The tapas crawl is a nightly ritual in Madrid. Residents and tourists alike take to the streets, hopping from restaurant to restaurant sampling portions of tapas like jamon and cheese, along with glasses of wine and vermut. For those who want to stay in one place while still sampling a variety of the best food Spain has to offer, the Mercado de San Miguel is the perfect place.
Inside the market you’ll find plenty of vendors selling goods you can take to go and cook at home, but the real fun is in standing at the counter of in moving from stall to stall as you stop and sample the goods. Order up a heaping plate of jamon serrano or jamon iberico plus some artisanal cheese like manchego, brie or fontina, plus some crusty bread. The move on to some fried croquetas, some fresh oysters, or some creative tapas like grilled octopus on toast with artichoke hearts.
For dessert, nibble on chocolate truffles, pastries and cookies. To drink, you can take your pick from cheap glasses of Rioja wine, vermut from a tap, flutes of bubbly Veuve Cliquot or, in winter, even some steaming cups of hot gluwhein.
The market is open from 10am to 10pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, and from 10am to 2am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Photo Credit: Katie Hammel