Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Madrid

Viva La Vida
All is calm and zen at this yin-yang inspired restaurant with both a sunny outdoor terrace and an indoor patio garden, where house specials include a rich-flavoured gula fish salad.
Taberna Maceira
The cheery, bohemian Taberna Maceira is one of the funky tapas bars found along Calle Jesus. True to its Galician theme, the speciality is octopus - and everybody seems to be eating it.
Taberna del Alabardero
In an area that abounds with cafes, bars and tapas restaurants, there is something wonderfully simple about Taberna del Alabardero. Great tapas and charming staff make it an excellent lunchtime option - if priced a little above the norm.
Stop Madrid
Always bustling, Stop Madrid nestles at the base of C. de Hortaleza, near C. de Fuencarral - Chueca and Malasana's main shopping streets - making it the perfect pit-stop for a quick bite. Warning: its decoration is pitched at the carnivores among us.
Ojala
Ojala is all about fun: those who eat downstairs will find themselves perched on cushions in a large sandpit. The waiters are hunky, customers write in chalk on the bathroom walls and everyone tucks into tasty tapas to a clubby soundtrack.
Mui Bar
Traditional Spanish dishes with a modern twist, this New York speakeasy inspired bar is reinventing the Madrid tapas experience. 
Mercado de la Reina
The fact that Mercado de la Reina has managed to grab a spot on Gran Vià alongside global brands is testament to its top-notch tapas. Don't miss the Gin Club at the back.
Mas Gourmets
The Madrid outpost of Mas Gourmets can be found in the historic Mercado de San Miguel, offering delicious hams, sausages, and other gourmet treats.
Los Gatos
Join locals and tourists alike working their way along the Calle Jesus' string of tapas bars, enjoying a glass of tinto and a bite to eat in each one. Casual and lively, Los Gatos is one of the most popular - and most interestingly decorated.
Lateral
Don't think that Lateral's location right next to the super-cool Mercado de Fuencarral shopping mall means it isn't worthy of its success: on the contrary, this tapas bar, which is one of four, is well worth the visit.
Lamiak
One of La Latina's most popular hangouts, Lamiak offers the chance to see the neighbourhood at its best, with a constant stream of afternoon drinkers coming and going.
La Trucha
Trout is just one of the delicacies on offer at this fabulous, traditional restaurant. Pop in for dinner or to nibble on some authentic Andalusian tapas...
La Bardemcilla
This quaint tapas bar is plastered with photos of the film family who run it: the Bardems, of Javier Bardem and Ma Bardem fame.
Juana La Loca
An extensive menu is available from a chef who take his tapas seriously; the large TV in the corner may be a little distracting, but the excellent food certainly provides strong competition...
Isolée
This super-stylish multi-tasking space is at once a cafe delicatessen and shop - from cutting edge fashion to CDs and magazines. Plastic at-the-ready!
Home Burger Bar
Hamburgers? In Madrid? Surely not. Unlikely though it may seem, this American diner-style restaurant is the most popular kid on the block, with the whole of Madrid flocking to sample its perfectly crisp chips and all-organic burgers.
Entre Tapas Y Vinos
Modern minimalist interiors and seating arrangements encourage a quick meal. The lunch and dinner menus consist of combination tapas, toasted baguettes and more substantial fish and meat dishes.
El Viajero
Spread over three stories, this place is everything in one. Secure a comfortable sofa and while away the hours until closing time...
El Tempranillo
A favourite of the locals as well as the odd celeb, keep an eye out for the reaction of your fellow customers to work out whether a star has just walked in. A very Spanish, rustic interior.
El Parnasillo
Take a red velvet banquette, order from the well-trained staff and see if you can take part in some of the highbrow conversation that made this café so famous during the cultural revolution.
El Jardin Secreto
Candle-lit tables and French windows provide a welcome and romantic escape from the busy Gran Via strip. An exotic, ever-changing menu includes the lunch menu inspired by the film 'Like Water for Chocolate'.
Delic
Delic is the epitome of the La Latina vibe; it's also so oversubscribed on Sunday afternoons that a one-in, one-out policy is regularly employed. Patrons are impressively diverse.
Con 2 Fogones
One of the new breed of cafe/restaurants smartening up the alternative district Malasana, Con dos Fogones is a great spot for a weekend lunch or laid-back dinner thanks to its weekly rotating seasonal menu.
Chocolateria San Gines
Within easy distance of Centro's high-street retail jungle, this is a popular spot for tourists to take a snap because of its renowned Chocolate con Churros. In contrast, it is also an obligatory pit stop for locals in search of a post-clubbing fix.
Celso y Manolo
A contemporary tapas joint in Madrid’s Justicia area, Celso y Manolo has a neighbourhood vibe and a prodigious selection of delicious, creative dishes.
Casa Labra
In the heart of Madrid's shopping district, Casa Labra provides the perfect opportunity to refuel with a quick tapa before returning to the fray, so don't be put off by its slightly drab appearance.
Cafe Vergara
Café Vergara's clientele is an odd mix of the artsy crowd and guidebook-clutching tourists; nonetheless, its theatre-inspired décor does not fail to charm - and nor do its cheesecakes.
Cafe Gijon
Popular with an arty crowd, this cafe is known as a literary monument of the city - something made obvious by the branding of everything from the glasses to the walls with the Gijon name...
Cafe del Circulo de Bellas Artes
After paying €1 to enter the cultural centre, Circulo de Belas Artes, take a window seat at this stylish café belonging to Madrid's premier exhibition space and staffed by a small army of expert waiters.
Cafe de Oriente
This traditionally elegant terrace cafe can be found in one of the premier locations of the city; the beautiful gardens of the Palacio Real and leafy Plaza de Oriente provide charming views for those enjoying a coffee and watching the world go by...
Cafe de los Austrias
Enjoy the simple charm of this establishment close to the Teatro Real and the royal palace. A full menu is on offer, but you're better off coming for a snack or to try one of the 48 teas or 32 hot chocolates.
Café Commercial
As one of Madrid's popular meeting places, Café Comercial is buzzing at all times of day and night.
Cafe Acuarela
The decoration may be kitsch, but this is Chueca after all... A mature crowd comes here to enjoy a tipple or a tea, and it's a great place to warm up an evening.
Cacao Sampaka
This shrine to all things crumbly and meltable is simply irresistible for chocoholics - but if you're worried about the sugar shakes, there's also a menu of salads, sandwiches and soups too.
Bufalino
A haven in a sea of vice and coffee-chains, this charming neighbourhood bar is a local favourite. Swing by to lunch on its experimental Italian/Argentinian cuisine or just to watch the world go by over a glass of wine or two...
Arquibar
This English-style Café exudes charm and elegance, and is all about the detail. Come here for some 1920s glamour with your coffee.  
Anticafe
Despite the name of the place, don't worry: coffee is served at Anticafé, as are a selection of cocktails. The café doubles as a showroom for the owners' fashion designs, as well as offering a pool table in the basement.

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