This blog post was originally posted on December 5, 2013 and was updated on October 11, 2017.
Finding a café in Madrid is easy, but if you’re looking for a more authentic coffee experience in the capital, you came to the right place!
Someone once said that there is “nothing quite like a relaxing cup of café con leche in the Plaza Mayor,” but we must beg to differ. If you want to hang with all the tourists, you can most certainly head on over to the Plaza Mayor and overpay for a cup of the Spanish treat. But, if you’re interested in experiencing real Spanish culture, you’re much better off spending a few hours relaxing in a Madrid café.
Spain’s capital is full of entrepreneurs, students and artists alike, all of which contribute to the city’s buzzing café culture. Each neighborhood offers a different vibe and the chance to people-watch, try typical foods and immerse yourself in daily Spanish life without getting out of your seat. Here’s our guide to some of the best cafés in Madrid (Part 1!) that are sure to make for a unique and tasty experience.
Picture Credit: Fil.Al
But wait—before you head out to one of the best cafés in Madrid, make sure you know what you’re doing! Watch Devour Madrid expert guide Luke explain how to order coffee in Spain so you can be sure you’ll get the perfect drink for you.
This Chueca café is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a late-afternoon snack. Diurno offer a wide variety of soups, salads, sandwiches and pastries, along with a fantastic cup of coffee. We recommend ordering the menu of the day from 2-5 pm for 9 euros. Go for a bowl of salmorejo, the bocadillo de jamón ibérico con tomate and a slice of the carrot cake for dessert. Don’t let the delectable food distract you too much from the great people watching. Chueca is a mecca of the avant-garde crowd.
Address: Calle San Marcos, 37
Price: 1.40 euros café con leche, 2.50 euros with toast
Extra Info: Offer soy milk, no wifi
A favorite of all of us here at Devour Madrid Food Tours, this Malasaña hot spot has something for everyone. Always bustling, the artsy Bicicleta offers all organic and homemade treats, including artisan coffee and vegan options. It is located in a charming plaza just a stone’s throw away from Gran Vía. This makes it the perfect place to recharge and even get some work done during a long day of exploring. In our opinion, La Bicicleta may just win the top spot for one of the best cafés in Madrid.
Address: Plaza de San Ildefenso, 9
Price: 1.50 euros coffee, 18 euros brunch on Sundays
Extre Info: Free wifi, soy milk available
For a taste of the bohemian side of Madrid, head over to Café Delic, one of many amazing places worth checking out in La Latina. This place oozes cool, complete with decor collected from the owners’ world travels, a Latin/Middle Eastern/Spanish fusion menu and a bazaar next door where you can pick up trinkets to spice up your own space. Make sure to sample the hummus and the creative cakes!
Address: Calle Costanilla San Andrés, 14
Price: 2 euros café con leche, 12 euros menu of the day (drink, bread, soup, entree, coffee and dessert)
Extra Info: Free wifi, soy milk available
Those who are looking for a break from the chatty Spaniards, check out La Fugitiva bookstore and café in Lavapies. Bring your favorite novel or pick one off the shelf and settle in for a relaxing afternoon among the intellectuals of the city. Ask an attendant for scheduled readings, and if you’re here for a while you can even join their book club. As an added bonus, the store is located right next to the Antón Martín Market, one of the best markets in all of Madrid and a great place to fill your belly since the menu here doesn’t go beyond coffee and pastries.
Address: Calle Santa Isabel, 7
Price: 1.50 euros café con leche
Extra Info: Free wifi available
Last but not least, we have the most charming place on our list of the best cafés in Madrid: Fonty Café in the swanky Salamanca neighborhood. Just a block north of Retiro Park, this french café is an oasis from the chaotic capital. It is beautifully decorated in light grays and blues in the style of the French countryside. Fonty offers french pastries, sandwiches, quiches and salads for reasonable prices in a relaxing atmosphere. We suggest stopping by for a chocolate croissant and a coffee after a wintery stroll through the park.
Address: Calle Castelló, 12
Price: 1.40 euros café con leche
Extra Info: Free wifi, soy milk available
There are thousands of cafés in Madrid. Don’t miss out on the unique experience offered at each spot listed above! To sample all Madrid has to offer, including some of our favorite cafés in the center of the city, be sure to book one of our delicious food tours and experience some of the best cafés in Madrid like a local!
Featured Image Credit: Susanne Nilsson