Madrid is a great city for drinking cañas (beers) and eating tapas. All week long there are bars opened, and almost everyday people having fun on them (but specially from Wednesday to Saturday, or Sunday sometimes). However, you must be careful if you visit the capital of Spain. There are lots of places which will not hesitate to grab you quite a lot for a shitty snack. If you do not have an Spanish friend who tells you which are good bars and which are not, do not miss this list I made after a thorough inquiry (I spent more then two years of my live going out in Madrid). Hope you have fun as I did!
IMPORTANT! To order in Madrid you must say una caña, por favor (half pint, please) or dos cañas, por favor (two half pints, please). I you want you can also say una cerveza, por favor (a beer, please), or una doble, por favor (a pint, please, despite doble –double– is usually smaller than a pint). When you get your drink reply gracias (thank you). And now you can go and have fun.
LA SUREÑA, COPAS ROTAS and 100 MONTADITOS
These are the cheapest places you will find in Madrid (and probably in Spain) for having beers and eating tapas. The three of them are chains and serve beer for one euro or less. Here you have to pay for tapas, but the price is ok (also one euro or around in Copas Rotas and 100 Montaditos). I recommend you these bars if you do not have money or if you just want to drink, but if your budget is not that narrow try with others places more typical Spainsh. Anyway, lots of Spaniards go to these bars so you can also meet with locals here. WHERE ARE THEY? There are hundreds of La Sureña, Copas Rotas and 100 Montaditos, but if you need an adress check Fuencarral 135 (Tube Tribunal), Gran Vía 47 (T. Gran Vía), or Montera 34 (T. Sol), respectively.
Sons of his owner will go to university thanks to my friends and me. La Petisquería is a typical Spanish bar, with Spanish people inside and not jut tourists. It is not the cheapest place on this list, but the best in my opinion. From Monday to Sunday, they sell cañas at 1’75 and they always come with a huge dish of something. Something might be potatoes with meat and chorizo, small pasties, ham and cheese sandwiches, little hamburgers, etc. Impossible to leave it hungry. Service is usually very nice, even if the bar is crowded. WHERE IS IT? The original one is at Churruca 6 (T. Alonso Martínez or Tribunal), but you may find a second one at Mejia Lequerica 17.
EL MUSEO DEL JAMÓN
Hams Museum is also a chain but their places are no so artificial as those of La Sureña, Copas Rotas and 100 Montaditos. For less than one euro you will have a caña, most of the times with a small (very small) tapa. If you want to order something else (croquettes, baguettes with filling, a plate of ham, and so on) is quite cheap, especially from Monday to Thursday. WHERE IS IT? You will find lots of Museos del Jamón in Madrid. Maybe the most popular is the one placed at Carrera de San Jeróimo 6 (T. Sol), but there are others at Plaza Mayor 18, Gran Vía 72 and Atoca 54.
A classic. Visitors who come here leave the place open-mouthed. They sell beer at 2,50 euros but the dish of food you get with it is really big (bigger than in La Petisquería). Chorizo, ham, kind of bacon, and paella in industrial size. Three cañas after you will be full, not hungry for a month. They also serve mojitos (a big one around 4 euros) which are not that bad, actually I like them. Notice that El Tigre is usually crowded, especially on Friday and Saturday night and Sunday noons. WHERE IS IT? There are at least two El Tigre, one in Las Infantas 30 and one in Hortaleza 23 (T. Chueca, Gran Vía or Tribunal).
At first sight, La Taurina seems a place for guiris (foreing people), but it is not. Actually, they do not serve tapas but pintxos in a more northern Spain way of live. For two euros you will get a caña with a nice pintxo that you can choose from the bar. Design is Andalucian, I mean with lots of sevillanas and bullfighting motifs. Price-quality is excellent. WHERE IS IT? At Carrera de San Jerónimo 5 (T. Sol), between Puerta del Sol and the Parliament.
This is a kind of La Sureña but not so crowded. Here beers travel also in buckets and you can choose between lots of combos which include beers and food. The cheapest one is 5,5 euros and it has four Amstels and something to eat. Their bravas (chips with spicy mayonaise and tomato sauce) are pretty good for being so cheap. WHERE IS IT? At Paseo María Crisitna 6 (T. Atocha).
Bartenders of Bar Sierra are not nice at all. They are unfriendly and really slow, but the food they give for free with the drinks is hand made and quite good (the picture is not fair). Tinto de verano (fresh wine with soda water or lemon juice) or beer cost 2,50 and come with chips with sauces, fried fish, sandwiches… Depending on the day. In summer you can stay outside in a terrace on the sidewalk (be careful! Prices are not the same inside and outside). WHERE IS IT? At Galileo 41 (T. Queveo).
If you have been at Alcalá de Henares this name should be familiar to you. Now there is also an Indalo in Madrid centre and, even if it is not as good and nice as the original one, it is not bad. Cañas cost 2,70 and the tapas are quite big (and not just potatoes with potatoes). Moreover, you can choose your tapa from a extense menu which include more than 20 varieties. WHERE IS IT? In Perez Galdós 7, a small street which connect Fuencarral with Hortaleza (T. Tribunal or Gran Vía).
LA TINA TURNER
La Latina is the perfect district to waste time (and money) happily on Sunday, but it is not so good for finding cheap bars of beers and tapas. Try with this one. At La Tina Turner cañas are 1 euro and tostas 2 (a tosta is a slice of toasted bread topped with ham, sweet onion, cheese, mushrooms or other stuff. It can be cold or hot). The service is very polite, the place quite small. WHERE IS IT? At Almendro 19 (T. La Latina).
Also in La Latina there is this place with typical Andalucian atmosphere. The environment is quite nice and the bar is not very small. Cañas cost 1,40 eurs and they never walk alone. However, free tapas are small and they are not very good. Do not expect more than a couple of olives or a little portion of Spanish omelette, but indeed they are better than nothing. WHERE IS IT? At Cava Baja 24 (T. La Latina).
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