By all means fill your shopping basket, but leave time to meet up with friends for morning coffee, enjoy some oysters with champagne, catch an art exhibition or buy a bunch of flowers to brighten up your home. This is the concept behind two markets that have revamped both their appearance and their philosophy. These markets are places lined with little bars where you can try the best and most varied examples of national and international gourmet food, get yourself a take-away or eat in and soak up the fantastic atmosphere.
Built in 1916, this market is the finest example of cast-iron architecture in Madrid. Today it is a temple to gastronomy, home to 33 stalls selling mouth-watering products and select ingredients, offering food to take home or to consume right there on the premises. With its stunning décor and ideal location in the heart of the city’s old quarter, this elegant establishment is a wonderful multi-purpose venue.
Considered a Property of Cultural Interest, the Mercado the San Miguel has become one of the most glamorous spots in the city and a meeting point for gourmets. Salted fish from the traditional Casa del Bacalao, European meats from La Boucherie, fresh pasta from Il Pastaio, Jugosa juices or cakes from Horno San Onofre. These are just some of the delicacies you will find in this historical market, a food connoisseur’s paradise filled with modern products that, come sundown, turns into a popular stop for tapas.
Since the market closes at midnight from Sunday to Wednesday and at 2 am on Friday and Saturday, there is no reason why your visit should be limited to daylight hours. Once other stores put down the shutters for the day and nightclubs start opening their doors you will find the market is still buzzing. If you fancy a drink in “San Miguel”, just make your way to one of the various wine houses likePinkleton& Wine, or to other stalls such as OstrasSorlut, where you can enjoy a plate of delicious oysters washed down with a glass of French champagne.
Despite its recent revamp, the market also continues to perform its original function with stalls such as La Flor fruit shop, L’Artesa de Gallent bakery or Lonxanet fish shop selling basic products for the shopping basket. Other specialised stands include florist’s VíctimasdelCeluloide. Many of the activities organised at the market, however, also go beyond gastronomy. Boasting state-of-the-art technology, it hosts everything from concerts and courses to press conferences, presentations and parties, making this alternative multi-purpose venue an ideal place to enjoy culture and entertainment in the city.
A box of surprises is one of the oldest markets in Madrid: three floors lined with traditional shops, show cooking and takeaway stalls, an art gallery and a restaurant with a stunning rooftop terrace.
San Antón Market, recently inaugurated in the heart of the Chueca neighborhood, never fails to amaze. Its new building houses one of the oldest and most traditional markets in the city. Originally dating from the mid-nineteenth century, it became a covered market in 1945. In 2007 it was demolished so that work could begin on this new site devoted to food.
A huge skylight provides light in the large central area, a meeting point for customers. The market is spread across three floors, the first focusing on perishable goods, with 14 traditional stalls selling a wide range of products from cured meats (La Charcutería de Octavio) to quality hamburgers (Raza Nostra) and fruit and vegetables (La Flor de San Antón).
The second floor boasts a tavern-wine bar and ten stalls providing cooking/takeaway services, where customers can taste and take away Greek dishes, Japanese food, seafood, sweets, milkshakes and juices. On this floor there is also a large multi-purpose hall, Sala Trapezio, which will be used for exhibitions and other activities to bring art, such as talks, discussions, presentations, installations, workshops and courses to a wider public.
First floor (traditional market) Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00 h. Second floor (Show Cooking & Take Away) Mon-Sun 10:00-0:00 h. Third floor (Restaurant-rooftop terrace) Sun-Thur 10:00-0:00 h. Fri-Sat & eve of a public holiday 10:00-1:30 h
By metro: Chueca/Gran Vía
Sources| Michelin Guide, Ayto. Madrid, Tourism of Madrid, esMadrid, rpp, 20minutos, lainformacionlain, Mercado de San Miguel, Mercado de San Antón