On Saturday I was walking through Malasaña looking for a place to set up shop blogging and getting my socializing via the internet while avoiding the mass of crazy rebaja shopping madridleños. Feeling a bit goldie locks and the three little bears, I was looking for a cafe in Malasaña not too crowded, not too empty, but with just the right amount of people with just the right amount of deliciousness to choose from. After scoffing at 3 or 4 of the regular cafe spots I happened on Acquolina.
Acquolina is a cute little cafe located across from the historic plaza de Segundo Mayo. At first I have to admit I was skeptical, but as I walked around the outside I became transfixed on their window of cakes and pies. 3 shelves of deliciousness, my eyes scanned each and every one trying to discern which piece was most likely to satisfy my life long journey of true happiness. Ok, a bit deep for cake, but you have no idea how much i love a well made baked good. Truth be told I was more so in search for a good piece of cake rather than a cup of coffee, so I decided to go in.
With about 6 tables its the perfect place to crack open a book and relax or bring some friends to unwind after a day full of explaining the delicate nuances of the English language. I grabbed a spot and ordered a cafe con leche ( half espresso and half steamed milk) and I weighed the pros and cons of the chocolate and carrot cakes, and then in the last minute being completely thrown for a loop by the chocolate with strawberry frosting. I mean where they do that at! In the end I settled with tried and true carrot. And it was on point! Moist, nutty, and not too sweet, it was served with a side of whipped cream. The range of cakes is a bit out of the ordinary by Madrid standards (shitty ranging from dry and disgusting to just dry..your choice) . They have Chocolate Truffle, Carrot, Riocotta, Mango and Chocolate Mouse, Apple Pie, Banana Dulce de Leche, coffee and Cream of Vanilla, and Bizcochos. They also have about 20 different types of gelato, juices, teas.
Acquolina has just the right vibe, good coffee, great desserts and fresh smoothies and juices, with out the pretentious hipster vibe you can find in some Malasaña spots. Not too pricy, a cafe con leche was 1.50 euros with large portions of cake running between 2.50 to 3.00 euros. I spent a few hours there sometimes working, sometimes listening in on Spanish conversations, and sometimes watching people go about their day in the plaza. Out of a possible 10 points I give Acquolina a score of 9. Grab a book or some friends and check it out.by