San Miguel Market in Madrid

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.

San Miguel Market Madrid
San Miguel Market is located in the very heart of Madrid, just 2 minutes from Plaza Mayor | Image credits: OgoTours

What to Eat at San Miguel 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 “café con leche” (coffee with milk) at the cafeteria or simply drinking “cañas” (typical draft beer) with friends.

“Jamón” (Spanish Ham) is revered in all Spain. In San Miguel you will find a great selection of the best “jamones” | Image credits: OgoTours
San Miguel Food Market Madrid
Spanish people love olives. Approximately 20 different varieties of olives are cultivated in Spain | Image credits: OgoTours

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 and67) specializing in oysters and French Champagne.

The Origins of San Miguel Market

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.

Cebada Market Madrid
“Mercado de la Cebaza” or Barley Market in the early 20th century | Image credits: Wikipedia (C.C.)
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San Miguel Market: Useful Information

-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)

-Website: www.mercadodesanmiguel.es

Tapas Tour in Madrid

Book your Private 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 the link above.



About Javier

Hola! My name is Javier Redondo, tour guide in Madrid for more than 8 years.
As a good "Madrileño", I love football (I support Atlético de Madrid), eating tapas and walk the cobblestone streets of old Madrid 🙂

This Madrid blog is where I share tips on popular attractions, local food and off-beat spots.

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