Wine bars:
* ALOQUE at calle Torrecilla del Leal 20. The wine list in this cozy little bar has more than 300 varieties to choose from, either by the glass or bottle, enough to satisfy the most demanding oenophile. In addition to Riojas and Penedes, you'll find new Spanish wine-producing areas such as Toro and Somontano. Something to eat: cecina (cold cut smoked beef). Open: 7:30pm to 0:30am.
* MATRITUM at calle Cava Alta 17. You just need to look at the paintings on the walls to see that this is a place where wine is appreciated. You can order it by the glass or the bottle from a wide selection of wines from around Spain, especially wines from Catalonia. There are Cavas (similar to Champagne) and sweet wines as well. Something to eat: tosta de foie (foie on toast). Open: 1:30pm to 4:30pm & 20:30pm to 0:30am.
* LA VENENCIA at calle Echegaray 7. La Venencia is a bohemian sherry bar located dead center of Madrid, named after a long narrow tool used to sample wines through a small opening in sherry butts (casks). This cavernous bar sells five different styles of sherry to choose from: oloroso, fino, manzanilla, and a few personal creations from the bar. Let your mind wander across the dusty old shelves, suck up the surroundings, and sip ever so slowly on your favorite sherry. Something to eat: lomo embuchado (cold cut cured pork loin). Open: 1pm to 3:30pm & 7:30pm to 2am.
* TABERNA TEMPRANILLO at calle Cava Baja 38. You will find this long-established and distinguished wine bar in the heart of the old town. Its wine list offers more than 160 varieties of the best Spanish wines by the glass or bottle. Something to eat: the house specialty is revuelto de setas (a wild mushroom in scrambled egg). Open: 1pm to 3:45pm & 8pm to 12pm.
* EL QUINTO VINO at calle Hernani 48. No less than 300 wines, by the glass or bottle, are on offer at this wine bar or Andalusian tavern. There are two rooms where you can sit or stand at the bar and try these excellent wines accompanied by tasty portions of the house specials, like the homemade croquettes or ensaladilla rusa (potatoe and vegetables salad with mayonnaise). Open: 1pm to 4pm & 9pm to 12pm.
* TABERNEROS at calle Santiago 9. Superb selection of Spanish wines like Cigales or Penedés. The by-the-glass wine program is excellent and the food is very good too. The only dissapointment is the rather rude staff. Open: 1:30pm to 4pm & 8:30pm to 12pm.
* TABERNA BILBAO at calle Costanilla de San Andrés 8. A Basque bar for good Rioja or a refreshing glass of typical white wine (Txakoli). Something to eat: delicias de Idiazábal (a homemade cheese delicacy).
* GONZÁLEZ at calle León 12. This bar located at the black of well-stocked deli, is particularly popular with members of Madrid’s discerning media world. It's run by a university professor whose love of fine food and wine is self-evident. Something to eat: Spanish cheese tray. Don't miss the amazing "Torta del Casar" cheese.
* O CALDIÑO at calle Lagasca 74. O Caldiño, a wonderfully atmospheric Galician bar, offers by the glass typical Galician white wine (Albariño or Ribeiro). Something to eat: caldo (broth) or pulpo a la gallega (slices of steamed octopus with sweet paprika and olive oil).
* EL MIAJÓN DE LOS CASTÚOS at calle Infanta Mercedes 46. Wines from Extremadura by the glass: Tierra de Barros or Ribera del Guadiana. Something to eat: high quality jamón ibérico.
* BUBANGO at calle Bravo Murillo 37. Rare opportunity to taste wines from Canary Islands: Tacoronte or Orotava. Something to eat: Queso con mojo (fried cheese with Canarian sauce).
Other highly atmospheric tabernas:
* TABERNA ÁNGEL SIERRA at calle Gravina, 11. Well-known ancient tavern located in the gay scene but visited by a mixed crowd. Try vermú de grifo (tap vermouth) and alcachofa con anchoa (artichoke with salted anchovie).
* TIENDA DE VINOS aka EL COMUNISTA since... nobody know it. Cheap wine and honest home cooking.
* BODEGA LA ARDOSA at calle Colón 13. Painter Goya visited the tavern formerly located in this same place. "La Ardosa" installed the first draught Guinness in Madrid 90 years later. Something to eat in this tiny tavern: croqueta de carabinero (red prawn croquette) or great Spanish tortilla.
* LA TORRE DEL ORO at Plaza Mayor 20. Bullfight atmosphere. Something to eat: gambas al ajillo (garlicky prawns).
* BODEGAS RICLA at calle Cuchilleros 6. A modest traditional tavern. Something to eat: canapé de bacalao (cod in olive oil canapé).
* EL ALMENDRO 13 at calle Almendro 13 of course. Wine: Manzanilla.
* LA CASA DEL ABUELO at calle Victoria 12. Sweet wine "El Abuelo" and gambas a la plancha (grilled prawns).
* CASA TONI at calle de la Cruz 14. Vermouth and pimientos de Padrón (fried small green pepper).
* CASA ALBERTO at calle Huertas 18. Lovely tavern established in 1827 on the street level of the house where Cervantes lived briefy in Madrid. Something to eat: morcilla (black sausage).
* TABERNA DE ANTONIO SÁNCHEZ at calle Mesón de Paredes 13. Established in 1830 by a bullfighter called Antonio Sánchez.