Markets / Spain

Madrid’s Mercado de San Miguel

It’s only fitting that my first real post about my trip to Spain is a post about my favorite place to go when I’m in a new destination: the market. The smells, the flavors, the new ingredients and old favorite dishes. The colors. The smells. The people. Aaaaah, it’s intoxicating.

Mercado sign | San Miguel Market | Madrid, Spain

In Madrid it’s all about Mercado de San Miguel. This market has been renovated and reinvented since it was built in 1916. Inside the updated metal and glass walls are stalls serving cheeses, meats, drinks, and seafoods. Stands selling Spanish delicacies and tables strewn with small plates of olives and anchovies, peppers, and empty beer glasses. It’s the pulse of Madrid’s cuisine culture and is a perfect place to start your stay in the city.

To really get the lay of the land at San Miguel, several visits are needed. I believe that over the 48 hours I spent in Madrid, I visited the market at least four times and varying times of day. And I still could go back for more.


For one thing, I loved people watching here. Businessmen, travelers, local Madrid-ians (eh?) grabbing a meal or a snack or a bite to bring home… It was alive.
Eating crowds at Mercado San Miguel| Madrid, Spain
Choosing tapas at Mercado de San Miguel | Madrid, Spain
Suitsat MercadoSan Miguel| Madrid, Spain


Of course, the food. It’s all about the food. I recommend arriving at the market hungry – this is not the kind of place from which you bring home tomatoes and flowers. Here, we EAT. You’ll go from stall to stall trying little bites. Olives, Jamon Iberico, cheeses, churros, fish. Are there vegetables you may ask? No, Not really at the this market. Please. MEAT AND CHEESE,

Well, there is one veggie – pimientos de padron. In my opinion, these little peppers are the BEST Spanish dish there is. When served blistered (from being charred over coals) and sprinkled with salt, there is nothing better to snack on. Curiously, they are also the Russian roulette of vegetables. (only 10% of so of all these peppers are hot and spicy and the rest are all wonderfully mild like a bell pepper) Eat to your hearts content but always be on guard –  you may bite into a pepper that actually has heat. Watch out. You’d better have an ice cold beer handy. Fire mouth.
Shaving Jamon berico | San Miguel market, Madrid, Spain
Jamon Iberico at Mercado San Miguel | Madrid, Spain
Stuffed olives at Mercado San Miguel | Madrid, Spain
Fresh seafood | Mercado San Miguel, Madrid, Spain

Pimientos de Padron at Mercado San Miguel | Madrid, Spain

SERIOUSLY. My favorite thing about Spain, on a plate.

Fried seafood cones at Mercado San Miguel | Madrid, Spain
Artichokes and boqueronesm and olives | Madrid, Spain
Churro and chocolate at the San Miguel market | Madrid, Spain

Another favorite dish. Churros with chocolate. Hard not to love this one.


If you’ve done it right, you’ve spent a good amount of time walking the market and a good amount of Euro tasting everything you can get your hungry mitts on. Now it’s time to wash it all down. There are three excellent choices according to me. Beer. Wine. Sangria. Please don’t get me started on the wine + coke thing. It’s weird and I don’t like it, even though it is popular all around Spain.
Sangria jug at Mercado San Miguel | Madrid, Spain

Mini beer | San Miguel, Madrid, Spain

mini beer!

People. Food. Drinks. A perfect day in Madrid at the Mercado San Miguel.

Have you been?



  • Jenny Adams
    August 12, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Whoa! I actually have been to that same market. And I ate pimentos de Padron! Weird.

    • Annie
      August 12, 2015 at 11:12 am

      you’ve been???? we should have met up.

  • Adina Marguerite
    August 12, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    So much yum! Your photos are seriously making me feel like I’m standing right there!

  • […] and colonial towns. And ALL THE SPANISH FOOD. Because it’s technically Spain, bring on the pimientos de padron por […]

  • Santa Brigida, Gran Canaria | TravelShus
    August 26, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    […] Pimientos de padron (dish #1) is hands down my favorite Spanish dish in general, so I have to order them anywhere in the world they are on the menu. Papas Arrugadas (dish #2), on the other hand, are a Canary Island specialty and I had never tried them before this trip. […]


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