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 €1.50) or una croqueta de bacalao (€1.50) – 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 poet and playwright Federíco García Lorca as well as appearing in Pío Baroja’s novel La Busca.