Lavapiés and Its Market – the Real Food Emporium!

 

Greek olives at the market

Greek olives at the market

Madrid’s El Mercado de San Fernando, or “el mercado de Lavapiés”, as it is more commonly known, is a vibrant indoor market where bars selling imported German beers, local Spanish wines, Italian breads, sushi, homemade Greek food, oysters and much, much more are nestled in right alongside the cobbler, grocer and butcher.

Local wine cellars

Local wine cellars

German beer

German beer

La Pistola

La Pistola

Oysters with green peppers

Oysters with green peppers

Washoka

Washoku

 As in all big cities, neighborhoods go in and out of style as fast as Zara’s storefronts. Madrid is no exception. Once considered a dodgier side of town, Lavapies is fast becoming the city’s newest nightlife destination, attracting Madrid’s trendiest young hipster crowds. Great restaurants and bars, from urban chic to authentic Moroccan, are interspersed within the demographic makeup of the neighborhood. And the prices are still modest in comparison to other hotspots like Malasaña and Chueca.

Fuet wrapped in paper

Fuet wrapped in paper

Carneceria

Carneceria

All neighborhoods of Madrid have their local markets. Many, especially in the more upscale areas, have been refurbished and turned into fashionable displays of Spain’s haute cuisine, such as Mercado de San Miguel and Mercado de San Anton. But in 2012, Mercado de San Fernando — el mercado de Lavapiés — decided to reinvent itself making it more reflective of the eclectic tastes of its host neighborhood. Unlike the others, Lavapiés’ market has managed to embrace the new while maintaining its laid-back, local and traditional essence.

The carniceria at Bond 40

The carniceria at Bond 40

Greek olives and olive oil

Greek olives and olive oil

The streets of Lavapiés are lined with Indian restaurants, hipster cafés and independent boutiques, and its market is just as diverse as all the small alleys and plazuelas surrounding it. Here you will find a wonderful mix of traditional Spanish shops and foreign options. The fruit-seller and the good old Bar Barroso blend happily together with the higher-end oyster/wine bar, Bond 40, and the stylish leather handbag maker.

Bar Barroso

Bar Barroso

Leather handbag maker

Leather handbag maker

Mojitos at Bond 40

Mojitos at Bond 40

When I first went to Mercado de San Fernando, it was by chance. I was walking up Calle Embajadores and stumbled upon a rather austere building with a grey facade. Little did I know that I was about to slip through the market’s winding aisles to discover stands selling quiches and empanadas, as well as full bars crowded with patrons from all walks of life–families with children, the older generation, groups of hipsters, foreigners and locals alike.

The facade of the market

The facade of the market

La Sal

La Sal

Lasaña Vegetal

Lasaña Vegetal

Quiche

Quiche

I like to start off by browsing through the market’s many stands, and graze a bit before I settle down at the German bar for an imported beer. Then I head over to the Greek’s for dinner–moussaka, kalamata olives, feta cheese and spinach pie. It just doesn’t get any better than that. For me, that is. For you, who knows?

Though the possibilities are endless when it comes to food, here you can expect, above all, a great ambience. Judging from the live music and boisterous company I experienced the last time I went, it’s safe to say that the word is out.

To check out Madrid’s other great markets, read New Markets of Madrid.

Information:

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Metro: Embajadores/Lavapiés (yellow line 3)

Address: C/ Embajadores, 41

Email: mercadosanfernandomadrid@gmail.com

Schedule:

Mon: Fri: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Sat: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sun: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

 

Meet the Mapistas

Amy, Chloe and Daphne hard at work -brainstorming the next articles!

Amy, Chloe and Daphne hard at work -brainstorming the next articles!

Map Magazine was founded back in 2007 by Phillip A. Stark. Recently,  the site came under new ownership, and along with it, a new team. Read more your favorite Map team members below. We’re always looking for contributing writers, if you’re interested in expanding your writing portfolio or just want to write about your experiences in Spain, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Mapistas

Roger

Roger

Roger Warwick Owner of Map Magazine

As the new owner of Map Magazine, Roger Warwick sought out a new team to help re-launch the site. His life in Spain began in 1988 when he started teaching English to business students.  During his time here, he started a few sites including GoMadrid. He now resides in Portugal, but often visits Madrid and makes sure to stop by his local favorite places like Casa Lucio or Posada de la Villa.

Alondra

Alondra Palomino

 

Alondra Palomino Editor

Alondra moved to Madrid a few years ago and works as a freelance writer and translator. She’s written for various websites on topics ranging from tourism to life as an expat. Her favorite things about Madrid are the seemingly endless amount of bars and restaurants and Retiro park. She also enjoys getting to know the neighborhoods by walking through them and asking locals where their favorite places are in Madrid.

 

 

 

Contributing Writers

Alissa

Alissa

Alissa Greenberg

Alissa is a travel addict currently living on her third continent. After graduating from college in 2008, she spent a year making her way around the world. Pausing for a year and a half in her native Boston, she then jetted off again, this time to Spain, where she has lived both north (Castilla y Leon, Castilla La Mancha) and south (Andalucia.) Her written work has appeared in the “Sampan” immigrant newspaper and the online travel websites DGuides, GoMadrid, and the Spain Scoop. Her radio spots have been produced nationally on the American radio show “Here & Now.” She blogs about her travel foibles, adventures, and reflections at  www.alissaswideworld.blogspot.com.

Amy

 

Amy Logan

Amy first came to Madrid in 2008 to play water polo for CN La Latina in the premier national league. She fell in love with the place and the city so much that when she went home for a stint two years later, she took a madrileño back home to New Zealand with her. She returned with her partner last year and is currently writing various publications and web page content in English for local companies.

 

 

 

Chloe

Chloe

Chloe Broadfield 

Chloe recently moved from London to Madrid to study here for a semester. For her, one of the best things about Madrid is its walk-ability – you can cross the centre in just 30 minutes. She says that she especially loves the dramatic light, which often gives the warm colours of the cityscape a surreal glow, “as much on a bright summer morning as at an autumnal dusk”. But the best thing she’s discovered here is yayo, a surprising concoction of gin, vermouth and soda water, popular amongst both the younger and older generations of madrileños. In spite of its strength, it has a delicious, sweet taste and only costs 2€ a glass!

 

 

Daphne

Daphne

Daphne Binioris

Daphne Binioris is from New York City but has been living in Madrid for six years. Her dream is to live between the two cities. She currently works in a communication agency, and as a freelance translator, writer and English teacher. When she’s not working, she’s either exploring Madrid, taking dance classes or traveling.

 

In love with Dray Martina

Image via Dray Martina

Image via Dray Martina

Dray Martina has only been open for a couple of months and is quickly becoming the place to go in Madrid for an intimate night with friends or a romantic dinner for two. The simple tables and vintage chairs fit in quite nicely with the rest of the décor. And while the setting is nice during the day, you’ll be in for a treat at night when they turn down the lights and turn on the candlelights at each table.

This is part of the Madrid in Love designers so you’ll find similar features as one of our other favorites, Maricastaña restaurant. The kitchen at Dray Martina opens early for breakfast (8:30am) stays open all day long.

Image via Dray Martina

Image via Dray Martina

Here, the food is a mix of Spanish and contemporary. The menu has classic items like croquetas that are made with spinach and a type of ham that make for some of the best croquetas we’ve ever tasted! We also tried the Pez mantequilla (fish with butter sauce), the buffalo mozzarella salad and the pulpo (octopus). All of the food items we tried were delicious and the service was wonderful! They staff there are all very kind, patient and a couple of them even try to explain menu items in English. The prices are quite reasonable, we paid  about 25€ each person for a starter, a main and a glass of excellent red wine. They post their menu del dia (fixed lunch menu) on their twitter account each day. Make sure to call ahead and make a reservation!

Where: Dray Martina is located on Calle Argensola, 7
Metro: Alonso Martinez
When: Open Monday to Thursday from 8:30am to 2am
Friday from 8:30am to 2:30am
Saturday from 10am to 2:30am
Sunday from 10am to 2am
Telephone: +34 910 810 056

One of Madrid’s Hidden Treasures: El Horno: a uniquely welcoming dance and fitness center

Classical Ballet, Flamenco, Contemporary, Zumba, Acrobatics, Kung Fu, Hand Balance, Pole Dancing, Tango, Yoga, Pilates, Crossfit, Jazz, Hip-hop, Bollywood, Afro-contemporary, Workshops, Studio-rentals, Castings and everything else…

El Horno, meaning “the oven”, is a funky and fantastic three-story fitness and dance center near metros La Latina, Lavapiés and Tirso de Molina. A family-run business, El Horno is serious about fitness, offering more than 80 activities taught by highly-trained instructors at affordable rates. But what really stands out for me is its down-to-earth feel and welcoming décor.

Tucked within a typically-old, red-shuttered Madrileño building on Calle Esgrima (esgrima means fencing, and they offer that too), you’ll find a mix of 19th century charm with 21st century amenities. Like a fantasy treehouse, a labyrinth of staircases leads you to dance studios of varying sizes while music wafts through the halls from every corner. Framed photographs of teachers and overflowing bulletin-boards line the walls. Colorfully tiled indoor and outdoor plant-filled patios with free WIFI invite you to sit, relax, mingle, read, stretch or rehydrate between classes.

In addition to dance classes, El Horno also has a full-service gym with workout machines equipped with individual TV screens and Internet, as well as a wide array of fitness classes for all levels (if you really want to sweat, try Crossfit, wow!).

The bilingual staff will help you choose from the myriad of classes and payment plans; from drop-in dance classes to long-term fitness programs. And if you just want to explore, El Horno offers different open classes every week that cost 5E so you can try out the regularly-scheduled activities without breaking the wallet or making a commitment.

I’ve been going to El Horno for more than two years now. I used to have the Fitness Plus plan which includes access to dance classes and the gym. I enjoyed it because I knew I could go there at any time of day and there would always be a dance class I could take, from Jazz and Classical Ballet, to Bollywood and Afro-contemporary. Now I’m pushing myself to try things I never saw myself doing, such as Acrobatics, Pole Dancing and Hand Balance.

3 Monthly Plans: Schedules & Rates

  1. Tarifa Fitness: gym access + fitness classes

  2. Fitness Plus: gym access + fitness classes + numerous dance classes

  3. Ciclo Indoor (Spinning) (can be added onto the other two plans)

Outside the Monthly Plans: Full Class Schedule + Prices

  • 5E: open classes

  • 93E: 12 class coupons (1h=1 coupon or 1.5h=1.5 coupons)

  • 10.50E-15E: drop-in classes

Information:

Address: C/ Esgrima, 11

Metro: Tirso de Molina, Lavapiés, La Latina

Website: www.centroelhorno.com

Telephone: +34 91 527 57 01

Email: info@centroelhorno.com

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Drink like a Spaniard

drinks

Madrid certainly has a thriving drinking tradition and the vibrant neighbourhood of Malasaña is one of the best in the city in which to take part. Nestled in its narrow streets is the ever-bursting Casa Camacho, renowned for its knockout concoction of vermouth, gin and soda water, which goes by the name yayo.

Casa Camacho, Image via El Pais

Casa Camacho, Image via El Pais

The drink earned its name – a colloquial term for ‘grandpa’ – through its traditional popularity amongst the older generation. But it’s recently been given a new lease of life by many young madrileños owing to its high alcohol content, low price and surprisingly sweet taste.

The bar is an experience in itself. There’s a photo hung proudly on the wall, dated some years earlier, of the brothers who still run it today. Along with the ancient bottles gathering dust behind the bar, it’s a testament to yayo’s stoic popularity. No doubt at some point during the night, probably a few yayos in, you’ll find yourself crawling under the counter and squeezing between the bar staff – not through pure drunken confusion (though this is inevitable after the third), but because that’s where you’ll find the in-house toilets! Casa Camacho is unique, always friendly and unfailingly lively.

For an experience further south in the city, head to Venencia. The building’s façade being little wider than the door itself, this antique bar is easy to miss. Upon entering, its near 100 years are visible in the cracked walls, discoloured posters and battered wooden furniture. There’s such a sense of history that you feel as though time’s stopped still.

Inside La Venencia, image via TourismoMadrid.net

Inside La Venencia, image via TourismoMadrid.net

Here, the speciality is sherry (Vino de Jerez to the locals), and can be tried in five different varieties. As you work your way through them the bar staff will mark your tab up in chalk on a blackboard behind the bar! Even the resident cat, who can be found docile and curled up in a corner, appears to enjoy the effects of the wine, perhaps a little high off the pervading oaky haze!

Casa Camacho: Calle de San Andrés, 4 28004

La Venencia: Calle de Echegaray, 7 28014