Nestled in the backstreets near Plaza de España, you could be forgiven for not having heard of La Mantequería before. But for those that have already discovered this little treat, they certainly make it one of their regulars. It’s a very simple affair, but there’s something so warm and inviting about this corner plot that it gives me a little smile each time I’m there. Although fairly small, La Mantequeria is rarely overcrowded, which makes it a perfect place if you’re looking for somewhere quiet to go with guaranteed available tables.
The first time I went I was with a friend in search for a place to chat the afternoon away. Having heard of this place from another friend we made our way to the corner of C/San Bernadino and C/San Leonardo, and I was certainly glad we did. With a large range of drinks, both alcoholic and not, including an array of posh teas, the Englishman in me was ecstatic. Though rather than opting for a classic cuppa, I went for the White Pear tea which hit the spot better than Robin Hood and his trusty bow.
It was only once sitting back, sipping my tea and taking in the café/restaurant that I really noticed my surroundings. Originally an old creamery and now converted into the café it is today, the décor features a combination of exposed brick, white walls and wrought iron furniture. Looking around, I suddenly felt like I’d been transported across the Atlantic and could easily have been in an East Village café in New York. There is no pretense in the appearance or ambience and although I didn’t bump into any A-list clientele such as those that grace the sofas of Central Perk, I did get to relax and hang with my friends.
There is also a downstairs restaurant area where you can enjoy some of the delights off the menu. Although it’s not a menu that boasts the biggest selection in town, the food they serve is pretty good. Some of the highlights on the list being the salmorejo, the tostas (the goats cheese and blackcurrant jam tosta is my particular fave) and the quiche. If you’re thinking of dinner options then perhaps head elsewhere and save La Mantequería for a ‘snack’ rather than a full meal. It’s a perfect place for small bites and a cuppa, copa, cocktail or cana.
C/San Bernardino, 7
Metro: Plaza de España / Noviciado / Ventura Rodríguez
Beverage: Teas 2-3 euros / Copas 6 euros
Plates: 7 – 12 euros
Opening: Monday to Thursday 12:00 p.m.- 2:00 a.m., Fridays & Saturdays 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m., Sundays 11:00 a.m. -1:00 a.m.
Tel: 91 541 75 43
By Tom Burgess