Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Markets in Madrid

There's no better way to get an insight into a place than visiting its markets, and Madrid has its fair share. Here are some of the best markets for you to explore in Madrid:

Mercado de San Miguel

This market specialising in gourmet food is very touristy and a little overpriced, but the food is great! It's located just a stone's throw from Plaza Mayor in an early 20th century wrought iron building. It's also one of Madrid's newest markets, opening only a couple of years ago after extensive renovation.  Here you can find excellent tapas, sea food (sushi), fruits and vegetables, cheeses, olives, preserves, typical sweets and wines. It's a good place to come for lunch as you can hop from stall to stall trying the different tapas (a tapa costs around 1-2€). We recommend the stall which sells 'papas arrugadas', salted boiled potatoes in a spicy sauce, a dish typical of the Canary Islands. It's perhaps not the best place to go if you're looking for everyday foods, but if you're looking for something special, it's worth taking a look. Location: Plaza de San Miguel (just off Calle Mayor). Metro: La Latina (L5) or Ópera (L2, L5, R).

The Mercado de San Miguel

Mercado de Maravillas

A gem of a place for those who know about it. Known in Spanish as the 'market of wonders', the market sells everything under the sun Being one of Madrid's biggest and best loved markets, many madrileños say 'if you can't find it go to the Mercado de Maravillas. If it's not there it doesn't exist'. Shopping here is much more authentic and cheaper than the Mercado de San Miguel, and here you will still be able to find typical produce from all corners of Spain. Expect friendly service and great value for money. Located at Bravo Murillo 122 in one of Madrid's typical suburbs. Metro: Cuatro Caminos (L1, L2, L6).

Mercado de Antón Martín

If you're looking to buy fish, this is place to come, although vegatables and meat are also sold here. Located in one of Madrid's central neighbourhoods, it's always bustling. Location: Calle Santa Isabel 5. Metro: Antón Martín (L1).

Shopping at a market in Madrid
Mercado de La Latina (la Cebada)

Another one of Madrid's traditional markets. Located in a very distinct 1960s building (make of it what you will), the market at La Latina has been part of the neighbourhood for centuries- the orignal and more more elegant market building was pulled down years ago. Here you will find fresh produce- meats, fish, vegatables, fruits, as well as homewear, clothes and other curiousities. Inside, the building looks dated (there are plans to rebuild) and many of the shops are tired looking, but you'll meet plenty of friendly locals and pay very little! Location: Plaza de la Cebada. Metro: La Latina (L5).

Mercado de la Paz

Another oldie and the market building was designed by Gustave Eiffel! Located in the upmarket Salamanca district, but despite its location, still is very down to earth. The market is well known for its produce including meats, fruits, fish, breads and excellent selection of European cheeses (look for the shop La Bouette). You can find some fantastic tapas here as well as other fine gourmet products.
Location: Calle Ayala 28. Metro: Serrano (L4).

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