Madrid means food and no foodie trip to Madrid is complete without a visit to the markets. In particular, Mercado de San Miguel. Yes, it is a tourist trap with inflated tapas prices comparable to other areas of the city. Yes, it is thronged with tourists and as with any major tourist mecca, you need to be aware of your surroundings and property. But, the vino is delish and the food is scrumptious. This historic market offers the visitor the chance to embark on a whirlwind, culinary tour of the delights of Spain’s regional fare. All in this one-stop shop market you can sample Galician pimentos de Padron and pintxos from the Basque region, jamon, seafood, wine, cheese, fruit, desserts and more.
The History bit
The mercado is a beauty in itself. Originally, on the site, stood a 13th-century church, called Iglesia de San Miguel de los Octoes. This was destroyed by a fire and the area then used as a fish market. In its current incarnation as a food market, San Miguel has been open since 1916, making it the oldest market and last iron market hall in Madrid.
Where is this place?
Mercado de San Miguel is located in PLaza San Miguel, by Plaza Mayor. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays the market stays open until 1:00/2:00am making it a meeting spot for locals and tourists and a late night bar for those in the area. Sunday to Wednesday it’s business as usual from 10:00am to 12am and you’ll find the market ideally located a 5-minute walk from the Palacio Real and Plaza Mayor. A perfect pit stop after your tour of the palace and on your way to check off the plaza from your tourist list.
Show me the foods
So, rather than blather on about the foods you can get there I’ll show you the evidence. Don’t look at these if you’re peckish, or an easily offended anti-meat eater. Just saying.
While I don’t imagine many people do their weekly shop there, you can buy to take away meats from a butcher in the market. Including Wagyu beef patties for a far more reasonable price than I was expecting.
Seafood for days. There is a dedicated crab area, with crabby patties. I laughed out loud at this! #SpongeBob. And absolutely regret not getting more crab toast while there but the oyster stall was calling me. Yummm.
Not altogether unreasonable prices for the seafood, in my opinion.
Olives are the perfect mooching snack to nibble on as you wander about the market deciding which stalls to revisit.
I love burrata. That is all.
I fully appreciate that there are many markets dotted around the city of Madrid and while I agree Mercado de San Miguel is pretty flashy as markets go it does offer a wide variety of gastronomic delights from around Spain under one roof. You may feel it is a tourist trap and I see your point, but in comparison to the Mercado San Anton (which had a more local feel and cheaper prices) this one hit the spot for the plethora of vendors.