on the market.

20 Jun

On Thursday, I took my aunt and uncle to Madrid’s “Mercado de San Miguel” to browse through the ornate displays and cool off from the insane Spanish summer heat with a cute glass of (amazingly delicious) sangria. The Mercado de San Miguel located right by the Plaza Mayor is a pretty high-end take on a typical European market: it isn’t gargantuan, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in diversity. The market features tons of different shops: from meat, fish, and fruit to the more innovative candy, frozen yogurt, and even a taco stand! We snapped some photos, enjoyed our sangria, and appreciated the architecture. I promised my aunt that this was nothing compared to Barcelona’s La Boqueria, and that we’d be able to compare the two the following day in Barcelona!

my aunt and i outside the mercado de san miguel.

the entrance.

my uncle and i outside the mercado de san miguel.

produce at the mercado de san miguel.

que dulce.

super refreshing sangria and olives 🙂

Barcelona’s La Boqueria is amazing – it is unbelievably big. While the Mercado de San Miguel features many unique vendors, La Boqueria is more traditional, with most of the stands offering fresh fruit and fruit juices, meat, eggs, vegetables, and Spanish tapas. We popped in here twice during our short time in Barcelona, and each time we picked up an all-natural fruit juice (1,50 euro each). I enjoyed one of Papaya + Coconut on Friday, and selected a Raspberry + Coconut on Saturday. (The one with the papaya was the clear winner for me). The selection and quality of the fruit here, as well as the prices, is really something to marvel at, and the colors of everything on display border on magical.

the entrance from las ramblas.

fruit + candies.

zumos galore.

the papaya + coconut was amazing.

note the variety (and the prices!)

While the markets are different, each is delightful in it’s own way and has something different to offer the tourist (or the Spanish regular). If you visit either Madrid or Barcelona in the near future, I’d definitely recommend building both markets into your stay and sampling food or drinks at both. Markets like these are one key thing the United States trails Europe on – even the most exquisite farmer’s markets in California pale in comparison to these mercados…but you’ll have to see for yourself!

Do you have a favorite market in Europe? What’s your favorite thing to buy there? What about a favorite market or farmer’s market in the United States?

5 Responses to “on the market.”

  1. Kaley June 20, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    I love them both! At Mercado de San Miguel, you can get free samples of frozen yogurt…yum!

    • gillian June 20, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      Thanks! I’ve been by that stand numerous times but have never gotten a free sample – although did get a sample once of a dried raspberry, and that was delicious 🙂

  2. Suzy June 21, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    I have that same juice picture! I loved Barcelona’s La Boqueria. On a hot August day, those juices are so refreshing. I can’t remember what I tried, but I remember walking into the market and being so amazed by its size. You could certainly get lost for hours there and probably put on a few pounds too.

    • gillian June 21, 2011 at 11:25 am #

      It is pretty mesmerizing walking around in those markets 🙂 Thanks so much for the comment!


  1. destination: madrid. « That's G - June 25, 2011

    […] Plaza Mayor. Essentially every Spanish city has a “Plaza Mayor” which is basically a large, quadratic Plaza where official proceedings and bull fights used to take place. Madrid’s is a stunning reddish brown with intricate artwork on one side. Metro Sol, located off Calle Mayor. I’d recommend walking around here and soaking in the experience, and the heading two the Mercado de San Miguel next door for some sangria. […]

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