Half a year ago, March 27 to be exact, the legendary Café Comercial reopened its doors in Madrid’s Glorieta de Bilbao after two years of inactivity. The news surprised many passersby who noticed the wide windows of crystal-clear glass. The Café Comercial has come back to life! And it did it while maintaining the cultural essence by which it’s always been characterized.
Today, its 130 years of history are celebrated with a new culinary idea, adapting it to new times but maintaining the authentic identity that won over writers and artists of the stature of Antonio Machado, Jardiel Poncela and Gloria Fuertes, among others.
The churros and tortilla bites continue to rule the bar, which has stayed intact and faithful to its original style. They’ve also maintained the original feel of the large mirrors on the walls and the elements of wood and upholstery, along with the marble tables. Created by the interior designer Juan Luis Media of the Madrid in Love Studio, it’s a detailed job that recalls the solemnity the place had in its beginnings.
Divided into three zones, on the first floor one will find the bar area and the first dining room, which has nothing to do with the one that’s hidden behind long red velvet curtains. There, the aesthetic is versatile, thanks to the mix of navy blue ceilings with the tapestries along the walls, the original lamps, and decorative elements like the photos of coffee-related items, illuminated signs with literary phrases, and neon lights.
Regarding the culinary offerings, the chef Pepe Roch (culinary adviser to the Grupo Escondite) has been in charge of designing a menu where different authentic tastes coexist, but that also offers other recipes with a touch more innovation. “We are opening the range of possibilities to be able to have a genuine origin with external influences. We don’t want to limit ourselves. It’s true that dishes that succeed are archetypical ones, like meats and vegetable salads, to which we’ve added sweet potato to give it a touch of sweetness. But other offerings also surprise, like the small monkfish on a Josper indoor grill,” Roch explains.
The menu is divided into five sections: To start, where there’s no shortage of Iberian ham, the smoked Santoña sardines and the patatas bravas with aioli; Authentic classics, with recipes like croquettes, small beef meatballs, or the meat salad of prawns and mussels with pocha beans; Madrid in embers. … Josper!, where the spicy chicken grilled with honey and rosemary is the most successful; From the oven…slow-cooked, with an impressive oxtail cannelloni au jus with bechamel and portobello mushrooms, and the “Mercamadrid” market, where they couldn’t skip fresh fish nor the small monkfish with breads made on the Josper.
And for those with a sweet tooth, they offer eight dessert options that you can pair with sweet wines. They don’t skimp on their legendary brioche French toast nor their carrot cake, but we recommend the white chocolate mousse with passion fruit, strawberries, and crispy dried fruit.
Cafe Comercial is an emblematic place that’s returned to offer both old-school culture and some new offerings to wake up your palette.
Phone: +34 910 88 25 25
Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays: 8:30am to midnight / Wednesdays and Thursdays: 8:30am to 1am / Fridays: until 2am / Saturdays: 9am to 2:30am / Sundays: 9am to midnight
Average price: 25 €
Photos: Nacho Alcalde Ruiz