I mentioned before that when I travel, I love to try different and unique foods that a city or country offers. When I first arrived in Spain, I was with my dad. We stayed in Madrid for the time that he was here with me, and were able to visit a lot of different touristy attractions that the capital had to offer, as well as really have our first look and taste of Spanish cuisine. A fellow blogger recommended that I find “El Mercado de San Miguel” in Madrid, which he described as a giant glass market filled with different stands of food, for you to try. After reading food and market, I was on a mission to find this building! My dad and I quickly found it, located very close to Plaza Mayor, it really is like a glass market that you can’t miss!
The building is big, rectangular, and made of all glass. Adorned with signs at the top reading “Mercado de San Miguel”, it’s a very simple design. What I first noticed was that, because the building is completely made of glass, you are able to see the stands in the market, as well as all the people eyeing the array of different foods offered. When you enter the building, you’re quickly immersed into a frenzy of tourists and locals who are there having a drink after work, or trying out the famous jámon of Spain. It could very well be considered a Foodies Heaven! There were stands for olives, jámon, paella, seafood, sweets, and of course beer and wine. My dad and I took a slow lap around the entirety of the building, lusting after the small tapas and glasses of sangria that other people were munching and sipping on. I have to be honest, it was a bit scary at first, because the market was buzzing and very crowded. Also, we both had no idea what to order! Eventually, we peeked at what everyone else was ordering and tried a few of this and a few of that… and figured out what we liked and didn’t like.
One specific night, my aunt, dad, and I went to El Mercado de San Miguel to treat ourselves after a long and frustrating day of dealing with piso hunting and all the logistical paperwork I needed to do. It was the perfect way to unwind! We went all out with tapas and cup after cup of cold beer, talking to the “camareros” [waiters] with broken and slurred Spanish, and then finding and sharing food with other foreigners who spoke English. We heard so many different languages, catching phrases and words we understood, or languages we recognised. I picked up on different accents in English, tour guides leading groups, and people ordering with their own broken Spanish. After filling ourselves with beer and delicious sweet green peppers, among other tapas, the bill for the night was a total of €60 (which roughly translates to $65/67). I consider this location to be about: $$, but very worth it! El Mercado de San Miguel is a foodies heaven, allowing you to participate in a little bit of Spanish culture by trying different and local favorites, speaking a little Spanish, and maybe sharing your food with a fellow traveler!