Why Do Markets Have Saint Names?

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I love to travel. Everywhere.  And I don’t mind coming back to the same place. So I’ve been to Madrid before moving here.

As a tourist I followed the travel guides. One of the “must see” locations was “Mercado San Miguel” (Saint Miguel Market).

Open the doors and enter wonderland

Open the doors and enter wonderland

Back then, I said to myself: I know the west Europeans are crazy with healthy, fresh food…but come on, do I need to go to the market for that? I am staying in a fancy hotel. What do you want me do to? Just go and have a look? Cause buying is not an option since I don’t think the chef would be interested in me doing the shopping for his kitchen. So I said no way I am going to the market.

Then, when I moved to Madrid I got a “Let’s have dinner in Mercado San Miguel” invitation. Well…I don’t know how to describe my first reaction to that. Eating in the market?!?! I think I was horrified just because I saw before my eyes the markets in my home town. It’s like in a country side fair…nobody eats there, you can only see vegetable full of soil and the sellers. But what the hell….if not now, when?

I said yes, let’s take a look. Ok, we entered and it took us exactly 12 seconds to get out.  Not because something stinky was announcing its presence but because it was FULL.

We are all a big, happy family

We are all a big, happy family

Yes, unfortunately in Madrid people love to feel really close to each other (literally speaking). And it appeared that was the place to be, a sacred place for the people of Madrid!

I got more determined:  I have to eat there!  So I went again, got stepped on, hit, pushed, but somehow I managed to survive this semi-suicidal intention of eating in San Miguel in the weekend.

And I discovered it’s not just a place where you can buy groceries. It a building made of glass with little Boutique-bars that serve a lot of goodies. There are also tables and chairs: P

After this experience I became smarter. Why the hell should I go there in the weekend? So please, for the sake of your personal sanity….try to enjoy the experience in a weekday. Otherwise you won’t be able to see what I immortalized just for you. And only after eating here you can fully understand why this market was called after a Saint: because it looks like a paradise!

Olives…with everything

Olives…with everything

Yes sir, we love cheese

Yes sir, we love cheese

TAPAS…More Tapas

TAPAS…More Tapas

TAPAS…More Tapas

TAPAS…More Tapas

Our King – El Jamon

Our King – El Jamon

Our King – El Jamon

Our King – El Jamon

For the light food lovers

For the light food lovers

Life is better with wine

Life is better with wine

But you can use the pictures as a menu 🙂 So… Bon appetite and don’t miss out Mercado San Miguel. It’s an incredible experience if you allow yourself a little bit of time (and place) to enjoy it.



Alexandra Dinca

Alexandra is a Romanian girl attending a MSc in Hospitality and Tourism Management in Madrid.

She traded her professional experience in auctions because she trusted Confucius saying "Chose a job you love and you will never have to work day in your life".

Gourmand, passionate about Real Madrid and a luxury-lover she will represent Madrid.

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