I always say mercados in Madrid are worth my time; I love visiting any of these city markets if only because somes of them deliver interesting sights and experiences I hardly expect at all. The bountiful variety of fresh produce on sale is a given — quality meats and poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables, spices and grains of all shapes and colors, all the traditional goodies you can think of.
Madrid mercados offer much more, in the form of delicious food stuffs such as tapas, bocadillos, and tons of Spanisn comidas sold by food kiosks integrated within. Located on the establishments’ upper levels, these kiosks are often patronized by customers who opt to take a quick snack after a tiresome hour or two of wandering around and buying their daily needs. Many others prefer them over bars and cafes, owing to the former’s less formal setting.
Many city markets have accumulated a great amount of historical value, having been around for ages. An example is Mercado San Miguel, built in the early 1900’s. A number are popular to tourists simply because of the uniquely-designed edifices that house them.
Such are the very reasons why these city mercados easily are major Madrid attractions.
Here are six Madrid food markets where you can enjoy great tapas and comidas, apart from getting some great buys to fill your kitchen counter and fridge:
Mercado San Anton
This mercado in hip Barrio Chueca is a favorite hangout among tapa lovers — there is just a great number of kiosks from all three floors for everyone to choose from. Of course, you may for the usual Spanish tapas and bocadillos, but also, there are kiosks that offer foods from European and Asian countries. On top of the establishment is a sit-down restaurant, La Cocino de San Anton, that features a terrace that affords diners with a spectacular view of the surrounding vicinity below. By the way, the hamburguesa (photo above) served by Asador La Manuela sells for 6 euros — a filling treat you must try at San Anton.
Location: 28004 Calle de Augusto Figueroa 24B
Business hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00AM to 10:00PM (market area); Monday to Sunday: 10:00AM to 12:00MN (Tapas area, 2nd level)
Official Website: San Anton Market
Mercado de Maravillas
This market in the midst of the Cuatro Camino neighborhood is known for its fresh and cheaply priced chicken and seafood, which is why I prefer going there whenever I have the chance (I regularly go to Tetuan Market, since it is a lot nearer my place. During those times that I visit Maravilla, I never fail to stop by my two favorite kiosks that sell empanadas and paellas. While there are quite a number of food stalls dthat sell empanadas, one really stands out if only for its ultra-hot chilli-based sauce. If I fancy paella, I make a quick stop at Raypi, located near the entrance. More like a restaurant than a food kiosk since it has a dining area, Raypi serve great-tasting paellas (even if they are served as tapas), boquerones, orillas planchas, and many others.
Location: Calle de Bravo Murillo 122 Madrid 28020
Time Open: Monday to Friday: 9:00–14:00, 17:30–20:30; Saturday: 9:00-3:00
Official Website: Mercado de Maravillas
Mercado de San Miguel
Especially if you are one who has been in the city for the first time, your first day would see you dropping by Puerto del Sol, one of the major touristy areas of Madrid. Near this spot is the famous Mercado de San Miguel, the perfect place to stave off your hunger. The market is well-known for its structure made of mainly iron and glass; its spectacular facade easily makes it one of the major attractions of Madrid. Imagine being able to enjoy a plate of Paella for only 4 euros — this is one reason why I often pass by this market whenever I am at Sol or Plaza Mayor.
Location:Plaza de San Miguel 28005
Operational Hours: Sunday to Wednesday: 10AM to 12MN; Thursday to Saturday: 10AM to 2:00AM
Official Website: Mercado San Miguel
Mercado de San Ildefonso
You will find San Ildefonso Mercado in the same level as San Miguel as far as popularity is concerned. This food market is well-visited among all other similar establishments within Madrid Centro, and probably the whole of the capital. Like San Miguel, you can find Spanish tapas and comidas of every kind, and likewise, they are affordably priced. I visit this market from time to time if I want a fill of its paella tapa. Opens beyond 12 AM during weekends.
Location: Calle 57 Fuencarral 28004 Madrid
Hours Open: Sunday to Wednesday-12PM to 12AM; Thursday to Saturday-12:00PM to 1:00AM
Official Website: Mercado San Ildefonso
Mercado de la Cebada
In front of the entrance to the La Latina Metro Station is the Mercado de la Cebada, one of the largest street food markets in Madrid. It is certainly popular, because it is within a popular barrio, near the Metro, and beside Campo de la Cebada, where major barrio activities are held. Its sheer size can While much of the space inside is occupied by sellers of raw food stuff like meats, poultry, and fish, you also have a good number of options of food kiosks that offers great food, especially if you´re looking for a place to enjoy some affordable, quick eats on a weekend. My first time at the market found me in awe of its sheer size, which is a good thing because I enjoyed wandering through this labyrinth filled with stores offering goodies of every kind.
Location: Plaza de la Cebada 28005 Madrid
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00AM-2:00PM, 5:00PM to 10:30PM; Saturdays: 9:00AM to 6:00PM; First Sunday of the Month: 11:00AM to 5:00PM
Official Website: Mercado Cebada
Mercado de San Fernando
While San Fernando acts as a food market, I find it to be more of a non-traditional mercado, since you can find shops selling unique stuff other then food, such as craftsman items, clothes, books, and vintage items. Of course, it doesn’t lack food kiosks selling Spanish comidas and tapas, and also gastronomic delights from other countries. If you are a beer lover or want to have a taste of some quality brew, San Fernando houses brewery bars offering good tasting beers. These give you all the reasons to keep coming back.
Its book shop by the way sells books that are priced according to its weight — the name is La Casquería.
Location: 41 Calle de Embajadores 28012
Time Open to the Public: Monday: 9:00AM to 2:00PM, 5:00PM to 9:00PM; Tuesday to Thursday: 9:00AM to 9:00PM; Friday to Saturday: 9:00AM to 11:00PM; Sunday: 11:00AM to 5:00PM
Website: San Fernando Market