Brunch: Something that Europeans still haven’t embraced, and that Carmencita is pushing to change with its array of all-day goodies. Careful though, as a fair few of them run out by 3pm. Excellent egg dishes (huevos rancheros, Benedicts, revueltos) are all priced at 8-9€ and mimosas (cava with orange juice, what Brits call Buck’s Fizz) are merely 1€ each. There are at least four different types of chilli sauce, some of which is used in the sensational Bloody Marys and Micheladas.
Metro Tribunal / Noviciado
A mini-club at times, Bogui is fun and unpretentious. A memorable night here involved the DJ playing three Tribe Called Quest tracks within fifteen minutes (three! Fifteen minutes!), a personal hiphop favourite. Small jazz bands often play the intimate stage. Drinks are reasonably priced, the crowd is as scruffy as Malasaña gets, and they carry on until about 2.30am.
Metro Chueca / Cercanias Recoletos
The famous Lavapies institution came to Atocha just over a year ago, and very well-situated it is, bang opposite Kapital club and next to the Reina Sofia. It is very spacious inside and there are enough small tables along the wall so that seated diners don’t feel like the take-away queuers are hovering over them like impatient vultures.
The dips are good, vegetable options and platters hearty, but the stars of the menu are the meat wraps and platters. High quality lamb and chicken are prepared with spices and mint leaves, rolled in light tortillas in different combinations. My personal favourite is the long Jalo Grande (€5.90), already sectioned into 8-10 pieces, and the durum is a winner too. Long glasses (tubos) of beer at €2.20 each are more substantial than a caña but there is a wide selection of teas and juices too. Needless to say, prices are low, but Jalo would never skip on quality.