If you're in Madrid and in the mood for tapas, you might not know exactly where to go or what to taste. The Mercado San Miguel (metro Sol) takes away all that decision-making by providing you with a taste experience all under one roof.
The old, derelict market was renovated just a few years ago and turned into an upmarket culinary emporium of sorts. It has more than 30 food stalls, each selling something different.
My favorite is the bellota ham sold at Carrasco, but there is plenty more. You can sample sherries and Rioja wines at the wine bar, or do as Spaniards do and pick away at tapas as you make your way through the market.
I highly recommend the croquettes, or croquetas, in one of the outside alleys: they have ham, chicken, shrimp, cheese and a variety of others. The more standard tapas area easy to find, like tortilla, and seafood is beautifully laid out for you to pick and choose.
Right in the middle is my top-rated tapa place. I couldn't find a name for it but it's the largest counter, shaped like a U, and has everything from potatoes aioli to steamed razor clams, with everything in-between.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Foodie Heaven - Madrid's Mercado de San Miguel
Madrid's Mercado de San Miguel is well-known to city locals and is gathering the attention of international visitors. This small market is located near the Plaza Mayor and is filled with delightful foods to try. You can pick up some produce or pastries, but I would recommend trying the traditional Spanish croquette from the Delicias de Caza stand. As usual get there early to beat the crowds!
Exquisite dry sherry cocktail at the glorious feast that is the Mercado de San Miguel. Not to be missed.
By AFAR Traveler
Stuffed Spanish Olives in Madrid
At the interactive Mercado de San Miguel, grab your drink of choice and then wander around the endless counters and food stalls, grazing on olives, cheeses, oysters, cured meats...all while feasting your eyes on the prime Madrid happy-hour crowd.
By AFAR Traveler
The Most Fabulous Market in Madrid
Meat cones, you guys! I came upon this market at lunch time and could not have planned it better. Grab a glass of wine or Sangria and take a spin through the market to get the lay of the land. Then dig in. I enjoyed fresh oysters paired with Cava, roasted padron peppers with Sangria followed up with baby eels on toast paired with a nice light beer. I made friends with folks from Paris, Australia and Barcelona all while wandering through this culinary wonderland.
Give yourself plenty of time and be sure to order up a meat cone. It might just be the perfect way to spend the afternoon in Madrid.
Honestly I had a bad first impression of Madrid. There are so many people everywhere! She brought me around though and I'll tell you how.
We landed by train in from Pamplona (that ride is lovely by the way!)
We did a tapas tour and lord did we eat! Be prepared to have aching feet and full bellies. Retiro park was a nice getaway from the chaos. I was tempted to jump on a little boat in the pond. My favorite highlight of Madrid though was the San Miguel market. Definitely go hungry, I liked it better than La Boqueria in BCN.
We tried the churros/chocolate at San Gines. Yes good! There's what looks like a giant churro (different batter), good also! I forget the name but if you just tell the lady "el churro mas grande" she'll understand.
We of course ate at Botin. Fair warning, share the starter AND the main. The lamb and suckling pig were delicious but it was too much food and we couldn't eat it all. We'd long since learned that you're expected to eat everything you order in Spain. They're not mean about it but it's very confusing (and maybe slightly insulting to them) if you don't.
To get out of city center we ate at Via Velez. We did the half portions and it was a wonderful meal.
We were only in Madrid a short while, I'm sure we missed a lot!
NOTE: Buy the 2 day pass (in our case) for mass transit at a metro kiosk. It's worth it. Also, the tap water is delicious and served everywhere, don't pay for the bottle. Just ask for "agua del grifo"
Some of my favorite food experiences tend to take place at local markets, and Mercado de San Miguel was no exception. The beautiful iron and glass building houses gourmet specialty food stalls ranging from meats and fish to cheese, produce, nuts, pastries, pasta, wine and larger bites like traditional tapas and paella, and its a great place for a light meal or drink with a side of people watching.
Went for lunch at a market in Madrid. It was indoors but inside there were stands with all different types of food. I got tortilla española y sangria roja. There were also stands with tapas, nuts, ice cream, chocolate, fish, fruit and veggies... Everything you could want!