Shopping The Spanish Way: The Top 5 Markets in Madrid

This blog post was originally posted on January 8, 2014 and was updated on March 16, 2017.

If you want to see Madrid’s beauty, wander its narrow streets or sprawling gardens. But if you want to know Madrid—its people, its culture, its vibrancy—head to its food markets. Here, the heart and soul of Madrid are on display.

With 3.2 million residents, most of whom are immigrants from other regions of Spain, Madrid is a diverse city. Each neighborhood has a distinct personality and nowhere is this more apparent than in the markets in Madrid. The market in the ritzy Salamanca district, for example, features shops with pricey spreads, conserved delicacies and even lace tablecloths and duvet covers. In Lavapiés, the hippie immigrant barrio, stands of organic foods and craft beers speckle the market.

Madrid’s markets are some of the best places in the city. Join us on our Hidden Madrid Food & Market Adventure for the insider experience of a vibrant local market in Madrid. We’ll weave through the stalls and try the different delicacies while meeting the vendors behind it all and learning their stories.

If you’re looking to meet the Madrid of the locals, strolling through these markets is the best way to do it! Experience the city like a local with our top five markets in Madrid.

If you want to get to know the Madrid that the locals know, explore a market. The markets in Madrid hold the key to the heart of the city—and lots of delicious food!

1. Mercado de San Miguel

Sitting next to the Plaza Mayor in the tourist center of the city, Mercado de San Miguel represents the huge role that tourism plays in Madrid. Strolling through Mercado de San Miguel you’ll hear myriad languages, see people from all around the world and feast on food from every corner of Spain—and beyond.

This market is all about eating, as the majority of its stands serve ready-to-eat tapas, pastries and snacks. By 10 pm, tourists and Madrileños alike have crowded into Mercado de San Miguel. There are people at each stand, sipping vermouth and munching on everything from olives to oysters. While it may seem like a tourist trap, the Mercado de San Miguel is worth a visit.

Address: Plaza de San Miguel

The Mercado de San Miguel is the most popular market in Madrid for tourists, but that doesn't make it a tourist trap! It is well worth a visit.
The Mercado de San Miguel is a lovely place to enjoy a tapa and a glass of wine.

2. Mercado de Maravillas

The Mercado de Maravillas, another of our favorite markets in Madrid, is in the Cuatro Caminos district. This market absolutely lives up to its name as the “Market of Marvels.” More than 200 stalls selling fresh fruits, fish, meats, cheeses, olives, and more create a maze of colors in this massive 75-year-old market.

Walking through Mercado de Maravillas is like taking a behind-the-scenes tour of Spanish gastronomy. Fresh products and raw ingredients tell the story behind the flavors of the staple cocido or the super popular paella. Both are dishes that you can find all over the city, although you’ll often need some insider help to find excellent paella in Madrid!

Here you can buy the rarest of Spanish delicacies, from live snails and crabs to cow tongues and lamb skulls. You can also find products from around the globe, like chilies from Mexico, fresh pasta from Italy or rice from South Korea.

Address: Calle Bravo Murillo, 122

Mercado de Maravillas has a number of fish stands, providing locals with a wide variety of incredibly fresh fish produce
Fish is very important to all Madrid markets, and the selection at Mercado de Maravillas is amazing.

3. Mercado de la Paz

Mercado de la Paz is tucked into Madrid’s Salamanca barrio, one of the wealthiest and poshest areas of the city. This market is a glamorous mix of raw food stands, tapas and wine bars and specialty food shops. The 135-year-old market is an ideal place to pop in for a lively afternoon tapa or to shop for a jar of expertly preserved Spanish anchovies, white asparagus or foie gras pâté. Despite its ritzy location, most vendors have been there for decades. This is one of the markets in Madrid where you’ll feel right at home as you shop for Spain’s best offerings.

Address: Calle de Ayala, 28

4. Mercado de Antón Martín

You know you’re getting close to Mercado de Antón Martín when the typical bars and cozy cafes of the Lavapiés neighborhood are swapped for the florescent lights of butcher shops. Racks of lamb and giant cuts of beef shoulder mark the path to the market, lining the street between the Antón Martín metro stop and market.

Inside, the two-story market is packed with organic food stalls, wine bars and Iberian ham and cheese shops. There is an area dedicated to cooking demonstrations and small art exhibits and a shop that sells only craft beers. The “indie” vibe of this market is a direct reflection of the neighborhood it is in. The area borders Madrid’s immigrant barrio and has a distinctly bohemian personality.

Address: Calle de Santa Isabel, 5

Lauren, our company founder, seen holding up some of the amazingly tasty and fresh olives found inside the Antón Martín Market
Devour Spain co-founder Lauren guides guests through an olive tasting at the Antón Martín Market on our Hidden Madrid Food & Market Adventure.

5. Mercado de San Antón

Steps from Plaza de Chueca in Madrid’s colorful Chueca neighborhood sits the Mercado de San Antón. The market itself is on the second floor of a five-story food heaven. You can stop in for tapas from each region of Spain, shop for organic olive oil or gourmet hamburger meat or enjoy a cerveza overlooking the city on one of many amazing rooftop terraces in Madrid. Mercado de San Antón is the Whole Foods of Madrid food markets, with its sleek modern design and array of fresh fruits, vegetables and prepared meals. This is one of the markets in Madrid that is well worth a visit.

Address: Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24

The sigth of a traditional ham slicer among the vibrant, modern decoration of the Mercado San Antón displays the interesting vibe of the market amazingly
The Mercado de San Antón is an eclectic mix of traditional foods and modern architecture. Photo Credit: Luis Rodriguez

Do you want to learn more about the markets that make Madrid tick? Join Devour Madrid on a food tour! Want to check out the Antón Martín Market? Try the Hidden Madrid Food & Market Adventure! For a stop in the Mercado de San Miguel, the Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour is the one for you. Knowledgeable guides will give you the inside scoop into what to buy and what to try at each of Madrid’s best markets, along with other insights into the city’s traditions and history. We hope to see you in Madrid soon!

10 Comment

  1. […] and I were more than ready for a nice home-cooked meal. With no specific menu in mind, I took her to El Mercado de Maravillas, Madrid’s fresh food wonderland. Weaving through mountains of vegetables, glaciers of seafood […]

  2. […] has recently undergone a market renaissance, and nowhere is the resurgence of market culture more celebrated than in Mercado San Fernando. Here […]

  3. […] and I were more than ready for a nice home-cooked meal. With no specific menu in mind, I took her to El Mercado de Maravillas, Madrid’s fresh food wonderland. Weaving through mountains of vegetables, glaciers of seafood […]

  4. […] bit too touristic, but great food. We prefered  Antón Martin Market, it looked more like a true market with local food and […]

  5. […] good wine and exquisite tapas, Bar Omaira is a fantastic stop. This restaurant inside Mercado de Antón Martin, one of the oldest Madrid markets, takes a modern outlook on traditional Madrileño and […]

  6. […] to one of the many great markets in Madrid and you’ll find a busy casquería booth– the organ meat butcher is often where […]

  7. […] is packed with amazing art museums, world-renowned wine, centuries-old markets and perfectly manicured parks. It is also packed with tourists, 8 million of them in 2011 them to […]

  8. […] Malasaña Ale from Fabrica Maravillas is pretty delicious. Perfect Madrid evening: My ideal night would be to a local market and purchase a bunch of simple Spanish products. I’d get some jamón, chorizo, campo real […]

  9. […] can’t get enough of Madrid’s food markets! It’s truly been a pleasure “researching” them. Here’s a brief overview of our personal […]

  10. […] and inexpensive Spanish New Year’s recipes. To explore more of Madrid’s great markets, join us on the Huertas Neighborhood Food & Market Tour. Knowledgeable guides will give you […]

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