There are places that do not lose their essence, although time passes and fashions change. The Barrio de las Letras is one of them. Its Madrid streets of buildings with balconies and Ferdinand lanterns where great authors lived, from Cervantes to Lope de Vega, are today the lure of modern business ideas. It is conceivable that it is a neighborhood with a captivating spell.
Proof of this is intended to be the first edition of Culture Letters 2022heas cultural festivals that this week (from June 16 to 19) are celebrated with a program of dramatized routes, storytelling, concerts and exhibitions in order to promote culture in the area and boost its commercial and hospitality fabric. behind are the Association of Merchants of the Barrio de Las Letras and the Madrid City Council through the projects Madrid Capital de Moda and Todo está en Madrid.
12 Classics and ‘modernities’
The buzz of the 80s is left behind and today this central gentrified area is a full time, a place to enjoy day and night. The lower part, from where this route starts, invites you to open the afternoon on the terraces of the taverns Silverware (1) and the annex Bar Museum (2) (both in the romantic Plaza de la Platería de Martínez), where Calle de Huertas ends. It is the endless avenue of bronze literary quotes on the cobblestones that articulates the neighborhood and gave it a popular name. Today, the fine Barrio de las Letras receives from the mythical Jazz bars (3) (Moratin, 35) to modernities like the art center CaixaForum (4) (Paseo del Prado 36) or the spaces of co-working Impact HUB (5) (Alameda, 22; Governor, 26).
14.30 Chicken curry and moussaka
The world keeps turning as we enter the street of Jesus (6) classic taverns from the last century triumph, such as the pains (Jesus, 4), 1908. On one side, Beers The Factory (in 2) it serves a rich salad and a good seafood salad under an artistic conglomeration of canned food on the bar to the delight of the tourist. the annex The cats (Jesús, 2) is a vermouth and toast landmark. Beyond the hotel The Westin Palace, another emblem, hosts a posh space with brunch under a glass dome, The Rotunda (Plaza de las Cortes, 7).
The location to visit the main museums of the city attracts the tourist, while international cuisine progressively seeks its place. The penultimate to debut has been The Social Club (7) (Moratín, 42), a restaurant in fusion cuisine Asian, Peruvian and Argentine, from busy partners with another local in Chueca. An alternative to lunch time. He has also done it, a little higher, Masala Darbar (8) (Huertas, 53), where its Bangladeshi owners serve chicken and lamb delicacies curry in dishes like Chicken Tikka Masala either Lamb Balti, in small and crowded tables. Close, Piccolo Devil (9) (Fúcar, 14) offers pasta al dente And opposite, in 127 Taipei Ramen Bar & Baos (10) (11), the Taiwanese woman on the other side of the bar says that Madrid is already “an international city”. Rather, in those is the neighborhood. The Vietnamese Veteran vietnam (eleven) (Huertas, 4), also with local service, has opened hello vietnam (12) (at 10); Tokyo ball (13) (Echegaray, 29) is a new and tiny japanese and then there is the famous Greek Dionysus (14) (Leon, 17), with his moussakas and zucchini fritters with feta cheese. In the famous vegan The Biotika (fifteen) (Amor de Dios, 3), its owner Jesús Martín points out that the neighborhood now “is more European”.
17.00 A girl in the bag
After the agape, the calm girl and the design proposals invite you to try out a purchase in the craft bazaar Ibay (16) (San Agustín, 7), the furniture and objects store vintage modernist or wine and floral arrangements flower veil (both in Santa Maria, 20) (17). Under in The Shield of Toledo (18) (Plaza Cánovas del Castillo, 4) you can take a bag-sized menina. from the neighbor Association of Merchants of the Barrio de Las Letras (Huertas, 47), with about 250 members, assure that in the neighborhood there is an “important” gastronomic and tourist offer, although “not yet 100%”, after the pandemic. However, it does not stop reinventing itself. to the cultural space Factory (19) (Alameda, 9) and art galleries like White Soto (twenty) (Almadén, 16) have been joining the modern Furiosa Gallery (twenty-one) (at 13) or the bookstore Kalandraka (22) (Santa María, 16), although now he only sells on-line.
19.00 Almond milk
The crowd increases as we climb towards the center and the afternoon progresses. On the way, in D’Candeal (23) (Moratín, 39) their irresistible sugar and honey pestiños tempt. Right away, Plaza de Matute (24) appears, a beautiful passage that joins Huertas and Atocha, two key streets. worth a stop The Deserved (25) (Huertas, 20), a new gastronomic venue with tasty spicy bravas, a portrait of the young right-hander Manolo Vázquez and a pleasant terrace. Opposite, fans from the South will be able to taste in the flowery By hand (Plaza de Matute, 4) the award-winning payoyo cheese, and other niceties from the sea. in the same square, House Varona (Matute, 13) is a restaurant that was a famous actor’s bar, and the gastro bar hooligan (12), from Grupo La Fábrica, a record store. Something is missing from charme castizo of yesteryear, while the Latin surprises. The cocktail-bar Belise (26) (Huertas, 29) is on the corner of the lively Calle de León. Between design lamps in the shape of a chimpanzee, they serve cocktails by the Colombian Valeria Naranjo, who defends women’s literature in some with almond milk. The menu is from the Mexican Josué Reyes and includes cochinita pibil tacos and candied bacon.
21.00 Gastronomy with a star
In full conversion, in this neighborhood of some 4,500 souls (out of 11,000 in the district, Cortes), ingenuity does not stop. The Great English Hotel (27)which opened in 1886 and was a pioneer in connecting it to the electricity grid, has been modernized with House Wolf (Echegaray, 8), the restaurant with dishes from Madrid Chef Fernando Arellano, and the after-work Lobby to Bar. The key is to offer gastronomy with charm. In Santa María, another main artery, sits the triple carambola of the three imaginative chefs of TriCycle Group: The Giro in Tandem (28) (Santa Maria, 39), a trattoria worthy of Pasolini; Tricycle (29) (at 28), the most gastronomic place, and the classic tavern The Elise (30) (42). They have added the grill Sua (31) (Moratin, 22). Either is a good option for dinner. Another more popular are the fried eggs of The Broken (32) (Orchards, 74) or Quiroga Food (33) (Huertas, 19), a bustling youth tasting venue under the banner of a classic shop. Safe bet are always Wine cellar Moratin (3. 4) (Moratin, 36), The Malontina (35) (Veronica, 4) or the seafood of The Barrel of Letters (36) (Cervantes, 28). At a further level, the izakaya The Bunker Yugo (37) (San Blas, 4) and the canary gofio (38) (Lope de Vega, 9) show off their first Michelin stars in the neighborhood.
24.00 Baroque music and cocktails
Late at night, you have to go down a few streets to cross the corridor of leds that leads to the transgressive room transbaroque (39) (Amor de Dios, 13), with sessions of baroque dance and music, drinks and video mapping. Or visit the beautiful and bucolic hotel cocktail bar Alba Room Mate (40) (Orchards, 16). Already in the Plaza de Santa Ana, next to the delicious ana the saint (41) (Plaza Santa Ana, 14), in the ME hotel, he hides Long live Madrid (42) (Manuel Fernández y González, 7), a mythical cocktail bar with XXL lamps by Lázaro Rosa-Violán, gargoyles on the bar and a menu inspired by the mythical Sudestada. The night loses his name before the queues of Salmon Guru (43) (Echegaray, 21) and Diego Cabrera’s cocktails, among neon lights. Or the jazz and the dj’s of unruly (44) (Meadow, 4). A rabbit is missing from the hat.
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