Food & Drink

The Finest Food Markets in Madrid

When it involves tapas, cañas, and vermú in Spain, there’s one setting that instantly involves thoughts: meals markets. Food markets in Spain are particular—not solely locations to buy however locations to seize a snack or sit for a meal. And Madrid has so lots of them; completely different markets in several barrios. While some are repeatedly flooded with vacationers, lots of the finest meals markets are hidden gems tucked among the many capital’s labyrinthine streets.

Scan the Internet and it’s probably each respected “top 5 places to eat in Madrid” piece will embrace the well-known Mercado de San Miguel, an icon of gastronomy and design strategically positioned within the metropolis’s historic cent er. Inside you’ll discover luxurious French and Galician oysters, crispy golden ham croquetas … and thousands of tourists who lunch, snack, and dine there each single day. Even within the lowest of seasons, the Mercado de San Miguel isn’t empty, and you could have to combat your approach by the aisles to seize a chunk.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t go to Mercado de San Miguel (ideally, simply go throughout off-peak hours). But there are various different unbelievable meals markets in Madrid that received’t have you ever in queues for hours, and may develop into your new favourite spot. Here are 5 different important meals markets in Madrid you shouldn’t miss, each to browse and to eat in. Since Madrid’s markets are sometimes unimaginable locations to eat each Spanish meals and worldwide cuisines, we’ve advisable some favourite eateries for each.

Mercado de San Fernando 

Also often known as Mercado Municipal de Embajadores, this (initially supply-oriented) market has been a traditional for the reason that Nineteen Forties and it’s nonetheless going sturdy. Located within the Lavapiés neighborhood, roughly 10 blocks away from Puerta del Sol, Mercado de San Fernando has a energetic environment and an important collection of meals stalls providing among the finest conventional Spanish delicacies in Madrid. 

You may also discover a good number of native merchandise like Iberian ham, cheeses, and wines from completely different areas of Spain, in addition to a broad providing of worldwide meals comparable to Cuban, Japanese, Venezuelan, Mexican, and German. 

Locals don’t solely come right here to eat and store: Mercado de San Fernando boasts a energetic cultural scene with common occasions like live shows, exhibitions, and workshops. The market’s inside design is noteworthy too, with its excessive ceilings, colourful tiles, and modernist structure that transport guests to a bygone period of Spanish gastronomy.

Tiropita (cheese pie) from Hamburg Exargia inside Mercado de San Fernando, Madrid.

Don’t miss these meals at Mercado de San Fernando:

The conventional Spanish tapas at Bar Mochuelo: This small nook of the market is the place to go in case you’re searching for scrumptious Spanish tapas to heat you up earlier than heading again out into town. Bar Mochuelo takes pleasure in providing among the finest toasts (or tostas) loaded with sardines, Iberian ham, and tomato, in addition to pollo al ajillo (garlic rooster), rabbit, and the well-known caldo gallego. It’s  particularly nice for winter guests! 

Greek delicacies and German beer at Hamburg Exargia: This tavern gives a variety of conventional Greek dishes, from moussaka to souvlaki, and European beers, however two gadgets you shouldn’t miss are the spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese pie) and the tiropita (cheese pie). Located on the backside of the market, Hamburg Exargia a pleasant quiet place to take a seat and eat earlier than persevering with to discover the market. 


Exterior image of Mercado de Anton Martin, in Madrid, Spain.

Mercado de Antón Martín 

The Mercado de Antón Martín is one other traditional market positioned within the metropolis middle, only a quick stroll away from Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, and Plaza de Atocha. It’s positioned in Plaza Antón Martín (therefore its title), and its strategic location means it provides vibrant neighborhoods comparable to Barrio de Las Letras and Lavapiés.

The market has three flooring; between the primary two, there are 65 gastronomic stalls, some just for buying and others the place you may sit and eat. The third ground has been rented since 2002 to the Spanish dance faculty Amor de Dios, which additionally makes it a spot carefully linked to town’s creative profile.

Having gone by an financial disaster within the Nineteen Eighties, just like the overwhelming majority of Madrid’s markets, the Mercado de Antón Martín resurged due to the world’s inhabitants development and the growing presence of vacationers within the neighboring districts. All of its produce is contemporary and high-quality, however the giant variety of carnicerias, or butcher outlets, make it the right spot to purchase meat.

A piece of tarta de queso, Spanish cheesecake, from Caracola inside Mercado de Anton Martin, Madrid

Don’t miss these meals at Mercado de Antón Martín:

Spanish classics at Caracola: An iconic restaurant with a brief however very Spanish menu, Caracola is good spot to get into some tortilla de patatas and tarta de queso, or cheesecake. It combines conventional flavors with unique innovations that make it very particular. If you’re craving one thing candy, one of many creamy, decadent cheesecakes on provide listed below are an absolute should: From the spectacular unique one to cheesecakes made with pistachios, yuzu, Belgian chocolate, and Lotus Biscoff, you received’t know the place to begin (or the place to cease!). Note: You can discover Caracola’s brand-new store positioned in Chueca (Plaza de Chueca, 4, map), in case you end up wandering round different elements in Madrid.

Smoked eel at Yokaloka in Mercado de San Fernando in Madrid.

Japanese delicacies at Yokaloka: This Japanese meals stall within the coronary heart of the market is claimed to be among the finest locations for sushi in Madrid. Yokaloka is often crowded, so it’s finest to make a reservation if you wish to dine in and keep away from a protracted wait. Besides the sushi and sashimi, the ramen is widespread, as is the smoked eel flambéed on the spot.

Mercado de Vallehermoso 

This market is among the many oldest on our listing, a traditional within the metropolis and important to its historical past. The Mercado de Vallehermoso first opened its doorways within the Chamberí neighborhood in 1933: It was initially a produce market that, given its giant measurement, was capable of serve many individuals in Madrid. While its extensive number of merchandise may maybe be discovered elsewhere, the market was most well-liked by many, as a lot could possibly be bought in a single journey there.

After Spain’s financial disaster of the ’80s, the Mercado de Vallehermoso fell into disrepair and abandonment. But in 2015 it reinvented itself, due to a change in administration and a few authorities help. Young entrepreneurs had been invited in to showcase their companies, infusing contemporary life and unique concepts into the market whereas preserving its conventional spirit. Today, it hosts greater than 60 stalls and operates at full capability. It’s particularly recognized for its superior contemporary fish and seafood, in addition to its everlasting farmers market. 

Korean BBQ ribs from Kitchen 154 at Mercado de Vallehermosa, Madrid.

Don’t miss these meals at Mercado de Vallehermoso:

Empanadas gallega at Empanadas de Gloria: Spanish empanadas are considerably much like their extra extensively recognized Latin American counterparts … there’s flakey dough and there’s a (often) savory filling. But they’re nearer to a pie than a handheld moon-shaped pastry, and undoubtedly an even bigger snack. If you’ve by no means tried them earlier than, Empanadas de Gloria is the place to go.

Straight out of Galicia, Gloria made her method to Madrid to open up her store and promote among the finest conventional empanadas you’ll discover within the metropolis, and he or she positive is aware of what she’s doing: Since 2009, the proprietor has spent her days making these artisanal 10-inch empanadas that weigh nearly two kilos and have essentially the most unimaginable fillings: black pudding with apples, tuna, cod, chorizo and bacon, mussels, rooster, even some candy flavors. It’s actually a celebration of Northwest Spain in a single stall. 

Korean BBQ ribs at Kitchen 154: Kitchen 154 (affectionately often known as “El Kitchen” by locals) is without doubt one of the finest choices for spicy Asian fusion fare and contemporary beer in Madrid. In the phrases of its house owners, “the market is huge, but the stall isn’t,” so it’s suggested to make a reservation to make sure your spot at a desk or the bar. If you’ve been craving spice in Madrid, right here’s your spot. Some favourite dishes embrace pink curry with prawns, Sichuan eggplants with white rice, and Korean BBQ ribs, served with kimchi—all of which fits completely with its unique beer, La Virgen. Note: You may also discover a Kitchen 154 restaurant in Malasaña, at Calle del Acuerdo, 3 (map).


Fruit stand in Mercado de Maravillas, in Madrid

Mercado de Maravillas

The Mercado de Maravillas is maybe one of many best-kept secrets and techniques within the metropolis. Located farther from the vacationer middle, on the well-known Calle de Bravo Murillo, it’s the place of selection for locals to fill up their fridges and pantries. This market, which opened its doorways within the early Nineteen Forties, options dozens of stalls promoting high-quality contemporary produce throughout two flooring.

At Maravillas, you could find spices, cheese, fish, meat, charcuterie, fruits, greens, and even flower and watch outlets. Most essential for the customer, there are a couple of hidden meals stalls, together with one well-known for its saucy tapa de oreja (grilled pig’s ear)—a traditional Madrileño dish—and a few superb tortilla española for simply €2 a slice.

Tortilla de patatas at Bar Javi in Mercado de Maravillas, Madrid.

Don’t miss these meals at Mercado de Maravillas: 

Spanish tapas at Bar Javi: It is undoubtedly a superb concept to open a tapas place in a produce market—who doesn’t get a bit of peckish whereas buying? Bar Javi has traditionally been often known as the place for fried eggs, and that’s exactly its specialty: egg-based dishes. Always crowded, it’s the right pit cease to get pleasure from one thing scrumptious with or with out a drink (this can be a bar, in spite of everything) earlier than persevering with your store. Definitely attempt the oreja and the Spanish tortilla, which is served right here with a beneficiant piece of bread—not a minor element, as bread is a separate cost in all places in Madrid.

Fresh fruit and veggies: Mercado de Maravillas is the among the finest locations to buy contemporary, natural produce, and maybe take an opportunity on one thing you’ve by no means tried earlier than. There are greater than 10 stalls peddling all kinds of fruit and veggies, with our favourite being the Japanese stalls with Asian fruits and leafy greens and people devoted to wild mushrooms, like Frutas Laura, the place you may simply discover boletus and enoki.

Pathway leading to Mercado de La Paz, in Madrid

Mercado de La Paz

This is a flowery market comfortably positioned within the fanciest a part of city. The long-standing Mercado de La Paz proudly lives in Salamanca, an expensive neighborhood of high-fashion manufacturers, connoisseur eating places, and costly automobiles. This market first opened its doorways in 1879, when it hosted 120 produce stalls that had been ample to feed practically the entire metropolis. 

The destruction of the Spanish Civil War within the late Thirties prompted the Mercado de La Paz to renovate for the primary time in the course of the Nineteen Forties. A 3rd renovation occurred within the Nineteen Eighties, giving the market the form and look it holds in the present day. 

Given the excessive site visitors of the world, this market boasts a clear, smooth look that makes it appear extra elegant than others within the metropolis. During the weekends, when locals and vacationers are inclined to collide whereas buying, it will get fairly crowded. There are nonetheless many alternative produce stalls to discover, however right here is an effective place to attain contemporary, high-quality rooster (and different poultry) and eggs within the so-called pollerias, in addition to unique spices from across the globe.

Torreznos, fried pieces of crispy pork belly, from Casa Dani in Mercado de La Paz, Madrid.

Don’t miss these meals at Mercado de La Paz:

Traditional Spanish meals at Casa Dani: Casa Dani—whose stall takes a giant portion of the market, permitting for many tables—is the place foodies run to get a style of its well-known, runny tortilla de patata (aka tortilla española, aka Spanish egg and potato omelet), because it’s received prizes, together with one in 2019 for finest tortilla in Spain. According to the restaurant, they serve greater than 100K tortillas a yr, so that is definitely one thing you may’t miss.

Casa Dani not strictly a traditional-Spanish-foods restaurant, however different iconic dishes on that entrance are oxtail, served with a wine-based sauce and potatoes, and torreznos, completely poppable crispy pork stomach bites. 

Italian meals at Matteo Cucina Italiana: This is a superb place not solely to eat but additionally to purchase high quality Italian merchandise, together with dry pasta, canned tomatoes, and numerous sorts of preserves. Matteo, its proprietor and head chef, introduced all of the secrets and techniques of Italy to the center of Madrid with this restaurant, providing high quality pasta dishes utilizing the perfect elements of the market. It’s finest to order a desk in case you plan to eat in. Some prime dishes are the tonnarelli carbonara, ravioli di zucca with pesto di salvia, and the unimaginable tiramisu. Pro tip, in case you’re staying in an condo rental: In addition to glorious takeout, Matteo has contemporary pasta, assembled raw pizzas, and housemade pesto that you could put together within the consolation of your Spanish kitchen.

About the writer:
 Sabrina Palmieri is an Argentinian journalist presently residing in Madrid.

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