Madrid has a ton of bakeries – since the economic crisis it seems that cake shops are the only businesses that have been thriving, new ones opening each week. Everyone can afford a sweet little treat I guess!
La Maravilla is one of the best; it’s not part of a chain, where the products are rather generic – the cakes, cookies, breads and pastries here have personality! Palmeras can vary a lot in quality and in many places they are gigantic but too dry and flaky. La Maravilla’s are amazing – very dense flaky pastry with a good quality chocolate glaze. I always buy one with the intention of eating half and saving the rest for the next day – to date I have not been successful, as I can never resist eating the whole thing!
They sell savoury empanadas with a variety of fillings as well as having a good selection of bread including sourdough and wholemeal; pastelitos and pastas de té (petit fours) by the weight; whole cakes and classic Spanish delicacies. Through May they are selling “rosquillas” which are a traditional pastry that is eaten to celebrate Madrid’s Patron, San Isidro, whose festival is celebrated on May 15 – watch out for fireworks and fun in the week running up to it!
Next door is you’ll find a café which sells products from La Maravilla, so if you want coffee with your cake, it’s at close hand!