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.
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 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.
Rughara and Casa Quiroga
Corredera Alta de San Pablo, 1, Malasaña
It’s impossible to talk about indie furniture/décor/gallery hybrid Casa Quiroga, without mentioning its big sister, Rughara, as the two are actually an extension of each other, both physically and conceptually. Rughara’s particular brand of quirky, mix-and-match merchandising, which incorporates racks of clothing, themed displays of home accessories, and a curated assortment of vintage furniture proved to be so popular with the local artsy types that an expansion into the neighboring storefront was inevitable. The resulting space serves as a showroom for more vintage wares, local designer goods, and the occasional performance and meeting space for the aforementioned artsy types.
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