Mad Cool Festival in Madrid is quickly approaching — come July 6th, crowds will be descending on the Spanish city in droves to celebrate five days of live music.
Ahead of the stellar lineup, which includes appearances from Metallica, Florence + the Machine, Jack White, and so many more, we’ve assembled a guide to make the most of the time in Spain’s capital city. Find insider recommendations for the best bites, coolest hotels (with last-minute availability!), and must-see attractions below.
Ed. Note: Saturday and Sunday single-day tickets to Mad Cool Festival 2022 are still available to purchase!
If the promise of “avant-garde, hedonistic” cuisine isn’t promising enough, perhaps diverXO’s wild website will seal the deal. Located in a neighborhood in the northern part of the city, diverXO’s whimsical tasting menu can’t be missed. Make reservations here.
Bodega de la Ardosa
For a more casual option, consider tapas at Bodega de la Ardosa. This longstanding neighborhood spot can trace its origins to a chain of Madrid bodegas that dates back to 1982. Find details on today’s locations and their hours here — no reservations needed.
Mercado de San Fernando
For a diverse array of options, pop over to Mercado de San Fernando, an energetic market with various stalls offering all kinds of cuisine. As one of the five major markets in Madrid’s Centro neighborhood, Mercado de San Fernando also offers fresh produce and meats for anyone interested in preparing a meal of their own. Find out more about the marketplace here.
Revuelta translates to “stirred up,” which is a great description for the vibe of this bistro. Located near the vibrant Plaza Mayor in the heart of Madrid, Revuelta is a great place for locals and tourists alike. Find all essential info here.
This longstanding eatery has a few special highlights — specifically cod and croquettes. With an interior that management has aimed to leave largely untouched over its many years (a century and a half!) in operation, Casa Labra has perfected both its menu and its atmosphere. Find out more and make reservations here.
Ochenta Grados, which translates to eighty degrees, gets its name from a cooking technique of low-temperature preparation. This method has been said to best preserve original flavors in food, and the food at Ochenta Grados can be enjoyed both in restaurant and via takeaway. Make reservations or peruse their menu here.
Sala de Despiece
For more upscale tapas, Sala de Despiece offers an incredibly sleek and fresh menu. Create your dream meal by selecting via a food’s country of origin, main ingredient, or cooking preparation method. Three different locations offer different vibes throughout the city — explore and make reservations here.
1862 Dry Bar
With a name that references the year the first (Western) cocktail recipe book was published, 1862 Dry Bar infuses the past with the present. This refined cocktail bar boasts drinks “like they used to be,” and offer a visual feast ahead of visits on their Instagram. Get more details here, and make a reservation by calling (+34) 609 53 11 51.
This retro-style bar isn’t just known as one of the best bars in Madrid — it made it onto the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars of 2021. Enjoy cocktails, bites from “a freestyle kitchen,” and a retro atmosphere. Reservations are only accepted for large groups, but you can preview your visit on their website here.