A Neighbourhood Guide to Chamberí, Madrid’s Property Hotspot
Built in the late 1800s, village-like Chamberí has left its gritty working-class origins far behind, today offering residents the perfect storm of reasonable prices, a wonderfully central location and an excellent quality of life. Chamberí borders Moncloa to the East, hipster Malasaña to the South and blends into upmarket Salamanca across the Paseo de la Castellana further West. This quintessentially Madrileño barrio is low-key and chic with an enticing array of restaurants, independent boutiques, small galleries and charming museums. Its beautifully manicured tree-lined streets give way to charming turn-of-the century buildings and quaint public spaces, like the sociable Plaza de Chamberí.
Circular Plaza Olavide is one of the prettiest spaces for al fresco dining and enjoying terraza time in Madrid, while Calle Ponzano is a veritable foodie hotspot, satisfaction guaranteed.
The area is also home to the headquarters of many multinational companies, national institutions and the IE Business School. Just a few minutes’ walk from other fashionable parts of the capital, it is ideally serviced by five metro and several train stations with direct lines to Atocha AVE train station in less than 15 minutes and to Madrid’s Barajas international airport.
Chamberí is absolutely full of life, and seamlessly amalgamates all of the loveliest traditional elements of life in the Capital with a contemporary buzz and an international mix of residents.
The Lucas Fox Madrid team have dubbed this classy, authentic neighborhood THE property hotspot to watch in 2016:
“Chamberí is home to an endless array of trendy restaurants and traditional tapas bars, so one is never short of places for wining and dining. This sought-after location offers the best of both worlds, being next to the famous Paseo de la Castellana, yet offering a quieter and more comfortable residential environment. Property prices may vary depending on the property type and location within the district, with cute lofts from 460.000 euros to stunning luxury properties starting from 2 million. An average m2 price for a luxurious refurbished apartment would be starting from 6500 euros with a healthy rental yield of 4 and 5%. It is definitely an excellent area in which to invest or to choose as a primary residence.” – Rod Jamieson, Director Lucas Fox Madrid.
An exceptional building with 12 exquisite apartments, ideally located in the highly sought-after district of Chamberí-Almagro in the heart of Madrid. These contemporary residences boast exceptionally high quality finishes and exquisite style.
Penthouse. 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms
Size 185m² (1,991ft²)
This impressive 3-bedroom penthouse has been recently renovated with the highest quality standards. The abundant natural light adds charm to this outstanding 185m² property. The apartment offers 4 exterior windows and an open 50m² spacious living room, with stunning natural light.
Amazing 74m² modern loft for sale located in the best part of Almagro, Chamberí, very close to Colon square
Loft. 1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom
Size 74m² (796ft²)
This stunning loft with modern fittings and installations provides a unique quiet environment, perfect for relaxing after a hard working day. This apartment offers you the possibility to be in the heart of busy Madrid and at the same time to have your own private quiet place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Where to Eat
Historic Café Comercial, founded in 1887, was something of a Mecca for Spain’s most esteemed literary figures during the nation’s Post-Civil War period, who would gather to compare notes and debate in hushed tones. Start the day with a black-as-midnight coffee and a salty bocadillo in some of the city’s iconic surroundings, far from the beaten track.
The Mercado de Chamberí, founded in 1943, remains very much a part of daily life, and buzzes with discerning locals choosing their daily produce. Browse the impressive array of fruit and veg, then make a beeline for the onsite outpost of Horno de San Onofre bakery for a much deserved treat.
Look no further than Pancomido for your daily croissant and coffee fix – this duck-egg blue French bakery on Calle Zurbano is ideal for breakfast-to-go or a more leisurely morning, broadsheet in hand.
For the gluten-free eaters among you, all is not lost! Confitería Marqués, on Fernando el Catolico is a pretty, old-school bakery adorned with bell jars and bunting serving a mouth-watering selection of buttery pastries and light-as-air cakes, minus all that gluten.
Long-time favourite El Ferry is reminiscent of an Art Deco cruise ship, as chef-come-jazz musician Pepe Nieto regaling patrons with live music and delicioso brunch fare.
With less than 10 tables, the bijou Little Big Café is a tiny establishment with a huge heart. The counter is inevitably piled high with baked treats and they serve up a fantastic set brunch menu.
Anyone familiar with instagram duo Cup of Couple, and their divine photo-journaling of life in Madrid is sure to have lusted over, or at the very least recognise Mama Campo. This eco-friendly concept store in the aforementioned Plaza Olavide has a sunny terrace, healthy dishes and a handy organic market.
Mallorca Market on Calle de Genova is a stylish two-storey marketplace and delicatessen opened in 2011, (the latest venture of the 100-year-old Pasteleria Mallorca group). Browse the tempting upmarket produce to work up an appetite, before a delicious set brunch outside in the garden patio. It’s popular for lunch too, so be sure to book ahead.
Taberna Alipio Ramos is a traditional Madrileño tavern, known for serving tapas with drinks since 1916. Supremely casual and low key, it is usually packed with young people enjoying a caña and a couple of delicious and ever changing tapas.
A recent addition to Chamberi’s dawn-till-long-after-dusk culinary scene, Perrachica is an incredibly chic, zingy addition to the successful Larrumba family. With an eye-wateringly affordable menu ranging from brunch till late-night bar snacks and everything in between, they serve incredible cocktails and a DJ pops up from early evening until 5am, which means in theory you could spend all day every day here..
Sala de Despiece on buzzing Calle Ponzano is an absolute must-visit in Chamberí. The stark interior is modeled on an industrial butcher’s, but the dishes are some of the tastiest and best quality in the capital. An at times frustrating no reservations policy means heading down early, or better still midweek – it is jammed pack every weekend without fail, but worth waiting for!
For a slice of Andalusian hospitality in bustling Madrid, head to Bar Lambuzo. This family-run establishment is known for serving some of the best Cadiz-inspired tapas in the city. They also have a stand in the Mercado de Chamberí, perfect for recreating a southern feast at home.
Cheese lovers, rejoice! With over 140 varieties of majestic queso, Poncelet Cheese Bar is one of the most talked about concept gastro-bars in Madrid. With an absolutely gorgeous interior by Gabriel Corchero, featuring the most amazing bespoke “cheese cabinets” and the city’s first vertical garden. Where have you brie-n all my life?
For hearty, delicious fare and welcoming service, head to the amazing Paulino de Quevedo. Opened in the 50s by Paco and Paulina, this amazing space occupying a converted sawmill was funded by the couple winning 1/10th of the lottery! Tasty tapas and a warm reception guaranteed.
All tapas-ed out? (unlikely) Head to Tuk Tuk for delicious Asian street food. With dishes hailing from Bangkok, Hong Kong and Vietnam, in a really fun setting.
The jury is still out on where to find the best pizza in Chamberí, so you’ll have to try both NYC style En Guay Si Pizza and the trendy Argentinian owned Picsa, serving traditional wood fired pizzas and let us know…
Where To Drink
Sink into a cloud-like armchair at acclaimed java hotspot Monkee Koffee, or get work done at their long communal table. Either way, you’ll love their ever-changing artisan roasts.
Cafes Guayacan take their coffee very seriously indeed – this amazing gem of a café imports the good stuff from tiny independent growers and roast a wide variety of beans in-house. More than just a café, Guayacan is dedicated to coffee as an art form, with fun tasting events hosted by passionate owner Enrique.
Aforementioned Toast and Little Big Café both serve a mean flat white too!
Prefer a delicate cuppa over a flat white? Visit Salon des Fleurs, a florist-come-tearoom with beautiful vintage touches and a never-ending list of intriguing tea blends.
Whitby is a great a new-york inspired industrial-style spot for an after-work drink or three. Think wrought iron beams, exposed brickwork and filament bulbs a-swinging. They serve delicious sharing bites too.
One of the best GinTonics in the barrio is to be had at Restaurante Contrasena’s dedicated Gin Bar. For a unique experience, phone ahead to imbibe in their clandestine private space.
Two of the neighbourhood’s long-standing local cervezerias are Fide and El Doble. The former serves tasty Marisco seafood morsels washed down with ice cold, perfectly pulled cañas, while the latter also serves tasty seafood tapas with perfectly chilled beers…Most Chamberí residents develop a preference for one or the other, so you’ll have to try both to choose.
Art lovers should head to the beautiful Museu Sorolla, set within the perfectly preserved workship of the great 19th and 20th century Spanish painter, Joaquín Sorolla.
Recover from all walking (and the notoriously late-night Madrileno culture) at the Natura Bissé Day Spa in the URSO boutique hotel. For a quick boost, try one of their citrus body scrubs or a pick-me-up facial.
No footwear is more emblematic of laid-back Spanish style than the humble espadrille. Reminiscent of beachy summers yet practical for comfy inner-city walking, La Alpagatería is THE place to hook up your inner circle with matching pairs. This unassuming independent shoe shop has been here since the mid 80s and sells a brilliant selection of great quality, affordable sandals.
With an ever-expanding portfolio of locations across the city, NAC is a fabulous boutique showcasing a multitude of local and international designers from the high-end to the more affordable. Great for picking up unusual or hard to find pieces or window-shopping for inspiration. (nac.es)
Chamberí At Christmas
A special mention goes to Chamberí’s festive offerings. Each year, ephemeral pop-up The Hovse takes over a spectacular stately home in Chamberí, bringing together an assortment of over 50 acclaimed brands for a unique shopping experience. There’s only 326 days until Christmas, after all!
Just passing through? Want to visit before setting your mind on a permanent move?
The Hotel AC Santo Mauro is a luxurious boutique hotel set within the flamboyantly revamped former home of the Duke Santo Mauro.
The Urso is another luxurious design hotel with beautiful original features housed within an early 20th-century palace.
Slightly further afield, on the cusp of Malasaña are the elegant Jardines Sabatini. With stylish serviced apartments and an incredible roof terrace overlooking the royal palace gardens, this would make a great base close to Gran Via from which to explore.
Top Tip – every summer, the gardens below host a series of concerts. Book a front row table on the terrace and you’ll be directly overlooking the stage!