the early hours, such was the relaxed ambience and given its proximity to the always buzzing Malasaña is quite the rare find. In a city where restaurants are often becoming carbon copies of each other (exposed brick, aperol spritz and steak tartare – you know the ones). Nudista is refreshing for its lack of pretension and originality. Twenty somethings sat beside the neighbourhood abuelas, proving that Micky and his team have spotted a niche where there’s something for everyone.

And the best bit, everything you’ve eaten is available to buy. I know what my fam will be getting for Christmas and I know what will be adorning my kitchen shelves. Despite the name, clothes are required but the stripped back charm of Nudista will keep you wanting to go back for more. Friends of mine know that when I like something, I go all in. I’m often zealous in terms of gushing about things/places/people but in the case of Nudista, it’s more than warranted. I can’t recommend the place highly enough, so to make sure that I’m not just all talk – you should take action. 

Nudista

  • Facebook
  • Telephone: +34 913.77.64.24
  • Address: Calle Luchana, 23, Madrid.



Killer Cocktails at NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding


I haven’t always been able to call Malasaña home. In fact, since decamping to Madrid almost eight years ago, there have been a plethora of places that I have indeed called ‘home’, if only for a short time. There was the awful place on Calle Barco (complete with a landlord who just used to rock up unannounced and sit in his dressing gown on the sofa, true story). There was the hovel in Iglesia where running water was frequently considered a luxury. There was even a place near Moncloa where mould featured heavily as part of the interior design.

However, in the midst of all of this, I found a lovely little place to call mine near Cuzco. Since migrating south to Malasaña and having become a fully fledged member of the barrio, I rarely find myself back up north as it were, but given that it’s August and the city feels like your own private playground (due to the lack of folk in the sweltering oven that is Madrid), I decided to spread my wings, as it were and make a pilgrimage to my old hood.

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The reason for making it to the Eurobuilding Hotel was that I’d heard whisperings about their killer cocktails. Having just got back from three weeks in Vietnam, where drinking beer felt like a national past time, I figured my bikini bod (or current lack thereof) would thank me for laying off the hops. We’re also not talking any old cocktails here either; the menu (which changes annually) was created by cocktail maestro, Diego Cabrera.

NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding by Naked Madrid

So I went hopeful that the tipples would trump the kind of ropey offerings served up during a happy hour in your bog standard beach bar. Given the heat and the thirst that I’d worked up thanks to the mercury melting temps, I sampled three delights (as well as a sneaky bit of tapas to ensure that I could remember the journey home – tempura prawns and a veal-stuffed potato, both equally delish and devoured within seconds). Whilst they offer all the classics, the specially curated menu is unique to say the least. Pairings of flavours are quirky and presentation is paramount. Being a huge fan of Pisco (sadly at the moment it’s the closest I’ll get to Peru), I tried a Sherbert Shurb Punch. The recipe for which was to be found niftily on the back of my coaster, a nice touch.

NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding by Naked Madrid

The outdoor terrace was also the perfect spot to people watch and watch we did as the Real Madrid team bus sailed by en route to the nearby BernabeuSo if you’d struggle to sell the place to your man friend there’s definitely something for the boys on offer; its close proximity to the stadium makes it the ideal place to enjoy a celebratory tipple. Which given Los Blancos’ current form, could be happening more often than not.

Info

  • Website
  • Metro: Cuzco
  • Address: Padre Damian 23
  • Phone: 913537337



Sahuaro: Mexican magic in the heart of Madrid


Hecho en México. That’s the slogan of this brand new eatery located right in the historic heart of the city, in La Latina’s Plaza de Cascorro. DSC_0061-1024x683

If you’ve spent any time in the homeland of the Aztecs, the Mayas, and the michelada, you’ve probably already fallen in love. Mexico is a country of rich history, cultural diversity, and undeniably delicious food. A couple of years ago I spent a summer living in the rural part of the Yucatán peninsula, and I still dream about it to this day… especially the tortillas.

No, I’m not talking about the egg and potato variety (although those have a special place in my heart as well). And don’t give me any of those floppy flour burrito wrappers. I’m talking about fresh tortillas made from corn, water, and salt. That’s it.

Fresh Mexican corn tortillas

Look at that bundle of pure, corn-based joy.

Sahuaro’s got ’em. As soon as I saw the basket of tortillas arrive at the table, lined with a linen cloth and covered to keep in the warmth, I knew this place was the real deal.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. As soon as we sat down we dealt with the primary priorities: drinks and guacamole. Sahuaro’s drink menu is one of the most exciting things I’ve read in a while. They offer frozen margaritas and classic mojitos for just €3.90, with a choice of strawberry, tamarind, guava, and passion fruit flavors. There are also several other options for under €6, including tropical cocktails and several variations on the iconic michelada (beer with lime juice and spices).

Passionfruit mojito and frozen margarita

Passion fruit mojito and frozen margarita, with a guest appearance by guacamole

Every self-respecting Mexican establishment offers guacamole; but few do it as well as Sahuaro. They serve it right in the avocado skin, atop a mountain of crunchy totopos (corn chips). It’s the perfect blend of avocado, salt, olive oil, and lime, proving that good guacamole doesn’t need to be fancy—just fresh. We were also brought a selection of four sauces with varying levels of spiciness. Each one was unique, and spice-seekers will be satisfied, if not particularly challenged.

Fresh guacamole and corn chips

When it comes to guacamole, Sahuaro keeps it simple.

For the next course, we ordered the house selection of tacos. It includes one of each variety offered on the menu: Guerreros (pork carnitas), Norteños (marinated beef), Del campo (grilled veggies), and Yucatecos (cochinita pork). They were all delicious, but the Yucatecos were the clear winner (although maybe that’s just my nostalgia speaking). The sauce was rich and tangy, the pork tender and juicy, and the pickled onions the perfect accompaniment.

Mexican tacos with pork, beef, vegetables, and pickled onions

My personal taco motto: always get one of each.

Finally, we dug into the chipotle chicken entrée. It was swimming in creamy, slightly spicy sauce, served with refried beans and (hallelujah) more guacamole. Naturally, of course, we ordered an extra basket of tortillas to go with it. But the surprise hit here was the rice, which came in a coconut shell etched with intricate designs. Soft and subtly seasoned, it provided the perfect complement to the rich and hearty dish.

Chipotle chicken, refried beans, guacamole, and rice

Pollo al chipotle

I’ll certainly be returning as soon as humanly possible to sample the rest of the menu, from the salads and ceviche to the enchiladas and desserts. Sahuaro also offers a menú del día during the week and brunch on the weekends, so you can satisfy your cravings no matter what time it is. It’s the perfect place to come for a casual drink with friends or even a date; the interior is elegant and colorful, and the enclosed outdoor patio features tropical plants and comfy couches (plus plenty of fans).

The interior dining area, decorated with indigenous art and bright colors
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Whether you’re nostalgic for your own travels to Mexico, or you’ve always wanted to visit and see what all the hype is about, this place is for you. Sahuaro has done what few restaurants can, combining authentic regional cuisine with an ideal atmosphere, a prime location, and affordable prices. Come, relax, and let yourself be carried away to paradise.

Info




I went loco for Le Coco.


Picture the scene. Lashing rain. Lightning illuminating the dirty teabag coloured sky. Rumblings of thunder so fierce that part of my apartment window collapsed (true story, that’s not just for dramatic effect). Oh and have I mentioned that this is July in Madrid, not November in Blighty? So you can only imagine my level of ganas when it came to venturing out into a monsoon on a bleak and downright bloody freezing Thursday evening.

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The reason for rallying was that my Mum was in town and I didn’t fancy having to try (and realistically fail) to produce dinner from the slim pickings in my fridge. So off we waded to Le Coco; a short stroll over to the neighbouring barrio of Chueca with our brollies in tow. From the outside Le Coco is dinky and unassuming, well, that’s what I could make out from my rain soaked fringe at least. But upon entering, not only was it a haven of dryness, it was a cosy one at that.

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Le Coco by Naked Madrid

As soon as we were seated (which was immediate) we were handed a drinks menu. We happily plumped for pisco sours, which brightened both of our moods – shame the same couldn’t be said for the colour of clouds that loomed ominously. Anyways, enough of my weather related whining, let’s get cracking on the food because boy we did we eat our bodyweight. In our defence, as it felt like winter outside we definitely packed in enough dishes to help us with insulation.

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So first there were prawn dumplings, plump, juicy and incredibly moor-ish. I ate 6 without breaking a sweat – although sweat I did, when I dragged myself to a 9am pilates class the following day to work them off. Next came tempura langoustine that rendered me speechless. Friends will confirm that this only usually happens when I’m asleep, so for a dish of something shrimpy to shut me up, well, we’re talking about the unfathomable here. They were amazing. Genuinely. Le Coco is worth a visit for this reason alone.

149_Ravioli de bogavante y cangrejo - Le Coco

Now some peeps might have been full after those couple of helpings, not us. Remember the rain, well it had started up again by this point, which gave us the perfect excuse to plump for tacos, a burrata the size of my fist, before ending with the crème de la creme of pasta dishes – and I’ve been to Puglia, I think I know my stuff. It heaved with lobster, crab and cream. I don’t know what they did with these three ingredients but it was downright orgasmic. Hell, if that dish were a man, maybe I’d date it – frankly it was infinitely more delicious than the bulk of Tinder’s offerings. I jest, but really, for a place that looked on first glance similar in style to many, many places in the area, the food was anything but predictable.

29_LeCoco

We wrapped the evening up with a couple of celebratory cavas for making it out of the house to battle the elements. And I left having forgotten that my red suede shoes (or my Dorothy/Wizard of Oz shoes as I liked to affectionately refer to them) are basically now akin to soggy road kill. Sometimes things don’t look that pretty from the outside, Le Coco goes to prove that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

18_LeCoco

Info

  • Website & Facebook
  • Address: Calle de Barbieri, 15
  • Metro: Chueca
  • Phone: 91 521 99 55