Located just outside the walls of Plaza Mayor, San Miguel Market has undoubtedly become one of the gastronomic landmarks in Madrid. The most interesting thing about this market is that it is not a traditional market, San Miguel is something else entirely. We could define San Miguel as a Gourmet Market designed for those who want to enjoy a refined experience, from buying a cookbook or fresh pasta to trying delicious Spanish wines. However, the speciality of San Miguel are tapas, people buy their favorite tapas in the stalls and then use the picnic tables and stools distributed around the market.
The galleries are full of stalls (over 30) where you can find almost everything: seafood, traditional dishes, caviar, Spanish wines, cheeses from around the world, exotic fruits, ice-creams etc. In addition, its huge popularity (the market is highlighted in all travel guidebooks) makes this place crowded at any time of day. Despite this, it is not a place only for tourists, it is easy to find locals taking “cafe con leche” (coffee with milk) at the cafeteria or simply drinking “cañas” (typical draft beer) with friends.
From the gastronomic point of view San Miguel Market is a privileged place. Many emblematic restaurants in Madrid have opened stalls in the market. We recommend trying the traditional “callos a la madrileña” (tripe stew) in Lhardy (stalls 61-62). In the Casa del Bacalao (stalls 16,17 and 29) you can try the best desalted cod in Madrid and exceptional smoked fish like salmon, tuna, etc. At the same time, these traditional restaurants coexist with innovative stalls like Flower Experience (stall 72), where you can try original creations in the form of edible flowers, or Daniel Sorlut (stalls 66,67) specializing in oysters and French Champagne.
The San Miguel Square was a traditional market since the nineteenth century. Housewives and servants came here every morning to buy perishable goods (fruit, fish, meat, bread, etc.). The current beautiful building did not yet exist and the “market” consisted of ramshackle stalls and piled boxes. Logically, the hygienic conditions in these markets were primitive in the extreme. Over the years, the authorities were aware of the need to construct news buildings to house the activity of traders.
San Miguel was inaugurated in 1916 after several years of construction led by the architect Alfonso Dubé y Díaz, disciple of the famous Gustave Eiffel. The entire structure, of course, was made of iron, following the trends of other European capitals such as Paris or Vienna.
In the late twentieth century traditional markets were in the doldrums. Young people gradually modified their spending habits and changed the traditional markets for large Malls outside the city. In this context, San Miguel Market was sold to a private company which transformed the building into an incredible gourmet market unique in Madrid. To Renew or to die.
Address: Plaza de San Miguel s/n
Opening Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday (10:00AM– 12:00AM) & Thursday, Friday and Saturday (10:00AM 02:00AM)
Tapas Tour in Madrid
Book your Tapas Tour in Madrid with OgoTours and discover the Spanish gastronomy. We will visit 5-6 historic taverns and local places away from the tourist crowds where we will try delicious tapas. For more information click here.