Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Mercado de San Miguel

This is a MUST GO in Madrid. Must! It’s the kind of place that I’ve been bringing all my visitors to, because it’s just that delightful. I’m talking about, of course, the Mercado de San Miguel.

Located just steps from the Plaza Mayor in downtown Madrid, the Mercado de San Miguel is home to a huge smorgasbord of munchies and drinks – see why I love it?

In the daytime, the market is exactly that – a market where you can buy fresh produce, meats, seafoods, cheeses, etc. By night, it transforms into more of a…buffet, of sorts. All the vendors bust out little two-bite foods and snacks made from their products, and people can get plates of these and a drink while they chat with their friends.

The atmosphere is lively and happy and all kinds of people come here, although most seem to be young (to sort of young) professionals and tourists. Yes, I admit it, this place is slightly touristy, but it’s lovely and it just can’t be missed.

When I go, I always make sure to visit the fish vendor, who sells little two-bite seafood tapas (pictured above) – seafood sitting on crispy bread that’s sort of like thick melba toast. All of their tapas cost only 1€ (so it’s one of the more affordable options in the place) and I usually get marinated cod (bacalao), smoked salmon (salmon ahumado) and octopus (pulpo). They also have caviar (same in Spanish), which my girl B³ loved, mussels (mejillones), and tuna (atún or ventresco, for tuna loin), etc. etc. etc. YUM!

If you’re a fan of oysters they also have a great oyster vendor, in addition to several vendors that sell Spanish specialties like grilled shrimps of all kinds (gambas a la plancha), garlic shrimps (gambas al ajillo), boiled and spiced octopus (pulpo a la gallega), etc.

If you’re not into seafood, that’s okay too because a couple of the vendors sell ornate, non-seafood tapas. There’s also an empanada stand, a croqueta stand, a sweets stall that sells the most tempting desserts and gelato, a cake stall that I’ve sworn to try, a fresh juice stall, a dried goods stall with all kinds of nuts and munchies, an olive stall and even a sushi stall, although I wouldn’t go for that last option. :P

A caveat: this is not the cheapest place to eat – all the munchies and drinks add up really quickly. So I’d bring friends, make a trip all around, figure out who should get what and then share, share, share!

The Mercado de San Miguel is located at:
Plaza de San Miguel
Madrid, España

1 comment:

Stace said...

Yay for tasty tuesdays~!