by Amy Menchhofer
The weather in Madrid has taken a turn towards summer and streets throughout the city have sprouted terrazas. You can surely find a sunny spot for a drink and a snack near your apartment or hotel, but there are two streets in Madrid that truly are prime for dining and drinking al fresco.
Starting at Calle Menendez Pelayo (on the eastern perimeter of Retiro), calles Ibiza and Alcalde Sainz de Baranda are proper boulevards whose wide, paved medians are dotted with newsstands, benches, and, April through October, a non-stop parade of terrazas.
Along these roughly 10 blocks you’ll find all manner of food and drink and almost no tourists. Located in the heart of the Retiro district (located east of the park and south of the Salamanca neighborhood), the area is favored by the locals and the prices are set accordingly. You’ll obviously pay more for dining outside than for having a drink at the bar, but the prices are below those found in more touristy areas. And FAR below those found at the terrazas in the nearby Retiro.
Head over that way in the early evening and pick a place which looks nice — or, more likely, one that has an open table. In the warmest months, the terrazas fill up starting around 7:30 and stay busy until 1 or 2am. If you get there at the right time and can take your pick of the locales, try one of these favorites:
Drinks and snacks
- El Ratón Vaquero, C/ Alcalde Sainz de Baranda, 25 – Vermouth on tap and good tapas
- Natur Aidlans, C/ Ibiza, 17 – Shakes and smoothies made to order
- Tramontana, C/ Sainz de Baranda, 51 – Cheap mixed drinks served to a 20-something clientèle
- La Hacienda Argentina, C/ Ibiza, 41 – Every cut of meat you could want
- La Marisqueria Méndez, C/ Ibiza, 33 – Top notch, fresh seafood. Appetizers are the highlight here.
Metros: Ibiza (Line 9), Sainz de Baranda (Lines 6 and 9)
See map below for locations mentioned above: