Madrileños still love going to traditional markets where one can find everything from fresh produce, butchers, fishmongers to tapas and beers.
Many of the city’s oldest markets are still in operation, where you can find top quality products from small-scale local producers. There are also newer edition markets where fun, international gastronomic offerings are on vibrant display. Perusing and snacking at markets is one of our favorite ways to experience Spain’s local culture. Here are our favorite local mercados in Madrid where the food sizzles and the vibe is always bustling.
* Photos were taken before COVID-19 pandemic.
Mercado de San Miguel
Plaza de San Miguel, s/n, 28005 Madrid, Spain
As the most famous market of its kind in Madrid, sure, Mercado de San Miguel is a bit upmarket and touristy. But the iconic market set in a beautiful iron glass structure from 1916 is a lovely sight to behold and really cannot be missed. Mercado de San Miguel is a food hall occupied by gourmands with rows and rows of pretty artisanal tapas to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for some raw shellfish or freshly sliced jamón, everything you find in the market is of the finest quality at top dollar prices. Both pretty and pricey, Mercado de San Miguel is the perfect place to go for swish tapas on a day you want to impress your friends.
Mercado San Antón
Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Mercado de San Antón is more of a trendy international food court than traditional market. The market itself opened in 1945 and has gone through various evolutions to fit the tastes of the hip, fashionable residents of the surrounding Chueca district. Mercado de Antón has three levels of artisanal products, trendy food stalls and a chic restaurant with a rooftop terraza. Throughout the food court you can find modern Spanish tapas fused with international flavors like Korean, Japanese, Middle Eastern and Italian. Of course the wide, sunny roof terrace is outfitted perfectly for your Aperol spritz-sipping pleasure. The terraza is everyone’s favorite place to gather for chic cocktails in the heart of the city when the sun is shining.
Mercado de San Fernando
Calle de Embajadores, 41, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Mercado de San Fernando in community-minded Lavapiés is unembellished and solidly working class in feel. It’s not trying to be trendy or gourmand like the other markets mentioned above. But it is trying to serve you some straightforward, comfort food and cañas at affordable prices. Walk around the spacious market to find stalls slinging tacos, paella, arepas and tapas. Mercado de San Fernando is the market where you’ll likely find the most local madrileños hanging out on any given weekend. There’s a good, vibrant community vibe that’s difficult to find in other parts of the city center. It’s the best market to visit when it’s all about good company and comforting, yummy food.
Mercado de la Paz
Cl. de Ayala, 28B, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Mercado de la Paz is the market of the swanky Salamanca district, tucked away between the streets lined with designer boutiques. It’s an adorable, clean marketplace with all types of high-grade artisan products and well-done tapas. The most notable market stop here is Casa Dani whose tortilla is one of the most popular in the city. People from all over Madrid come to the market to try the stall’s perfectly juicy and runny tortilla. There are other nice eateries with cute, minimalist seating areas throughout the market as well as a patio area with terrazas where shoppers can have drinks outside. For an overall pleasant and leisurely shopping experience, Mercado de la Paz is a delight and a nice pit-stop while exploring Salamanca.
Bonus: El Rastro every Sunday
Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, 28005 Madrid, Spain
El Rastro is the city’s largest outdoor flea market and one of Madrid’s most popular attractions. El Rastro takes place every Sunday morning until 2 p.m. in La Latina, between Calle Embajadores and Ronda de Toledo. Everyone should visit El Rastro at least once and you’re sure to walk away with a few goodies that you’ll cherish forever. You can find vintage fur coats and leather jackets for as low as 15€, retro Spanish posters, tons of cute screen-printed tees, secondhand jeans, plus any sort of antique your heart desires. El Rastro is always a bustling and joyful affair, jam-packed with visitors and live music floating from every direction. Be sure to take part in everyone’s favorite Sunday ritual of perusing El Rastro and then heading to Cava Baja for an afternoon full of tapas and cañas.