One of Madrid’s most emblematic and traditional cafés, Café Comercial has remained unchanged for much of its 126 year history, with the first credit card machine installed only in January 2013 after many years of valiant resistance. A favourite among Madrid’s hip lit crowd ever since the days of the civil war, the Comercial is famed for its churros con chocolate and is an ideal place to grab a cool beer before hopping on the Metro at Bilbao station. As you enter through the antique revolving door, you are immediately confronted with all of the aromas of a Spanish breakfast: earthy coffee, chocolate and a sweet, acid note of pan con tomate.
Founded in 1887, the café’s interior has remained largely untouched since the last renovation way back in 1953. Its marble tables, mirrored walls and leather-hardwood chairs give the visitor a sense of stepping back to a time when Spain was a very different place, and the Comercial was the favoured drinking spot of workers from Arriba, the state-owned press of the Franco regime.
Back to the present day, however, and alongside the Café’s in-house chess club (the Club de Ajedrez Café Comercial), is an internet café as well as a space used sporadically for literary events and live acoustic music. The clientele is a lively mixture of elegant older Madrileños, writerly types and families with kids (our breakfast was livened up immeasurably by the toddler at the next table inisisting that she was not, in fact, a toddler but a very convincing monkey).
Café Comerical is an ideal place for a traditional Spanish breakfast (especially churros con chocolate) or snack, with a nice range of sandwiches and freshly-carved jamon.
2 Café con leche
2 Churros con chocolate
Address: Café Comercial, Glorieta de Bilbao 7, Madrid
Tel: 0034 915 21 56 55
Nearest Metro: Bilbao (L1, L4)
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs 0730 – 0100; Fri-Sat 0830 – 0200; Sun 0900 – 0000
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