Is it an authentic Spanish experience without tasting the local food? Check out our guide and explore the most popular food markets in Madrid, during your experience abroad.
One of first thing that will leave you speechless as soon as you step into Madrid, is the incredible amount of restaurants and bars. Gastronomy here is a real thing and Spaniards truly love dining out. Here you’ll find uncountable spots where to eat traditional local dishes or try international cuisines, but, the most original places are the food markets in Madrid.
San Miguel can be considered the most popular food market in Madrid, famous among international tourists and locals alike. You can spot it right west of Plaza Mayor, off the homonym Calle Mayor. Back in 1835 it was an open air fish market but, from 1911 it started operating as the closed market with this enchanting architectural features you are able to admire nowadays.
San Miguel is home to little bodegas, wine bars and little spots where you can gather with your friends. It’s price range is slightly expensive for a market, but it is definitely worth visiting at least once, since it has a huge variety of fresh products (meat, fish, desserts and much more).
We suggest to go to San Miguel late in the evening, in order to avoid the crowds of tourists and, instead, meet some locals there.
Located in the right behind Plaza de San Ildefonso, in the colored and hipster Malasaña neighbourhood, this market is one of the trendiest spots in the centre of Madrid, also a cool hotspots for young people by night.
Mercado de San Ildefonso offers both fresh food and prepared one that you can enjoy on the top of the beautiful rooftop terrace, boasting a bohemian atmosphere that you’ll love.
When the sun goes down, the shopping market profile of this place turns more into a hangout spot. If you are planning to live in Malasaña, we can promise you that this will be one of your favourite place!
Madrid mix and match very old and traditional places with modern ones, such as Mercado de San Antón, a new bustling food market located in Chueca, the most colored and friendly neighbourhood in town.
San Antón market has 3 levels: a first floor where you can shop fresh local products, meat, fish at a little expensive price, but at a very good quality; going up to the second floor, you’ll meet international products and cuisines, from the traditional Spanish one, to Asian and Italian. Here people use to gather while tasting these delicious dishes. On the third floor, as very typical of Madrid, there’s a rooftop terrace that offers fun and great atmosphere, with music, a bar and comfortable seats.
Midway between an indoor and outdoor market, Mercado de la Paz is located in the most exclusive area of Madrid, Barrio Salamanca.
Differently from the other central markets, that boast thrilling vibes, this one looks more like a supermarket, but here you’ll be able to find very good quality products, especially seafood and local meat. It is not such a touristy spot, in fact here you’ll surely meet many madrileños shopping for their traditional meals!
Along with the last organic food trends, there’s El Huerto de Lucas, one the most popular food markets in Madrid. It is located in an amazing central area in the city. This market is eco-friendly and it sells only 100% organic products (food, spices, cosmetics), that may be hard to spot in Madrid. Moreover, here you’ll be enchanted by the modern design and the atmosphere, enriched with hanging plants, soft and bright colors.
We had a brief overview of the top food markets in Madrid, but now you need to know what you can’t miss at all in order to have a complete Spanish experience!
There’s plenty of tapas recipes and you may want to try them all, but here are the best and most famous ones. Remember that you can order a whole portion for you, but, according to the tradition, it is better to order several dishes and to share them with your friends.
1. Tortilla de patata: it may possibly be one of the first things (beside paella and sangría) the comes to mind when people think about Spain. This basically is a Spanish omelette, a simple and delicious dish created using few ingredients ( that's what makes it special). It's quite popular in Madrid, so, make sure you try it!
2. Jamón: Ibérico, Serrano...it doesn’t matter, eat the one you like the most! Ham is very iconic in Spain and you can find it in every restaurant, bar, food market in Madrid. There also are museums all around the city dedicated to this tapa, called Museo del Jamón!
3. Patatas bravas: this dish is simply amazing. It’s made up by few ingredients, such as potatoes covered with a spicy sauce...but we’re sure that’s enough to blow your mind!
4. Croquetas: try to picture a hot tapa crispy on the outside and soft in the inside, filled with the most delicious ingredients (ham, cheese, vegetables, codfish...). Well, this croquettes are one of the most popular tapas, and we definitely can relate!
5. Calamares fritos: not only earth flavours. Spain also offers great seafood recipes and this tapa is one of the best ones! Spaniards love eating fried squids, in a dish or as a sandwich filling, while drinking a refreshing beer.
You’re now ready to explore the best food markets Madrid and taste the most delicious dishes that this incredible city has to offer.
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