Friday, April 27, 2012

Gourmet Markets in Madrid

Something you really should get your head around if you are going to Madrid is the hora del aperitivo. This is the hour (or two, or three), some time after noon, that the Madrilenians like to devote to having a civilised drink, preferably accompanied by a few tasty morsels to sharpen up the appetite, before the main event of lunch. Although this custom is as traditional as it gets, one of the best and buzziest places to experience it is the Mercado de San Miguel (, the gourmet market that opened in May 2009. Right by the Plaza Mayor, the dainty ironwork structure dates back to 1916 and housed a neighbourhood food market until a couple of years ago.   Source:  Simon Seeks.  Source of Image:  Ron's photos.

The iron structure that still remains today was built between 1913 and 1916, inspired by other European markets, such as Les Halles of Paris. The 1,200 square meters of today’s market sell Spanish specialties, from gambas to jamón to regional wines. But really, it transcends the national: there is a sushi stand and a Mexican section too. No matter what kind of food you like, you will find only the best of the best here. So make sure to come hungry.  Source: Vagabondish.

While there are still a few fruit and vegetable stalls, the aisles are now lined with chichi shops and bars where you can try a few slivers of marbled ham, half a dozen oysters or maybe some chunks of crystally mature Manchego cheese, along with a glass of wine, sherry or beer. The purist’s choice of aperitivo, however, is draught red vermouth, topped up with a dash of soda water – and there is an excellent one on offer here. Order white anchovies in vinegar to go with it, and you will feel as Madrilenian as Penélope Cruz. Source:  Simon Seeks.

San Anton Market, located in the neighborhood of Chueca, is the last renewed market in Madrid.

They have taken sustainability seriously by adding solar panels and materials that care about the environment.
On the first floor you can buy organic products, fruits and vegetables, cheeses from around the world, fish, meat, bread…

The second floor is reserved for Italian and Japanese cuisine, seafood, cakes and chocolates, juices... and tapas!

On the third floor there is a restaurant, La Cocina de San Antón, which allows you to choose any kind of food from the market and they'll cook it for you. You can have your food inside the restaurant or on its terrace acclimated for winter and summer. They have a menu too so that you can order directly. Source:  London Wishes.

Last Wednesday, a new gourmet market has been inaugurated in Paseo de la Habana, Madrid.  It is called  Isabela Gourmet Market.  Its owner and Director, Isabel López, says that "it is not a market".  Actually, it is a gastronomic space of 3,000 m2, where one can  eat or buy food ready to go, and everything that is sold is pre-cooked.  At present, there are 36 different stalls selling Peruvian, Japanese, and Mexican food, beer and wine and products such as ham, oysters, hamburgers, foie and codfish among other products. 

Its peculiarity is that each stall sells its products in exclusive, that means to say, that nobody can sell food that others already have.  It is curious to note that there is one that caters to products made from goose such as omelettes, ham and sausage.

A new concept of markets.  I have gone to the San Miguel and San Anton Markets and tapas were good and affordable.  If what you want is a variety of tapas to choose from, these places are where you should go.

Source of images:


  1. These places are getting very trendy and popular as you can taste more tapas at an affordable price only paying per individual tapa. They all are nice presented so you can't stop trying.

  2. We should see the New Isabela Market with an entire floor for movie theaters. It must be huge!

  3. Yummy places all of them! You can taste dishes from all around the world in just one market, amazing!

  4. We can try Isabela market on Mother's Day!