Madrid is known for many Spanish cultural focal points such as tapas, football and food. Its rich history has also preserved Café Gijón, Madrid’s best historical café. With its classic front terrace on the Paseo and its rich historical legacy dating from 1888, Café Gijón has a lot to offer historical coffee snobs and pastry buffs.
A rich historical legacy
Located on Paseo de Recoletos,Café Gijón is in the center of all things Madrid. Founded by Gumersindo Gomez , the café quickly established itself as an intellectual meeting place. It survived the civil war and welcomed the writers and artists of a collective called Generation of ’36. It also has a record of hosting big Hollywood stars and foreign writers like Orson Wells, Joseph Cotton, Truman Capote, George Sanders and Ava Gardner.
A musical start for the best historical cafe
In the spring of 1888 , Gomez was an Asturian with a love for music with a particular vision. The café was divided into two parts, one side being for customers who arrived by carriage and the other side was for storage and parking. It would evolve into a classical café with many musical guests over time and become a Madrid landmark.
The Premio Café Gijón
In 1949 the café would start granting the Premio Cafeé Gijón award for outstanding literary works. The owner at the time, Fernando Fernan Gomez and other leaders of the Tertulias promoted the progression of literature as a cultural landmark. Today, the award is supported by the port city of Gijón in Asturias, which provides media attention to winning authors.
Nostalgia on a plate
When you walk into the café its walls are entirely wooden with old Spanish civil war paintings. The terrace is the ideal seating area since it’s just meters away from the main plaza de Cibeles and all the fun shopping streets. The menu boasts Spanish culinary classics like Pulpo a la brasa or octopus and a seafood paella for two people.
Desert wise, there are some definite hits worth trying like the Arroz con leche asturiana, or the milk with rice desert. The flan is also a star desert which is highly coveted.