Best Boutique Shopping in Madrid

Inside Kling boutique

Inside Kling boutique

“Oh what, this? I bought it at a little shop in Madrid.” This is exactly what you’ll be saying when you head home with really awesome souvenirs that will remind you of your times in Madrid for many years to come. If you’re looking for shops that are completely unique to Madrid, check out our list of favorite boutiques:

 

Image via Iñaki Sampedro

Image via Iñaki Sampedro

Iñaki Sampedro: This is a great place to buy quality handmade Spanish leather handbags and accessories. The styles are classic and they offer a wide variety of colors.

Address: Calle Conde de Xiquena, 13

Helena Rohner: If you’re looking for a really nice gift for yourself or someone special, this is a great place. They have jewelry for men and women here in a minimalistic style which leaves an impression. Best of all is that its all handmade.

Address: Calle Almendro 4

Phone number:+34 91 365 7906

Kling: The clothing here at Kling comes from up and coming local designers, so you’ll be sure to find one of a kind pieces.

Various locations in Madrid

 

Ceramics at Casa Talavera

Ceramics at Casa Talavera

Antigua Casa Talavera: Going to this store is an experience in itself. Its filled with beautiful examples of the decorative ceramics made by a family of potters. Here, you can pick up tiles, plates…everything in ceramics.

Address: Calle de Isabel ‘La Catolica’ 2

Casa Hernanz: This tiny shop has been making espadrilles by hand since the 19th century. Check out the styles they have on display in their window and then let them know which models you want to try on once you’re inside.  They’ve got great prices on this classic footwear style for men, women and children.

Address: Calle de Toledo, 18

 

Inside of Mi Pequeño Lucas

Inside of Mi Pequeño Lucas

Mi Pequeño Lucas: If you’ve got a little one or are looking for a nice gift for someone, you’ll find adorable clothing and accessories at this store.

Address: Calle Lagasca, 48

 

La Favorita

La Favorita

La Favorita  Hat Shop: This is the oldest hat shop in Madrid and has been servicing customers in la Plaza Mayor since 1894.

Adress: Plaza Mayor 25

Renatta & Go: At this women’s clothing store you’ll find contemporary styles that are not only unique, but wallet –friendly too.

Address: Ayala, 29

Image via Táneke

Image via Táneke

Táneke: Tocados (facinators) are really worn here in Spain at every daytime wedding and other fancy events, you can make an appointment to come and check out these beautiful creations.

Address: Castelló, 113 1D

Contact: +34 915 643965

 

 

 

Seduced by art at La Caixa Forum

Photo via La Caixa Forum

Photo via La Caixa Forum

The nice thing about Madrid in the summer is that there are plenty of museums where you can take refuge from the heat while taking in a bit of culture. One of the most interesting exhibits right now is at La Caixa Forum. The exhibit, Seduced by Art. Photography’s Past and Present, is a collaboration between La Caixa Forum and the London National Gallery. It features 130 pieces that examine the beginnings of photography during the 19th century and how its served as a driving force for innovation in the world of art.

The exhibit takes you through paintings by influential artists like Turner, Gainsborough and Ingres. It then guides you into the works of some of the earliest photographers from the 1800’s like Julia Margaret Cameron, Gustave Le Gray and Roger Fenton. From there, you will be able to see how their efforts influenced today’s artists through the contemporary photographer’s section which includes pieces from Tina Barney, Rineke Dijkstra, Thomas Struth.

This is a fantastic way to learn about photography. If you’re bringing along little art aficionados, La Caixa Forum also has a tool to help helps kids learn about paintings through photography. You can purchase tickets at the door or online through their website.  Tickets are 4 € per entry, kids 16 and under are free.

When: From now until the 15th of September

Hours: Open Everyday from 10am to 8pm

Where: La Caixa Forum, located on Paseo del Prado, 36

Metro: Atocha

Tickets: 4 Euros, kids 16 and under get in for free

El Apartamento; 5 friends unite to bring a restaurant to life

El Apartamento

El Apartamento

Daniel Garrigues and his restaurant partners dreamed of opening their own restaurant. In June of this year, these 5 friends and self-described foodies took the plunge and turned their dream into a reality when they opened El Apartamento.

They wanted to create a space that would make you feel like you were eating at home with friends. This restaurant is a much-needed addition to the touristy center of Madrid. Its located in the barrio de las letras, a Madrid neighborhood more famous for its literary history and countless bars, than its restaurants.

Inside El Apartamento

Inside El Apartamento

As soon as you walk inside, you’ll see that this place is different. From the duck portrait on the wall, to the lamp, this place really feels like you’re eating at a friend’s house- if your friend was an excellent cook with a fantastic wine list.

Many of their items come in ½ portions, making it a great place to come and dine solo, with a date, or in a group and try a few dishes.

Croquettes with goats cheese and caramolized onions

Croquettes with goats cheese and caramolized onions

Among the highlights are the croquetas (croquettes). They’re light, crispy and delicious! Right now, they have some filled with caramelized onions and goats cheese- amazing!!

Tuna Tartare

Tuna Tartare

Gourmands will be happy to find not one, but two different types of tartare. One is a tuna tartare, and the other a steak tartare. Both are equally fresh, simple and highly recommended.

The Ensaladilla Rusa with octopus

The Ensaladilla Rusa with octopus

They also have a classic Spanish dish called Ensaladilla Rusa, essentially a potato salad with mayonnaise. Often, what you find is more mayonnaise than anything else. Thankfully, the Ensaladilla Rusa at El Apartamento is nothing like that! This dish here is creamy (not heavy), tasty and they add a nice twist by incorporating thin slices of octopus.

Chupa Chups de Pollo del Corral

Chupa Chups de Pollo del Corral

Another good choice is the plate called Chupa Chups de Pollo de Corral, sautéed pieces of free-range chicken served over a bed of cashew sauce. They have a nice variety of veggie dishes like Verduras a la plancha (grilled vegetables), rice with mushrooms and truffle, and cream of eggplant soup. Make sure you leave room for dessert; the carrot cake might just be the best in town!

They use season products when possible, allowing them to change up their menu to make the most of ingredients when they are at their peak. Not only is the food top quality, but the service here is impeccable!

Whether you‘re looking for a place to have a drink, a great menu del dia, or want a good option for groups with mixed tastes, this is a fantastic option. Another plus? They’ve got a really neat wine cellar downstairs that can be used for group lunches/dinners.

Where: Calle Ventura de la Vega, 9

Metro: Sevilla, Sol or Antón Martín

Hours: Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays for lunch from 1pm to 5pm and then for dinner from 8pm to 1am

Thursdays to Saturdays open from 1pm to 1:30am

Sundays only open for lunch from 1pm to 5pm

For reservations call: +34 917554402

Renatta & Go; Women’s clothing at great prices

Renatta & Go in the Salamanca neighborhood

Renatta & Go in the Salamanca neighborhood

The women in Madrid have a style all their own. It’s a mix of a casual, funky and of course, a bit classic. These days, clothing isn’t as age specific either. Sure, there are some styles that are younger than others but here, its not unusual for mothers and daughters to share clothing items. If you’re looking for a cute top, dress or scarf , check out Renatta & Go.  

Inside Renatta & Go

Inside Renatta & Go

They offer comfortable women’s clothing that makes it easy to mix a European touch into your current wardrobe. Breezy shirts, lightweight dresses and printed pants are just some of the looks you’ll find inside this petite boutique. Items are organized by color scheme, helping you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Clothing sorted by color

Clothing sorted by color

What’s  really nice about this type of store is that is not mass-produced, so you know the things you find here are unique. Oh, and we forgot to mention- the prices are phenomenal! Most items are priced at 30 € or less! They’ve got three locations in Madrid, but the one in the center is on Calle Ayala in the Salamanca neighborhood.

Where: Calle Ayala, 29

Hours: Open Monday to Friday from 10am-8:30pm

Saturdays from 12-8pm

Closed on Sundays

Limited hours in August

Open Monday to Friday from 10am-2pm and 5pm-8:30pm

Saturdays from 10am-3pm

Contact: 91 576 14 44

Summer GastroMad is here!

Muñagorri restaurant participating in GastroMad

Muñagorri restaurant participating in GastroMad

If you love good food, but are watching your Euros, this is a great time to be in Madrid! From now until July 28th , Madrid is hosting the Summer GastroMad as part of the Villas de Verano festival. GastroMad includes some very well known restaurants right in the center of the city, many are even located in the exclusive Salamanca neighborhood . As part of GastroMad, participating establishments can offer either a 3€ tapa (and be featured as part of the Madrid Tapas Route) or they can offer a 25€ set dinner menu.

Tomato Provencal

The Tomato Provencal tapa

Restaurants on the Madrid Tapas Route have put together a signature tapa for their restaurant/bar and serve it along with a Mahou beer for just 3€.  These are not your average tapas, some of the featured dishes include things like :

-Black pudding wrapped in apples and toasted almonds at Los Galayos

-Tuna Carpaccio with Citrus Vinaigrette and sprouts  at Según Emma.

-Breaded zucchini stuffed with provolone cheese and bacon at La Montaderia .

-Tomato Provencal at Muñagorri Restaurant.

There are more than 40 establishments are participating in this year’s Summer GastroMad. As an added bonus, you don’t even have to pay for transport! If you’re doing the tapa route, you can pick up the map at any of the participating locations. Make sure ask your server to stamp your map and you can use that as your ticket for free boarding on Madrid’s tourism bus., what a deal!

When: From now until the 28th of July

Where: More than 40 restaurants in the Center of Madrid

For details on restaurants, click here