1. La Mallorquina
La Mallorquina is a very old, traditional patisserie-café located at Puerta del Sol, one of the most famous squares in Madrid. It opened in 1894 and its history goes back far with secret recipes and old charm. The window displays showcase all the amazing cakes you can buy or order for a special occasion. Inside there is a counter full of pastries, sweets and chocolate treats. You can order to take away, stand at the bustling bar area or head upstairs to a quieter room of tables and chair.
*Hint*: If you want to order like a local, try a palmier and or a cortado coffee!
2. Café de la Luz
Café de la Luz is a cozy little café that’s extremely popular for brunch. It has a relaxed vibe with mismatched furniture and quirky vintage touches. It’s not far from the famous Gran Via and is the perfect stop after scouring the shops. They have vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options on the menu. Tables fill up quickly so make sure you get there early or call ahead to book.
*Hint*: Try the mini brunch menu. You get to select a toast, slice of cake, tea or coffee plus a glass of fresh orange juice for 9.90€!
Bicicleta was opened as a “cycling cafe and workplace”. The owners wanted somewhere cycle enthusiasts could meet, grab a good coffee, and work on their laptops. The coffee is so good here that even if you don’t have a bike you will want to stop by. It’s a popular place for people to hang out day and night with its rough-around-the-edges interior and interesting artwork. The menu is simple and they use high-quality ingredients.
*Hint*: Try the ham and serrano bagel; it’s delicious with a fresh juice (called “zumo de frutas”), or a cheeky mojito!
4. La Duquesita
La Duquesita has a traditional exterior but a much more refined style inside. Here they line up beautiful tarts and patisserie behind the glass in a very neat and Parisian way. Takeaway orders are served in pretty blue and red boxes and there are small marble-topped tables if you want to eat-in. There are only a couple of tables so bear in mind you might have to wait.
*Hint*: Try literally any of the pretty little hand-made tarts or a big croissant with a café con leche.
5. Federal Café
Federal Café is a modern café started by a few Australian guys who saw a gap in the market for a modern no-fuss place to get great coffee. They now have two cafés in Madrid, two in Barcelona, one in Valencia, and another one in Girona. It has a cool and simplistic interior and is quite popular with students studying or meeting friends. In addition to cakes and biscuits from the counter, the menu has a good selection lunch and dinner dishes such as sandwiches and burgers. You can even get Australian imported beers and home-made Lamington cakes.
*Hint*: Try the white chocolate and raspberry layered sponge cake with a flat white.
6. El Riojano
El Riojano is a traditional style café with an antique old wooden framed display counter full of sweet treats. They have typical Spanish flans, pastries and biscuits all available to take away or enjoy in the beautiful tea room. It has an opulent décor with big chandeliers and lots of gold detailing, it feels like you have stepped back in time. They have a variety of teas available to enjoy with your chosen cake and the china-ware is very pretty. Be aware that it closes between 2-5pm for siesta.
*Hint*: Try one of the cream pastries “crema pastelera” with café con leche or a pot of English tea.
7. Mür Café
Mür Café is small but very popular for breakfast and brunch on the weekend. You can choose from an extensive breakfast menu depending on whether you have a sweet or savory tooth or how hungry you feel. They also have an extensive selection of cakes that are hard to find in Madrid, like American cheesecakes and bagels and English scones. Food is served on mismatched vintage plates at a slow and relaxed pace. Plus, the servings are very generous!
*Hint*: Try the scrumptious gooey Oreo New York cheesecake and a hot chocolate.
8. Plántate Café
Plántate Café is a newly opened small, modern coffee shop where you can enjoy a great coffee surrounded by bare brick and green plants. The décor is perfect for Instagram snaps (#instaworthy)! They really take their coffee seriously here and are true specialty coffee lovers. Their coffee comes from select suppliers chosen by the owner and the food menu includes toast, cakes, and yogurt with chia seeds.
*Hint*: Try toast with avocado and cold press coffee or one of the herbal teas.
9. Lolina Vintage Café
Lolina Vintage Café is a cute retro café with a funky, colorful retro décor and great cakes. It’s located right in the heart of the trendy Malasana barrio, which is full of unusual, quirky shops and bars. There is seating downstairs, so if its busy upstairs take a quick peek and you should be able to grab a table. You order at the counter and the staff brings everything to your table as it’s ready. They also do smoothies, hot dogs, and cocktails!
*Hint*: Try the super chocolate cake or carrot cake with a cappuccino.
10. Toma Café
Toma Café is one of the first modern independent cafés to serve well-trained barista made coffee in Madrid. They have a well-renowned menu of select coffee beans to choose from. It’s a favorite caffeine-fix spot for local hipsters. It’s a very compact space with low, re-purposed wood tables and upcycled seating. On the counter they have homemade cookies, cakes and offer a small menu with a selection of interesting flavor-combination toast toppings such as avocado & strawberry or cheese & honey.
*Hint*: Try a slice of whatever loaf cake is fresh on the counter with a mocha or caramel iced latte.
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This article was written by Perri, an English expat living in Madrid, Spain. Perri has traveled the world extensively and is currently based in the Spanish city of Madrid to do some deeper exploring of the oh-so-lovely Spain. She’s a big fan of lying on the beach, eating chocolate, and seeking the Spanish sun. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. (Oh, you can also find her sipping her way through all the cafés in Madrid! *wink wink*)