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Restaurants and tapas

Mercado de San Miguel – Great Atmosphere, Excellent Tapas

exterior Mercado San Miguel
Written by Berber

A great place to bring your loved ones for tapas when they are visiting you while you study in Madrid, is the Mercado de San Miguel. Located just around the corner from Plaza Mayor, Mercado de San Miguel is one of the oldest fresh food markets in Madrid.

The market was built in 1916 following a beautiful French design with glass and iron and has always been famous for selling fresh products, such as fruit and fish. Today, ShMadrid will tell you more of its history and specialties.

Related article: Visit the Mercado de San Fernando

Mercado de San Miguel

different types of olives at the market

Photo by TravelToSpain via Visualhunt

The covered Mercado de San Miguel now offers a great selection of bars where you can enjoy drinks and tapas with lots of different ingredients such as seafood, paella, and all kinds of Spanish ham.

Despite being in the centre of the country, the quality and diversity of fresh seafood offered on markets throughout Madrid has always been incomparable to other cities and the seafood on the Mercado de San Miguel is no exception.

Especially at this market you can find a superb selection of all the great seafood Spain has to offer. The market has different stands that have a wide variety of fresh seafood on offer which can be ordered as tapas or small dishes. Madrid always has always been famous for the quality of its fresh seafood.

In the early days, the fresh fish was rushed first by train to the capital overnight directly from Spain’s many productive fishing ports. The fresh seafood nowadays comes mainly from Madrid’s largest wholesale market for fresh products and fish called MercaMadrid.

This enormous market, even the largest in Europe, is situated on the outskirts of the city and also houses the second largest fish market in the world (after Tokyo’s Tsukiji market) and even the Japanese come here to buy their tuna. The Mercado de San Miguel is located in the Madrid de los Austrias neighbourhood in the city centre.

Related article: San Anton Market – Food As You’ve Never Tried It Before

interior mercado san miguel

Photo via Visualhunt

When you visit the Mercado de San Miguel we recommend that you first have a walk around to see all the great food offered in the different stands.

The variety is amazing and you can choose from all kinds of seafood, like fresh oysters, prawns, shellfish or fried fish (pescadito frito) and for the carnivores there is also a great variety of Iberian hams, chorizos or a fresh plate of paella or other hearty tapas.

The hall is filled with picnic-ready steel tables and stools where you can eat your tapas and place your drinks but there are also some bars where you can stand or sit at the counter. The place is also great to have pre-dinner drinks ordering a Spanish vermouth combined with some great olive tapas they have at one stand for sale.

We recommend you try the anchovy and olive tapa which makes a great combination with the dry vermouth. The market is open until 10 p.m. from Monday to Wednesday until 2 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday. The market at night also offers a variety of bars where you can also do some excellent wine tasting.

Other similar food markets in Madrid: San Antón Market (Madrid): This market is located in the Chueca neighbourhood, in the centre of Madrid. This market is much larger and has up to three floors with a rooftop terrace at the top. It offers more bars but is also a bit more expensive.

Have you been to the Mercado de San Miguel yet? Did you like it?

About the author


As a freelance writer, content editor and journalist based in Madrid, Spain, Berber has naturally become a specialist in Spanish lifestyle and culture.

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