If I could have brought anything back to Melbourne with me from Madrid it would, without a doubt, be my family, but since that’s totally unrealistic I’ll have to go with the Mercado De San Miguel. Give me a few airplanes, a cruise ship and a submarine, and it’s totally doable. It would also be completely worth it because the Mercado de Miguel is probably my favorite place in all of Madrid, with all food biases aside.
The market is located in the heart of Madrid, near La Puerta Del Sol, and the Plaza de San Miguel. You can visit every day of week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday from 10am – 12am, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 10am – 2am. Is there anything better than a place where we can come together to have appetizers, entrees, desserts, drinks, and be able to pick and choose exactly the food we want. Not only that, we could pick from the top food makers in the city. It’s the best of all worlds, really. And the atmosphere is the best part! Because you can definitely find an angry, boring, sad person at restaurants, but you will never see one at a food market. With all it’s fast space-ness, all it’s adventuring for a table, all it’s optimal time for selfishness, you really have to want to be there.
You have to want to explore every stand, until you find the type of food that gives your stomach butterflies. You could go in expecting to want a paella, and end up having a love affair with oysters or barnacles (more on these lovely guys later)! It’s just a complete food version of choose-your-own-adventure and I’m obsessed with it. I kept asking my family if we could please spend more time at the market and they about had it with me. On our last day, I asked to go back even though we had just eaten a few hours earlier, and bless their hearts they took me. Well, I guess they actually chose it over the Museo de Jamon (Proscuitto Museum). There are too many food related activities in Spain to not desperately force them upon your family. I gave them two options and made them choose.
I leave you with the words from the markets mouth, because how could you not adore a market whose mission statement and concept is as follows (warning – this is the english translation from the website. Some sentences may not make sense. It’s how we know Google is not perfect!):
Being a community of entrepreneurs. Each an expert in his field and enthusiastic about their product.
Be the Temple of fresh produce where the protagonist is not the chef, but the genre.
Allow “temporality” supply markets, restore prominence to the seasonal changes.
Being a large-scale grocery store. With tasting, ie casual meal.
Having a schedule to meet the activities and needs of consumers, ie, very wide.
Having human, technical and industrial for analysis sensory gastronomic tastings and trials.
Make focus not only on consumer information, but in its formation.
Being a reflection of the plurality gastronomic Spain.
Having a constant presence of food culture through courses, presentations, fairs, etc..
Being incorporated into the culture of Madrid visit with a space for conferences, recitals, concerts.
Mercado de San Miguel
Plaza de San Miguel, s/n