Bars, shops, restaurants – the wave of new openings sweeping over the Spanish capital is relentless. It’s hard to keep up. So whether you’re an intrepid traveller hoping to discover the coolest hidden hotspots or a local looking to stay ahead of the curve, here are four of the newest additions to Madrid’s ongoing metamorphosis. Get in early, before the crowds beat you to it!
Address: Calle Gravina 17
If you’re an avid follower of Madrid’s booming gastronomic sector, or simply a new visitor to the city looking to sample the city’s newest culinary talent – you should know something about Barra Atlántica. This Galician-styled “marisquería” is a refined seafood-focused eatery that has its origins in Santiago de Compostela – where you’ll find its sister restaurant – and the home town of the up-and-coming chefs from Abastos 2.0. If you were fortunate enough to sample their sumptuous morsels during two separate residencies at Madrid’s rotating pop-up restaurant The Table By (inside the Hotel Urso), then you’ll know to expect some of the tastiest Galician food in the Spanish capital. Located on Calle Gravina, just a few steps from Plaza de Chueca, this restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and includes two nightly sittings, so be sure to keep that in mind when you make your booking.
Address: Calle Santa Brígida 11
Metro: Tribunal / Chueca
After years of malaise, Madrid’s retail scene is resurgent, and this large, slightly-clandestine fashion and concept store inside a reformed garage is a very bright example. Just a few seconds’ walk from the busy Fuencarral shopping strip, Monkey Garage opened last November, and the colourful space is filled with men’s and women’s fashion, a small selection of design objects such as lamps and ornaments, and accessories such as bags and belts. The 380 sqm space was a garage for over forty years but was impressively transformed by the team from one of the city’s best new vintage stores Woody Metal (who are also part owners). A small corner decorated with old tools pays homage to the former tenant. There are plans to convert the small entrance into a coffee and food corner – so watch this space!
Address: Calle Fernando VI
Metro: Alonso Martínez
It’s more a case of just re-opened for La Duquesita; one of Madrid’s most beloved sweet shops. In June last year, the city awoke in shock as the 101-year-old family business announced it would be closing its doors forever. There was much expression of public anger and despair, but then heavily-decorated Catalonian pastry chef Oriol Balaguer stepped in to save the day. Six months later, the new La Duquesita has opened its doors once again, maintaining the centennial essence of the brand but with plenty of sweet signature flourished that have made Balaguer one of Spain’s most decorated dessert maestros.
Address: Calle Blanca de Navarra 8
Metro: Alonso Martínez
Anyone who has sat down at the beautifully restored La Carmencita or the delightful Tasca Celso y Manolo, knows that restaurateur Carlos Zamora has a talent for seamlessly fusing Spanish food traditions with modern dining concepts. His new outing, La Vaquería Montañesa, tucked away in a quiet street of Chamberí, is another outstanding example. This is closer to the more traditional idea of a restaurant, but simple yet sleek design combined with colourful interpretations of classic Spanish cuisine (make sure you try the grilled octopus curry) make for a fulfilling, well-rounded gastronomic experience. The stapes of good service and respect for fresh locally sourced produce are once again on full show, which means this eatery is geared to become one of the capital’s most coveted reservations. Make yours early, before the waiting list starts to overflow.