Yes, I am one of those people who just love talking about food. So here we go.
From the first moment I moved to the Spanish capital, I fell in love with its Mercados; it’s in fact a concept that I wasn’t that used to while living in the North and as a mediterranean soul, I’ve to confess that I had missed it. "Hitting the mercados" became one of my favourite cultural things in Spain. It doesnt’ really matter whether it’s weekend or not, the Mercados are always there, open to offer you a delicious, and of course a local gastronomical experience!
© Photo: SOMATUSCANI
The city is teeming with colorful food markets offering traditional goodies like jamón, cheese, croquettes, and prepared foodstuff. With so many options in the city, knowing where to go—especially if you want to experience the city like a local—can be tough. One of the best things about these markets, is getting the chance to try a little bit of everything. Thankfully, all of them boast enough vendors to satisfy hunger pangs. Additionally, if you are looking to get some grocery shopping done, the mercados sell fresh meats, fish, cheese, hamburgers and whatever would satisfy your appetite and of course your budget!
One of my favourite mercados, and probably the most popular one in Madrid is the alluring “Mercado de San Miguel”. Conveniently located next to Plaza Mayor, even though some people think that it’s a tourist trap, I’m here to tell you that it should definitely be added to your list as a “must see” while in the Spanish capital.
Opened in May 1916 as a food market, this centenary establishment became Madrid’s first gastronomic temple with a vibrant, high-quality food scene in May 2009, after a massive restoration. In 2000, it was declared Bien de Interés Cultural (Property of Cultural Interest) and till nowadays, its unique architecture that brings in mind the one of the Retiro’s crystal palace, impress thousands of visitors every day.
© Photo: sjhaytov
Well, I wouldn’t suggest going there for a full meal but instead, for a “degustación”. Don’t you feel like trying everything when travelling abroad? Oh I do! Grab a glass of a fine Spanish wine or beer- whatever you feel like- and stroll through the Mercado in order to try some local delicacies. If you’re one of those people eating “with their eyes”, I’m telling you, you’ll leave this place with a full stomach. From the best Iberian ham to fresh seafood brought from Galicia each day, the Mediterranean rice or the special cheese from Castile, Asturias or the Basque Country, this historic market is not only beautiful but also full of food from all around the country.
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