After our disastrous Sunday lunch attempt at the Mercado, we returned here on a late afternoon during the week. Wise choice – no crowds and you could actually see the food! Yes! One does eat with the eyes first, you know.
It’s actually and the ideal time to eat if you’re not keen for the late dining hours the Spanish tend to keep (restaurants start service at 20h30) as tapas can go a long way if you eat plenty of them.
Prices also appeared less ridiculous once you’ve come eye to eye with them, and the tapas were priced in the same range as at Platea Madrid (1 Euro – 3,50 Euro a pop on average). There is more seafood here, from paella to scallops, and of course, the usual beautiful array of jambon and other titbits.
Mercado de San Miguel seems to be the epitome of the tapas experience in Madrid, it’s situated close to the Plaza Mayor and it’s a beautiful building, but it’s usually flooded by tourists and there is little to no sitting space. To be honest, I enjoyed Platea much more for the spaciousness and atmosphere of the venue, and the feeling you got of not being rushed.
Note: Platea is only open for lunch, the Mercado is also opening in the evening, so my recommendation would be to start at the Platea, walk off your indulge between the two, and arrive just in time for dinner at the Mercado. J