Calle Santa Teresa , 5, Chueca
For the kinds of unique accessories you always want to bring back from a trip abroad, head to one of Malababa's two locations (one in Salamanca and one in Chueca). Designer Ana Carrasco produces her entire line of bags, jewelry, and shoes in Spain, employing local artisans for every step of the process, from tanning the leather to sewing the bags. Expect a range of styles, from delicate beaded jewelry to chunky leather boots to clutches adorned with bold geodesic clasps. You can also find a range of prices, with plenty of perfect gift options available for less than 100 Euros.
Calle de Regueros, 15, Chueca
Chueca hasn't always been the amazing shopping district it is today—it was thanks to pioneers like Patricia Salas and Beatriz Mezquíriz, who opened their destination shop here in 2004, that the area became such a hotbed of fashion and culture. Pez specializes in splurge-worthy items from some of Europe's best designers, showcasing elegant shoes from Italy, forward-thinking staples from Belgium, and the best representatives of their native Spain (like goop favorite Masscob). The interior, which is clean and white save for vintage wooden farm tables and exposed wooden beams in the ceiling, is an appropriate backdrop for the spot-on edit.
Calle Hernán Cortés, 7, Chueca
This crowded bookshop specializes in the visual arts—you can rely on them to carry publications from recent exhibitions or monographs from living artists, shelved alongside books on graphic design, marketing, art, and fashion. The emphasis on visuals is well complemented by the in-house gallery, which shows different works by Spanish illustrators every few months. It won't come as a surprise that the children's section is stocked with some of the most stunning kids books we've ever seen.
Calle Fernando VI, 13, Chueca
Lucia Ruiz-Rivas' airy concept store is the type of place where it's easy to lose an entire afternoon. From the white exposed brick walls to the pine floors to the check-out counter, which is housed in what looks like the wooden frame of a tiny cottage, the entire shop exemplifies Ruiz-Rivas' clean, minimalist, and design-focused aesthetic. As for the wares, you're guaranteed to discover fashion, interior, and jewelry brands you've never heard of before, scattered alongside vintage finds and design-y knickknacks. If you tire of perusing the clothing racks, hang out in the little lounge space (fittingly decorated with Scandinavian-inspired furniture) and peruse the extremely well-curated selection of art and design magazines hanging from clipboards on the wall.
El Huerto De Lucas
Calle San Lucas, 13, Chueca
At this cool new market in Salamanca, you can buy all your unpackaged nuts, grains, and seeds, and get your week's supply of organic, hormone- and toxic chemical-free fruit, veggies, bread, fish and meat from the stalls, and then stop and rest at their all-natural cafe, juice, and sulfate-free wine bar. All of this in a bright, open and airy space, under a canopy of hanging plants. And in case you had any nagging worries left, the space was designed with exclusively sustainable, toxin-free materials. Unsurprisingly this meticulously thought out concept is catching on quickly: They've just opened up a new space in Salamanca with more surely on the horizon.
Calle del Barquillo, 26, Chueca
Owned by two ex-pats, Tuk Tuk serves Asian street food that draws inspiration primarily from Bangkok, Saigon, and Hong Kong. It's the kind of place where we'd be happy with anything on the menu, but regulars report that the green curry, coconut rice, and chicken skewers are all standbys. It's an excellent option for takeout (even the most committed drinkers will crave a quiet night in after too many hours in all-night Spanish bars), and vegetarians will appreciate the variety of options, too. There's a second location in Chamberi.
La Cocina de San Anton
Mercado de San Anton, Augusto Figueroa, 24, Chueca
La Cocina de San Anton is the restaurant on the roof of the beloved Mercado de San Anton, where locals do their shopping. There's an open terrace for alfresco dining when the weather cooperates, but even on chilly days the wide windows on both sides of the restaurant offer gorgeous views of the city. The menu leans on classic Spanish dishes, with excellent jamón de bellota, steak tartare, and grilled octopus, served with generous pitchers of sangria. It's a busy spot, so make a reservation.
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