San Miguel Food Market, Madrid’s Gastronomic Temple

What is the most Spanish thing you have done or plan to do whenever you visit Madrid? Will it be watching a bullfight at the famous Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas or perhaps watching Real Madrid play at the Santiago Bernabau?

It was the end of a 10 day tour of Europe which had taken us through Milan, Zurich and here we were in Madrid on the last day. My chosen activity for the last day  was food. You heard me right, good Spanish food.  No better place came to mind than San Miguel Food Market after much careful selection of eateries available

The San Miguel Food Market is a century old market opened in 1916 and it’s built of iron and glass, one of the few and best examples of such fine architecture in Spain. It is located in the center of Madrid and it receives over 10million visitors annually. It is described as Madrid’s gastronomic temple, the contemporary essence of all the corners of Spanish cuisine. From the best Iberian ham to fresh seafood brought from Galicia each day, the Mediterranean rice or the special cheese from Castile, Asturias or the Basque Country. The finest products and wine from the length and breadth of Spain are divided among 30 permanent stands and 3 in a portable format.  With a bountiful array of Spanish delight, I surely wouldn’t let the opportunity to visit pass me by.

Upon entering the market, I met with beautiful scenery of people from all walks of life enjoying the pleasures of food. The inviting aroma of seafood, tapas, veggies, fruits, wraps, fine wine and several kinds of food provides the best ambiance that will make your mouth water. Selecting a stand to buy from can make you confused as there is s so much variety available. The good part is that the food is in small portions so you can taste several foods and drinks from as many vendors as possible. I tried a few tapas, seafood and wine and I must say that that was my foodie moment in Spain.

After having enjoyed the food, I was treated to a spectacular football juggling show by a talented young girl and good violinist at a square some few meters from the market. The foot works of the girl were greatly accompanied by the melodious tune of the UEFA Champions League anthem. Suffice to say, this was a fitting climax on a time well spent. It was certainly my Spanish moment and I will never forget it.

By Michael B. Dwomoh

Travel Consultant


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