Planning a trip to Spain and want more on food and wine? See our guidebook, Eat Guides: Barcelona.
By Nancy Todd
Smells of freshly baked bread, sizzling razor clams, stuffed mussels, and fresh peaches tantalize. Want to munch away with locals in Madrid? A must-go-to market is the noisy Mercado de San Miguel. With over 30 vendors, this bustling market has several bars for sandwiches, champagne, oysters, and grilled shrimp. Spanish wines are jammed into ice-filled bowls ready to pour. In addition to the food bars, individual vendors specialize in cheeses with dozens of varieties. Pork vendors delicately slice paper- thin pieces of that expensive, acorn-fed, Iberian ham. The chocolate store has most helpful salespeople, as if we needed much help. A book store is in back of the market complete with travel books in English. Hey, books, good food and wine under one roof? We could stay all day.
Built in 1916, the Belle Époque market fell into disrepair and was recently renovated retaining its soaring wood and iron ceiling. Like to take photos? The ornate exterior and food will keep you busy. Being green conscious, there is no air conditioning but tiny droplets of water that are sprayed into the air for those hot Madrid summers. Hot or cold outside, I will be inside Mercado de San Miguel every visit I make to Madrid.
Near Plaza del Sol.