By Nancy Todd
Chueca is a very cool neighborhood. The gays and artists revitalized this old part of Madrid. There goes the neighborhood as they say. Gentrification rears it’s trendy head - for the good and the bad. The bad news is that prices have soared and it is becoming a bit, “Look-at-me, I-am-so000-hip.” Druggies, tranvestites walk the streets plus women with little dogs whose boots cost more than everything in my closet. The Scoop recommends cool places to stay when visiting Madrid.
The good news is that the dry cleaner and shoe repair folks are still here so Chueca is not yet a Soho. Yes, there are the pizza and wok joints and some great restaurants. The Scoopometer recommends the following three and we know you will find more.
l. El Deseo de Maria (The Dream of Maria)- What is dreamy is the excellent food, contemporary decor, and friendly service. Large stone arched windows used to be part of a stable. Menu del dia, Menu of the Day, 17e. Tempura that crumbles in your mouth, salmon with citrus reduction, cod grilled in red olive oil. Changing art exhibits. A bar for lingering with a coffee or wine. Barbieri, 15.
2. Diurno – Casual cafe with sandwiches, salads, yummy desserts. Video rentals. Locals hang here with take out available. Fast service. www.diurno.com
3. Cafe Acuarela- Close to the Metro and major plaza, this is a great place to chill for teas, cocktails, light fare. Purples, chandliers, dim lighting and sofas make it a good place to snuggle up with your sweetie. http://www.cafeacuarela.es/index.php
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