Archive for July 7th, 2019

July 7, 2019

Mercado San Miguel, Madrid of course!

OMG, I just realised have not written a post on my fav market since it reopen in 2009 while the area was left in decay for decades. It was great to be back in the area and me love to go there but wait!!! this is a market but not really folks go there to shop, nooo we go there to eat/drink, be seen and just been in love with Madrid...

I like to stop this omission with a single post on the Mercado de San Miguel in my beloved Madrid. So for anglophone, this could be translated at St Michael’s market. At the Mercado de San Miguel you can do some tapas, full eat or take home your purchases! All in one lovely spot even if rather touristic with prices to match the environment. So let me tell you about the most famous market of Madrid, especially from the tourist point of view but , also from the locals !


When it opens we came here and my local family (cousins etc) do come for take home once in a while but we are less and less by it. Nevertheless, it is a must to visit if you are in your first or second visit to the city of Madrid as it is one of its most emblematic show of local cuisine and ambiance. Over the years, me and my family have patronized the following establishments there: El 19 de San Miguel , La Casa del Bacalao, El Señor Martin, and the Horno de San Onofre. All very good on site and take home!


Over the aisles, we marvel at the Spanish specialties (hams, olives, fruits and vegetables, etc). The stands offer for some a counter to taste on the spot. Perfect to take the time to discover Madrid gastronomy in an elegant and lively place. High place of life and going out  of the Spanish capital, the Mercado de San Miguel (St Michael market)  is an essential monument for the visitors but also for the locals who meet with friends around a glass and tapas. A few blocks from the Plaza Mayor and the Royal Palace, the Mercado de San Miguel  is located with its glass, iron and ceramic structure dating from the last century. It’s some 1200 square meters are home to producers and sellers of fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and local specialties; Bars and other restaurateurs.


This high place of gastronomy offers colorful stalls but also corners with tables and chairs to allow the most gourmets to taste on the spot. Tapas, Iberian ham, paella and other rice dishes, seafood, cheeses and fresh fruit but also local wines and beers find their place on the 33 stalls all more appetizing than the others. Shows are organized regularly to give more life to the Mercado de San Miguel, this place which brings together the cultural, gastronomic and historical aspects of the city. Today the market has made its place among the monuments of Madrid to see is a must. From gourmet hams and cheeses to fresh fruit and vegetables, the San Miguel Market really does have something for everyone. You can spend hours walking around and exploring different stalls that offer delicacies from around Spain. While you might not have the time to tour through all of Spain’s unique regions, you can sample the Galician specialty pimientos de padrón, pintxosfrom the Basque country or Asturian sidra all in one trip to the Mercado de San Miguel.


A bit on the construction from my amateur architecture eye….

The building is rectangular with its major sides oriented on the east-west axis. The building has two floors, each with an area of almost 2000 square meters. When it was a market, the stalls inside were organized along nine streets of the upper area. Today the stalls have been converted into bars and in storage areas with high tables. To ensure the hygiene of the premises was built with floorboard. The iron and glass design makes the light inside natural.



And why not a bit of history I like ::)

In the Middle Ages already the place was known as an open air market. Many small shops dedicated to crafts are also located in the periphery of the square. A few centuries later, it is the Church of San Miguel de los Octoes (where was baptized Lope de Vega!) that stands at this location. But following a fire which ravaged it in 1790 and the inability to renovate it despite the attempts, Joseph Bonaparte, (brother of Napoleon ) the invading king of the time, ordered its demolition in 1809. It is then decided to keep this space open in a spirit of development and aeration of the public space. Later It was decided to restore its primary function to the market.  Therefore, from 1809 , the locals take advantage of the new market  which then specializes in the products of the sea. The covered market is finally built between 1913 and 1916.

The commercial activity of the market declines little by little since its facilities cannot be competitive in the face of modern supermarkets and shopping malls. After renovations to restore its original appearance, the market reopens its doors in  2009 with traditional products, quality and seasonal products. A company is created to market and support this new idea, the El Gastrónomo de San Miguel, which becomes the majority shareholder of the market with the aim to revive its traditional activity.

The market is open every day from 10h to midnight and until 02h  from Thursday to Saturday. The Opera metro station is the closest to the Mercado de San Miguel market. It is served by metro Ópera lines 2 and 5 (mine!!!) and  Sol lines 1, 2 and 3.  Local city suburbian trains or Cercanías on lines  C3 and C4. Bus lines 3 and night N16. By car closest is at Plaza Mayor. OF course, the best is to walk here from wherever you are I am sure you will be walking distance we will be at 1km from it soon again and will walk over !!!

More information can be obtained on the official page here: Official Mercado de San Miguel

And the tourist office of Madrid: Tourist office of Madrid on the Mercado de San Miguel

Now I feel ok, needed to do this  as it is an icon now in the city all bodies go there and at night even better I say. Enjoy the Madrid’s Mercado de San Miguel.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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