Tag Archives: Chueca

Craving for Tapas or Just About Any Other Food? Visit Chueca’s Mercado San Antón

imageClean. Gastronomic. Inviting. These are the adjectives that fittingly describe Mercado San Antón as a market that’s worth a visit, and many revisits after. Located in the middle of the hip and diverse neighborhood of Chueca, right in the corner of Calle Augusto Figueroa, did you know that the San Anton Market wasn’t always the roofed establishment like it is now?

Once, it resembled any other traditional Madrid market, complete with the usual wooden drawers, shelves and containers upon which various wares are put and displayed. The St. Antony’s Market in English, it’s so-called because of its proximity to a neighborhood of the same name. It has taken a modern look after undergoing a major renovation in the early 2000’s, much to the approval of Chueca locals as well as regulars coming from all over Madrid.

imageEntrance/lobby of the market along Calle Augusto Figueroa. Displayed on the wall is a directory of the tenant-establishments, indicating where they are located on the three floors

What to find in Mercado San Anton, Madrid

San Anton Market has three main floors, each with specific designations on what it serves or sells to the public.

1. First Floor: The Market

imageThe first floor is filled with stalls that sell “wet” and “dry” produce such as fish, meat, cheese, fruits, and vegetables.

imagePeas, beans, spices, and grain products

imageNicely stacked up in shelves are mangoes, persimmon, avocados, grapes, and many other fruits of bright and even hues, indicating their premium freshness and quality

imageThis floor isn’t strictly selling fresh produce, but it also has its share of food kiosks and bars

2. Second Floor: Comer y Llevar

imageFood kiosk serving all sorts of tapas with bacalao and sea foods as main ingredients. The second floor of the market has become a watering hole of sorts for tapa lovers and food connoiseurs

Spanish tapas at San AntonBelow the kiosk’s sign that says Tapa Espanola are an array of mouthwatering options. Not only does the second floor serve the popular Spanish delicacy, but other food varieties as well such as pescado (fish), hamburgers, Greek and Japanese food, postres and gelado, and vino

imageAsador de Manuela serves a variety of hamburgers

imageOccupying a part of the second floor is the Trapezio, the activity area of San Anton Market. From time to time, the exhibit and sale of novelty and eclectic items are held here. It also serves as a venue for cooking and tasting demos and shows.

3. Third Floor: El Restaurante

Much of the top floor of the building is La Cocina de San Antón, the market’s own restaurant. According to the esrablishment’s website, it assures the customers that it cooks and serves only the freshest and highest quality food ingredients, most of which come from the market’s own products. On the menu are popular, traditional Spanish cocidos, some of which are fused with the cuisine of other countries to afford customers uniquely international flavours.

Terrace at Mercado de San Anton RestaurantThe La Cocina de San Antón comes with a rooftop bar and a dining terrace, which I thought is the restaurant’s inviting feature, since Madrilenos do love to to eat el fresco, whether alone or with family and friends. Such a setting affords the diners to relish the best eats, engage in endless chats while under the blue city skies, and enjoy the fascinating views of the immediate surroundings of the barrio below

Tapas

Fancy Spanish tapas like I do? Let me tell you what I love about them. They’re bite-sized and so are easy to eat, but just a few pieces are enough to satisfy. To the shoestring traveler, they are top choice for food, being easy on the pocket.

But above all, tapas are full of taste. Bonafide lovers couldn’t be faulted for their unsatiable craving for these Spanish foods – they are just gastronomically divine. And when it comes to my first encounter of San Anton’s tapas, everything was sumptuous, to say the least. All that I ordered — the bacalao, pulpo, and cheese — they created an explosion of flavors in every bite.

Here are the tapas (and hamburguesa) I tasted at Mercado de San Anton:

imageBacalao Ajoarriero (Ajoarriero codfish), 1 euro

imageBrandada de Bacalao con cavier de lumpo (codfish brandada with lumpfish caviar), 1 euro

imagePulpo a la Gallego (Octopus Galician style), 1 euro

imageQueso de cabra con mostaza y miel y cebollas fritas (Goat cheese with mustard, honey and fried onion), 1.5 euros

imageQueso brie con frutos rojos (Brie Chees topped with red fruit jam), 1.5 euros

Hamburguesa

imageAsador La Manuela takes care of customers looking to dine on grilled food items. I decided that I must have a taste of its hamburger (selling for 6 euros, without fries). How was it? The Crema de Casar spread over the hamburger lends quite an intense taste, which only complemented the patty’s succulence and meaty flavor. Overall, it makes for a delightfully delicious meal.

Location

Mercado San Anton
Calle de Augusto Figueroa 24B Madrid 28004

Nearby Madrid attractions

Museo de Historia de Madrid, Gran Via, Plaza Callao, Plaza de Cibeles

Map

The Market’s Website: San Anton

Faces at MADO Madrid Orgullo

This could’ve been a more thorough blog post had I attended the stiletto race for men, an awaited part of Madrid Orgullo.  MADO for short, Madrid Pride is undoubtedly the most popular gay pride event in Europe.

I always wanted to feature Madrid’s gay-friendly barrio Chueca, where the run will be held, but unfortunately, I didn’t learn about the event in time. In fact, I almost missed the whole MADO affair if hadn’t been for its advertisement with event details plastered inside ad street panels along Bravo Murillo.

So last Saturday, I took the Metro Line 1 that passes through Atocha station one and a half hours before the parade’s supposed start at 6PM. I didn’t witness the whole event since I left way before it was finished; still I made sure that I collected fine photographs for my blog.

I took shots immediately as I reached Calle Claudio Moyano in front of Plaza Emperador Carlos V, the roundabout near Retiro Park. People were everywhere and in a perpetual motion, running around and waving their flags, securing the poles to the sides of their banners, and watching other people.

Participants focused on their makeup and costumes, prepping like they never prepped before. It was obvious that everyone was excited for the parade to start.

What’s also apparent was that people appeared bold and unabashed – an effect of Tinto de verano (a popular Spanish alcoholic beverage), I suppose. Some walked back and forth, and then back again, in the middle of the street like it is a catwalk, excited to show off their costumes and look. After one strutted down in the midst of an enthusiastic crowd, another would follow and try to outdo him by performing out-of-this-world antics.

And, just when you thought you had seen the craziest costumes, a naked pair arrived, each parading a prosthetic reproductive protrusion that dangled from his waist, to the amusement of the crowd.

I saw at least two groups with members in revealing outfits, a few of them stripped to their underwear. The most popular materials for costumes at the event were mesh cloth and leather, and anything that carries the LGBT colors.

Many loved to use the rainbow flag as an accessory, draping it on their back like a cape. A few others wrapped the flag around the waist like a skirt. One wore a small-sized flag like a headband, which was the right thing to do considering that afternoon’s intensely hot temperature. It was indeed fun, even exhilarating, to get shots of the crowd.

Overall, many looked really fabulous, except for a few, which to be frank, didn’t look so fabulous at all.

One thing that quite surprised me is that people willingly posed for anyone who requested to take photos. People did have the right to refuse, but in my case, everyone was accommodating. Those with cameras must have had a field day since every other person in the event was a beautiful subject of photography. I myself had a hard time in choosing which one to shoot first since there are just too many. It was a prolific day for me, having gathered enough  blog-worthy pictures from the MADO event.

Hopefully, I have chosen well and posted the best, most colorful, and most fabulous photos in my Madrid blog.

imageThis Gothic beauty walked down the whole route of the parade to the enjoyment of the spectators.  She strutted with a fierce look on her face, stopping only whenever photographers requested to shoot her

imageThe water looked inviting, and it really was a hot afternoon, and so this lady decided to cool down by sitting at the water fountain along Paseo del Prado

imageThe girl on the left, with the alpha and omega tattoo on her belly, thought I wanted her to take my picture. They gamely posed when I told them I wanted theirs. An attractive pair with comely smiles, brought close together by a beautiful lei of rainbow colors

image Flags flashing the LGBT colors were everywhere and used as capes or what they’re intended to be – like in this picture

image I requested this gentleman to close his eyes for a better look at his eyelashes. It was a colorful work of art that’s meant for everyone to see

imageAlthough there are many other Pride parades happening in different regions in Spain, such as Barcelona and Ibiza, the Madrid Orgullo is recognized as the biggest and most colorful parade event in the country
image This pair wears the attire that suits the occasion – a pair of sunglasses, glitzy ties, and nothing else

imageThe Madrid Orgullo is recognized as the most celebrated and attended pride event of them all.  It is everyone’s observation that MADO has become more and more conventional throughout the years, in the sense that not only members of the LGBT community attend it but those with straight orientation as well

imageThe Plaza de Cibeles above, an hour before the event. The whole area was filled by onlookers by the time the parade passed through it. Notice the LGBT flag hanging at the facade of the Palacio de Cibeles

imageGirls just wanna have fun! Notice the girl on the left holding a glass filled with the wine-like beverage known as Tinto de verano, very popular in the country and often compared to sangria. La Casera, a top brand, was sold in many corners along the parade area

imageGroups position in the street upon the announcement that the parade is about to start

imageFour sailors and their muse

imageThis lady projects her exquisite look for the camera. Apart from the stilleto race and the gay parade, activities were also held at Barrio Chueca, known as the gay district of the city and the biggest one in Europe

imageGiving their best smiles, they strike me as cool, strong, and independent young women ready to have some fun at the event.

imageThe winged man! Vive y deja vivir – Live and let live. Use Google Translate if you want to know what the second line means

imageRainbow flag flies high over participants as they march along Paseo del Prado. The parade passed through Plaza de Cibeles, with Plaza de Colon as the final stop, where parties, dancing, and fun activities happened through the remainder of the day