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Page Updated November 15, 2011

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Madrid Terraces - Madrid Terrazas
Madrid Terraces with Character, Views, or just Cool! MadridMan's Favorite Terraces in Madrid

MENU: | Spanish Food | Madrid Restaurants |
| Madrid Tapas Bars | Madrid Bars | Madrid Terraces/Terrazas |

MadridMan LOVES Terrazas en Madrid!

The below are those terrace bars in Madrid which are MadridMan's favorites - but not necessarily the best as this is very subjective. Please do not blame me if your experience is different than mine. One man's trash is another man's treasure and so on. You can be sure I'll add more Madrid Terrazas as positive experiences take place. Read more about Madrid Tapas and Madrid Tapas Bars in the "Food, Drink & Entertainment" forum category of MadridMan's ALL SPAIN Message Board. And feel free to post your Madrid Terrace reviews there too.

But First, WHAT ARE TERRACE BARS? During the nicer weather months in Madrid (April through mid-october) and throughout Spain, terrace bars are put outside of some bars or restaurants - those which have space outside, that is. Many many plazas in Madrid have terrazas. During the busier summer months, available tables and chairs can be difficult to find. Terrace table and chair sets vary from hard plastic, to shiny alluminum, to wood-and-metal.

WHAT CAN YOU EAT OR DRINK AT TERRACE BARS? Some terrazas only serve drinks while others serve tapas, raciones, or full-blown meals. It all depends on the restaurant or bar.

ARE TERRACES CHEAP? Not usually. Your average terrace bar will charge you 10-15% more for the priveledge of sitting outside. The waiter has to work harder and walk farther, afterall. Terraces in the Plaza Mayor, for example, are catering nearly exclusively to tourists wanting to enjoy the incredible plaza views while consuming average-to-low-quality, high priced food and drinks. Still, the service at these places is usually very very professional and (still) very Spanish. The cheapest prices in bars are usually found while standing inside at the bar.

IN SHORT: Terraces, while more charming, are almost always more expensive when ordering food & drinks. Most often they'll hand you the "terrace menu" which reflects higher prices than inside at the bar. Other times the menu will state something like "Terrace Prices 10% more".

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website: none
address: Plaza Emperador Carlos V, 8 : CLICK for map
food type: Spanish
style of terrazas: basic white tables and chairs, umbrellas in back
prices: 2 to 20 ?
credit cards: doubtful
has terrace/terraza?: Yes. One in front (traffic & view), one in back (quieter)
has restaurant?: No
MadridMan Number of Visits: dozens

COMMENTS: Spanish-owned/staffed tapas bars for all madrileños and tourists alike, popular with both. This place is an ABSOLUTE MadridMan FAVORITE!. A free tapa, bartender's choice, is almost always given with a beer, wine, or vermouth order. Other options include for-pay raciones - larger portions - which are listed on signs behind the bar along with their prices. El Brillante's "Claim To Fame" is, without a doubt, their "bocadillos de calamares" or "fried squid sandwhiches". Just delicious, large, filling, cheap, and if you're unlucky, a little rubbery too. No "cañas" (small glasses of beer) are served to the terrazas as they are at the bar - only larger beer-mug sizes.

El Brillante boasts terraces on the front & backsides of the bar. The frontside faces the Atocha Train Station and Ministerio de Agricultura which are nicely illuminated at night - as well as hundreds of stopping buses and belching exhaust pollution. The backside terraza is much quieter on the pedestrian plaza shared with the Museo Reina Sofia museum. My only alert to sitting at the terrazas is you might feel "rain sprinkles" falling from otherwise clear skies. This harmless and all-natural (but gross) "liquid" is likely to be the spit from "fun loving" adolescents hanging out of the Hotel Mediodia balconies - the hotel above El Brillante. This has happened to me NUMEROUS times so be forewarned. On the backside terrace there are several tables UNDER shade umbrellas.

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address: Calle Alcalá 42 : CLICK for map
food type: Spanish
style of terrazas: nearly the length of the Circulo de Bellas Artes Theater building itself
prices: 3 to 20 ?
credit cards: yes
has restaurant?: No
MadridMan Number of Visits: 3

COMMENTS: Nice, somewhat mid-range terraza with GREAT views of the Calle de Alcalá and the popular Madrid postcard Metropolis Building which splits off to the Gran Vía. The illuminated buildings after dark are particularly striking and good people-watching can be practiced with passing pedestrians.

This place is BUSY and there are plenty of people hanging about waiting for a table to come available. The large terrace is totally covered with an awning sporting the Circulo de Bellas Artes name and logo. Wait staff is almost always Spanish, mature, and professional in service and attire - although rather slow but it's not their fault. On a given night only about 2 waiters serve the 30+ tables so getting the attention of one racing by you on his way to the cash register can be challenging. Tapas and drinks are a pricier here but we're no doubt paying extra for the location and sidewalk real estate. Tables and chairs are higher quality.

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website: No, not for the bar
address: Calle del Doctor Cortezo 17, planta 6 : CLICK for map
food type: Spanish
style of terrazas: narrow, on 2 sides of the bar of the top/6th floor
prices: 3 to 20 ?
credit cards: Maybe
has restaurant?: Yes
MadridMan Number of Visits: 6

COMMENTS: One of my all-time favorite terrazas en Madrid due to its quiet location overlooking the rooftops of Tirso de Molina to the southern and western sky. The fair-weather terrace can be quite busy (or full) most evenings and a waiting list for a terrace table might be waiting for you upon your arrival. If this happens, you can have a beer at one of the many indoor tables with fair views of the same rooftops - but over the heads of those lucky enough to get a table on the terraza. About 9 tables are located on the narrow terraza. The more people you have at one table the more difficult it is for the all-Latino wait staff to get by to serve the next table.

The food at Casa Granada is surprisingly good and not very expensive, having eaten lunch there (on the terraza) on two occasions. But this bar is famous for its terrace and its wonderful southern skyline view away from the city towards the river valley. A number of tapas/raciones can be ordered and the beer is quite cold. They offer a free tapa with your drink order, usually nuts or potato chips. The wait staff is a bit "gruff" but that might be due to the busy and crowded environment in which they work.

While VERY popular, Casa Granada is one of those places which only locals know about. I'm not aware that it's listed in any guide book - yet. Mostly popular with the younger 20 to 30-somethings, just FINDING HOW to get to the terraza is the first challenge. Most non-Europeans or apartment dwellers, not accustomed to the electronic "portero" or "building occupant's buzz buttons" (I just made up that term but it works here) will find the panel a bit intimidating. First, the entry is very unassuming. I passed it several times before realizing this was the place. On the "buzz panel", find the CASA GRANADA on the SIXTH floor - NOT the one on the FIFTH floor as that's something else altogether - and push the button that works. I think there are two buttons but only one will make a buzzing sound. Wait for the door to be buzzed so that you can push it open. SOMETIMES there's an actual person sitting in the ground floor lobby who'll see you and buzz him in yourself but not often. Go to the clunky elevator, press the up button, and wait until it arrives before you can open the door yourself. Get in. Press floor number SIX. Get out upstairs and make your way to the bar. Find the waitress/water and ask for the "terraza". If you don't speak Spanish you aren't likely to understand the answer. If the waiter waves you towards a mostly empty terrace then you can probably choose your table. If it seems full outside (you'll be able to see the terraza through the top-to-bottom windows) you'll have to be put on the waiting list. Last time, we waited one hour at a table inside, waiting for a table to come available but that was mostly because we didn't hear our name called 30 minutes earlier.

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name: CafeeKe
website: No, not for the bar
address: Calle de Cuchilleros, 3: CLICK for map
metro: SOL / OPERA
food type: basic tapas
style of terraza: streetside
prices: 4 to 10 ?
credit cards: Maybe
has restaurant?: No
dogs allowed?: YES!
MadridMan Number of Visits: 3

COMMENTS: ONE of the best things about this little BELGIAN terrace bar is its location. It's just below the stairs of the "Arco de Cuchillers" - the southwest corner entrances to the Plaza Mayor. Maybe 10 outdoor, street-side tables with large, modern sun umbrellas hanging overtop. If it weren't for the too-large umbrellas one would have a GREAT view of the southwestern outer wall of the Plaza Mayor. But fine. The all non-Spanish wait staff is talkative, very very friendly, kind, and most speak English as well.

The bar inside is very very small, narrow, but they do have a larger, wider upstairs space with many many tables and chairs - even a couple up against the windows overlooking the Calle de Cuchilleros - particularly romantic at night. The bathrooms are tiny too but adequate.

The Belgian beer "Chimay" (?) is absolutely excellent, pricey, and served in big, round, handle-less glasses. It has an creamy orange taste. A free tapas was given as well. Nice touch. The higher prices surely have something to do with the fact that this particular bar is the only place in Spain you can get this particular beer. That, and it's located in a very very scenic part of Old Madrid.

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MENU: | Spanish Food | Madrid Restaurants |
| Madrid Tapas Bars | Madrid Bars | Madrid Terraces/Terrazas |

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