11 bookstore cafes in Madrid to unwind this Christmas

If you are looking for an oasis in the heart of Madrid to lose yourself among books and cafes, here are 11 perfect places.
Cafebrería Ad Hoc

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In recent weeks the center of Madrid has become, more than ever, a hive of people coming and going. The city is more alive than ever and so are the bars and cafes. But there are also places where you can disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city and have a coffee while enjoying an interesting or relaxing read. In Madrid there are numerous bookstore cafes to give free rein to those moments of pleasure between page and page and sip and sip. Here are 11 bookstore cafes in the capital.


Opened just two months ago, this place located at 22 Carranza Street, is halfway between a traditional tasca and a traditional bookstore. The local defines its services as “Letras, Caldos, Chacinas”. A traditional cafeteria-bookstore that serves as a meeting point to enjoy gatherings, debates and book presentations, while tasting a cold beer accompanied by some of its portions of cecina de León, cheese, Iberian ham or gilda de Ondarroa.

Where? At 22 Carranza St. (San Bernardo subway)

Crazy Mary

In the heart of Las Letras neighborhood is this author’s bookstore, ideal if you like small publishers, or editions made with care, illustrated books or young authors. In addition, you also have at your disposal a list of great classics and a selection of international magazines on different topics. The place is also a meeting point for literature lovers where you can devour novels in its Book Club, participate in gatherings or attend presentations and literary meetings. It has sofas and tables to enjoy a hot coffee, to enjoy a comfortable and relaxed reading.

Where? Calle de Echegaray, 32, Centro, 28014 Madrid

Cafebrería Ad Hoc

This is one of the most successful bookstore cafes in Madrid since it opened 6 years ago in the Argüelles neighborhood. It is a cultural space with a large selection of books, which you can read while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, or even a glass of Spanish wine, craft beer or the classic vermouth. As for food, they are famous for their homemade cakes or grandmother’s cookies, but they also have a savory section, with portions such as hummus, chicken fingers or gildas. Whether for a morning reading or a relaxing afternoon, this café lives up to its name. They also organize reading or writing workshops, gatherings, book presentations or poetry recitals, among other cultural activities.

Where? Calle Buen Suceso 14, 28008, Madrid (Metro Argüelles)

Ocho y Medio Libros de Cine

It is a real institution in the world of bookstore cafes in Madrid, especially in the world of cinema and show business. Its location is unbeatable, right on the Paseo de la Fama and in front of the mythical Golem and Renoir cinemas. The Ocho y Medio bookstore has been home for 26 years to more than 15,000 volumes of books in Spanish, French, Italian and English, as well as films and more. Its name is a tribute to the Federico Fellini film. And since a few years ago, the owners decided to expand the activity by creating a small cafeteria inside, called Via Margutta, which is the street where Fellini and his wife lived. You can taste appetizers, toasts, salads, portions or hamburgers, whose names have cinematographic references, such as the patatas bravas Almodóvar, the salad My big Greek wedding, the Berlanga toast (Iberian ham and cured cheese) or the Pulp Fiction hamburger.

Where? At 11 Martín de los Heros Street, Madrid (Plaza España).

Tipos infames

Another literary hotspot in the capital. This bookstore specializing in independent literary narrative opened in 2010 in the Malasaña neighborhood, becoming a multidisciplinary space that also offers different activities such as a cafeteria, wine bar, exhibition hall and presentations. In the gastronomic section, they offer quality products such as signature wines or craft beers.

Where? In San Joaquín, 3, Madrid (Malasaña)


Another place that is half bookstore, half coffee shop and wine bar. On the literary side, it is another of bookstore cafes in Madrid that specializes in theater and film books. On the gastro side, they serve wine and “cosas ricas” all day long, as well as specialty coffee and artisanal pastries. They have just celebrated their first anniversary, but have established themselves as a hybrid space where you can relax with a coffee and a book, have breakfast or brunch on weekends, and also have a snack with a good glass of wine.

Where? Calle de Sta. Teresa 14, 28004, Madrid (Alonso Martínez)

Olavide Bar de Libros

Behind this book bar are Daniel Ulanovsky Sack and Raquel Garzón, two Argentines who found their place in Madrid. Literature lovers, they decided to create a meeting place for curious readers that, in addition to moments of reading, would provide joy and entertainment. Thus was born Olavide Bar de Libros in the heart of the Chamberí neighborhood. You will find a long list of titles that is constantly expanding and you can have coffee and homemade pastries at one of its tables.

Where? Calle de Olid 14, Madrid

La Buena Vida

This bookstore is very close to the Teatro Real. It is an independent and cultural bookstore that has been open since 2007. In 2018 it won the Cultural Bookstore Award. It has a wide section dedicated to fiction, from sections of children’s and young adult literature, graphic novels, poetry, biographies, history and essay in general. It also organizes all kinds of cultural events: from presentations to debates, workshops or film and literature clubs. To complete its offer, La Buena Vida also serves a careful selection of wines, making it one of the essential coffee-shop-bookstores in Madrid.

Where? Calle de Vergara 5, 28013, Madrid (Ópera)

Café del Monaguillo

This traditional neighborhood cafeteria, located in La Latina, also hides in its main hall a bookstore specializing in second-hand books. You can have breakfast, a vermouth, a coffee or enjoy a meal while reading a book and relaxing in such a traditional area of the capital.

Where? Plaza de la Cruz Verde 3, Madrid (La Latina)

Mansilla Libros y Café

Officially opened just 3 months ago, Mansilla is a corner where you can enjoy the pleasure of a good coffee and read novels of all kinds at the same time. To enter through its doors is to disconnect from the center of Madrid and immerse yourself in a world of fantasy while you sip a hot coffee and try one of their delicious breakfasts, with toast, homemade pastries, cakes or bowls of yogurt and cereals. As a note, it is a pet-friendly place and they defend sustainability by dispensing with plastic. Of course, in the coming months it will also be a meeting point for literary gatherings and other events related to reading.

Where? Calle de Embajadores 26, 28005, Madrid (Lavapiés-Embajadores)

La Mistral

It is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the center of Madrid, located in the hall of the old Arenal Theater. Its name is a tribute to the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral. It was created in the middle of the pandemic by three Argentinean friends who dreamed of opening a bookstore in the capital. And they materialized it by turning it into “a meeting place you don’t want to leave”, with literature as the central axis, but also drinking a coffee or enjoying the events on one of the two floors of this emblematic building.

Where? Travesía del Arenal 2, Madrid (Sol)

What do you think of these bookstore cafes in Madrid? If you like reading, write them all down and prepare a route of literature and coffee.