The Mercado de San Miguel, located in the square of the same name, next to the Plaza Mayor in Madrid (Spain), is a privately-owned market whose most remarkable characteristic is that it preserves its original iron structure from the early 20th century.1 It has two floors and an area of 1,200 square meters.
Located in the center of historic Madrid and with more than 10 million visitors a year, the Mercado de San Miguel is the gastronomic temple of the city of Madrid, the contemporary essence of all corners of Spanish gastronomy. From the best Iberian ham to the freshest seafood arrived daily from Galicia, Mediterranean rice dishes or the most special cheeses from Castilla, Asturias or the Basque Country. Top quality products and wines that come from all corners of Spain. Inaugurated in May 1916 as a food market, in May 2009 it became the first gastronomic market. During 2018 the market experiences a period of consolidation of a large part of its gastronomic content.
In medieval times this area was an open market, surrounded by stalls that sold handcrafted products. In the time of José Bonaparte, the old parish church of San Miguel de los Octoes, where the market now stands, was demolished. In its place, there was a small square where it is planned to build the market that would inherit the name of the old parish, where Lope de Vega was baptized. Before being demolished the entire area, including the temple, had been devastated by a terrible fire that occurred in 1790.
The closed market was built between 1913 and 1916 under the supervision of architect Alfonso Dubé y Díez. The design was inspired by other European markets made of steel like the Las Halles of Paris.
During the second half of the 19th century, the hygienic and functionalist ideas of urban planners, doctors and scientists began to become commonplace in modern European cities and started to remedy the problems of dirt and unhealthy street markets in Madrid. In the 1870s the city council began to build covered markets, one of which that would become what we know today as the Mercado de San Miguel. The covered version of the San Miguel Market was inaugurated on May 13, 1916.
Nowadays the Mercado de San Miguel is a gastronomic hub in the heart of the city and one of the top tourist attractions in Madrid (almost as much as the Boquería market in Barcelona) since its modernization in 2009.
You can find everything from flowers, to cheese, vegetables, fish and even caviar. You can taste all of these gourmet tapas on some of the tables that are at your disposition whilst enjoying the ambiance surrounding you.
Everything being said, the Mercado San Miguel is not the cheapest place to shop around, however, it does allow you to have, at your disposition, a lot of the more traditional dishes all in one place, which is quite convenient…