Nightlife: Lavapiés

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  • Candela
  • Medias Puri – The Secret
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  • La Cocina de San Antón

If there is one area where Madrid's nightlife is totally multicultural it is undoubtedly Lavapiés. The multiracial character of this neighbourhood in the capital is reflected in the variety of African, Arabic, Latino and Flamenco rhythms that surround its nightlife. The sheer number of bars, restaurants and clubs, with flavours and sounds from all around the world, the extensive cultural offer and the good atmosphere of this increasingly fashionable area bring people back again and again.

Visitors can find Lavapiés between the junctions of  Embajadores and Emperador Carlos V and the plazas of Antón Martín, Tirso de Molina and Cascorro. The metro stops of Embajadores, Atocha, Antón Martín and Tirso de Molina all serve this area.

As the shops close up for the evening in Lavapiés, its cultural venues fling their doors wide open: the Teatro Valle-Inclán, concerts at La Casa Encendida which are held on its terrace with DJ sessions in summer, the Centro Social Autogestionado La Tabacalera, Circo Price, Filmoteca Española and the multipurpose cinema Artistic Metropol all turn Lavapiés into a hive of artistic and experimental activity. Citynizer Plaza, a unique space with a modern restaurant and an extensive gardened terrace is close to Plaza de Cascorro.

The different nationalities that live here also give rise to a culinary offer that encompasses all the flavours of the world. There are restaurants that specialise in Italian cuisine such as NAP, Greek such as Egeo, with a touch of English cuisine in Los Chuchis, Lebanese in Habibi and of course Indian in Anarkoli, Moharaj and Taj Mahal. Yeca Estrit Fud is a small establishment specialised in Asian street food dishes.  Along Calle Lavapiés, Calle Ave María and Calle Miguel Servet you will find international flavours, but Calle Argumosa is noted for its lively terraces attached to traditional Spanish bars and modern gastrobars. The latest openings include Sala Equis, a refurbished cinema-bar, where you can enjoy a bite to eat in incredible surroundings, as well as a restaurant that pays tribute to Madrid in the 1980s, Las chicas, los chichos y los maniquís, which is close to the edge of the Barrio de Las Letras. Between the district of Las Letras and Lavapiés is La Esperanza Bar, an old place that has been converted into a trendy bar offering cocktails and tapas.

In Torrecilla del Leal, the small bar, Los Titos, specialised in signature hamburgers and portions, stands out. La Burlona Bar in Calle de Santa Isabel is a gastronomic proposal by Raúl Saldaña and the chef, Jorge Reina, which offers traditional food using contemporary techniques.

The culinary offer also extends to the gastromarkets of San Fernando and Antón Martín, where traditional market stalls can be found alongside gourmet proposals, concerts and dance-a-thons.

Once your appetite is sated, you should let yourself get swept away by the diversity of this area's entertainment offer. Often held in typical vaulted basements, characteristic of Madrid in centuries gone by, you can enjoy stand-up comedy, theatre, cabaret and music, for example, in La Escalera de Jacob.

If you are looking to go out on the town, head for fashionable places like Club 33 (legendary club previously known as Medea) with its electro-indie sounds, part of the neighbourhood's extensive offer catering to the LGTBIQA+ community, which is looking to set itself apart from other places for girls. A good option for dancing is La Noche Boca ArribaLavapiés was the birthplace of LGTBIQA+ collectives such as Radical Gai and LSD, and here you can find the largest number of “bares de ambiente” as Lesbian bars are known colloquially here.

In the establishment that housed the legendary Sala Caracol for 31 years is now Sala Villanos, a space dedicated to music, with a predilection for styles such as jazz, flamenco, soul, funk, afro and new trends. It also hosts part of the programme of the annual Villanos del Jazz concert series.

Not forgetting the transgressive Medias Puri, with its live shows. Those looking for live music also have plenty to choose from: El Juglar, El Despertar and La Huelga de Lavapiés are just a few of the options.

Medias Puri. Noche Lavapiés

Alternative scenes and the Fiesta de San Lorenzo

In the second week of August, the streets of Lavapiés get all decked out to celebrate the traditional Verbena de San Lorenzo –in honour of the festivity held on the 10 August, paying tribute to the patron saint of the basilica of the same name, located in this district - with stalls, tombolas and concerts. Popular parallel activities are also held, promoted by neighbourhood associations with more contemporary rhythms and with a focus on integration.

Every year, the Lavapiés neighborhood hosts the gastronomic event Tapapiés, the Multicultural Route of the Tapas and Music in which several establishments in the area take part with various culinary proposals to surprise those who come along to taste them.



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