The market was opened for the first time in 1916, but even in the 19th century, Plaza de San Miguel was a hotspot for local producers and home cooks who would sell their goods here.
The market was designed in a popular-at-the-time modernist style and featured glass and iron as the principal materials.
However, despite the innovative appearance and proximity to Plaza Mayor, by the 1970s, the market had lost its charm and if it were not for a group of entrepreneurs who invested in its renovation, it would have ceased to exist.
San Miguel was reopened in 2009 with a new concept – it is no longer your ordinary grocery market, but a gastronomic feast, with thirty three stalls offering the best of Spanish cuisine.
Thick rounds of Galician pulpo (octopus) sprinkled with large sea salt flakes and smoked paprika; tiny cured boquerones (anchovies) which are exceptionally good with crispy potato chips; nicely browned tortillas, nutty and buttery Idiazábal, a cured cheese from the Basque Country – these are only a few noteworthy delights which a foodie can (and should!) sample at the market.
Also, good news for those of you who can not keep up with working hours of Spanish restaurants (which normally close for siesta after lunch and do not open until around 8pm)! – San Miguel does not shut its doors until late at night, making it equally good for an afternoon snack or a quick bite shortly before hitting Madrid’s night scene!