Mercado de San Ildefonso
This relatively new addition to Madrid’s food market scene is on the edge of Malasaña, on the popular shopping street Fuencarral. Take a break from shopping and explore its three floors of food and drink stalls – the ideal place to refuel. There are 18 stalls and three bars across the floors, including a cosy outdoor patio. Stalls feature Spanish delicacies including octopus and seafood from Galicia and the beloved jamón ibérico, as well as international stalls selling everything from ceviche and tacos to hand-made pizzas.
This secondhand market, on the third Saturday of every month, is a great place to browse. Anyone can sign up to sell their stuff, so it has a flea market atmosphere; root around and you could stumble across some true hidden gems. The market is run by an association that promotes sustainability and recycling in today’s consumer-driven society.
Plaza 2 de Mayo market
Music lovers should head to the picturesque Plaza 2 de Mayo, where every weekend stalls pop up selling collectables including old records, film posters and music paraphernalia – an ideal spot to find some new additions to your music collection. Other stalls specialise in crafts and include handmade jewellery and clothing. Sink back into a chair at one of the surrounding bars after shopping and enjoy a well-earned beer while you soak up the atmosphere of the square.
Mercado de Barceló
Straddling the neighbourhoods of Malasaña and next-door Chueca is this local market, which has a much more authentic feel than some of the area’s newer food emporia. This is where madrileños come to shop and is a great place to pick up some wonderful Spanish ingredients, such as delicious jamón ibérico, olive oil and saffron (for your paella attempts back home). There’s a good mix of stalls, with everything from greengrocers and butchers to wine sellers and bakeries. A reasonable option if you want to buy some fresh produce.
Mercado de los Mostenses
One of the neighbourhood’s oldest markets, Mercado de los Mostenses was founded in 1946 and is the antithesis of the hip street-food markets popping up around the city. This is a local market, and has the cheap prices to match. Wandering around the market is like taking a tour of the world: Latin American stalls rub shoulders with Asian food stalls. Try Ecuadorian specialities and then sample some Chinese delicacies before buying some of the hottest chillies in the world at one of the fruit and veg stalls.