Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Mercado de San Antón- a traditional market with a modern twist

We visited the recently reopened San Antón food market in the trendy neighbourhood of Chueca to see what it had to offer, and walking around and seeing the food on show certainly made us feel hungry! The market is one of Madrid's oldest, but its renovation has brought the market into the 21st century and has created a space where you can not only buy food, but enjoy eating it as well. Given its sleek new makeover, the market may not exactly feel like an authentic market found in many of Madrid's neighbourhoods, but from wandering around it does seem more like a traditional market than the touristy Mercado San Miguel. You'll find your greengrocer, baker, butcher, dairy and a number of other stalls selling delicatessen products where you could do your daily shopping, yet still find something a little more special. Upstairs there is a mezzanine level offering a selection of quick eateries including tapas, sushi, oysters, Italian foods and a juice bar. On the very top floor is the restaurant, La Cocina de San Antón, which has a roof terrace giving views over the city.  The restaurant lets you choose food from the market and they cook it for you, or you can order from the menu.We've not tried it yet, but we've heard some fantastic things said about it from those who have eaten there.

Our verdict: the produce on sale did look very tempting, although you will pay more than in other places. If you want something cheaper and more authentcally madrileño, you might be better taking a look at the Mercado de las Maravillas or the Mercado de Cebada. We did a feature on these and other markets in Madrid a few weeks ago- Markets in Madrid.

Location: Mercado de San Antón, Calle Augusto Figueroa 24, metro Chueca (L5), Gran Vía (L1, L5) or Sevilla (L2)
Opening hours: marketplace: Mon-Sat 10am-10pm; mezzanine food stalls everyday 10am-midnight; restaurant: Sun-Thurs 10am-midnight and Fri/Sat 10am-1.30am

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