Great Madrid Bars: Taberna Tirso de Molina, relax after the Rasto

Bars and Cafes, Tirso de Molina

by Richard Morley

Taberna Tirso de Molina

So you have spent Sunday morning on the steep slopes of El Rastro. You have been all the way to the bottom and now you have climbed back to the top again. You have enjoyed browsing around the stalls, if not the crush of people and having to keep a wary eye out for pick-pockets. Now you fancy a drink, hot or cold, and perhaps a bite to eat.

Just a hundred metres away is the newly remodelled Plaza Tirso de Molino. On Sunday mornings its paved space is home to politicos and environmentalists selling trinkets and texts as well as the usual florists. There you will find the bar that shares its name with the plaza.

Resembling a Parisian bistro straight out of the Belle Epoque, both inside and out is decorated with Toulouse Lautrec(ish) tiled drawings. The bar is long. The tables are chipped and worn. The waiters wear long aprons.

Notes from Madrid reviews are about where we would take our friends. The bar Tirso de Molina is where I take every new visitor to Madrid I meet. No one has failed to enjoy it simple pleasures. One Bostonian film-maker liked it so much he ate all his meals there for his three day stay.

I cannot resist their Chorizos a la Sidra. You get a bowl full of plump sausages in a superb sauce. The Champiñones al Ajillo are a meal in themselves. And once we persuaded them to remove the tuna, my vegetarian guests said the salads were delicious and more than they could eat. The food comes both as either tapas or raciónes (a much larger portion than a tapa) and is very reasonably priced.

But if nothing else, after a hard morning at the Rastro, just sit with some friends over a coffee or a cerveza, regard the Moulin Rouge illustrations, and relax.

Metro: Tirso de Molina. Plaza Tirso de Molina 9. See map below:

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Comment from Jules
Date: December 19, 2007, 9:31 am

Richard. Looks like I missed something good when we went to the Rastro during the GME. In a parallel universe we didn’t get separated by the crowds, I didn’t have my pocket picked and we enjoyed the Chorizas a la Sidra

Comment from ValenciaSon
Date: December 19, 2007, 6:50 pm

Sounds like a good place for escapees (GME) to go to when they need to rest up their dogs after doing the Rastro.

Comment from Richardksa
Date: December 20, 2007, 4:34 pm

Jules, I remember that Liz and I lost you at the Rastro. She would vouch that after we had climbed back up to the top I did indeed take her to The Bar Tirso de Molina, where we spent a good couple of hours.

Comment from gary
Date: December 21, 2007, 9:31 pm

@ VS I’ll be on a flight home when you do the Rastro - I am market averse and prefer to hold on to my wallet!!

@ Richard - do they do food?

Comment from gary
Date: December 21, 2007, 9:32 pm

@ richard - sorry missed paragraph 5

Comment from ValenciaSon
Date: December 22, 2007, 4:30 am

@Gary I have to do the Rastro. My wife will be there! Besides, I’ll go through 10 Rastros for chorizo!

Comment from marina
Date: January 7, 2008, 4:27 pm

We know it as the German Bar, but I agree with Richard that it look French more than German. We used to go to there when we lived nearby with our friends that lived in the same area, specially when we were a bit tired for a proper night out. Funnily enough our friends, that don’ lived in Madrid any more, were here last weekend and we had some tapas there on Saturday.

Comment from Gary
Date: February 13, 2008, 5:22 pm

I ate there this afternoon, Gill had menu del dia- paella, polloajillo y profiteroles - and I had the salad - with the bonito - and the chorizitos.

Great food, great atmosphere and great service.

I´ll be back for the GME and I´ll definitely visit again