Artists, journalists and intellectuals have been gathering at this Madrid bar, El Parnasillo, for highbrow conversation for years. Indeed, in the 1970s and 1980s, the café was bombed by a far-right group for its part in the cultural revolution. These days, the clientele is still an interesting mix of colourful characters, including the flamboyant owner, Nina (if she’s not busy with her newer venture, Nina, next door).
The art-nouveau décor, with floral prints, frescos and red velvet banquettes, lends itself well to the overall artsy feel. The bar staff are well trained and will quickly get to know your favourite tipple, whether it’s a cocktail or one of Parnasillo’s famous alcoholic coffees.