Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid: Tapas & Treats

Stunning architecture and delicious food come together in one gorgeous space. One of Madrid’s oldest and most beautiful markets, the historic wrought-iron-and-glass Mercado de San Miguel, just off Plaza Mayor, is considered among the finest examples of iron and glass architecture in the Spanish capital, along with the spectacular Crystal Palace in El Retiro Park. One of the liveliest culinary spots in the city since it reopened in 2009 after a nearly six-year major restoration, the market has become a gastronomic temple with a vibrant, high-quality food culture. From wonderful wine and fabulous tapas bars to colourful stalls selling all kinds of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood, long opening hours along with special events make this stylish market one of the most unique gastronomic, cultural, and entertainment experiences in Madrid. No visit would be complete without a sampling of the markets celebrated tapas stalls, such as El Señor Martin for Calamaris Fritos, fresh burrata, ricotta and fior di latte crostini at Mozheart, ajoarriero, brandade, Galician style octopus, smoked salmon and cod foie gras at La Casa del Bacalao, a handful of crisp croquetas as well as a glass or two of wine at any one of the fine wine or sherry shops. The real challenge however is finding a vacant stool to sit and enjoy the veritable smorgasbord of Spanish delicacies.

The exquisitely restored Mercado de San Miguel

Calamares fritos at El Señor Martin

Chorizos, chicharrones and salchichones

Norwegian Smoked Salmon, Santoña anchovies and housemade cod brandade tapas from La Casa del Bacalao in Mercado San Miguel

Jamón ibérico and salchichones

Sliced to order Jamón ibérico

Croquetas de jamón and seafood, comes from the verb “croquer” (to crunch), and often made with fillings that usually include any leftovers like ham, chicken, mushrooms or shrimp, mixed with bechamel sauce and deep fried in olive oil — absolute heaven

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