An­tiques/Old Madrid

LUXE City Guides - Madrid - - El Rastro -

Sun­days crawl with tourists and the thievin’ ras­cals who love ’em; week­days are saner. Cab it or take the metro to La Latina and walk a few steps down Mal­don­adas to Plaza de Cas­corro. On the cor­ner is Bar Cruz / 366 3738 / for una caña; then swan down the right hand side of the leafy hill along Rib­era de Cur­tidores to Nuevas Galerías on your right at #12, a two-storey court­yard hous­ing a trea­sure stash of an­tiques and ob­jets. Exit the way you came, cross the street and head down to Galerías Pi­quer on the left at #29. Walk through the court­yard and up the left stair­case to find Siglo 20 / 530 4540 / for some snazzy dé­cor. Scoot along the bal­cony to Circa 1900 / 467 1426 / for yet more stylish pieces, and then com­plete the cir­cuit for a charm­ing mix of C.20th con­tempo and rus­tic. Skip back down the stairs, and on the op­po­site side of the court­yard is won­der­ful La Gazza Ladra at #30 / 670 239 360 / lagazza / for cre­atively re­stored col­lectibles, and a few doors down is the rather agree­able an­tique horde of Rafa Nuñez at #48 / 639 381 914. Exit the way you came and hot­foot it back up the hill, tak­ing a left into Plaza Vara del Rey for retro, 50s Scan­di­na­vian pieces at #7 La Re­cova / 128 3894, then go right into Mira el Río Alta for more an­tiques and 60s-70s furny at #8 El Ocho / 366 9407 / and #7 Reno / 479 2823. Exit right and turn down Mira el Río Baja to find El Trans­formista at #16 (see Stand­out Decor) with Pedro Almod­ó­var-ap­proved prop pieces to trans­form a space from drab to fab. At the in­ter­sec­tion with Carnero, go right to reach Ar­ganzuela, and en­ter the chic L.A. Stu­dio on your left at #18 / 365 7566 / for yet more C.20th an­tiques, fol­lowed by Lou & Her­nan­dez at #13 / 366 7324 / for small, dec­o­ra­tive vin­tage pieces. Carry on to meet Toledo, where at Maris­que­ria La Paloma / #85 / 365 3131 / awaits if you’re peck­ish, oth­er­wise on your left find Plaza Ce­bada, with groovy El Vi­a­jero at #11 / 366 9064 / for Sun­day ter­raza brunch or rooftop sips with hip cats. From here, you can ei­ther walk to­wards Plaza de la Paja (PP) or Plaza Mayor (PM) (see Ac­tiv­i­ties/Old Madrid Walk). For PP, exit right to­wards Plaza de San An­drés, along the church to find lively Costanilla de San An­drés with Peru­vian La Gorda at #20 / 366 2472, a packed Viva La Vida at #16 / 369 7254 / for or­ganic good­ies and a veg­e­tar­ian buf­fet (good gra­cious, in Madrid?), and next door Delic at #14 (see Coffee), full of spunky Latins. For PM, exit El Vi­a­jero and take the hair­pin right to find Cava Baja and Cava Alta, two lit­tle cob­bled lanes lined with an­cient taber­nas and tapas bars. Taberna Ma­tri­tum is at Cava Alta, 17 (see Tapas), and Casa Lucío is at Cava Baja, 35 (see Rest./Ca­sual). De­tour left off Cava Baja to Al­men­dro, where at #4 He­lena Rohner / 365 7906 / he­le­ / has del­i­cate, min­i­mal­ist jew­ellery pieces and porce­lain, then back­track and con­tinue on­wards through Puerta Cer­rada to find Al­par­ga­te­ria Casa Her­nanz at Toledo, 18 / 366 5450 / for quin­tes­sen­tial espa-thrills. You must be parched af­ter that wal­let work­out, but fret not, the end is in sight – exit right and right again into Cuchilleros, then sim­ply scurry all the way up for tapas n’ wine heaven at Mer­cado de San Miguel (see Ac­tiv­i­ties/Old Madrid Walk), and grand Plaza Mayor, but a stil­lie’s tot­ter around the cor­ner!

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