Little escape to the culinary mecca of Madrid

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I had a chance to visit Madrid in one of its most beautiful times of the year – in holiday lights. As it was a business trip, I had just the evening hours for city walks, so my quite essential destination was the culinary temple of Madrid – Mercado de San Miguel.This Madrid’s one of the oldest markets has gained a considerable popularity over the years and has become the must-be destination for food lovers.

Situated just a few steps away from Plaza Mayor, it’s an ideal place for everybody looking for a concentrated culinary and cultural experience in a little time available. So, if you are just passing by Madrid or having a business trip, this little escape from your hotel makes the world of difference in your experience. When you have more time to spend, all the better, as then you can take your time for exploring it slowly, coming back for yet another and another tapas tour.

Originally opened in 1916, this impressive glass building allures you not only with food, but also with its architectural beauty. Inside the market building you will find tens and tens of little tapas bars and market stalls, selling anything from paella to seafood to ham to churros and hot chocolate. And you won’t be short of drinks either, from a good coffee to traditional sangria and to a wide variety of wines and strong spirits.

What I loved about the San Miguel food market, was that everything was made and served with love and care, both for the customer and for the produce. Lot of stands are occupied by small producers, offering high quality local products, so you really get the taste of what Spain has to offer in a nutshell. It’s quite easy to let yourself to be carried away by the vivid and warm atmosphere inside the market building where people are chatting, meeting friends, stopping to have a little tapas and wine and moving on to the next stand to have some more.

After having my round of seafood, churros, wine and sangria, I rolled myself back to the hotel, happy and thankful for the experience. I must also add that visiting the San Miguel food market is also a good and relatively cheap alternative for a lunch or dinner in Madrid, as you will get much more food – and much more varied – than in any of the restaurants during one meal. I had a chance to practice my Spanish whilst chatting with the sellers and fellow customers and also learned something new about the local food and Spanish culture, so couldn’t be more satisfied.

Gracias más sinceras, Madrid, hoping to come back soon!

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