Mercado Central Valencia Spain: Ce...
Mercado Central Valencia Spain: Central Market For Fresh Food

Mercado de San Miguel Madrid Food Porn: Tapas Galore

Last modified: July 14, 2019

Mercado de San Miguel entrance Madrid
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A return visit to one of our favourite markets, the Mercado de San Miguel for us!. My mother-in-law recently visited us from Rome and her wish was to visit Madrid. We were only happy to comply because we absolutely love the city and have written about Madrid before as one of the cities we had considered living in, and a place we are more than happy to visit again and again. One of our favourite stops is this historic  Mercado which is located just behind the Plaza Mayor. Brace yourself for some drool worthy tapas images.

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empanada varieties Mercado de San Miguel market Madrid
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Warm and inviting empanadas of different flavours on display. I stuck with the ternera (meat).

Madrid Mercado de San Miguel: Food Porn in Spain:

A gastronomic market that must be experienced on any visit to Madrid, the Mercado de San Miguel has been a favourite destination of locals and travellers alike for over a hundred years. It is quite easy to understand once you’ve set foot in this crazy cool Goth inspired and historic building.

It’s understandable to think of the San Miguel mercado as just a tourist trap with inferior food, but you would be wrong. This is a market that features really tasty gourmet tapas that shows a lot of creativity. Unlike our mercado here in Valencia, it does not have market stalls selling fresh food and fruits etc.. This is more like our beloved Mercado Baranco back when we lived in Seville.

Cold cuts in cups at San Miguel market Madrid
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Much like fries, you can get your ham to go, be it cocktail sausages or salami slices at the merc.

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How to get to Mercado de San Miguel:

By Bus: Lines 148 and 3 will get you to the Mercado. We stayed at a Madrid AirBnB on the 148 route. The apartment turned out to be just as nice and spacious in real life. Absolutely huge and clean space that was definitely Moorish inspired with a big jacuzzi and one of the most decked-out kitchens we have ever seen. We would definitely recommend it highly. It sleeps at least seven or eight and even had a baby pram thingie (not sure what it’s called).

woman on Madrid hop on hop off bus tour
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Enjoying the Madrid views from the front seat of of the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, a wonderful way to see the city. It was nice as she could listen to the information in Italian, which means l didn’t have to Google Translate! :-).

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This time however on our visit, rather than hopping on the public bus, we did the get your guide hop-on, hop-off Madrid tour because my MIL is almost 70 and can’t walk long distances. The day tour cost us €22 each and we felt it was a fair price. She got to see all the best bits of Madrid and wasn’t too tired. Ever since we used the company for our Auschwitz tour, we have been using them a lot when we travel.

By Metro: On lines 2 and 5, the stop is Opera

Lines 1, 2 and 3 – the stop is Sol

Mercado de San Miguel Hours:

Monday – Thursday and Sundays: 10am – Midnight

Friday, Saturday and Holidays: 10am – 1am

croquettes at Mercado San Miguel
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I skipped these as l am tired of eating croquettes at this point. My MIL had one ham, and Federico a bacalao one.
stall at San Miguel mercado in Madrid with desserts
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Churros, cakes, tarts, you name it. They had them all. I couldn’t indulge my sweet tooth this time though.

Mercado de San Miguel Facts:

  • The site was originally a church, The Iglesia de San Miguel de los Octoes in the 13th century.
  • A fire that started at Plaza Mayor caused heavy damage in 1790. It was ordered to be demolished in 1809 after the royal architect deemed it unsafe.
  • It became a fish market after the demolition.
  • Despite plans to rebuild since 1835, it wasn’t until 1913 that construction began and the covered market opened in 1916.
  • It is the very last of the iron markets in Madrid. It was saved by El Gastronomo de San Miguel, a group of investors who purchased it in 2003.
  • Mercado San Miguel reopened in 2009 and became a runaway success.
  • Over 10 million visitors visit the Mercado San Miguel on a yearly basis making it the most popular food market in Madrid.
  • Declared Bien de Interés Cultural in 2000 which is the highest distinction given to historical monuments in Spain.

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tapas at mercados in Madrid San Miguel mercado
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These looked awesome and l would have had one of the shrimp, but the line was long and l was impatient.
people at the mercado San Miguel eating
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Sometimes you can find tables, but no seats, very rarely the opposite. Of course we saw this after eating while walking and we were ready to leave. Story of my life!

This central Madrid market has about 30 stalls by my count,selling a variety of food, including several types of paella, fish and tapas. There are also several stalls selling beer, wine and cocktails. There is a smallish section of tables and chairs but as you can imagine, trying to find space is nearly impossible as those who are ensconced in seats are very reluctant to relinquish them which is the part l hate, looking desperate and giving the people seating evil looks while they people watched 🙂 .

You might enjoy: Visiting Madrid like a local

fresh fish market stall at mercado Madrid #madridtapas #madrid #mercadosanmiguel #madridguide #madriditinerary
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Fresh fish to make the freshest tapas.
tacos at san miguel mercat
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Tacos galore. I would have liked one of these, but my eyes are definitely bigger than my belly.

One of the cool things about the San Miguel market is that there are tapas from all over Spain. Fresh fish from Galicia, Cheeses from the Basque Country, Asturias and Castile. You’re guaranteed to find something to like from all the offerings. My suggestion on total enjoyment is to eat as much as possible at the Madrid San Miguel market and then walk it off by meandering around Plaza Mayor people watching, admiring the architecture or shopping at anyone of the stores that line the plaza. Get relief in the shade under the porticoes. You might be lucky enough to catch a quick flamenco dance if you tip. Don’t be a douchebag tourist who snaps loads of pics, then runs off without tipping. Dick move and we saw at least three people doing that.

tapas at mercado Miguel Madrid
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Tapas and more tapas. Wash it all down with a beer. Your best bet to eat it is at the standing room only slim tables along the entrance of the mercado.
tapas plates at mercado Madrid
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More yummy goodness!

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Overall thoughts on Mercado de San Miguel:

A definite must visit in Madrid. Part of traveling, at least for us, is to experience the food culture, and what a way to enjoy it all by eating some of the delicious and gorgeous looking tasty food from the market. There are also bars serving proper cocktails, like Mojitos and Margaritas (I did skip that in favour of my favourite, Tinto de Verano). If you’re short on time, here are places to visit on a day visit to Madrid. The best part is that since it’s located in the center, places like Palacio Real and Puerta del Sol are just few minutes walk.

tapas stall in Madrid mercado San Miguel
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My MIL had to have one of those artichoke flower things. She loved it. I didn’t try it.
desserts at market stall Madrid San Miguel
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Desserts galore! It’s not just tapas, delicious tasty treats as well.

Looking to be an expat in Spain, make sure to get your copy of our latest eBook to guide you through the required steps to enjoying your new life in the sun.

Madrid Mercado de San Miguel address:

Plaza de San Miguel 5, Madrid 28005

 


Mercado de San Miguel Madrid #madrid #madridguide #mercado #sanmiguel #spain #tapas
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Have you visited Madrid? If yes, did you visit the Mercado San Miguel? Any tasty tapas consumed by you and would you recommend visiting for others?

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20 thoughts on “Mercado de San Miguel Madrid Food Porn: Tapas Galore”

  1. Kemkem, we always love visiting a food market everywhere we go. This one is very special, the food looks amazing. I got adicted to tapas and pinxtos in Spain. I am glad this market was saved and returned to its former glory. Your MIL look so young and very stylish.

    Reply
    • Yep! We always make sure that food plays a big part in our travels too and a lot of times, l have the biggest smile on my face when l think back on trips because l associate it with good food. It is easy to get addicted to tapas. Can you imagine if this one had been demolished like all the others? It would have been sad indeed. The woman just does not age..haha! Thanks, will pass along the compliment :-).

      Reply
  2. YUM! That food looks amazing! I really like the tapas culture as I love the variety they offer. It’s easy to over-eat, though and I bet that if I were to live in Madrid – or anywhere in Spain for longer, I would definitely have trouble keeping my weight in check. I know I was wondering how are most of the people there so fit with so much delicious food available everywhere. :))

    Reply
    • Most people in Spain stay fit because they walk a lot. A whole lot. I get wary when l ask for directions and they tell me it’s only about a 15 minute walk. That in reality means about a 40 minute walk. They walk so very fast and it’s kind of embarrassing when a woman in high heels and a double stroller and groceries overtake me and then leaves me in the dust like two minutes later :-). You notice l did not have a picture of myself on this post. I ate a lot and the blouse l had on kept rising, exposing my belly because l was bloated..haha! I’m like..nope! just nope! :-). I had to keep pulling it down!.

      Reply
    • Haha!!! I guess l own’t be inviting you lot for tapas then. The only thing l am tired of is ham and potatoes but seafood inspired and meat ones, I’m all over it :-).

      Reply
  3. What a delicious article you have on the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid. When we saw the title of your article had to do with food, we were already hooked. We love seeing all of the options that are found throughout the market.

    Reply
    • My mother in law absolutely loved it and she was stuffed, as were we. It’s terrible to go when one is hungry..lol! I still shudder at how my blouse kept rising up after we ate and drank :-). Delicious indeed.

      Reply
  4. Lovely pics and great information for travelers who like to eat , enjoy and travel. Madrid is in my bucket list. Thanks for sharing.
    Heena

    Reply
    • Thanks Heena. I hope you get to visit Madrid in the near future. We are so lucky that a less than two hour train ride gets us there. Thanks for reading :-).

      Reply
  5. Your photos just made me crave for food, especially empanadas. I only visited Barcelona so far and I just added Madrid to my travel list. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    • I’m glad you added Madrid. It is worthy of a visit. Haha! I love empanadas too and would gladly make a meal of it. Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  6. such a thorough blog post, i felt like i was there! definitely makes me want to visit madrid even more now 🙂 thank you for sharing! x

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It’s what l wish for over all else, the feeling like you are there with me, so thank you for that awesome compliment :-).

      Reply
  7. Yum! Especially the ones with desserts but you didn’t get good enough close ups of them! Do the people still crumple up their napkins and paper plates and toss them on the floor when they’re done? Even the ones who scored a table?

    Reply
    • They certainly were. Yeah..trying to take pictures of the offerings while avoiding the insane masses was difficult at best. They must have been very popular ones and sometimes taken with a blind shot (raising the camera above heads and clicking). No.. I’ve read that often about people dropping their napkins on the floor but we didn’t see it this time and thinking back, hadn’t seen it on the previous visit either, so hopefully it’s a thing of the past :-).

      Reply
  8. Mmm I love empanadas (they remind me of meat pies a la Mr Biggs lol)!
    It’s weird that I’ve never been to a street food market. Time to remedy that methinks!
    On another note I like your mama in laws dress!

    Reply
    • Exactly! I love empanadas too for just that reason, but l’m old enough to remember them from Kingsway, way before Mr Biggs :-)! A few days ago, Federico didn’t feel like cooking so we picked up a meat and potato pie. It tasted exactly like a meat pie filling, only it was in a round pan! I am definitely going to be getting that again, and it was just €3 and fed us for lunch.

      My MIL will be happy to hear that. She had just purchased it here in Valencia and took it to Madrid with her, and was so pleased because she got it for like €10 with the summer discount :-).

      Reply
  9. Amazing experience! That is a perfect itinerary that I have in mind for my trip to Madrid. I saw Madrid different, I looked with “hungry eyes”!))) Will follow your footsteps!

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading. The market is indeed a feast for the eyes. I hope you enjoy the trip and eat loads of food :-).

      Reply

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