7 Creative Bars in Madrid You Have To See

Madrid has an outstanding and unique food scene and an even more unique bar life. From the cobbled streets of Malasana to the poche air of Arguelles, if you are an expat, traveler, or just a bar goer looking to spice up your night life, here are 7 creative and unique bars you have to see!

1.Maniqui Bar

Few places have tapped into the market for creative vegan curry arts spaces! Take a stroll in the depths of Malasana and eventually you’ll pass an edifice of wood panels with painted mannequins mounted amidst a wooden fixture. This creative haven hosts weekly paint nights that feature local artists and muralists. It’s a great place to mingle and support creatives. Stop in, have a drink and be sure to come back for their Japanese vegan curry nights.

2. Sala Equis

If you have ever been to the Metrograph in Lower East Side, New York, you will surely find your niche at Sala Equis and maybe more. Known for its history as a former pornography theatre, it was refurbished as an independent as well as classic film hub and restaurant bar.

Apart from the velvet red theaters that invite you to watch with an aperol spritz in hand, the salon is a multi-faceted dimly lit theater hall that is decked with whimsical vines, neon signs, and that familiar smell of popcorn we all love. Have a drink in a beach chair, order a burger, sway to the music, catch up with a friend and occasionally glance up to a silent film to fill up the awkward gaps in conversation.

3. Tupperware

Tupperware is the only place in Madrid where you can find a mural of Barbarella, Spock, and all of your favorite film characters hanging out at the same bar. Look for your favorite icon on the wall or catch one of the many eyes mounted to the ceiling. Tupperware has become a hub for many expats, bar goers, and lovers of classic rock. They host regular language exchanges and have a multi-genre music playlist that never disappoints. 

4. La Via Lactea

Just around the corner from Tupperware is the notorious and psychedelic, La Via Lactea. Once you sit down, you’re likely to stay a while and groove to Curtis Mayfeild. Prepare to get up and join a team of strangers for a heated pool match. Don’t be surprised if you wind up here next weekend with the same people. 

5. Bloom

In case you’re feeling bourgeois, just a flower tunnel below the posh streets of Arguelles is the dream-like rabbit hole of pink flowers and shiny walls. Bloom is every shade of pastel pink, lilac, and peach, adorning an aristocratic tile and vine decor that makes the perfect dinner date or brunch escape fantasy.

While it is not the most affordable option, the trip back up to the exit is worth every instagrammable moment. Bloom is surely a memorable culinary experience with great drinks and an even greater menu. 

6. Calle 365

Step into Coco’s afterlife and drink cocktails from a dragon under your spirit guide or eat tacos handed to you from a Wolkswagon while sitting at a spray painted fuel bin. One of Madrid’s neon secrets is tucked away just  a hop from Barrio De Las Letras. Calle 365 is a one of a kind unforgettable speakeasy experience that will satisfy your wildest and most creative cocktail fantasy.

Not only are the drinks visually stimulating to say the very least, but they combine a passionate and eclectic variety of distinct tastes that will inspire your taste buds. 

7. Restaurante Ojala

Madrid is not known for its beaches, but make no mistake: there is a beach hiding just beneath Tribunal. Be careful not to bump into a hanging plant while you make your way down to the ground floor sand pit. If you were looking to dig your heels into the sand for the weekend on a budget, the zig zag, plant friendly, retro beach feel of Ojala will have you lulled into your third mojito. 

Madrid-based traveler, visual and performing artist, and content writer.

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