1. La Bicicleta
This café and workspace is located in the centre of Malasaña, Madrid’s trendiest offbeat neighbourhood. A self-described “cycling café”, it mixes the concept of bikes and workspace to create a comfy and informal environment. The idea of bikes isn’t limited to the décor: you can easily reach the café by bicycle and park either outside on the square or even in the café itself. As for the “workstation” concept, La Bicicleta has everything you might need for a few hours of studying or reading: well-functioning wifi, a seemingly endless supply of sockets, large tables and comfortable seats… and, of course, delicious coffee and treats. There’s also relaxing but unobtrusive music in the background all day long. La Bicicleta’s menu is full of tasty homemade pastries as well as savoury treats – nachos, sandwiches, carrots & hummus… The drinks will probably be the highlight of your visit; the coffee is incredible and if that’s not your style, there are plenty of teas or other warm drinks to enjoy. Later in the evening La Bicicleta becomes more bar-like, serving mojitos and creative gin or vodka cocktails.
Plaza de San Ildefonso, 9 | Nearest metro: Tribunal
Monday – Wednesday: 10.00 to 02.00
Thursday: 10.00 to 02.00
Friday: 10.00 to 02.30
Saturday: 11.00 to 02.30
Sunday: 11.00 to 12.00
2. Toma Café
Also in beautiful Malsaña, Toma Cafè is Madrid’s hipster mecca with the bonus of excellent coffee. While the shop is small and the selection on the menu is not as extensive as in some other places, this adds to its charm: after all, it’s always quality over quantity. And the quality at Toma is the highest. Stepping inside, you would think yourself in one of the hipster cafés characteristic of Portland or San Francisco. Toma has the type of atmosphere you’d find in aesthetic tumblr posts (it’s no coincidence that the shop’s own tumblr page is so pleasing to look at). There’s wifi available and quite a few plug sockets around. Due to its small size there is less seating than in La Bicicleta and similar workspaces, but you should have no problem finding a spot – even if that means squeezing in between other customers on a bench. Additionally, the delicious pastries Toma offers more than compensate for this; cheesecakes, brownies, cookies… There are also small sandwiches available, including at least one vegetarian option. All are definitely worth trying in and of themselves, but taste even better when accompanying a relaxed afternoon of productivity!
Calle La Palma, 49 | Nearest metro: Noviciado
Monday – Friday: 08.00 – 20.00
Saturday – Sunday: 10.00 – 20.00
3. La Fugitiva
This bookstore/event space/coffee shop is different from the rest in this list, in that its focus is on books rather than coffee. Walking in, you’ll see a few tables scattered around, probably with other customers sat down sipping tea or coffee. However, it will be clear to you that La Fugitiva was designed first and foremost as a bookshop. This does, however, make the atmosphere even more tranquil than that of a regular coffee shop, with customers chatting or walking in and out. With the wifi and cheap beverages available, you can easily open your laptop and get a bit of work done. But La Fugitiva is also ideal if you want to spend a while reading, whether your own book or something you find there. Although the menu is very limited and the quality is not that of other coffee shops on this list, the price decreases accordingly. After all, the coffee – while still satisfying – is not what attracts customers to La Fugitiva. Its events (including poetry readings and discussion groups) and its quiet atmosphere make it a charming hiding spot for every bookworm, and no matter who you are, you’ll feel right at home.
Calle de Santa Isabel, 7 | Nearest metro: Antón Martín
Monday – Tuesday: 10.00 – 23.00
Wednesday – Saturday: 10.00 – 24.00
Sunday: 11.00 – 23.00
4. La Ciudad Invisible
This café and traveler bookstore is a multifaceted environment, where you could as easily get an evening drink with friends as spend a few hours studying, nibbling on tapas. The seating in La Ciudad Invisible is extremely comfortable, with couches, spacious tables, and comfy chairs scattered around. The highlights of this café are definitely its homemade baked goods and “batidos”, or milkshakes. The high ceilings, soft lighting, and free wifi make it the perfect spot to get work done undisturbed and at peace. If you decide to take a break, get inspired by the many travel books lining the shelves or look around the downstairs area, where art and photography exhibitions are often hosted. And if you just can’t get enough of the delicious food, on Sundays La Ciudad Invisible offers a 16€ brunch inclusive of bagels, fruit salads, cakes, and more!
Costanilla de los Ángeles, 7 | Nearest metro: Ópera
Tuesday- Thursday: 13.00 – 00.00
Friday: 13.00 – 02.00
Saturday: 12.00 – 02.00
Sunday: 12.00 – 23.00