Hello! I am just back from a ten day visit to Madrid, Toledo, Avila and Segovia, Spain. My friend and I spent several days exploring the capital city, and we found ourselves going back to the Mercado San Miguel to eat over and over. So I thought I would share a little about it with you, and what makes it the best place to eat in Madrid.
The Best Place to Eat in Madrid is Convenient
The Mercado San Miguel is located just outside Madrid’s Plaza Mayor. This made it very convenient to get to, centrally located near so many other attractions. Especially convenient for us, since we were staying at an Airbnb on Plaza Mayor. Jet lag can be especially brutal when flying to Europe from the US, and we crashed hard after checking in. A few hours later, we woke up semi-rested and absolutely starving. The Mercado San Miguel was the first place we went.
But even if you aren’t staying at Plaza Mayor, the Mercado is conveniently located – just a five minute walk from the Ópera Metro station (Lines 2 & 5) or a ten minute walk from the Sol Metro station (Lines 1, 2, & 3). Its location is one major reason why it’s the best place to eat in Madrid.
The hours are convenient as well. Most days the Mercado San Miguel is open from 10:00 am until midnight (until 1:00 am Friday and Saturday nights). So during the afternoon dead zone when many stores are closed (roughly 2-5 pm), you can take a break and pop in to the Mercado for a quick bite or a leisurely couple of drinks.
The Best Place to Eat in Madrid Offers a Variety of Food & Drink
At first glance, the Mercado San Miguel is a big food court like you would see at an American shopping mall. Multiple vendors, each selling a different type of food, and a central seating area.
But it’s so much more than that.
From the mundane to the exotic, there is something for everyone at the Mercado San Miguel: Sangria. Italian. Vegetarian. Beer. Pastries. Seafood. Wine. Spanish. Vermouth. Mexican.
Whatever you want, you can find it at Mercado San Miguel!
The Best Place to Eat in Madrid is Affordable
Whether you’re in the mood for a snack, or you want a full meal, you can eat at Mercado San Miguel without breaking the bank. Sample a few things until you find what you like, or just dive right in and order what you want… it won’t cost a lot either way. Here are a few sample prices from my recent visit:
- Croquetas/Croquettes – yummy, gooey fried cheese with or without bits of meat mixed in – €1.50 each.
- Empanadas in all sorts of varieties, savory and sweet – €3.25 each.
- Subs made with famous Iberian jamon (ham, but not like we think of it) – €6.
The Best Place to Eat in Madrid is a Great Place to Meet People
I visited the Mercado San Miguel several times while I was in Madrid, and at all different times of day. Not once was it anything but packed with people. I shared a table with a group of German tourists enjoying tapas, met a fellow Baltimore Ravens fan who was looking for the taco stand, and talked with a trio of Italian ladies who had really enjoyed their sangria.
Appreciation of good food is a common denominator that transcends language or culture. So there really is no better place in Madrid to meet people than the Mercado San Miguel. And no better circumstances than to do so while enjoying delicious food. And maybe a sangria.
One Other Thing You Should Know
When you order food at Mercado San Miguel, keep your receipt! If you use the rest room while you’re there and you don’t have your receipt, you will need to pay for access to the toilets.
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