These are the oldest bars in Madrid

Madrid has always been one of the cities with the largest number of bars in the world and, fortunately, many of these historic bars are still standing. Here are some of them.
Taberna Ángel Sierra.

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Madrid can tell its story through its bars. Going out for a drink: a few beers, a vermouth or a good wine in the afternoon accompanied by tapas or raciones, after a day’s work or a weekend with friends, is an important part of Spanish culture, and it is a custom that has not been lost from generation to generation.

Madrid has always been one of the cities with the largest number of bars in the world and, fortunately, many of these historic bars are still standing. Great writers, artists and politicians of world importance have gathered in these establishments to talk about things that have changed the world.

Here are some of the oldest bars in the city. Some of them, besides being bars (with alcoholic beverages), are also taverns and restaurants, as they serve daily set menus or well-prepared portions. The distinction of these three concepts is sometimes a bit ambiguous depending on the establishment.

Casa Alberto

Casa Alberto is a centenary bar/tavern founded in 1827. It will soon be 200 years old. The current building dates back to that time, built on top of a previous one, from the mid-16th century, which was where Miguel de Cervantes lived. This establishment abounds in tap beer, Casa Alberto vermouth and a variety of traditional tapas and portions, such as Madrid-style tripe, stewed oxtail, Madrid-style snails and homemade ham croquettes. A real gem.

 C. de las Huertas, 18, 28012 Madrid

Taberna Antonio Sánchez

For some, this is the oldest tavern in Madrid. However, the exact date of its foundation remains a mystery. According to the establishment’s website, they have evidence that it existed prior to February 1787, since the transfer of the same as a business dedicated to the dispatch of wines was published in the Diario Curioso, Erudita, Económica y Comercial (Curious, Erudite, Economic and Commercial Journal). In 1884 it was bought by Antonio Sánchez Ruiz, son of tavernkeepers, and since then it has been known by that name. The place, which preserves the original tiles, offers tapas and dishes such as oxtail, tripe soup and torrijas.

C. del Mesón de Paredes, 13, 28012 Madrid

Casa Labra

Casa Labra is one of the most famous bars/restaurants in the center of Madrid. It was founded in 1860, and is famous for having been the place where the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) was ‘clandestinely’ founded on May 2, 1879 by a group of workers and intellectuals, led by the typographer Pablo Iglesias. Its specialties are tajada de bacalao, cod croquettes, and Valdepeñas wines.

C. de Tetuán, 12, 28013 Madrid

Bodegas Ricla

Bodegas Ricla is one of those places that keep alive the spirit of authenticity amidst the tourist establishments in the center of the capital. It was founded in 1867 and bears the name Ricla after the village in Aragon where its founders came from. Here you can have vermouth on tap, first quality wines and beers, and different tapas and portions such as callos a la madrileña, the house meatballs, cecina de León or cod with oil.

C. de Cuchilleros, 6, 28005 Madrid

Café Gijón

It was founded in the spring of 1888 by the businessman Don Gumersindo García, who named his business after his hometown. This establishment has seen the likes of Canalejas, Ramón y Cajal, Baroja, Pérez-Galdós, Benavente, Valle-Inclán, Gómez de la Serna, among other intellectuals of the time. It stands out for its good coffee, its well-drawn beers, its quality wines, its pastries, and its tapas and portions, such as the tortilla de patatas, or the callos a la madrileña.

P.º de Recoletos, 21, 28004 Madrid

Taberna Ángel Sierra

Las Bodegas de Ángel Sierra is one of the most traditional bars in the Madrid neighborhood of Chueca. It opened its doors in 1908, (it was then owned by a businessman named Felipe who sold it to Ángel Sierra in 1917), who gave his name to the establishment. This place, covered in wood with barrels and a mural on the ceiling, offers vermouth on tap (considered by many as one of the best in Madrid), well-drawn beers, cider, wine, tapas and snacks, such as its famous olives, tostas and montaditos.

C. de Gravina, 11, 28004 Madrid