I am always on the search for a good cup of coffee, and especially when in the US, where so many establishments serve what I describe as “brown water” (when I’m being polite!) So when we spotted this promising-looking coffee shop in the midst of Madrid’s galleries I was keen to give it a try – and was not disappointed. As soon as we entered we were struck by the eclectic décor, and impressed by the range of espresso-based treats on offer. There is also a shop which sells coffee beans and lots of other edible goodies such as hot sauces, salsa, teas, mixes for home baking and more. Upstairs there is a B&B – it could be a great place to stay as you’d wake up to excellent coffee every morning.
Favorite Dish: As I was craving a caffeine fix I went for the simple iced coffee, which was strong and black, just as I like it. Furthermore, the Java Junction makes its own coffee ice cubes, so as they melt into your drink they don’t dilute the coffee flavour as normal water cubes do. Chris chose a mocha, and we took our drinks out into the garden area to one side of the building. There was plenty of seating and the space was perfect for relaxing, with a view of all the passers-by on the road outside but sufficiently set back from it. We also enjoyed examining the fence which was decorated with all manner of bits and pieces – old signs, kitchen implements, tools, watering cans, artificial flowers and loads more – see photos two and three for just a selection of what was on display.
[The same sense of humour that created this display may have influenced the design of their website too – do check it out as it’s rather unusual and much more successful than the gimmicks employed might suggest.]
Arriving in Madrid from the south around lunch-time, the Hollar was the first likely-looking place we spotted for a bite to eat. It had a good range of lighter meals on the menu, and seemed popular, so we decided to give it a try. There were a number of tables in the shady garden at the front, but several of these were occupied by a rather noisy group so we opted to sit inside. The décor there is nothing special but it’s a pleasant space and the service was friendly so we were happy with our chosen eating spot.
Favorite Dish: We both opted for salads. Chris chose the Chef’s salad, which was a generous plateful of leaves etc with turkey, ham and cheese. My “warm goat cheese salad with roasted bell peppers” was also a good size and I liked the addition of a few berries, but the cheese was rather bland and lacked the sharpness I usually look for in a goat’s cheese. With a large glass of orange juice each we paid $30 which seemed just a little pricey for what we had eaten.
On the Boardwalk, you can bring your sweet tooth to Jezebel's, which is an original soda fountain from the 1920s. Take your cone outside and enjoy the view. There are several other little shops on the Boardwalk which you can explore once you're finished, but I only strolled into one of them and I don't have enough information to give you a recommendation.
Open daily 9:00 AM-5:00 PM with some later hours.
Favorite Dish: Three thumbs up to the root beer float with Dreyer's vanilla!