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Baristas working on coffee drinks and breakfast at Hola Coffee.
NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in Lavapies

Baristas working on coffee drinks and breakfast at Hola Coffee.
  • By Almudena Ávalos
  • Photos by Guillermo Gutierrez
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Lavapies
Madrid
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Many languages are spoken in this multicultural neighborhood of Madrid. It’s also where anonymous locals plant cactuses on the sidewalks, patrons pack outdoor cafes, street artists yarn-bomb the sidewalk posts, and neighborhood organizations join forces to preserve the identity of an area that has always resisted gentrification. In October, the bars organize Tapapies, a tapas challenge with a neighborhood jury. The traditional fiestas are held in August, with street music to suit every taste.

Meet Almudena Ávalos

Few people can say they are grandchildren of true Madrileños, but Almudena is one of them. She travels the world now as a food and culture writer, but she always returns to Madrid to discover hidden gems to share.

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Lavapies

Hola Coffee
Coffee enthusiasts know that this java joint, while unassuming from the outside, serves the best cup in the neighborhood. Each order is prepared with care, and Pablo, the barista, is one of the top coffee mixers in Spain. Ask for recommendations.
Hola Coffee, 33, calle del Doctor Fourquet, Madrid, 28012, España
Cine Doré (Filmoteca Española)
Film lovers stop by this 1923 modernist building each month to pick up a schedule of the month’s showings. The two screens offer classic and current movies, and the larger of the two theaters, painted cornflower blue, is so lovely that acclaimed filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar chose it as a setting in his 2019 movie “Pain and Glory.”
Cine Doré, 3, calle de Santa Isabel, Madrid, 28012, España
Antón Martín Market
This is where the locals do their daily shopping, but on the ground floor you’ll find Yokaloka, one of the best Japanese lunch bars in Madrid. And if you hear guitar-playing and clapping, it’s not a party you weren’t invited to: The top floor houses a flamenco academy.
Antón Martín Market, 5, calle de Santa Isabel, Madrid, 28012, España
Art on Doctor Fourquet Street
On this little street located behind the Reina Sofía Museum you’ll find some of Madrid’s most interesting contemporary art galleries, such as Helga de Alvear (heading west) and Moisés Pérez de Albéniz.
Calle del Doctor Fourquet, Madrid, 28012, España
Cafe Pavón
Neighborhood clientele mingle with photo-snapping newbies under the wooden ceiling of this 1924 vintage cafe, which exemplifies the spirit of days gone by. At night, it’s the place to be if you want to have a drink.
Cafe Pavón, 9, calle de Embajadores, Madrid, 28012, España
Bodegas Alfaro
This traditional tavern serves foam-topped draft beer with chips and olives. Stop by on a more tranquil weekday morning to browse the photos of flamenco artists and the vintage posters on the walls. On weekends, the crowds really liven it up.
Bodegas Alfaro, 10, calle del Ave María, Madrid, 28012, España
There's more to see
Almudena Ávalos
Few people can say they are grandchildren of true Madrileños, but Almudena is one of them. She travels the world now as a food and culture writer, but she always returns to Madrid to discover hidden gems to share.
Guillermo Gutierrez
Guillermo is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in Madrid.
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