It’s no surprise that Madrid is already known for lots of fascinating things, and you can surely add the markets to that list. People from around the world come to the city to experience the gastronomic culture, and one of the best ways to do this is by visiting the markets! There, you can find different types of cuisine and the finest artisan-crafted foods all in one place. Not to mention, some of the markets are very aesthetically decorated, so you can enjoy your meal with a beautiful view.

If you’re ever feeling hungry, forget chain restaurants – make your way to the markets. It’s an adventure just to go out and explore the unique food culture Madrid has to offer. You’ll be sure to try some foods you’ve never had before in your life!

San Miguel Market

San Miguel | Cindy Vu

Right next to Plaza Mayor is one of the most famous markets in Madrid. San Miguel – which opened more than 100 years ago – offers a variety of unique seafood, cheeses, wine, and much more. One of the most surprising seafood I saw here was ​el rape, anglerfish, which I didn’t even know could be eaten. There are also pub areas where you can enjoy your drinks and tapas. It can get pretty crowded, but it all adds to the experience at San Miguel.

San Miguel Market. Plaza de San Miguel, Madrid 28005; Sun-Thurs: 10am – Midnight; Fri & Sat: 10am – 1am; http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/

Mercado de la Cebada

Mercado de la Cebada | Cindy Vu

Unlike other markets that have modernized to be​ hipster and trendy​, Mercado de la Cebada has stayed true to Madrid food culture. Here, you can find local people selling fresh and local food. There’s plenty of seafood and meats to choose from among different stalls. The great thing about this market is that it’s much more traditional than other markets, so you can expect less tourists, but you’ll still find a blend of old and new tastes.

Mercado de la Cebada. Plaza de la Cebada, Madrid 28005; Mon-Fri: 9am-2pm / 5:30pm-8:30pm; Sat: 9am-6pm; First sunday of every month: 11am-5pm; http://www.mercadodelacebada.com/

Antón Martín Market

Anton Martin | Cindy Vu

Antón Martín is another market that has maintained its traditional theme. Not only are there plenty of cuisines, organic produce, and meats, but there are also vendors that sell shoes, clothing, flowers, and silverware. Here, I noticed that there were a lot more Asian cuisines than other markets. I had some amazing ramen served by Japanese people, so you know it’s the real deal. With such amazing diversity of authentic food from many different cultures, I would come back here to get a taste from another place.

Antón Martín Market. Calle Santa Isabel, 5 Madrid 28012; Mon-Fri: 9am-9pm; Sat: 9am-3pm; http://www.mercadoantonmartin.com

San Ildefonso Market

San Idelfonso | Cindy Vu

San Ildefonso has transformed the definition of​ market and has stepped it up to another level. Rather than buying meats and foods to bring home and cook, San Ildefonso is a market for eating on the go, or casually dining with a drink or two. From coffee and crepes to gourmet burgers and seafood, this market has a great mix of anything you’re looking for. The creative interior design for this place surely stands out, which attracts people who love taking photos of spots that are aesthetically pleasing. There’s also a terrace with nature décor, representing simplicity and creativity.

San Ildefonso Market. Calle Fuencarral, 57 Madrid 28004; Sun-Thurs: 12pm-12am; Fri & Sat: 12pm-1am; http://www.mercadodesanildefonso.com/

San Antón Market

San Antón | Cindy Vu

San Antón has three floors of various foods and vendors, many of which sell organic and artisan-crafted goods to enjoy. The ground floor is a supermarket, while the first floor sells foods you can take home and cook, such as fresh fruit and vegetables and all sorts of meats. My favorite thing about this market is the top floor, which is a rooftop terrace where you can enjoy your meal with a gorgeous view of Chueca. You don’t have to pay a crazy amount of money for fine dining with a view. Instead, head over to San Antón to get more bang for your buck, while still overlooking the city.

San Antón Market. Calle Augusto Figueroa, 24 Madrid 28004; Ground floor (supermarket): Mon-Sat 10am-10pm; 1st floor (market): Mon-Sat 10am-10pm; 2nd floor (tapas & fast food): Mon-Sat 10am-12am; 3rd floor (restaurant): Mon-Thurs 10am-12am, Fri-Sat 10pm-1:30am; http://www.mercadosananton.com/