Also known as Lavapies Boulevard connects Plaza Lavapies with Ronda de Atocha and is named after Doctor Diego de Argumosa, a renowned surgeon based in the nearby Hospital which is now the Reina Sofia art museum. He also served as mayor of Madrid for a year.
Last time I counted there were 35 bars/restaurants on this street, however Covid has changed our maps as well as the way we live.
As you enter the street with the new building of the Reina Sofia to your right and a shoe shop on the right (which seems to have a sale on every day of the week) there’s an entrance to a swanky bar/club on your right (1) and a sushi place to your left (2). As you head towards the fountain there is a Galicia bar/restaurant called O pozo de lugo (3) on your left and a raw wine bar/restaurant called Canibal (4). Behind the fountain are two bars, Argumosa 39 (4) and La libre de Lavapies (5). About once a year the driver of a private bus, presumably picking up or dropping off school kids to the Reina Sofia, gets the bright idea of taking a shortcut and gets stuck as he can’t get his bus around the fountain onto Calle Doctor Forquet, which means idiots who bring their idiotic cars into our barrio decide they must prove their idiocy to everybody by wailing their idiotic horns idiotically for hours. As you head past the fountain towards plaza Lavapies and the metro you pass a new bar with no name (6) run by the son of the couple who run Café Amanda (7) possibly the worst bar on the street. Next to Amanda is (a quite pricey) flower shop and then a small bar/restaurant called Tostas y bacalao (8) run by Antonio who also owns Mercadillo Lisboa in the market, it’s a small bar that used to be called Casa de Tostas, and serves Portuguese food and drink. Then there are two nonedescript Indian restaurants next to each other (8 & 9)…you rarely see local guiris dining here so you have to assume the food isn’t pukka, but the Spanish seem to like it. Next to that is a new Mexican restaurant (10). The street then splits in two and if you turn right you’re on Dr Piga but if you stay straight, you are still on Argumosa. The building at the corner is owned, like many many properties (and almost all carparks), by the family of the catholic dictator Franco. After a shop selling kitchens and ceiling fans and after a shop selling furniture there are two bars next to each other. The first is Bar Revuelta (11), a small bar that has a cheap menu del dia. I once had a slight tiff with the waitress who didn’t really want to serve me beer without foam (madrilenos love foam on their beer…more foam than beer unless you ask for it without foam) and told me it wasn’t foam it was “crema” so I corrected myself and asked for beer without crema. Next door is Achuri (12). A decent bar for decent people at decent prices. The menu del dia is so so at best but the evening food is very good value for various salads and various bocadillos. Staff are friendly. On the opposite side of the the street is primavera (13), the best pizzeria in the area. Obviously you order a margherita pizza, because why would you order any other pizza?. Past Achuri is Bar Automatico which is famous for I’m not sure what. I haven’t been in here for a long old while, I think I just find their chairs uncomfortable. Then there are two African bar/restaurants next to each other (14 & 15)…oh and I forgot a kebab place (16). Next is La Buga del Lobo (17) which serves good coffee but I’ve always found the staff a bit snippy and I’ve heard the food is bad value. Next door is a new bar/restaurant called Tatena (18) which I’ve never been in. Opposite is Funda Mental (19) which is the only bar that still shows football. Of course, the bar staff are way too cool for school so they wont put the sound on and will just turn up their music. Does tend to attract a clientele that could best be described as “twats”. Next to Funda Mental are two Bangladeshi run bar/restaurants that serve Spanish food as well as kebabs and Indian dishes (20 & 21). Cross over and after 2 small clothes shops and a drycleaner there is La Playa Lavapies (22). La playa used to be my local and I used to come here after work every day and have 3 beers, as the good lord intended a working man to do. The staff used to be extremely friendly, and the manager was great at his job and was about the only person I ever spoke to in Spanish, even though he spoke great English. I say “only person I spoke Spanish to” not counting any Venezuelan women I happened to be sleeping with who didn’t speak English. And there have been a lot of them over the years. Surprisingly many. New management has come and gone, and this bar has got worse and worse so now I don’t even bother going in. I’m no homophobe but it’s basically a gay bar now and only plays the worst music possible. Staff not friendly at all and spend more time giving themselves and their friends each other shots than they do actually serving. There only every seems to be one person working and at least one person you’re not sure is working there or not.
Next door is my new/old local El Economico (23). When I was training to be a teacher in Madrid 25 years ago I had my first Spanish meal here. At the time it was run by two tiny bald twins and their mother did the cooking. And it was cheap. Having barely a word of Spanish at the time (I have 8 words now) I looked at the menu and knowing “carne” was “meat” and thought to myself “I like all meat” poinyed at something and was soon faced with a bowl of callos/tripe. Madrilenos have convinced themselves that they eat a “Mediterranean diet” …they certainly don’t. they love nothing more than deep fried food and entrails. And if they can deep fry entrails the happier they are. El Economico has been under new managements for many years now and at the moment is run by a north African fella and a Spanish-french lady. Two waitresses (possibly sisters) are very nice and very good at their jobs. Has wifi.
Opposite is the Asturiana (24). Hit and miss menu del dia but you get full bottle of wine with it, which is becoming rarer and rarer. You generally don’t need an evening meal if you drink in here as they give you proper pukka free tapas with your drink. Next door is a cocktail bar called Eucolipto (25). Opposite are a couple of clothes shops….why is there any need for so many clothes shops? And 2 tiny bars (26 and 27)that have been there forever and I cant see how they remain open as can only fit 2 people inside the bar and terraza only has a couple of tables each. Just before you get to the metro there is another small bar with a small terraza (28) and yet another clothes shop.
28 then, so maybe last time i counted i counted wrong. wouldnt surprise me, I can barely count