When I first arrived in Madrid, I searched far and wide for a decent apartment in the center of my favorite neighborhood: Malasaña. Unfortunately, such a feat was truly impossible considering the immense popularity of this charming hipster barrio. So instead, I found a place about a 7 minute walk away. Lucky for me, this lovely little indie paradise is just a hop, skip and a jump away from where I live, so I can enjoy it's quirkiness anytime I want.
Malasaña was the epicenter of la movida madrileña movement back in the 1980s, and it still thrives on the unique alternative and retro vibes that put it on the map several decades ago. The neighborhood is abounding with vintage-inspired shops, bars that pay homage to the 80s, and cafés that make you feel like you've stepped back in time with their colorful 1960s decor. There are countless places to explore in this area, but here are some of my favorite spots in Malasaña:
Antigua Huevería | Serving classic Spanish dishes with a darling vintage twist
La Mucca | Hip and eclectic restaurant with a modern take on Spanish-American fusion
Ojalá | Funky atmosphere, quirky yet delicious tapas
La Blanca Paloma | Because who doesn't love free food when you order a drink?
Bar El Pico | Traditional Spanish food, go for lunch on a weekday for their tasty menu del día
Restaurante Conache | Go for their lively outdoor terrace, stay for their mouthwatering huevos rotos
La Bicicleta | Delicious coffee, hipster paradise, always playing good music
Toma Café | Arguably the best coffee in Madrid
1862 Dry Bar | Channel your inner Gatsby at this speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar
Kikekeller | Charismatic bar hidden behind a furniture shop
Gymage | Chic rooftop bar with great cocktails and even better views
Lolina Vintage Café | Sip on delicious mojitos while feeling like you're on the set of Mad Men
La Realidad | Another retro paradise with good drinks & amazing tortilla española
Tupperware | Colorful and kitschy with contagious indie rocker vibes
Don't get the title's reference? It's a lyric from one of Manu Chao's most popular songs. Apparently he loved hanging out in this neighborhood back in the day, and I don't blame him for it!