Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The Beaux-Arts Mercado De San Miguel is one of the oldest covered markets in Spain. The stunning iron and glass Mercado opened in May 1916, a monument to modernism and reminiscent of the famous Les Halles in Paris. The Plaza, long known as the market for Madrid's homemakers and servants since the early 19th century, became the victim of emerging local markets and fell into disrepair. An extensive restoration began in 2003 and today the building is once again a bustling mecca for foodies.
We happened upon the market our first day in Madrid, starving and jet lagged, we literally followed the crowd and got into a queue with locals for a few slices of Spanish ham and a hot baguette-heaven! Over thirty vendors line the Mercado selling everything from fresh cheese to champagne. I noticed beautiful tapas of salmon, cod and tuna at La Casa del Bacalao and vowed we would be back for cocktails. We found our way back to the market the next evening, grabbing a few bar stools and a pitcher of fruity sangria. The canapes were so delicious, we never made it to dinner!