Casa Labra has been going strong since 1860, an era that the decor strongly evokes. Locals love their bacalao (cod) and ordering it here – either as deep-fried tapas (una tajada de bacalao goes for €1.30) or as una croqueta de bacalao – is a Madrid rite of initiation. As the lunchtime queues attest, they go through more than 700kg of cod every week.
This is also a bar with history – it was where the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE; Spanish Socialist Party) was formed on 2 May 1879. It was a favourite of Lorca, the poet, as well as appearing in Pío Baroja’s novel La Busca. It’s the sort of place that fathers bring their sons, just as their fathers did before them.