Croissants, coffee and cafés in Madrid!
Clusters of people bask in the heat of the mid-day Spanish sun as the wind carries the chatter of conversation and cigarette smoke. Half drank espressos and eaten meals cover the wooden tables. Servers skip between groups, bringing orders and gathering new ones.
There’s a lightness to the air. Families are lounging in the summer breeze; friends are catching up and co-workers sit together on break. The moment is peaceful, with no one rushing to get anywhere.
This is the general environment of a café in Madrid. While studying abroad in the beautiful city, these spots became my moments of peace, a place to relax and relish in the privilege of being in a foreign country. These are three of my favorite hidden cafés in Madrid. Some of my secrets of the city for you.
Ferro’s Café y Restaurante
Calle del Maestro Ángel Llorca, 9, 28003 Madrid, Spain
Located in Chambri is the popular residential neighborhood of Madrid, Ferro’s is tucked between a little shawarma place and a family-owned mini-mart. The quaint café was right around the corner from my apartment and quickly became part of my Madridian morning routine.
Hosting an inviting space and friendly staff, Ferro’s can make one fall in love with Madrid. Patrons can enjoy the Mediterranean-inspired, Spanish cuisine for breakfast, lunch or dinner in its two-story interior or shady outside patio lined with black umbrellas and lively greenery (my favorite spot.)
One can easily obtain their morning caffeine buzz with an authentic European espresso, indulge in a flawlessly flaky chocolate croissant or sink into beige wooden chairs with a Spanish omelette.
Plaza de Oriente, 4, 28013 Madrid, Spain
I stumbled across this café in dire need of an energy reboot after hours in full tourist mode exploring the Palacio Real de Madrid. Walking through the cream archway entrance itself was almost enough to cancel all other plans for the day.
La Botilleria screams sophistication and luxury. Plush seating adorned with pillows lines the main dining room of white marble tables with Tiffany blue and bronze detail. The café’s design makes any customer feel like they are dining within the royal palace itself if not for the café’s breathtaking views of the palace.
La Botilleria offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and late-night drinks. I enjoyed delightful tiramisu, buttery croissants and a rich apple tart all washed down with bitter espresso.
Calle del Barquillo, 19, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Known and loved by many locals and visitors, Celicioso Barquillo is not quite a hidden gem like the others. Its exceptional food and service, however, reserve the café’s right to be on this list.
Madrid is a leading culinary city, but like most of Europe, dietary restrictions are not always valued. Celicioso Barquillo is one of the exceptions. Its menu is full of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options that everyone can enjoy.
Tucked inside the ONLY YOU Boutique Hotel, customers can find everything from panini’s to eggs benedict and complete their meal with one of its renowned gluten-free bakery items. The café is also a couple of blocks from Paseo del Prado, Madrid’s main cultural boulevard full of art and museums.
George lived in Madrid, Spain, for six weeks.