Wondering where to start at this bespoke food hall in Madrid? We can help.
We are motivated by food. In addition to having traveled to over 90 countries, we’ve done almost 60 food tours in 25 countries, and there’s no better way to get to know a culture than through its food. Spain is an amazing country for foodies, and in Madrid the famous Mercado de San Miguel offers many options. What to choose? Here are our four perfect bites at the Mercado de San Miguel.
What is the Mercado de San Miguel?
Mercado de San Miguel is a popular and historic market located in the heart of Madrid, Spain. Built in 1916, it was originally a wholesale food market, but in recent years it has been transformed into a lively indoor market for food lovers.
The market’s architecture is stunning, with its iron and glass structure creating a beautiful and bright space. The interior is packed with dozens of vendors offering an array of gourmet food and drinks. You can find everything from fresh seafood, meats, fruits and vegetables, to cheeses, chocolates, tapas and wines from all over Spain.
The atmosphere at Mercado de San Miguel is bustling and vibrant, with locals and tourists alike milling about and sampling the different offerings. There are plenty of spots to sit and enjoy your food, and many vendors offer small plates and samples so that you can try a little bit of everything.
In addition to the food stalls, there are also a few shops selling gourmet products such as olive oil, spices and other Spanish delicacies.
4 Perfect Bites at Mercado de San Miguel
“Gilda” (Basque pinxto) – La Hora de Vermut
We started at La Hora de Vermut, which means “Vermouth hour.” In addition to offering popular vermouth drinks, they have piles and piles of skewered snacks. This tapa was originally called a “gilda” because it is “green, salty and a little spicy” like Rita Hayworth in the movie Gilda – olive, anchovy, olive plus peppers. We paired them with a vermouth on draft.
Smoked Salmon Sashimi – Ahumados Domínguez
The smoked salmon sashimi at Ahumados Domínguez is pricy at €12, but worth it. It is available to enjoy here or to go and includes five fat slabs of fresh salmon sashimi and two aiolis for dipping. The pieces of salmon were thick and very tender, not chewy or stringy.
Mini Taco Bowls – El Fisgón
El Fisgón offers about a dozen different varieties of tacos in flour tortilla bowls. The different fillings include Bourbon BBQ Ribs, BBQ Chicken, Prawns and Egg, and Beef Teriyaki with Lime. We chose the Bourbon BBQ Ribs and it was juicy and flavorful. For €7 you can get a taco plus a glass of wine or tinto de verano (similar to sangría).
Sandwiches – John Barrita Market
They do sandwiches and quality breads with surprising fillings. Using brioches, focaccias and pepitos as a base, its menu includes fillings such as “Carrillera”, “Steak tartar” or “Ají de gallina”, a typical Peruvian dish, as well as other more traditional ones such as “Jamón” and “Calamares”, or its particular version of “Burger”.
How to Get to Mercado de San Miguel
Overall, Mercado de San Miguel is a must-visit for anyone who loves food and wants to experience the local culinary culture in Madrid. It’s typically very busy with locals, and Madrid food tours typically stop here as well to sample a variety of offerings. It is located in the city center just outside the Plaza Mayor.
Plaza de San Miguel, s/n
(+34) 915 42 49 36
Metro Ópera (Lines 2 and 5) and Sol (Lines 1, 2 and 3)
Cercanías Lines C3 and C4
Bus Lines 3 and N16
Closest Parking: Plaza Mayor