Madrid is not just a city of rich history and iconic architecture, it’s also a paradise for avid shoppers and market enthusiasts. From traditional flea markets to gourmet food stalls, the “Villa del Oso y el Madroño” offers a diverse shopping experience that caters to every palate and budget. Take in the unique tastes, smells and goodies at every market you visit.
Mercado de San Miguel
As a market that is over 100 years old, Mercado de San Miguel is one of the world’s main gastronomic hubs. More than 10 million people visit each year to taste and buy some of the finest products from all around Spain, ranging from fresh fish and seafood to gourmet meats and cheeses. You can find these items at the 30 different stands throughout the historic building.
If you want to see if the jamón ibérico (cured pork) lives up to the hype, then make sure to stop by Mas Gourmets, a food stand that specializes in this Spanish classic. Their ham comes from a careful selection of their own breed of pasture-raised Iberian pigs. They also offer other meats and sausages, like chorizo.
In the mood for seafood? Check out Crab Crab Crab, a spot entirely dedicated to, you guessed it, crab! Here you can indulge in a variety of dishes that include crabmeat or take a crack at eating king crab legs. Choose one of the many offered sauces to make it spicy, citrusy or sweet and sour.
The space is small and many people travel to Mercado de San Miguel, meaning the crowds can get very hectic. If you plan to travel during peak season, like in the summer, make sure to time your visit and plan ahead. If you’re looking to try everything and don’t want to get lost in the crowds, share and sample. Many stands offer bite-sized samples and tapas-style portions, making it easy to share with friends and avoid excessive waiting times.
Mercado San Antón
Mercado San Antón is a multi-level market that offers everything from fresh produce to meats, seafood, cheeses and specialty ingredients. The first and second floors house numerous stalls and restaurants while the fabulous 11 Nudos Terraza Nordés sits on the top floor. With its dishes that highlight Atlantic influences and the panoramic views of Madrid, you’ll want to spend all day here.
While you’re there check out Bodegón Vinos (which translates to wine still life), located on the first floor for all things wine. If you don’t know which vino you’re in the mood for, Bodegón Vinos has more than 60 varieties of wine, so talk to one of the store attendants to help you discover which grape suits your taste best. They also offer vermouth, sangria and tapas.
After tapas and wine, head to the second floor to try Mistura Ice Cream. Their ice cream is one hundred percent natural and contains fresh milk, cream, and sugar. If you want to spice it up, add some of their various toppings like pistachios, brownies or coconut. They also serve waffles, pancakes, crepes, milkshakes, juices and pastries along with their signature scoops, so there’s something for everyone.
Mercado de la Cebada
Mercado de la Cebada is located in the vibrant neighborhood of La Latina, known for its rich history and lively atmosphere. The market has been around for decades, making it a favorite gathering place and a focal point for local life. The stalls within the market range from fresh meat and eggs to fashion and accessories. Check out this interactive map to explore all the market’s options.
For the freshest eggs, check out Pollería Ana (a.k.a Ana’s Chicken Shop), located on the top floor. Ana has been selling free-range eggs and Galician free-range chickens at Mercado de la Cebada for more than 30 years.
To get the whole Madrileños (Madrid natives) experience, take a stop at La Ultima by Dr. Frankenstein Couture, a store that sells handmade clothing and gives lessons on patchwork and sewing. Fashion designer Antonio Gómez combines fashion, music and art within his store, creating a unique experience for visitors.
El Rastro Flea Market
If you want to shop for unique items at Madrid’s largest and most popular open-air market, look no further than El Rastro Flea Market.
The stalls are open every Sunday and on public holidays for people to shop for ceramics, leather goods, vintage books, clothes, home decor, records, vintage furniture and so much more. With more than 3,000 vendors, you’ll find hidden gems in every nook and kiosk. Keep an eye out for items you won’t be able to find anywhere else, like vintage rosaries, hand-painted crafts and iconic designer chairs.
The market is located in the La Latina neighborhood and is a social gathering place for Madrileños. Locals come to shop, walk around and enjoy tapas from the generations-old bars surrounding the area. Drop into Juana La Loca after shopping to indulge in their fresh and traditional Spanish dishes. Their famous tortilla española (Spanish omelet) is a must-try when visiting.
The full foodie experience
Making your way to all of Madrid’s markets alone could be a hard thing to do, especially if you want to try everything. Good thing MadSnail Travel offers a private food tour that brings you through almost all of the sites. Starting from your accommodation, your personal tour guide will introduce you to the unique cultures and flavors of Madrid. Just tell them what you enjoy and what you don’t, and they will create a custom walking tour itinerary made just for you.
Shop ‘til you drop
From vintage records to fresh foods, find all the classics and some new treasures while traveling to Madrid with Faye.
These activities, accommodations and websites are suggestions and Faye is in no way associated with them. This post is meant to give you ideas and inspiration on how to make the most of your trip to Madrid.