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If there is a city that doesn't sleep, none fits this definition better than Madrid. With a culture who can not fathom having the evening meal before 9:30, one of the highest concentrations of bars and restaurants per capita in the world, traffic jams at 4:00am and chocolate and churros at 6:00am after a night of dancing, Madrid has no equal. So where to go?
Plaza Santa Ana and Huertas
This area is in the historical center just a few blocks away from the hub of Puerta del Sol. Plaza Santa Ana is a great place to sit in an outdoor terrace and have a coffee or a "caña” (small glass of beer). The street of Huertas and the streets leading off of it are full of bars and some small restaurants. Stop in for a variety of popular Spanish and International music, groove to a flameno beat with your drink of choice, try a “mojito” or a “caipirinha.”
This area begins just south of the Plaza Mayor going down the steps in the southwest corner. You can find some of Madrid's most famous traditional restaurants and tapas bars in this area. Botin, just down the steps, is the oldest restaurant in the world and famous as Hemmingway frequented it and wrote about it in his books. Visit the street Cava Baja for more traditional and new restaurants, “tapas” and wine bars. The area around the church San Andres comes alive on Sunday afternoons as it is the place of preference to grab drinks and a lunch of “tapas” after visiting Madrid’s flea market the “Rastro” which is nearby.
Chueca and Malasaña
Flamboyant and gay, Chueca is the hip alternative to the mainstream bars of Huertas. The area is centered around the Metro stop of Chueca, just north of Gran Via. Its popular bars and clubs are filled with open-minded people of all orientations.