We stumbled upon this market as we were wandering around Madrid, rather than my usual method of researching and then visiting. Our first glance of the San Miguel market is what you see above. An attractive building of steel and glass that, to me at least, seemed inviting.
Mercado de San Micuel is close to the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. The market opened in 1916 and while not large, is spacious, bright and quite lovely. About ten years ago, after a change in ownership and a remodel, the market transformed from a general market to an upscale venue that focuses on premium food products. As such, it’s a popular place for locals and tourists to pick up lunch or a snack and beverage, then continue on with their daily activities. It’s a busy place, with some 10,000,000 visitors a year.
There are some items for sale at the market that are intended to be consumed at home, including cheeses, Iberian hams, fresh fruit, bulk nuts and seeds, but you don’t see many people filling shopping bags here like you do at other markets
Most of the market’s selection is focused on small finger foods or tapas type items that you can consume as you walk about. Seafood items are a specialty of the market, including small sandwiches often featuring fish, and assorted warm food, like calamari and empanadas.
The market has an amazing selection of small olives on large toothpicks — kind of like short kabobs. I’d never seen or tried these before visiting Spain. All basically consist of several types of olives with pickled vegetables and meat (mostly fish) sandwiched in between. They are usually intended to be consumed as one mouthful and the interesting combination of tastes was delicious! I made a point of buying some wherever we found them.
The market had bakeries with breads, pastries, churros and other treats, and several bars serving wine, sangria, beer and champagne. Some snack items are available and often sold in small packages that make them easy to carry out.
We visited the San Miguel market at least three times during our stay in Madrid, always enjoying a delicious selection of food and treats. I wish there was something like it close to where I live. Somehow the deli section of the Superstore or Safeway just aren’t in the same league.
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday: 10:00 to 00:00
- Friday, Saturday:10:00 to 01:00
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