Finding a café in Madrid is easy, but finding the perfectly cozy coffee shop of your dreams is another story.
You know what we’re talking about: that perfect blend of a warm and welcoming atmosphere, tasty food, and of course, excellent coffee. These are the best coffee shops Madrid has to offer, which check all of the above boxes and then some.
Former Madrid mayor Ana Botella infamously said that there is “nothing quite like a relaxing cup of café con leche in Plaza Mayor.” But we beg to differ. If you want to hang with tourists rather than locals, you can certainly head on over to the famous plaza and overpay for a cup of coffee.
But if you’re interested in experiencing real Spanish culture, you’re better off relaxing in a real Madrid coffee shop like one of these.
Ordering Coffee in Spain
Before you head out to one of the best coffee shops in Madrid, make sure you know what you’re doing! Nothing feels as nerve-wracking as not having any clue how to order at foreign eateries.
Traditionally, coffee drinks in Spain are classified based on how much milk is in them. This can range from the milk-free café solo to the café manchado, which contains just a splash of coffee.
There are a few more common coffee drinks on the spectrum in between. The ubiquitous café con leche lies comfortably in the middle.
Here’s a quick primer from Madrid expert Luke on how to order coffee in Spain so you can be sure you’ll get the perfect drink for you.
Things are a little different at specialty coffee shops. While you’ll still be able to order a simple espresso or café con leche, you’ll also find novelties (for Spain, at least!) like flat whites and flavored lattes at these newer additions to the Madrid coffee scene.
Torrefacto vs. Specialty Coffee
One striking difference between most Spanish café-bars and these best coffee shops in Madrid is the taste of the coffee itself. Take a sip of a cup from the former and you’ll be hit with a starkly acrid flavor that will leave you wondering if the coffee is somehow burnt.
The answer: yes—or the beans are, at least. Many cafes in Madrid—and throughout Spain—still serve coffee made with the torrefacto method. This system involves adding sugar to the beans during roasting, at which point temperatures are hot enough to burn the sugar.
Torrefacto became widespread out of necessity after the Spanish Civil War as a way to stretch the coffee supply and mask the taste of the lower-quality beans that had to be used. But people soon got used to the taste, and the process continues today.
Traditional Spanish cafes are still absolutely worth visiting for the authentic atmosphere and the commitment to serving beloved typical bites. But if you’re after a warming drink full of caffeine, maybe stick to tea there instead.
The following Madrid coffee shops serve specialty coffee, produced with higher quality beans using artisanal roasting methods (and no burnt sugar). But they’re all small, locally owned businesses—because finding a non-torrecfacto brew doesn’t necessarily mean resorting to Starbucks or McDonalds.
Best Coffee Shops in Madrid
1. La Bicicleta
A favorite among Madrid’s young and trendy crowd, this always-bustling hotspot has something for everyone. Artsy La Bicicleta offers homemade organic treats, including artisanal specialty coffee and plenty of vegan options.
Their flagship cafe is located in a charming plaza just a stone’s throw away from Gran Vía, but they’ve since expanded to two additional locations in Madrid. All three are perfect for recharging and even getting some work done. La Bicicleta may just win the top spot for one of the best coffee shops in Madrid.
2. La Colectiva Café
3. Plántate Café
Another expat who’s had an impact on Madrid’s specialty coffee scene is Kevin, the owner of Plántate Café. Originally from Canada, Kevin moved to Lavapiés in 2008 and would commute daily all the way to Malasaña just to find a good cup of coffee in Madrid. Finally, enough was enough and Plántate Café was born.
What started as a side project soon became a full-time job. Kevin and Plántate’s baristas trained with the top roasters at London’s Square Mile roastery—which is, in fact, one of the three roasters from which they get their house espresso beans.
At Plántate the coffee is always excellent and they even sell plants like cacti and orchids to liven up the environment. The shop’s name is a play on words, plántate, meaning to stick around for a while and planta, meaning—you guessed it—plant.
In La Latina, right at the entrance of the Rastro flea market, you’ll find some of the best coffee in Madrid at Boconó. Venezuelan-born owner Carlos and his son have made this place feel like exactly what it is: a cozy, family-run coffee shop.
It’s an intimate space with comfy couches, friendly baristas and art exhibitions by local artists. Boconó is unique in that it has a special license to train baristas, so each cup of coffee comes with its own unique foam design. The place is as cute and homey as it sounds, and is even child and pet friendly.
5. Bianchi Kiosko Caffé
Another contender for the title of best coffee shop in Madrid is Bianchi Kiosko Caffé. Located in Malasaña, this modern coffee shop is run by Italian DJ and Madrid transplant Sandro Bianchi.
Half the fun of this local favorite is its charismatic owner—a real character, in the very best sense of the word. The other half is the coffee.
At Bianchi, they’re big believers in the third-wave coffee movement, including the importance of the experience. And that’s exactly what they give you! Good music, good conversation, good coffee and good eats (and all eco-friendly).
6 & 7. Hola Coffee & Misión Café
Pablo Caballero (2016 & 2018 Spanish Barista Champion) and Nolo Botana (2017 Spanish Roasting Champion) are two of the biggest names on the Madrid coffee scene for good reason. They were among the first to bring specialty coffee to the Spanish capital, in the form of their original roastery and cafe, Hola Coffee. A second coffee shop serving Hola’s single-origin coffee, Misión Café, soon followed suit.
Both Hola and Misión place the utmost importance on quality coffee without compromising atmosphere. Each space is warm and inviting, and no matter which you choose, rest assured that you can’t go wrong either way.
8. Toma Café
A beloved Malasaña outpost that recently expanded to a second location in Chamberí, Toma Café serves excellent specialty coffee at reasonable prices. They roast their own beans right here in Madrid and even offer hard-to-find (at least in Spain) options like cold brew and filter coffee.
If you’re ready to take your love of coffee to the next level, Toma also offers workshops in a training center near their original Malasaña location. And if you find yourself missing their flavorsome coffees long after you’ve left Madrid, fear not—you can even order their coffee online.
9. HanSo Café
Asia meets Spain at HanSo Café, one of the most unique cafés in Madrid and a must for coffee aficionados in the Spanish capital. Owned by a Chinese family that has laid down roots in Madrid, HanSo serves not only fantastic coffee from some of the top roasters in the game (such as Barcelona-based Nomad) but also a refreshingly different menu full of Spanish and Asian options alike.
The space itself is minimalistic yet vibrant, as a young local crowd tends to congregate here, especially on the weekends. It’s one of the best coffee shops in Madrid for those seeking out something different yet don’t want to compromise on quality.
Coffee Shops in Madrid FAQs
Depending on whether you’re at a traditional café or a specialty coffee shop, different options will be available to you. But as far as classic Spanish coffee drinks go, it depends on how much milk you prefer. Some common options are a café solo (espresso with no milk), cortado (espresso with just a splash of milk), café con leche (equal parts coffee and milk), and café manchado (warm milk “stained” with a splash of coffee).
The Spanish word for coffee is café, but you’ll need to get a bit more specific than that. See our full guide to ordering coffee in Spain to learn how to get your perfect drink.
Update Notice: This post was originally published on December 5, 2013 and was republished with new text and photos on April 19, 2021.