San Antón Market in Madrid
Yesterday afternoon it was a great day and we decided to go for a walk and visit the new Mercado de San Antón, in Chueca. The only thing I knew was that it had part of the shops and restaurants, such as the Mercado de San Miguel. And we wanted to know it and be able to see if it was a Mercado de San Miguel II or if we were facing something different.
The feeling that I have gotten has been positive. The main reason, precisely, is that keeping an air similar to the Mercado de San Miguel in this case we find a market that may have, and will have, a soul of its own. The main difference is that the Mercado de San Miguel was born being something similar to what we will find in the one in San Antón but that with the passage of time has derived into a place of pure tapas with some market stalls.
On the other hand, it differs in that in this case we may be facing a market less influenced by the area, less touristy than that of San Miguel. They also have a shopping center on the street level that can attract more customers willing to visit the most gourmet area of the market. Not to say that the shopping and tasting area are separated into floors, for me a success.
First floor of the San Antón Market: traditional and renovated market
On the first floor we find the typical market shops: the butcher shop, the delicatessen, the bakery, the fish shop, the frozen food shop. But they are not normal stalls, they are stores with a wide range of products, varied, different, of the highest quality and almost gourmet we could say.
The charcuterie captivated me. Meters and meters of cold cuts, with a great Italian representation. A careful display case with salmon, blinis, foie gras, sun-dried tomatoes in oil or minicalabacitas whetted the appetite. I don't know if it happens to you, but many times I go to a store and I don't see the product itself, in my mind I'm already thinking about what recipe to make with that food.
But the best is yet to come, the last part of the deli is dedicated to cheese. It is a sanctuary in yellow tones that makes you doubt and anxiety about all the cheeses you want to try and have not tasted yet. In addition, your assistant is charming and gives us suggestions on how to pair the cheese and recipes, which I will make you one later.
We continue our tour of the butcher shop, seeing the exotic meats of zebra, kangaroo or deer; We passed by the hamburger stand, Hamburguesas Nostra, which offers an interesting and very tasty burger offering that is worth knowing.
We see the greengrocer, with its great variety of mushrooms, we buy tulips, while we smell the aromatic herbs and we end up in the bakery, buying some Parisian-style buns, with good chocolate and butter. Goodbye to the summer operation and the strict diet.
Second floor of the San Antón Market: tasting
We then go up to the restaurant area located on the second floor of the San Antón Market. It is an area that surrounds the building, exposing the first floor, the traditional (and renovated) market area.
In this area we can find a large wine bar, a Greek food stall, another Italian that will open in the next few days, an oyster shop, a salting stall to combine with cider, a sushi shop to eat or take home, a stall of shakes and a cute pastry with muffins, cup cakes and portions of tempting cakes such as Red Velvet or chocolate.
It is a bet to combine tapas and the traditional market since if you look at most of the locals they have something to do with the market stalls. I mean something that becomes evident, the theme of each place.
Third floor of the San Antón Market: restaurant and drinks
Finally, an urban terrace on the top floor that will be a staple of Madrid's nightlife this summer. And it is that the plan feels like, eat something delicious and then a quiet drink on a roof.
On the terrace we can find a restaurant run by 5J that offers typical market cuisine, fresh and seasonal products. And not only that, there is also the possibility of buying the product in the market and the restaurant cooks it to your liking.
However, I have a but to the brand new Mercado de San Antón. I leave aside the architectural part, which has aroused many critical voices, as I have said before, it seems practical and functional, with a very cosmopolitan touch and that makes a lot of sense in a neighborhood that attracts many visitors from other areas of Madrid.
My complaint has to do with accessibility for people with reduced mobility. In terms of gastronomy, it is perfect (or almost) but on this subject it leaves much to be desired. It seems incredible to me that there is only one elevator for a market that has 3 floors, the street one and 3 more floors of parking. Dads with pushchairs, elderly people and people in wheelchairs be prepared to wait a few minutes to use it.