This comfortable, stylish, neighborhood spot is a great source for beautifully chosen bottles at great prices, like 2021 Camí dels Xops, a savory, saline, focused pétillant naturel from Anima Mundi; a 2020 Fato, a rich, meaty but light-bodied red blend from Eloi Cedó on Majorca; and a spicy, direct 2021 Rioja Viñedos en San Vincente de la Sonsierra from Jose Gil. Food is casual but thoughtful and made with superb ingredients, like wonderful anchovies on tomato toast, richly flavored minced shrimp served under a shroud of Ibérico lardo, and lamb served in a crusty pastry, like a Spanish take on a Jamaican meat patty.

9 Calle de Almadén, Barrio de Las Letras

When you order a bottle of wine in Angelita’s spacious, open dining room, the sommelier will pour a bit into each glass. “Our policy is, everybody tastes,” he said. So it goes in this serious yet friendly and knowledgeable place run by two brothers, Mario and David Villalón. Wine is David’s sphere: He’s assembled an excellent list, with dozens of wines by the glass and particularly strong Burgundy and Spanish sections. Much of the produce comes from the family farm. Top dishes included a deconstructed salad of roasted red peppers, anchovies and potatoes; a delicious pisto, a sort of Spanish ratatouille; and oxtail cannelloni with porcini mushrooms. I drank a rich, saline 2020 69 Arrobas albariño from Bodegas Albamar and an earthy 2014 Morey-St.-Denis from Domaine Arlaud. If a nightcap seems in order, head downstairs to Mario’s realm, a lovely, creative cocktail bar.

4 Calle de la Reina, Puerta del Sol

Cuenllas opened in 1939 as a delicatessen and over time added a small tapas bar and a tiny restaurant. At lunch one day, the bright tapas bar was packed almost entirely by locals, tended to by a friendly staff in starched white jackets. Ingredients are superb, whether shrimp that taste like the essence of shrimp, sardines escabeche dressed in a lightly sweet vinegar or a wonderful callos ala Madridileña, a thick, spicy tripe soup with morcilla. The fairly priced, international wine list is not huge but carefully selected with many hard-to-find treasures like a racy 2021 Krettnacher Euchariusberg kabinett riesling from Hofgut Falkenstein.

5 Calle de Ferraz, Argüelles


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