World's Best Bar Crawls

by Darrell Hartman


What's on tap: Vino and tapas, in one of Spain's most buzzing wine-bar districts

Why it's worth a shot: After a couple of hours studying the somber Goyas and Velazquezes at the Prado, revive with food and drink in La Latina, a traditionally working-class neighborhood that's now the refuge of artists and immigrants. On the twisting thoroughfare of Calle Cava Baja in particular, tiny tapeos (tapas bars) are cheek by jowl—and no, that's not a pork pun.

Booze route: Walk west from the La Latina subway stop to Juana La Loca, on Plaza Puerto de Moros, and have the waiter suggest a wine to go with the bar's much-loved pinchos (mini-slices of bread with a dab of something, often fish, on top). It's "Solo Vino Espanol," as the sign says, at Tempranillo (pictured), where the list of more than 100 Spanish bottlings will get you well beyond the typical Riojas and Ribera del Dueros. Those politicians who didn't have to wait for a table—as you will—are likely friends with the owner, a former staff member in the Spanish senate. Less than a minute in the direction of Plaza Mayor, on the same street, is Casa Lucas, a bright-orange space with tiled walls and a rotating list of wines by the glass. By this point you'll have spent three hours in three bars, and been on foot for a total of about ten minutes. Blame La Latina's layout if the wine starts to get to your head.

Hangover cure: Madrid's answer to the doughnut—shaming of the doughnut, really—is the churro con chocolate, a sugared tube of deep-fried dough dipped in dark chocolate. Your best bet in La Latina is Chocolat Bar, a hole-in-the-wall on Calle Santa Maria.

Juana La Loca
Tel: 34 913 640 525

Tel: 34 913 641 532

Casa Lucas
Tel: 34 913 650 804

Chocolat Bar
Tel: 34 914 294 565

NEXT: The Happiest Place on Earth, indeed

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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