If you happen to be wandering around the city center, close to “Plaza Mayor”, or maybe close to the street market “Rastro” on a Sunday morning, you will for sure come across one of my all time favorite streets: “Cava Baja”. Urban legends say that this part of the city is where Arabs used to hide and then escape from Catholics when they took over Madrid centuries ago. That is one of the reasons, they say, it used to be filled with taverns.
Some of that tradition remains intact until today because you will find bars, tavern-like restaurants but traditional restaurants as well, hostels, pension houses, flamenco bars, coffee places, a cinema lounge and one pharmacy. There are no regular shops on “Cava Baja”, but this one pharmacy is there.
It is a one way street for cars coming up to the “La Latina” district, but it is always full of people walking on the pavement. Restaurants and bars keep changing and evolving and they tend to up date their menus according to local festivities. I believe there are 2 special dates for you to keep in mind, the local holidays on August 15th and May 2nd to May 15th.
August 15th is when the festivities of “Virgen de la Paloma” take place, right there in “La Latina” district, so probably you will never see it more crowded. Not even in May, when Madrid celebrates its annual local holiday. No special recommendations here, just come and enjoy the atmosphere.