Opened in 1916 and having elements of iron frames, granite floor and a wooden roof, Madrid’s San Miguel market was considered modern back then. Fast forward to 2019, it is the last remaining iron market hall in the city. The market is also one of the most popular markets in the city, with throngs of tourists flocking to it to enjoy a wide variety of food and drinks, tapas-style. You can simply buy food from a stall and enjoy it at any corner of the market. Once you step into this market, the sight that greets you will definitely be a feast for the eyes.
Given the plethora of food you can find here, one trip to this market may not be enough. But, if you’re just here once, here’s what you should try! 😀
1. Steak Tartare
Essentially 5 euros for steak tartare on a rectangular toast. If you haven’t had steak tartare before, it is a meat dish made from raw beef usually. With a generous amount of raw beef lying comfortably atop a perfectly-toasted bread, topped off with a few crackers, spring onions and three dollops of mustard, every bite is an explosion of flavours!
2. Iberico Pork from Raza Nostra
If you find yourself in Iberico Pork’s country of origin, you really have no choice but to indulge in this at least once, if not everyday. What makes iberico different from other types of pork is the diet of the pigs. Iberico pork comes from the black Iberian pig which feeds on acorns, resulting in a nutty flavour profile. Lightly salted, you really taste the essence of the meat. Despite being a little oily, the pieces of iberico pork were bursting with juices.
3. Crab & Chips from King Crab Crab Crab
This shop specialises in all-things crab! This little snack – crab & chips was 40% snow crab meat and 60% chips (crunchy biscuit strips). The 40% crab meat was light, fresh and sweet. If you are interested in heavier options, there are others such as crabcakes, crab burgers and snow crabs.
4. Tapas from Amaiketako
Chanced upon this store on my first visit to the market and tried their smoked cod tapas – smoked cod on toasted bread (Yes, bread again! xD). Was caught by surprise by the freshness of the fish and decided to come back a second time and ordered the other 3 tapas, which did not disappoint at all! The savoury aspect of the anchovy was well-balanced out by the tomatoes and onions on top. The artichoke and pork belly was a rather neutral-tasting tapas dish but both flavours came together very well. With the addition of foie gras to the last dish, it became a creamy concoction in my mouth, absolutely delightful!
5. Anchovies in Olive Oil
This dish is available in a few stalls within the market. However I chose to buy them from the same stall as above for convenience sake. Got this half-sized portion and it came with bread (AGAIN! YES HAHA) Place one or two anchovies onto your bread and you’re good for a delicious tapas!
Mercado de San Miguel (San Miguel Market)
Address: Plaza de San Miguel, S/N, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Nearest Metro: Sol (Lines 1, 2 and 3)
Monday – Thursday, Sunday 1000 – 0000
Friday – Saturday 1000 – 0100