Spain for foodies The mouth-watering Spanish Food Markets
Spain’s historical food markets
In many places around the world, so-called “market culture” is taking off—and with good reason. Knowing where ingredients come from and buying local is becoming more important. If you can have a quick drink and a bite to eat while shopping for your meal, even better. When it comes to these new markets, Spain has some of the best on earth, both in terms of culture and culinary importance. Across the country, important buildings have been renovated and turned into fashionable meet-up places. Spaniards and visitors shop for food, eat meals and have drinks at these markets. When visiting Spain, use this guide to discover the perfect market experience to complement the many nearby Iberostar hotels in Spain. And be sure to bring your appetite and curiosity along with you!
San Miguel (Madrid)
Next to the iconic Plaza Mayor, the San Miguel market reopened its doors in 2009 and, since that point, has been a staple on any tourist route in Madrid. San Miguel is packed full of food and drink stalls that serve up a panoply of dishes from around Spain. There are the Spanish classics, like cured Iberian ham and Spanish omelette, as well as imports, like sushi and caviar. Grab a cava, vermouth or peruse the various drinking options. Or enjoy the people watching. Once you have eaten your way through the market, head back to the nearby Iberostar Las Letras Gran Vía for some rest and relaxation before gearing back up to go witness the countless sights of the Spanish capital.
Platea, a gourmet food hall located in the Plaza de Colón, is all about the experience. Spread out over many floors, Platea boasts three Michelin-starred chefs, Asian cuisine, tapas, a cocktail bar, concert stage, DJs and dance club. In the food market customers can buy local produce as well as exotic fruits and vegetables from around the world. Platea is an event. Go for Spanish style tapas with friends or enjoy a mixed drink of your preference after visiting the National Archaeology Museum or the Serrano street shops nearby.
San Antón (Madrid)
Situated in the heart of the trendy Chueca neighborhood, the San Anton Market is a forward-thinking three-story food paradise with a focus on sustainability. San Anton is delineated by floors: the first floor is for fresh ingredients, the second floor has a variety of food stalls featuring different types of cuisine, and the third floor is home to a restaurant. There are stalls featuring Greek and Japanese food along with modern takes on Spanish dishes. The rooftop bar is perfect for drinks while taking in views of the charming neighborhood.
A pleasant walk down La Rambla from the Iberostar Selection Paseo de Gracia, La Boquería market in Barcelona is a classic stop for visitors. The place is historic; the origins of the market begin in the 1200s. Nowadays, La Boquería is a sprawling indoor complex with food vendors that sell everything: fruit, vegetables, seafood, meat and anything else to satisfy your gastronomic desires. There are also restaurants inside for travelers looking for a sit-down meal. Pro tip: most fruit vendors will sell you fresh fruit juice, a perfect pick-me-up while exploring the market.
Situated in the Ribera neighborhood, the Mercat del Born adds a splash of history to the Barcelona market experience. The market is known for its architecture; the building was constructed using cast-iron and set off a trend in markets across Barcelona. El Born is also a place of cultural importance. Visitors can walk above and around the old city ruins from the 1700s. This market is perfect for the curious traveler who wants to learn more about Barcelona and its history.
San Juan (Palma, Majorca)
Even on blustery winter evenings, the San Juan Gastronomic Market in Palma Majorca is bustling with locals and tourists alike. Although the beautiful building in which the market is housed is antiquated, the market is new and has been open for just over two years. And even though the market is located on an island in the Mediterranean, the stalls inside offer cuisine from around the world. Besides the typical Spanish fare that focuses on seafood and meats, there are Japanese, Thai and Italian stalls as well. Just a 15-min car ride from Iberostar Grand Portals Nous, San Jaume is the perfect trendy lunch stop that matches the luxury of your accommodations.
A must-see stop on any trip to Malaga. Atarazanas, which means “shipyard” in Arabic, is the gastronomic hub in the city. Although the waters of the Mediterranean no longer reach this building, this old shipyard is being put to good use. Inside you will find all the eatable treasures of Andalusia: fish and shellfish; fruits and vegetables; and meats and cheeses. The building is also known for its architectural style. The entrance is one of the original Moorish-style arches. The rest of the building was completed in the same style but with iron, adding a modern sensibility to the old shipyard. Make sure to look up while you are walking around the Atarazanas to see the stained-glass windows and gorgeous metal structures!
The Merced market is another place to try while visiting Malaga. This market caters to a trendy, gourmand clientele and was recently reopened after some revamping. While there are traditional food vendors here, the focus is also on the eating experience. Quality food and service is a staple of Merced, and the goal is to get both local and tourist foodies to come in and stay awhile. If you are looking for some of the best quality “bites” that a market can offer, Merced is the place to go in Malaga.
Sábila Gourmet Market (Tenerife)
The Sábila Gourmet Market is the fashionable place-to-go for a market experience in Tenerife. Sábila checks all the boxes for any foodie. There are the traditional stalls for Spanish Charcuterie and local Canarian cheeses in addition to grilled meats and whatever is freshly caught from the ocean. Not to be missed is the vendor that serves up traditional sushi, Thai steamed buns and Chinese dumplings. The cocktail bar features vermouth, wine, beer, or whatever classic cocktail you prefer while on vacation.