Madrid’s Mercato de San Miguel

The Mercato de San Miguel has long served as central Madrid’s one-stop “farmer’s” market.  I first visited here years ago when locals dropped in for fresh ingredients for a full meal.  Here one can find fresh and smelly fish, harry legs of Iberian ham, countless bottles of wine, fresh and squeaky-clean vegetables and all the extras as well.

Arriving at the Mercato de San Miguel this year I found an enhanced market with the new additions of many vendors selling tapas to eat right away.  Last night we decided to have a movable feast of tapas and drinks at the market.  About forty of us descended on the market at 7:00 pm and munched and drank our way through dinner in a four hour moveable feast.  What a great way to experience Madrid and get right into the heartbeat of the local culture.

Vivian found what she dubbed “the most amazing sweets ever.”  A warm center of caramel surrounded by puff pastry and loaded with chocolate and cream topping.

Kayla and friends found more desserts that were pretty amazing as well.

 My friend Chris and I enjoyed a plate of french fries at the hotel bar before we went to the market.  Once there, he did not realize I was paying for their tapas hunting!  Finally, with money in hand, Chris found somethings a little better than that plate of fries.

For 2,3,or 4 euros you can get a tasty selection of OLIVES.  I enjoyed olives stuffed with calamari, cheese and ham.  They also had one variety that tasted smokey and herbal.  The flavor was so intense I could not get enough of them!

The Jamon Iberico is great.  There are several varieties ranging in price from 5 to 16 euros per kilo.  The best vareity is Jamon Bellota which is thinly sliced from the leg of a black Iberian pig fed only a diet of acorns and allowed to roam freely.  You have to purchase at least 500 grams (about 9 euros) which will feed 4 people. 

The cheesemonger’s kiosk was a popular place.  For about 6 euros I asked the vendor to assembly six selections of her favorite cheeses.  I don’t know what I got, but all of them were tasty!  I chose one variety on my own and boy did I make a mistake.  It was a mixture of sheep and goat cheese and when I pointed to it, the vendor wrinkled her nose in disgust.  I don’t know why I decided to get it anyway!

 So, if you happen to find yourself in Madrid make a point to enjoy and experience the Marcato de San Miguel.  It’s on Calle Major between Puerta del Sol and the Royal Palace, just around the corner from Plaza Major. 

About the Author
David McGuffin established David McGuffin's Exploring Europe, Inc. in 2001 to formally offer European tours. Since then, he has taken several thousand satisfied customers on memorable and educational tours to Europe.
  1. Susan McInarnay Reply

    I am traveling with David to Spain and Portugal in two weeks and I hope this is one of our stops on our trip- YUM!

  2. Sally Reply

    Wow! The food looks fabulous. Susie, bring me some of those olives and some of that cheese, will ya?

  3. Cassidy Laird Reply

    I remember that night. It was hard to choose between so many delicious looking dishes. I especially like the real fruit smoothies.

  4. Lynn Reply

    I’m a cheesemonger….I want to go!!!

  5. Sally Reply

    Make sure Susie brings me a really great souvenir, will you please?

  6. Pingback: Small Beer: Micro Bar, Unit FC16, Arndale Food Market, Manchester City Centre « The Beer Prole

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