Antigua Casa Crespo
Calle del Divino Pastor, 29, Centro
GP stumbled on this teeny mom-and-pop—which turned out to be the most fabled espadrille shop in the city—on her last visit to Madrid. Inside, find rows of wooden cubbies packed to the rafters with traditional rope-soled, canvas espadrilles (or alpargatas, as they’re known to the locals) in every conceivable color and silhouette and priced at way below what one might expect to pay for such well-made shoes. The owners—fourth generation espadrille craftspeople, mind you—close up for siesta, so plan your visit accordingly.
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.
Farmacia Deleuze Isasi
Calle San Bernardo, 39, Centro
Holding court in the same stunning Baroque space since the 1870’s, this fully functioning pharmacy is one of the few places in the city to see the ornate gilded moldings, grand chandeliers, and painted ceilings of the time in person—not to mention, filling a prescription or stocking up on over-the-counter gems you can only find in a European drugstore.
Calle del Postigo de San Martin, 8, Puerta del Sol
This handsome bookshop occupies a stately renovated townhouse, so the architecture is an elegant (if fittingly mismatched) mix of Baroque arches and streamlined modern walls and skylights that span three levels in addition to a basement-level event space. The adorable children's section, for example, occupies the former chapel and boasts a ceiling complete with gold-trimmed domes painted with images of angels and cherubs. The entire shop is always buzzing thanks to a cozy cafe, a rooftop bar (on Thursdays you're likely to find a band performing live music), and a packed schedule of events that brings in writers and lecturers from all over Europe. Students, take note: They stay open until 1am, so you can perch at a table and study into the wee hours.
Calle Alameda, 9, Centro
This sprawling multi-functional space sits in the heart of Madrid’s cultural center and makes for the perfect place to catch your breath from hours of museum hopping. After a Mediterranean-inflected lunch at the modern, light-filled café (while you’re there, ask to see the dinner menu and make a reservation on the spot if the pasta and hearty fish dishes appeal), stop by the photography-only exhibition space and supporting bookstore. Finish by picking up a bottle of a Spanish red, artisan-crafted leather clutch, or a piece of artisan-made silver jewelry at the meticulously curated concept shop supporting local design talent.
Calle Serrano, 26, Salamanca
What started out as a small artisan-run leather goods manufacturer in the 1840’s has morphed into a universally adored, 100+ stores strong luxury brand. Staying true to its heritage, the Madrid flagship is still the heart and soul of the brand: In addition to the signature candy-colored purses and wallets, come here for shoes, jewelry, scarves, ready-to-wear, and more, all donning the iconic Loewe logo. Just down the street, the Gran Via shop often hosts pop-up art exhibits and limited edition collections.
Calle de Lagasca, 68, Salamanca
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 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 Puigcerdá, 2, Salamanca
Spanish designers Marga Massanet and Jacobo Cobián (who also happen to be an adorable real-life couple) only have two retail stores; in addition to the Madrid shop, you can find them in their beachy hometown of La Coruña along the Northern coast. Both outposts are done in modern, streamlined, warm wood interiors with light fixtures that look like glowing orbs descending from the ceiling. And that's before you've even begun to look through the racks of the quintessentially Spanish women's dresses and separates. Expect flowy, loose shapes made in natural-feeling linens and vintage patterns, all inspired by La Coruña's beachy, tanned aesthetic and the laid-back lifestyle that goes with it.
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.
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