For lunch we recommend going to Mercado de San Miguel, which we're certain you'll love. This old renovated market preserves the philosophy of the "stalls", according to which each establishment specialises in a certain kind of food. Although during the week it's popular with tourists at lunchtime, at night and on the weekend locals flock here for the good atmosphere and great food.
You can sit at the counters to eat, though usually there is little room and nowhere to sit. It's better to make the effort and find a table in the centre to use as your "base of operations": one person waits at the table while the other goes and gets the food.
Here are some of the stalls worth trying (total bill will be around 20-25€ person):
- Start at Vermut with a glass of vermouth (1.50€) and a plate of olives (2€).
- Then move on to Ostras. Try the Daniel Orlut oyster special (2.40€). The oysters are tender and meaty with an intense taste.
- At Alacena de Víctor Montes try the small cuttlefish croquettes (croquetas de chipirones) for 1.50€, are delicious.
- Refill your wine glass at Despacho de Vino. We recommend the aged Cune (red) (3€) and the Verdejo de Rueda (white) (3€).
- Now head over to Casa del Bacalao (Salazones), where for 1€ you can taste different fish-based bar snacks. We recommend the following "montaditos" (little sandwiches): small cuttlefish cooked in their own ink with brown rice, smoked salmon and Northern tuna.
- Finally, order a plate of "gambas rojas" (red shrimp) (17€) at Pescado Original (Marisco), or the "gambón a la plancha" (large grilled shrimp) (12€) if they're out of the red shrimp.
At this market you can also buy olive oil, wine and spices to take home.