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Check out Madrid’s centenary shops

By | 15 November, 2016 | 0 comments

If you want to escape the hustle of Christmas shopping in Madrid, we propose a route around establishments that have been offering their services to clients for many decades and that today are part of Madrid’s historical and cultural legacy.

You’ve probably walked passed them before and not realised that they boast the plaque designed by Antonio Mingote and awarded by the City Council for the Gran Vía’s Centenary. These shops are part of the local collective-memory referent.

The list is a long one and it includes shops of all kinds, even the oldest restaurant in the world and, best of all, they are all in Madrid.

Restaurante Botín. Founded in 1725, it’s the oldest restaurant in the world. Its name is in the Guinness Book of Records, which also states that the artist Francisco de Goya used to work here as a dishwasher when he was young. The restaurant was created by Jean Botín and his wife and it still preserves a wood-burning oven where they cook the suckling pig and lamb, two of the most popular dishes on the menu.

Chocolatería San Ginés. Founded in 1860, this place is famous amongst all locals for its hot chocolate and churros. Inside, it’s like a café bar from the Nineteenth century and thanks to its location near Puerta del Sol, it’s the best place to have the first hot chocolate of the new year.

Casa Labra. This bar, which opened for the first time in the Nineteenth century, is located near Puerta del Sol and it’s where the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) was founded by Pablo Iglesias in 1879. Its speciality is deep-fried cod tapas or tuna with tomato sauce. When you go in, you stop to look at an old mirror where you can read the inscription “El que bien bebe, hace lo que debe”, which means “He who drinks, does what he’s due”.

Antigua Pastelería del Pozo. Created in 1830 by the Agudo family, it’s one of the best confectionary shops in Madrid alongside La Mallorquina (also one of Madrid’s century-old establishments). Today, their puff pastry is still homemade and their planchas full of sweet spaghetti squash (cabello de ángel) or custard.

Gabriel Molina Bookshop. Founded in 1880 as a street bookstall, it later become one of the city’s most prosperous shops. It’s famous for selling rare old books that go back to the Sixteenth Century. As a curiosity, its owner once held a first edition of Don Quixote.

You can download the “Centenary Shops of Madrid” WebApp as a guide to learn more about them and discover the secrets that they have kept for many decades.

Categories: General, Guías Madrid, Madrid Cultura

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