What to Eat at Madrid’s Mercado San Miguel (2024)

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assortment of tapas from san miguel market

Wondering what to eat at Mercado San Miguel? I can help with that!

There’s nowhere better to discover the magic of Spanish cuisine than at Madrid’s Mercado San Miguel.

On my first solo trip to Madrid, I made a beeline right to this revamped gastronomic market as soon as I touched down, and I’ve been going back ever since. At this point, I’ve tried just about everything this culinary hot spot offers!

This renovated covered market is one of the oldest in not just the city, but the world as well as being Spain’s last remaining iron market hall.

In recent years, its restoration has attracted Michelin-starred chefs from around the country, breathing new life into this traditional-market-turned-gourmet-food-hall. Today, Located in the heart of Madrid, Mercado San Miguel is one of the city’s top tourist attractions. Trust me when I tell you that no trip to Madrid is complete without a stop at this local food market.

Since Madrid is the Spanish capital, you can find foodie favorites from every part of the country here. From traditional tapas like tortilla espanola to regional specialties like Galician octopus, San Miguel Market is the perfect place to try a little bit of everything. Don’t forget to pack your camera, because this is definitely one of Madrid’s top Instagram spots!

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best things to eat at Mercado San Miguel!

What to Eat at Mercado San Miguel

I hope you’re hungry, because there are a lot of food stalls to choose from in this beautiful building near the historic Plaza Mayor.

Mercado San Miguel offers the finest products from different parts of the country including regional tapas, Spanish wine and spirits, fresh Galician fish, Spanish staples like croquetas, plus gourmet meats and cheeses. One of the best parts about this market (and Madrid in general) is that it’s a fabulous melting pot for the whole country.

Here are my picks for the best food and high-quality tapas at Mercado San Miguel.



First thing’s first: in Spain, we start all meals, snacks, and sentences with vermouth, the country’s aperitif of choice. La Hora del Vermut has you covered with vermouth on tap (so fun) and additional bottles from regions throughout the country.

No vermouth experience is complete without at least one tapas. Sweet Spanish vermouth is often paired with something salty like chips or banderilla (pickle) skewers.

PRO TIP: If you’re unfamiliar with Spanish vermouth, be sure to check out my full foodie guide to Spain to get the full scoop. This is one fun Spanish tradition!

Tortilla Espanola

tortilla espanola bites from a stall at mercado san miguel
tortilla espanola bites

The next thing I did was sample a variety of the dish I’d heard so much about: tortilla espanola. In Spain, a tortilla is actually an omelet. The typical omelet dish is made with just eggs, potatoes and sometimes onion cooked in olive oil. It resembles more of a quiche than a typical omelet. Such a simple dish, but somehow so different from any omelet I’ve had before. It never has an overwhelming eggy flavor.

I was able to try a variety of 8 tortilla bites on toast for about $10, each with different toppings. My advice: eye it carefully for freshness if you’re visiting in the evening. My plate was a little stale, but for what it’s worth, the garlic shrimp topped option was my favorite. The rest tasted similar enough.

Cava & Sherry

Next, overwhelmed by my many drink options, I opted for a cold, bubbly cava to sip while I eyed my next dish. (A reasonable $8.) There are plenty of high quality options, though!

I saw someone with a glass of sangria that looked delicious, and you can always ask for a recommendation of regional wine to try. There were a few spots that sold individual glasses of wine, starting at around $3. (U.S. besties, can you believe these prices?!)

TIP: If you’re looking to try specialties from other regions, head to Pinkleton & Wines for some Andalusian sherry.


oysters from a market in spain

Bubbles in hand, I dashed to the spot I was looking forward to most: the seafood counter. While I truly wanted to try everything, I practiced a bit of restraint and ordered two massive oysters for about $3.50 each. Spain’s oysters are something else! They’re big, juicy and have just the right amount of flavor. (But full disclosure they have nothing on oysters from Portugal’s Algarve!)


If you’re heading on a trip to Spain and Portugal, get ready for lots of bacalao dishes. Cod is a popular ingredient. Though I’m a fan of seafood, for some reason, I was quite skeptical of this fish at first.

However, I can now confidently confirm that these countries know what they’re doing. The bacalao dishes have earned their reputation. La Casa del Bacalao serves up fantastic salted cod as well as other popular items like anchovies and sardines.


manchego cheese
mozzarella cart in mercado san miguel

If there’s one thing I can never get enough of, it’s cheese! Luckily, Mercado San Miguel has enough queso to please any cheese lover. At Mya Quesos, I tried a few different ages and varieties of manchego a mild sheep’s milk cheese Spain is known for. (Also one of my personal favorites!) If that isn’t enough cheese for you, Mozheart is a full mozzarella bar that was honestly just way too pretty to pass up. I opted for a pile of whipped mozzarella topped with thin ham and sweet jam. Mmm!

Spanish Olives & Jamon

olives at san miguel market

Then, more charcuterie. It was time to sample some meats and olives. If I wasn’t getting so full already, I would have grabbed a cone filled with yummy morsels of jamon.

This is an absolute must when in Spain as Iberian ham and jamón serrano is their top delicacy of pretty much all time.

When it comes to the olives, I can’t say I was a huge fan of any that I tried in Spain. I’m an olive freak, but something about the mild, almost sweet marinade wasn’t doing it for me. I like them salty and savory.


croquetas from mercado san miguel

Finally, after pursuing a few more of the various stalls, I decided to sample two last vendors. Probably the most traditionally Spanish of all the dishes, you can truly never go wrong with a cheese croqueta. I also sampled some of the bacalao (codfish) and jamon (ham) with béchamel sauce from Arzabal for good measure.


bunuelos from mercado san miguel

Next, were the bunuelos. Buneulos are like fried little fritter balls of goodness. I’m a sucker for anything with squid/cuttlefish ink so no surprise that this became my favorite dish from the market.


pulpo tapas from mercado san miguel

I’d hoped to return for a squid dish and lobster tacos, but my stomach just couldn’t take any more. Squid is one of my favorites, but I knew there’d be plenty at my other destinations. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the lobster tacos. RIP lobster taco dreams.


Seafood paella in a large cast-iron pan with shrimp and mussels on top.

If you just have to have this well-known Spanish rice dish, you’re in luck. While you have to be careful not to order (secretly microwaved) paella from a tourist trap, Mercado San Miguel has a good option for you.

Paella Power is run by a Michelin-star chef. They offer $10 portions of the dish, with large pots being cooked fresh every 15 minutes. Solo travelers take note! Elsewhere, paella must be ordered to share.


For the freshest fish and seafood, head straight to Crab Crab Crab, the only spot in Madrid that is dedicated entirely to this prized delicacy. More specifically, we’re talking about the red king crab from the Arctic Ocean. These great tapas are sure to please any taste buds.

The Best Time to Go to Mercado San Miguel

Mercado San Miguel is open from 10 am-12 pm (until 1 am on Fridays & Saturdays).

Mercado San Miguel is the perfect stop on your first evening or afternoon in Madrid. It’s a wonderful introduction to Spanish cuisine that you can take at your own pace. Choose a couple items, get your tastebuds acquainted with their new Spanish buddies, and get a feel for other dishes you may want to try. Plus, visiting a Spanish market is just a fun experience!

The market’s offerings are quite modern and cosmopolitan compared to other more traditional dining options. If you ever need a break from Spanish cuisine (impossible in my opinion, but I suppose it could happen) you’ll have options like pizza, tacos, bao buns and other international gourmet fare to give you a break.

How long should you spend at Mercado San Miguel?

If you’re short on time, the good news is that Mercado San Miguel doesn’t have to take up a lot of it. Mercado San Miguel is conveniently located near hotspots like Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, and The Royal Palace of Madrid (one of the most beautiful palaces in Spain!) so it’s a great place to fuel up for a day of sightseeing. When you’re ready to go, Plaza Mayor is less than five minutes away on foot.

PRO TIP: If you prefer a quick breakfast so you can get up and going in the morning, grab some tortilla espanola bites before you hit the sights.

plates of tapas, jamon and sangria on a tour in madrid


It’s no secret that my favorite way to enjoy Spain’s incredible food culture is through a food tour. However, booking a tour without doing careful research would be a huge mistake!

So many travelers book food tours in Spain, not realizing that they can’t count on paella to be on every menu. But it can be so time-consuming to sort through the dozens of different tour offerings!

That’s why I created this Ultimate Madrid Tapas Tour Guide based on my own experiences to help you find a tour perfectly suited to your interests! You can choose between wine-focused tours, cooking classes, or even book a combined flamenco and tapas experience.

Mercado San Miguel Tours

If you want to make the most out of your time or hit the market with a group, there are some awesome tours that include Mercado San Miguel.

Places to Eat Near San Miguel Market

Want to check out even more of Madrid’s epic food scene? Add any of these spots below to your itinerary or check out more of the best tapas bars in Madrid!

Vegan & Vegetarian Food

  • Mad Mad Vegan: Offers a vibrant array of plant-based dishes including their famous vegan burgers and sweet potato fries.
  • La Hummuseria: Choose from any of their five hummuses (from “the Classic” to “the Irresistible”) to pair with salads and veggie tapas on their regularly updated menu.
  • Restaurante Vegetariano: Experience a diverse menu of Spanish classics, reimagined with vegetarian ingredients.

Tapas Bars

  • El Minibar: Old-school tapas bar near Plaza Mayor with classic dishes. Cash only!
  • La Latina: Vibrant and historic neighborhood with bustling tapas bars that attract a mix of locals and tourists. Known for the famous Cava Baja and its slightly more refined sister street, Cava Alta.

PS: Looking to get off-the-beaten-path? Check out Calle Ponzano, Madrid‘s foodie hidden gem!


What metro station is closest to San Miguel Market?

Sol is the closest metro station to San Miguel Market, a short walk from the iconic market, adjacent to Plaza Mayor.

What metro station is closest to San Miguel Market?

Sol is the closest metro station to San Miguel Market, a short walk from the iconic market, adjacent to Plaza Mayor.

What metro station is closest to San Miguel Market?

Sol is the closest metro station to San Miguel Market, a short walk from the iconic market, adjacent to Plaza Mayor.

What to eat at Mercado San Miguel


Sydney is a solo travel expert who’s extensively explored Spain, Portugal, Morocco, California, and more! She creates travel guides and itineraries to share everything she's learned about the Iberian peninsula through personal experience and exploration.

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