La Venencia is not a bar you’d happen upon during a stroll through the streets of Madrid; this is a bar you seek out. At least for fans of sherry, that is. Serving sherry and nothing else (water doesn’t count) for decades, this hole in the wall probably hasn’t changed since Ernest Hemingway used to visit. There are dusty bottles and faded posters on the walls, wooden barrels behind the bar, and rules banning photography and tipping that date back to the bar’s socialist and fascist-wary past.
Simple tapas along the lines of plump herb-scented olives, slices of local cured meats and Manchego cheese are available to enjoy alongside glasses of Manzanilla, Oloroso, Fino, Palo Cortado and Amontillado; all very modestly priced. As a local favourite, expect to share the intimate space with many of the devoted Madrileños that have been frequenting La Venencia for decades.