A Neighbourhood Guide to Chueca, Madrid

6 mai 2024

Madrid is vibrant city that offers its visitors a multitude of events and experiences on a daily basis; but the best way to live in the excitement is to simply walk around and lose oneself among the tree lined streets that always lead somewhere: whether it’s an art gallery, an enticing boutique, a new cafe or one of the many entrances to the spectacular Retiro park. Chueca, on the other hand, is always a certainty; the central LGBTQ+ neighbourhood that radiates inclusivity, positive energy and eclecticism. Its streets are rimmed with design-forward boutiques, trendy cafes and innovative restaurants and bars. Here is a list of ten outlets to visit in the neighbourhood:


Julieta Pasella, Spanish, and Nico Marchand, Argentinian, opened La Alquimia Vinos Naturales overnight back in October 2022. An admirable decision considering they had no formal training, yet through their passion and proactivity, they succeeded in creating a cosy natural wine bar around the corner from Paseo de Recoletos and Colón metro station. “It took time, in the beginning it was only family and friends who would come”, and the wines available were the 30 bottles left over from Julieta’s wedding - yet today, the wine list features an extremely curated selection of both hispanic and international natural labels. The location is intimate, cosy and very welcoming with a candle lit atmosphere and a few bites to share whilst savouring these sweet nectars.

WEBSITE:: https://www.instagram.com/laalquimiavinos/


Tucked away on the parallel of Madrid’s Calle del Barquillo, a street rimmed with epic concept stores, art galleries and health stores, you’ll find Ficus, a cocktail bar that draws you in from the inviting plant-filled window. A place frequented by locals, in fact you may have to queue for a table at the weekend as they don’t take reservations, but it’s undoubtedly worth the wait. Inside is an exotic, African inspired space with cream coloured zellige tiled bar, tribal masks hung on the walls and cabinets filled with art and craftsmanship imported from Mali, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The signature cocktails reflect the space, with fresh and well balanced ingredients beautifully presented with garnishes or in volcanic salt rimmed glasses. The Cabo Verde is the most popular, blending vodka with cacao, banana syrup and matcha.

WEBSITE: https://www.instagram.com/ficusmadrid/?hl=en


Altered is the ultimate culinary proposal drawn up by We Crave, a food design studio based in Madrid. The concept is a synthesis of art, design and gastronomy, offering a sensorial and experiential experience in the Chueca neighbourhood. The project, in collaboration with Modbar & Nomad Coffee, welcomes you into an informal context thus surprising you with refined dishes creatively presented. Each item on the menu has been meticulously studied by the Chef under every aspect: from the origin of each ingredient to unexpected flavour combinations and the way each particular dish generates emotional responses. From breakfast through to lunch, make sure to stop by for a cup of specialty coffee or to embark on this special, culinary journey.

WEBSITE: https://www.instagram.com/altered_bywecrave/


The city has its fair share of food markets, constantly thriving with both locals and tourists throughout the entire day; yet the Mercado de Sant’Anton in Chueca has recently become the place to be. Its story begins in the 19th century as a very simple vendors market evolving throughout the years until reaching its current state in 2020, with a more contemporary look and feel with quirky graphics and interesting culinary proposals whilst respecting its tradition. Three floors of which two are dedicated to an enticing selection of foods and drinks and the third, a rooftop where you can enjoy local gastronomy with a cocktail. Savour fantastic tortilla, order a glass of vermouth or sangría and mix in with the chaos.

WEBSITE: https://www.mercadosananton.com/


Along the edge of Chueca lies Gota, a quality natural wine bar opened under two years ago by ACID, a cafe, bakehouse and shop which, due to high demand, decided to extend across the late-hour F&B sector. The concept is to give a voice to the winemakers, as well as showcasing a varieties of natural nectars which you can enjoy with a bite or two (the Rugbrød, butter and anchovies accompany marvellously the Spanish bubbles). The design is sleek, almost Scandinavian style with an inviting minimalistic interior designed by Madrid-based architectural studio Planetea Studio. To welcome you upon entry is a dark wooden, curvaceous bar with a vinyl player because in the evenings, dinner and drinks are accompanied by a little jam.

WEBSITE: https://gotawine.es/


A multifaceted space which belongs to La Mucca group, a collection of trendy, casual eateries spread throughout the city. En Bruto is tucked away along the cobblestoned streets and graffiti façades of Chueca, a district known for its innovative and inviting spots. From outside it seems like a simple coffee store yet inside, it’s almost overwhelming how many intriguing parts to this place there are. Walk past the specialty coffee bar on your right and artisanal bakery on your left, through to the co-working area. This is the heart and soul where people exchange ideas and host team building events over a cup of coffee and banana bread. But this is also where the Fermakers lab is, the first neighbourhood kombucha bar in Madrid where Brutt Kombucha is crafted as well as kitchen workshops and show cooking, mixology and cocktails and the ‘behind the scenes’ of where the fresh loaves are baked.

WEBSITE: www.enbruto.com


There is a lot more than specialty coffee in this place; Faraday unites coffee culture with music and design, where you can simply come to browse or take a seat and enjoy a cup or two of specialty coffee in the tranquil, urban retreat. If you’re feeling peckish there are exquisite daily bakes on display, the carrot cake is highly recommended. On the shelves, a display of natural wines, reusable bottles, accessories, books and magazines which change every now and again (so if you see something you like don’t think twice!). Then there’s the vinyls, the beating heart of this 60s inspired cafe; if one takes your fancy pop it on the record player and jam along.

WEBSITE: https://www.instagram.com/faradaymadrid/


A small but evocative contemporary art gallery in the Chueca neighbourhood of Madrid. It represents young, emerging and consolidated artists both national and international. Every month the gallery gives a voice to these creators, who through their thought-provoking works encourage reflection and drive curiosity; until 21st November, Azuleta will display the first solo exhibition by Andrea Torres Balaguer entitled “Por el sur de mis pies fue primavera”. The exhibition, one of the most special and awaited by the artist, gathers a total of six unpublished photographs, the result of her recent collaboration with the French fashion house Dior, and her photographic interpretation of the “Crucero 2023” collection. The collection revisits the Andalusian aesthetic and cultural references translating them through the dramatic effects of lights, contrasting techniques and the uses of deep red, black and gold leaf, thus reflecting the particularities of this Southern hispanic region.

WEBSITE: https://www.alzuetagallery.com/locations/alzueta-gallery-madrid/


José and Toni fell in love with Portuguese ceramics during a road trip they took through the country, successfully asking around “with sign language” where the best artisan workshops were since they couldn’t communicate in Portuguese. To their surprise, what happened next was the spark that ignited their desire to become entrepreneurs; as they purchased various plates, cups, jugs and decorations they were charged by kilo, a concept that, after noticing the gap in the market, they decided to bring back to Spain adapting to their market. Today, they have two stores in the city: one in Chueca and one in Rastro, selling artisan-made ceramics painted by hand in many beautiful patterns and colours, mostly representative of hispanic and Portuguese arts.

WEBSITE: https://laoficialceramica.com/

Along Calle del Barquillo lies Anclademar, a contemporary concept store founded by Fran G. Beivide, whose past experience in the Fashion Industry has led him to create a brand of his own (and not only). Here, you’ll find a curious collection of clothing, accessories, homeware, books, stationery and tableware that bring together different parts of the world in one, beautifully designed space. Attention to detail and design is clear, from the way everything has been carefully placed as if you were walking into a showroom. From Italian tableware brand Bitossi to a curated selection of Jonathen Adler, Assouline, Trudon and Anclademar’s very own clothing label - you’ll undoubtedly find a quality souvenir to bring home for yourself or your loved ones.

WEBSITE: https://anclademar.com/