The market or “mercado” as it’s called in Madrid is key to any good neighbourhood. It’s where locals will buy their fresh fruit, veg, meat, and fish. But it’s also a place to sit and have a coffee, beer or tapas.
Whenever I visit a new city I like to seek out the best food market. A local market is a wonderful place, full of unusual sights and smells and a great way to get a little insight into local life.
What could be better than eating the best local food, fresh from the market, where the locals buy it, paying local prices.
This article will tell you about the best food markets in Madrid Centro, what they offer and where you can find them.
Across Madrid there are lots of food markets. Some are traditional and have stalls cutting keys and cobbling shoes and others are modern and trendy serving interesting treats and rooftop cocktails.
I enjoy buying fresh food from the local market, to take away and cook at home (well, Brad actually does all the cooking). But I also love to sit and eat something delicious that’s been cooked to order, like local tapas or international street food.
These markets are my absolute favourites for doing both and they are all within easy reach of Madrid city centre.
Where to find the best food markets in Madrid
Mercado San Miguel
San Miguel is undoubtedly the most famous food market in Madrid. It’s in a fab location next to Plaza Mayor and is very easy for tourists to find. The building is beautiful with its ornate wrought iron pillars and attracts much attention and photo taking. The full-length glass walls really entice you in to take a closer look at the wonderful stalls set up inside.
Inside is a collection of stalls selling artisan food that showcase some of the best Spanish snacks. It’s the most touristy of all Madrid’s markets and this does reflect in the prices, drinks and seafood in particular. But there is something here for all budgets if you look closely and browse the stalls. A pincho or stuffed olive can be found for just €1 each or you can splash out on high end bottles of cava and fresh oysters.
It’s quite a small area and there are limited seats so it does get crowded. People tend to spill out onto the surrounding streets and perch on the market steps to devour their treats.
Address: Plaza san Miguel, 28005 Madrid
Nearest Metro: Opera
Opening hours: 10:00 – 00:00
Check out the Mercado San Miguel Facebook page
Mercado de la Cebada
Mercado de la Cebada is where the La Latina locals shop. It’s a huge two storey market in the heart of La Latina barrio, right next to the metro station. The outside is covered in colourful artwork and graffiti but don’t be put off by its slightly shabby exterior, inside it’s hiding many delights. As you walk inside you hear stall holders calling out the special of the day and instantly the smells of the fresh exotic fruits hit you.
Wandering around this market is very interesting, there are stalls selling tea leaves, eggs and exotic spices. Plus, the usual Spanish staples such as jamon, cheese and fish. The queue for the fishmonger stalls are always long as locals jossle to get the best cut and the sellers expertly fillet and bag as quickly as they can.
Events are frequently held here such as craft beer festivals and vinyl record sale days. There are also lots of bars where you can grab a stall and enjoy a nice cold local beer for €2-3.
Address: Plaza de la Cebada, 28005 Madrid
Nearest Metro: La Latina
Opening hours: 09:00-14:00 then 17:00-20:00
Check out the Mercado de la Cebada Facebook page
Mercado San Ildefonso
San Ildefonso is the place for trendy street food and drinks in the hipster barrio of Malasana. A narrow doorway from the main road leads you through a row of bars to a staircase at the back, feeling like you are entering a cocktail bar rather than a market.
Upstairs rows of wooden tables and benches are flanked by small but perfectly equipped food stalls all advertising weird and wonderful dishes. Imagine bao buns, bbq beef skewers, tacos and sushi. The price for a plate of food is around €7-10
Don’t expect to pick up a bag of apples or a pound of mince here. This market is all about trying different foods, hanging out, and enjoying a drink or two. The bar on the top floor has a really cool design and its perfect for Instagram pics. There are a few small outdoor terrace areas with tables and chairs decorated in colourful, abstract, modern artwork.
Address: Calle Fuencarral 57, 28004 Madrid
Nearest Metro: Tribunal
Opening hours: 13:00 – 01:00
Check out the Mercado San Ildefonso Facebook page
Mercado San Anton
San Anton is the cool market with a big roof terrace right in the heart of funky Chueca barrio. Just a stone’s throw from Chueca metro station is this big concrete tile covered exterior. Inside is a bright open space with sunlight flooding in from the glass ceiling and each level offers something slightly different, similar to a food court.
The basement is a supermarket, ground level has the fresh fruit, meat, cakes and sweets. The 1st floor is where you’ll find tapas and sandwiches cooked to order and a nice bar area for drinks.
Then up on the rooftop is a lovely modern restaurant and terrace bar area. Sit back and enjoy the fresh air and views across Chueca, sipping on a delicious cocktail or enjoying the menu of the day. Lots of events are held here like charity markets, craft fairs and live music performances.
Address: Calle Augusto Figueroa 24, 28004 Madrid
Nearest Metro: Chueca
Opening hours: 10:00 – 00:00
Check out the Mercado San Anton Facebook page
Mercado Anton Martin
San Anton is the mix of traditional and new and is very much an active neighbourhood market. It’s located in the bustling Lavapies barrio not far from the Prado museum.
Here you’ll find stalls selling household necessities, clothes and bags plus the usual meat, fish and vegetables. Those stalls open early in the morning and close in the late afternoon. Making way for the newer style market stalls selling wood fire pizzas, bowls of ramen and big juicy beef burgers.
You can try some more unusual, modern foodie trends like the Cereal Lovers bar where they serve bowls of crazy American cereals or Mar de Algas where you can eat Galician seaweed. The upper levels are where the gourmet food can be found and there is a great terrace area. It’s very relaxed and casual here and most sellers are happy to chat to you about the produce.
Address: Calle de Santa Isabel 5, 28012 Madrid
Nearest Metro: Anton Martin
Opening hours: 09:00 – 21:00
Check out the Mercado Anton Martin Facebook page
Other Madrid guides from Seeking the Spanish Sun that you may enjoy reading…
Have you visited any of Madrids food market? Tell us all about it in the comments box below.
Or let us know if you need any more information for your trip to Madrid. We’d be more then happy to help 🙂