El Huerto De Lucas
Calle de Hermosilla, 103, Salamanca
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. Check out the original market in Chueca that started it all.
Mercado de la Paz
Centro Comercial La Paz, Calle de Ayala, 28, Salamanca
Despite its recent revamp, this beautifully restored 140-year-old market still retains its old-school, no-fuss neighborhood flavor. You'll find stall after stall of gourmet, fresh ingredients for home cooking plus a smattering of great prepared food stands. So great are some of these, that allegedly, some of the city's best chefs come here in their spare time. Don't miss Casa Dani with its traditional, daily-changing tapas menu.
Paseo de la Castellana, 12, Salamanca
Opened in 1931 by French émigré Margarita Kearney Taylor, this old-school café brought the concept of British high tea to Madrid. For almost a century, this is where the city's hoi polloi gathered along with diplomats from the nearby embassies the café gets its name from. It was also apparently a meeting place for Allied spies during the war. Though Margarita is long gone, her shop remains as ladylike as ever with velvet cushions and touches of chinoiserie throughout. While there's a restaurant downstairs, the real highlight is the tea salon upstairs where tea, coffee, and Spanish hot chocolate are served with a selection of old-fashioned pastries.
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