Two, of many, great things about Madrid

1. El Tigre is a bar in the center of Madrid (C/ Infantas), just off of Gran Vía, and in the über-trendy and gay barrio, Chueca. But this bar is neither trendy nor gay. It’s always bustling — and with good reason. With a 1.50 euro caña (small beer) you get a plate full of whatever’s on the grill and more: patatas bravas, croquetas, jamón, egg, fried peppers, cheese. The guys behind the bar yell orders constantly, while pouring beers, and move as if bartending were a choreographed art. You have to fight your way to the bar and perch your plate wherever you can, but a tasty and filling meal for under 5 euros (that’s three cañas) and great ambiente are worth it.

2. Casa Granada is a rooftop terrace restaurant hidden atop an ordinary and totally unassuming apartment building. You have to be in the know to find the place, just north of metro Tirso de Molina, and once you’ve buzzed up, ride in the elevator plastered with signs begging riders to adhere to the four-person limit. It’s within spitting distance of the Rastro, La Latina’s gigantic Sunday flea market, which makes it the perfect place for a meal after navigating the crowds and t-shirt stands. You might have to wait a while for a table, but you’ll be glad you did. What else is there to do on Sunday but eat and drink? And meanwhile, you can order a beer and wander out to the terrace for amazingly grand views of Madrid and her suburbs. The raciones are delicious and inexpensive. For two, a plate of pimientos de padrón (tiny peppers fried in oil and sprinkled with sea salt) and one of calamares were more than enough, and cost 11 euros.

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