Even if you haven’t been there, you’ve heard of it. Chueca is one of the best-known areas of Madrid inside and outside of Spain. But its streets in the heart of the capital hide much more than bars and shops for the LGBTI community. Let’s us introduce you a Chueca to discover, a culturally vibrant neighborhood where architecture, gastronomy, fashion or history shine with their own light.
The Wall Street Journal defines it as “a quaint quarter”. A great adjective, but in reality, Chueca is not a quarter of Madrid. In fact, it’s not even a neighborhood. It is an area that belongs, along with part of Malasaña, to the neighborhood of Justicia, within the central district of the capital. But it is in a privileged place, whose limits draw a kind of octagon that delimits with Gran Vía, Fuencarral street or Paseo de Recoletos, one of the main arteries of Madrid.
The meeting point of Chueca, however, is the square of the same name where line 5 of the metro ends. It was named after Federico Chueca, a renowned 19th-century Spanish composer. However, it was in the 80’s when the territory boils to the rhythm of the Movida Madrileña. At that time, the first establishments open to the gay community opened there. This made him go from anonymity to stardom, attracting locals and strangers, who for the first time could be themselves at least in this part of the city.
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Chueca is a neighborhood of downtown Madrid, named after its main square, Plaza de Chueca. It is known as Madrid's gay neighborhood, and the rainbow flag is never very far away from you.  Plaza de Chueca was named after Spanish composer and author Federico Chueca. It was once quite a rundown neighbourhood of Madrid, however, the gay community has revitalised and helped change the trajectory of this barrio. If there's a celebration that has made Chueca famous, it's got to be the Gay Pride festivities, which are on every year from late June or early July and attract proud party people from all over the world. • • #Chueca #ChuecaMadrid #Madrid #Pride #LGBT #LGBTQ #Pride #GayPride #Culture #City #Neighbourhood #Mercadodesananton #España #Travel #Travelling #VisitMadrid #Placesofmadrid #lovemadrid #barriochueca #gaychueca #FedericoChueca #MadridHistory #buildings #rainbow #rainbowflag #chuecagay #metrochueca
Chueca stands out on the map today thanks to the above, but it is already much more than the gay quarter of Madrid. Under the rainbow flags live modern hotels, gourmet shops, independent fashion boutiques or eco and plant-based restaurants. Chueca is currently one of the most up-to-the-minute areas in the city, a space that loses its old character and becomes chicer.
Part of this evolution is due to tolerance, Grindr or gentrification, as warned in a recent article in the Yorokobu magazine entitled Adiós, Chueca, adiós. “In Chueca there are more and more gentlemen having a good brunch and fewer bars organizing orgies,” emphasizes the text. That’s logical if we bear in mind that society no longer has to go to Chueca to be able to live openly its homosexuality. Even so, this central sector of Madrid is still the gayest place in the world between June and July, the date of Pride. But the rest of the time, Chueca is nothing less than a perfect place to get lost in Madrid.
Plázida’s favorite spots in Chueca
Can you believe that in Chueca there is a vegan version of cachopo? The restaurant Masa Madre offers in its menu the typical Asturian dish, only that meat and cheese have been replaced by veg-friendly alternatives. We encourage you to try it together with their pizzas and its vegan brownie.
While you digest, you can stop by Socks Market, a store that sells only socks. But there are socks in all colors, lengths, and prints. It will be impossible for you to get out without at least a couple of them, you’ll see! Next door is Bee Beer, a small place with a lot of charm specializing in beers and artisan cheeses. We suggest you take your aperitif there.
Or, if you prefer, you can taste a red wine at the Mercado de San Antón. This is one of the essential ones in Madrid. It opened its doors in 2011 and within its walls coexist traditional stalls of vegetables, fruit or bread and small bars that will surprise you with their variety of international dishes (among which are Greek and Japanese cuisines or the most decadent desserts).
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One of our favourite places to go is the Mercado de San Anton. It opened its doors in 2011, and is now one of the jewels in Chueca’s crown, traditional markets and food stalls that will delight your senses, or relax and unwind on the terrace with a glass of your favourite Vino. Visit Chueca, and make sure you pop in to Mercado De San Anton. The market is spread across three floors, on the 1st floor, you will find stalls selling a wide range of products from cured meats to quality hamburgers and fruit and vegetables. The 2nd floor has a wine bar and 10 stalls where customers can taste and take away Greek dishes, Japanese food, seafood, sweets, milkshakes and juices. On the 3rd floor you can relax in Cocina de San Antón kitchen and eat your food from the stalls, or enjoy fine Spanish cuisine in the restaurant. • • #Chueca #ChuecaMadrid #Madrid #Pride #LGBT #LGBTQ #Pride #GayPride #Culture #City #Neighbourhood #Mercadodesananton #España #Travel #Travelling #VisitMadrid #Placesofmadrid #lovemadrid #barriochueca #comidamadrid #restarauntsmadrid #foodies #foodiesofinstagram #chuecagay #marketlife #economialocal #lovemadrid #loves_spain #productosnaturales
Other gems for exquisite and adventurous palates are El huerto de Lucas, La cocina del desierto or Zara, a Cuban restaurant founded in 1964. Book lovers won’t want to leave the PANTA RHEI and Nakama Lib bookstores, which have a careful selection of titles and a friendly staff with whom to chat about the latest releases. In addition, art lovers will want to stay and live in a shop called Jeco.
Your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. If you are searching for trends, if foodie fits your description or you know how to taste a caña like nobody else, Chueca is your place. Rediscover it!