La Ardosa, Madrid: spiritual home of the croqueta

la ardosa juan antonio flores

A few weeks ago we told you about Casa Camacho, and about how Casa Camacho to Vermouth is like the Batcave to Bruce Wayne.  If billionaire vigilantes hung out in Madrid’s fash barrio Malasaña, that is.  And if they did, they would be equally likely to hunker down in Bodegas La Ardosa on calle Colón, not least for some of the very best croquetas in Madrid.

You will immediately recognise La Ardosa: its red façade makes it almost unmissable, along with the fact that this is one of the few remaining authentic bars in this part of Malasaña, a neighbourhood that seems to be slowly choking to death on 5-Euro cupcakes, ironic facial hair and fixies.

The story of La Ardosa started way back in 1892 when it was opened as an outlet for mass-produced alcohol.  This continued until the 1970s when new owners bought up and turned La Ardosa into a bar that combines foreign-style pints (Czech beer a specialty) with the best local tapas.  As well as the croquetas, the Spanish omelette (tortilla de patatas) is worth a look.

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Our bill

1 large portion of croquetas with Spanish ham filling

2 soft drinks

Total: €12.50

Best bits

The croquetas,  an extensive menu, the atmosphere of the bar and waiters that could easily feature in an Almodovar film lamenting the loss of the Madrid of thirty years ago.

We also recommend ducking under the bar to hunker down in the atmospheric back room with a vermu del grifo and a plate of patatas bravas.  Ideal for those of you needing a hideout: criminals, unfaithful spouses and superheroes seeking to protect their true identity, this is one for you.

Not so sure

La Ardosa is awesome and therefore usually full to bursting.  This usually makes Gusto come over all grumpy, but in the Ardosa’s case, we make an exception.  The croquetas are just too good to let 500 people get in the way.

More information 

Bodegas La Ardosa

  • Calle Colón 13, 28004 Madrid
  • Tel: (0034) 915 21 49 79
  • Opening hours: Mon to Fri 8.30AM  to 2.30AM, Sat and Sun 11.30 to 2.30 AM
  • www.laardosa.es/

Photo: Flickr / Juan Antonio Flores 

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