The following article is published in the #RGNNMadrid Magazine: Vol. VI, Summer 2018, produced during ROOSTERGNN Academy’s Travel Journalism, Photography & Video Internship Seminar in Madrid, Spain, under the editorial direction of RGNN Expert and Mentor Benjamin Jones. Follow #RGNNMadrid for all of our Madrid coverage.

Barrio Chueca is a vibrant neighborhood in central Madrid and over the last two decades has become well-known as the most gay-friendly district in the Spanish capital. Calle Pelayo stands in the heart of this zone where you can find art galleries, clothes shops, interior decoration, sex shops, beauty treats, and a lot more trendy spots. As Matilde, the owner of the Indian imports shop, Aunty B, highlighted: “This zone is like a small Soho in Madrid”.

A street can be much more than buildings and pavement, and Calle Pelayo is a lifestyle!

Palacio Longoria – Calle Pelayo, 51

At the corner with Calle Fernando IV, this amazing structure built over a century ago is an Art Nouveau jewel. Nowadays the building houses the Society of Spanish Writers and Editors. For that reason, unfortunately, the general public is not allowed to enter. Still, the outside is worth a view. All the ornaments fashioned from iron form incredible curves that imitate the adornment of nature.

El Secreto de Pelayo – Calle Pelayo, 57

Einstein graffiti at El Secreto de Pelayo | Maria Vitória Silva Monti

The menu at this popular neighborhood spot features all of the most traditional food from Spain like tortillas, croquetas and patatas bravas (fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce). Perfect for entering the Spanish mood. The decoration outside – do not miss the Einstein graffiti – and inside provides an artistic mood that makes the food even tastier. A good tip is to indulge in the lunchtime menu del día which consists of an appetizer, main dish and dessert with drink, for 12€ (or around $14).

Espacio BRUT – Calle Pelayo, 68

The owners believe that good design helps one live better. This is not just a furniture store, it is much more. Espacio BRUT promotes art and design through exhibitions. They sell products from wisely-chosen interior designers. It is also where they work daily, creating their own functional and elegant pieces. You can make an appointment to ask for a special work, or just walk in to discover this truly authentic place. 

Casa Gonzáles & González – Calle Pelayo, 68

Details inside shop Casa Gonzáles & González | Maria Vitória Silva Monti

In the old days, everyday objects were built to last but nowadays it’s a throw-away world. Fighting that trend is this shop which offers such items as brooms, hair brushes and natural soaps. Most of the products are from Europe, but some are also from Japan and South Korea. It is a place to reconnect and rediscover the possibilities of a much simpler life inspired by the past.

Aunty B – La India in Madrid – Calle Pelayo, 62

Two ladies shopping items from India in Aunty B | Maria Vitória Silva Monti

This colorful shop transports one to India. Pillows and clothes made from exceptional cotton, pashminas made with Kashmir wool,  jewelry, accessories and much more of India’s best handmade goods from the region of Rajasthan. The owner, Matilde, goes twice a year to carefully select the uniquely vibrant and multi-hued pieces. There is a service for people who want special orders, like creating a personalized pattern or piece. Aunty B is an interesting place to shop and provides an opportunity to get to know a little about India from the center of Madrid.

Mad is Mad – Calle Pelayo, 48

The place brings a new concept of the art gallery, a cosmopolitan space dedicated to displaying the works of innovative and bold artists. The gallery assistant, Carlos, compares it to the city as a whole: “It is a little bit like Madrid, open to everyone”. Mad is Mad was opened in 2005 and has featured more than 100 artists. The astonishing part is that the exhibitions are always changing which makes every visit a wonderful surprise.

DelliCare Bio – Organic Beauty Café – Calle Pelayo, 45

DelliCare Bio sight at Calle Pelayo, 45 | Maria Vitória Silva Monti

They claim to be organic in three dimensions: a store with bio cosmetics; a bio cafeteria where you can eat, mostly breakfast; and Cabina Beauty, a place to relax and be taken care of. Vanesa, one of the owners, said, “We care about the beauty outside, but most important inside. We synergize to help your body and mind connect”. A great differential of the place is that every employee speaks English, which helps tourists to make an appointment and take a day off during their vacation time.

A Different Life – Calle Pelayo, 30

This shop starts to calls your attention through the window, full of sex toys and accessories encouraging you to enter and discover more. Inside, you can find clothes, costumes, DVDs, and videotapes. You will also find a lot more of item related to the LGBT community, making it an exciting and attractive place to visit.

Nakama Lib – Calle Pelayo, 22

Nakama Lib facade | Maria Vitória Silva Monti

A modern, local and innovative bookstore where it is possible to find self-published books, essays, children’s books…a little bit of everything. What makes this bookstore particularly appealing are two main characteristics: the sellers are there to help and give personalized advice to you to shop for just that right book. In addition, the store regularly holds events like talks, readings and presentations. A place to learn, share and explore Spanish literature.

La Buena Cerveza – Calle Pelayo, 5

Examples of different beers cans packaging in La Buena Cerveza | Maria Vitória Silva Monti

This place is a mix of shop, beer gallery and bar. The walls are adorned with hundreds bottle and cans of beer from around the world, some for sale, some not. Nacho, the owner, explained: “I opened the place in 2013, but my love for beer has been from all my life. I am the one who drank all those cans”. There is a lot of craft Spanish beers, but also international brands. Here you will also will find tables and chairs that invite you to sit down and enjoy a beer. Once a month there are beer tastings– you can also book your own experience, for a minimum of eight people. A place to chill, have a beer and cheers for life!

Come to Madrid and discover Calle Pelayo!


Fact Box:

El Secreto de Pelayo

Telephone: (+34) 918 985 523
Open every day from 12pm

Espacio BRUT

Telephone: (+34) 910 258 963
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 11 am – 2 pm, 5 – 8 pm
Saturday: 11 am–2 pm
Closed Sundays

Casa Gonzáles & González

Telephone: (+34) 910 258 963
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 11 am – 2:30 pm, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Closed Saturdays and Sundays

Aunty B – La India in Madrid

Telephone: (+34) 914 347 744
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday: 11 am – 8:30 pm
Closed Sundays

Mad is Mad

Telephone: (+34) 913 914 311
Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 5 – 9 pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays

DelliCare – Organic Beauty Café

Telephone: +34 910 235 759
Opening hours: Monday: 4 – 8:30 pm
Tuesday-Friday: 11 am – 8:30 pm
Saturday: 11 am – 3:30 pm
Closed Sundays

A Different Life

Telephone: (+34) 915 329 652
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday: 10:30 am – 9:30 pm
Friday-Saturday: 10:30 am – 10 pm
Sundays: 12 pm – 9 pm

Nakama Lib

Telephone: (+34) 911 132 145
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 11 am – 3 pm, 5 – 9 pm
Saturday: 11 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 12 pm – 8 pm

La Buena Cerveza

Telephone: (+34) 910 060 524
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday: 11 am – 10 pm
Closed Sundays