In a country where the love affair with chocolate con churros is as cherished as siesta time, Spaniards have long savored the rich warmth of communal coffee culture.
And, over the last three years, I have heard the same advice from many IE University students: Don’t look for a library if you are looking for the best place to study or work. Look for a good coffee shop with WIFI. You can go to a coffee shop to work, study, meet with friends, or have a good breakfast.
I gathered four IE students, who chose to remain anonymous, to get their opinions about coffee shops around Madrid depending on whether you are looking for a place to study, hang out with your friends, or find the one with the best coffee.
How long have you been living in Madrid?
Student A: I’ve lived in Madrid for a year and a half.
Student B: I’ve been living in Madrid for a few months. I’m just staying here for one semester.
Student C: For a few months, and often came last year from Segovia.
Student D: Three months.
Student E: I have been living in Madrid for three months (it’s my 3rd year in Spain.)
So far, which are your favorite cafes to study or work on?
Student B: So far, I have tried a few, like Santagloria and Clima Cafecito, which are next to my house and allow people to work there on their computers. I went to a few others, but I don’t remember the names.
Student C: I like HanSo Cafe to study, but it is pretty tiny, and I can only study during weekdays/working days (no laptops during weekends and holidays). I usually study at two bubble tea spots as they have seating space and plug points (T4 and Coco Fresh Tea & Juice, both near Plaza Mayor.)
Student E: I usually go to a random bakery near my home. One is called Miga Bakery, which makes delicious juices.
Which are the best coffee shops for hanging out with friends?
Student B: A very nice one is Wilko Speciality Coffe; they don’t allow people to sit down and work there, so I think this makes it ideal to hang out with friends and have a chill time.
Student D: To be honest, any of the ones I mentioned. Coffee shops in Madrid are pretty good in general.
In Madrid, which coffee shop has the best coffee quality?
Student A: Syra Coffee has the best quality coffee.
Student B: First, because in Italy, we have pretty good coffee. I’m picky with the coffee I get, but I genuinely think that GoodNews Coffe has the best quality coffee. They have different types, and they also sell it to make it at home, which for me is a plus.
Student C: I’m not a big coffee drinker (as long as it’s sweet and tastes decent, I’m good.) I like iced coffee more. However, HanSo has excellent drinks other than coffee. My go-to are the black sesame latte and matcha latte. The food is really good too, especially the kimchi bacon sandwich.
Student D: For me, it’s Religion Specialty Coffee.
Student E: I am not drinking much coffee, so I would not be a good judge.
HanSo Cafe, courtesy of thecoffevine.com
Which one will you recommend someone to go to?
Student A: I’d highly recommend HanSo Coffee. The place has the right ambiance to hang out with friends, and you can find high-quality coffee there.
Student B: I would recommend Wilko, as the environment is very cozy, and they have very good coffees and small pastries to snack on. To study, I’d recommend Santagloria as the tables are wide, so you have space to put your laptop and notebook, and they also have good smoothies.
Student C: I would go for Hanso for anyone new to Madrid.
Student D: I always take my friends to Religion.
Student E: I recommend going to La Bicleta. They have a large variety of options for food and drinks.
As you can see, there are so many different options when it comes to coffee shops and also what you are looking for, from the perfect place to focus on your studies or the best place to have a good laugh with friends or even the place to have a solo brunch date.
Featured image courtesy of Vu Di Dribbble