Feb 6th, 2020, 10:54 PM

The Gastronomic Temple

By Paola Zea
Mercado De San Miguel, Image Credit: Flickr/Joy
Yes it is real, find out where it is

Close your eyes. Think of every kind of food you desire. Now open them. You're in the City Centre of Madrid, and everything you've imagined is there. A true national treasure, you are looking at "El Mercado de San Miguel, a sight straight out of a gourmand dream.

Image Credit: Unsplash/ Victor_g

Once inside this harmoniously yet hectic atmosphere, you see colorful food stands everywhere. The market is lively and full of people. But what is most distracting, is the smells hitting your nose. As you cruise around the aisles of food, you are tempted by everything.

Looking around, you see nothing but expressions of joy on your fellow foodies faces. You look to your right and see a crowd sitting around the bars and an authentic ‘Tapas’ stand. You look for a seat, and if you are lucky enough to find one, you are in for a treat.

Nevertheless, strolling around this internationally diverse market is an unforgettable and delicious experience. It is something I never miss when I travel to Madrid (my tummy would never forgive me!).  No matter how many times I have been, and no matter how much I eat, there is always some new foods to try every time! 

This chirpy Parisian style market was founded in 1916, with not a single structural change to this day, it holds a unique iron structure from the era. Always lovely to behold as you explore its surroundings in Madrid’s enriching city centre. 

El Mercado de San Miguel, can be a little overwhelming for a tourist however. Evidently there is an awful lot to choose from, in addition to finding unfamiliar kinds of cuisine. Which in the end turns into a unique and exciting experience.

The infinite dishes range from the emblematic Spanish ‘Montaditos’, to Asian fusion tacos, to Italian Burrata and Mascarpone adorned dishes, to a colorful variations of exotic seafood. All of which is carefully presented for the visitors, creating a stunning colorful atmosphere.

What makes this experience even more so unique in addition to all these beautifully displayed delicacies, are the relatively smaller foodstands in thr limited space. They have evolved into focusing on a single item, all of which to be considered authentic specialties.

Image Credit: Paola Zea

All the delicious possibilities to choose from, each stand is focused on a specific cuisine or item. Each emblematic food stand itself is relatively small yet beautifully displayed. 

During these months of Winter, it becomes a very convenient spot as it is indoors. Perfect to make the best out of a rainy day. All you could experience in Madrid under one roof.