– So guys, you’re coming to Madrid, and you’ve heard about
the San Miguel Market, or the Mercado De San
Miguel, and you’re like should I visit there, what
is it, what’s it all about? When I get there, what do I do, what do I eat, what do I drink? Well today, this is what
this video’s all about. This market right behind
me in the center of Madrid is famous, millions visit every year. And it’s all about eating and drinking. People come here to eat tapas,
drink wine, the whole bit. But here’s the thing, once you get inside, there is so much choice, there
are so many stalls in there. And at peak times, there’s so many people. So today, this video is
all about telling you what to eat and what not to eat inside the Mercado De San Miguel. So (foreign language), let’s go. (smooth music) Hey Spain lovers, I’m James Blick, and welcome to Spain Revealed. This channel’s all
about how we eat, drink, live and love in this
wonderful country called Spain. So the Mercado De San
Miguel, it’s right here in the center of Madrid,
right where the Plaza Mayor, and there’s so many questions
that people have about it. Should I visit it, is it a
tourist trap, is it overpriced? I’m gonna answer all
those questions today. We’re gonna go inside,
and I’m gonna take you to some of my favorite
stalls, and I’m also gonna try out some places I
haven’t tried before with you, and see how they stack
up, and give you my really honest opinion about this place. Let’s get in there and start eating. All right it’s just about
10:30 in the morning, the market opens at 10 A.M.,
let’s head to our first stop which hey, it’s alcoholic,
but you’re on holiday, so it’s okay, and it’s Spain. So on of the places I
always make sure I stop is La Hora Del Vermut,
which is a classic aperitif here in Madrid and other parts of Spain that we drink to open our appetite. So I’ve got, these guys
do great vermouths on tap. They have a number of different ones, one from Madrid, one from
other parts of Spain, and they also give it with a banderilla, which is effectively
delicious pickled things, olives, anchovies, all these
other wonderful things, peppers on little skewers. Vermouth, it’s bitter, it’s
sweet, and you can get them on tap in bars all over Madrid. I love La Hora Del Vermut,
and here they do them with these amazing banderillas,
so this one I’ve got here has got an olive, it’s
go a pickled pepper, it’s got an anchovy,
it’s got a red pepper, it’s go a quail egg,
and I always try and see if I can get it in one
bite, no I don’t, two bites, is what I try and do. Sharp, vinegary, wonderful. Here’s this other one I’ve got. Olive, pickled peppers, sun dried tomato, and a salt cured anchovy. This is called a gilda, and it’s a famous type of
skewer that’s actually invented in the Basque Country in San Sebastian. What I love about that one, is it’s got a bit of a heat as well from the pickled pepper, and
when you order your skewers from this place, they will
serve them with some olives. These are called campo real olives, and they’re local to Madrid,
and they’re really herbal, and they’re wonderful,
covered in thyme and rosemary, and the marinade, so good. So also, one of the great
things about the market here is you can walk around with your drink. So you can get your vermouth here, maybe have your olives, and
then you can grab your drink and just walk to another
stall, order more, whatever you wanna do, so we’re gonna go for a little walk with my vermouth. Before we hit more stalls, I wanna answer some really key questions
about this market that often people ask. One, is it a traditional market? Two, is it touristy, and three, when is the best time to come? All right, let’s go for a vermouth wander, and I’ll answer those questions. So question number one, is
this a traditional market? No it’s not, in the sense
you might be thinking on. This is, as I say, more
of a gourmet food hall. So the places where people
shop for their groceries, those kind of traditional
markets, there’s plenty of those in Madrid, and they’re
wonderful places to visit. And at the end of the
video, I’m gonna give you some names of them that you can visit. Because it’s a different thing. Question number to, is the
Mercado De San Miguel touristy? Well look, it’s right by the Plaza Mayor. It’s right in the center of Madrid. And it’s a place where you can
try so many different foods from all over Spain, so
of course it’s a place that tourists are gonna come to when they’re visiting the
capital, it just makes sense. And question three, when is the best time to visit the market? Well look, it’s about quarter to 11 on a Saturday morning here. It’s getting busier, I was
speaking to one of the guys who worked at the vermouth place, and he told me that the real busy times are from about midday till about 3 P.M. And then again from about
sort of 7:30, 8 P.M. until about 10:30 P.M.,
so those are really the really busy times,
where you kind of have to struggle a little bit maybe, to get to that vermouth counter, or get to the food that you want. The market’s open from
10 A.M. in the morning, right through till midnight
or even later on the weekends. All right, we need to keep eating. Okay, next stop, cheese. Something that you obviously
have to eat here in Spain. And Mya Quesos is a stall here that does individual portions of cheese. And they have a really great selection. They’ve got cheeses from throughout Spain. I’ve got here manchego,
I’ve got blue cheese from the north of Spain, big chunks, and I’ve got a goat’s
cheese, you can always tell. Because they’re very white from Madrid. Now that’s €1.80 per slice of cheese. And that raises another
question you might be thinking. Well is the Mercado De San
Miguel really expensive? Well look, well yeah,
there are cheaper ways to buy this cheese, but
the fact is you’re paying for the ease of being able to come here, order individual slices, and
they’re big chunky slices, and you’re right in the center of Madrid. So in the Mercado De San Miguel, sometimes you’re gonna
pay a little bit more but that’s just the nature of the beast, the nature of this kind of place. All right, I’m gonna try this cheese. Everybody when they come to Spain wants to try manchego and I understand. This is a good one, and
I love it when cheese is cut big and thick, really delicious. Goat cheese. I’m a huge goat cheese
fan, that’s really good. And perfect temperature as well. The blue, from the north of Spain. Wow, strong, really strong. And who says France is the only country that does blue cheese? Really, really good. All right, let’s keep moving
on, we’ve got more food to try. So next up, is bacalao. La Casa Del Bacalao, is you
can buy it in these little tapas sizes which are
delicious, really easy to eat. They don’t just have bacalao,
they also have anchovies, octopus, I’ve got smoked
sardine, and also bacalao. And so it’s a great place to try that dish you’ve heard a lot about
here, without ordering a huge meal of bacalao in a restaurant. So a euro, a €1.50 for some of these, which I think is a pretty good deal. All right, so let’s try it. We’ll start with the
bacalao (foreign language), which is with tomato and vegetables. Bacalao has its own unique taste. It’s a little bit fishy,
it’s a little bit salty. But that’s been really nicely done. Sometimes when it’s not desalted enough, it can be too salty, but this
has been desalted perfectly. Now I’m gonna go for one of my
favorite things in the world which is smoked fish, smoked sardine. Really, really good, and one
of the things I love about that is smoked sardines are really expensive when you go and buy them in
big jars in the supermarket. So this is a great way to get it without buying the full jar. So the Casa Del Bacalao is
another place I recommend here in the market that you check out. Okay, so three cold tapas down. It’s time for a glass of wine. There’s a place here called Mr Pinkerton. It’s a wine bar, and despite the very un-Spanish sounding name, it’s legit, and they have a great selection of wines. And again, like the vermouth
you can order your wine at Mr Pinkerton and then walk
around and order more food. So let’s grab some wine,
and then we’ll keep eating. So, a glass of albarino
at Mr Pinkerton, €3.50. So not a bad price, I’m
sure you can get it cheaper. But again, not crazy,
and what I quite like about this place is they have a really good selection of wine. You can go from you know,
some everyday drinking stuff right up to some really, really
classy bottles and glasses. But one thing that also
is cool about this place is they have an excellent
selection of sherries. Now when people think sherry,
they think of sweet wine. But remember most sherries are dry. They can only be made in Spain. If you wanted to try
some dry Spanish sherry, or some sweet stuff, then this is also a great place to do that. All right, I’m gonna sip my wine and then we’re gonna keep eating. Okay so I’ve just ordered
my (foreign language) my fried anchovies, and
I’ve come over to a corner of the market, it’s a little quieter, to film this, also because I didn’t want to talk about it in front
of the people there. Because man, it was expensive. I was not expecting that. As I say, I haven’t eaten cooked
food in this market before. So, €14 for this (foreign language), this plate plate of fried anchovies. Now, to give you some context, I know at Casa Tony, a place I love, they’re about 6.50, €7, half the price. Obviously the rent is crazy
high here and things like that. But just to give you an idea, if you want to get fried
anchovies at that place, you’re gonna pay a lot
more than you would, maybe at a traditional Madrid tapas bar. Okay, so we know they’re more expensive, but are they better? Let’s try one. They’re okay. The fish is obviously very fresh. It’s a good (foreign
language), it’s a good anchovy. It’s meaty, but it’s a bit
chewy, and it’s not very crunchy. And here’s the rub, is
that they were not cooked fresh to order for me. So what happened is they
were served as you’ll see, out of the warmer, so
they’ve probably been fried maybe five, 10 minutes beforehand. So you know, you’re paying more, and you’re not necessarily
getting them fresh to order. Now obviously if you ordered them straight as they’d come out, that
would be a different story. Just kind of a pity, it
tastes like the quality is really good, great
seafood, great produce, great battering and everything,
but just kind of let down because of the way it has to
be served, not cooked to order. On the other hand, I told
the guy I was a YouTuber, and he served me some squid tentacles that he’d just battered
and fried in the moment. And he put those on my plate as well. And I’ve just tried one of
those, and it was delicious. The batter was perfect,
the meat of the squid was really tender, so if
you can them lucky enough, to come right out of the fryer then they’re really, really good, but still more expensive. Although one thing that’s interesting, is that you can order a mixture. So you can order a little bit of calamari, you can order a little
bit of fried anchovies, you can order a little
bit of squid, for example. And then you’ll still pay a similar price, and here about €16. So, second lot of cooked tapas. I’m at a place called Arzabal. This place is a tapas bar in the Ibiza neighborhood of Madrid. And so they’ve opened a
couple stalls here, actually. They have one at this end
which is with cooked tapas, cooked (foreign language),
you know I’ve ordered some patatas bravas, and after
the fried anchovies shock, the prices here are actually not too bad. €7 for some bravas, yeah
you can get them cheaper, but that’s not crazy at all. And while I wait for the patatas bravas, it’s a good moment actually,
to just kind of recap on a couple of things I’ve overheard, or heard while I’ve been
in the market so far. I was walking past a bunch
of people just before, and one of them said to his friend, “the one in Barcelona is much bigger”. So obviously, he was referring
to the (foreign language). Now, it’s interesting that
people group these two together but they’re very different things. The (foreign language)
is a traditional market. It has just become such a
popular tourist destination. But it still functions
as a traditional market. The Mercado De San Miguel
is not a traditional market as I said earlier, it’s
a gourmet food hall, a gourmet tapas hall, so they’re
two very different things. So don’t kind of group them together. All right, just swinging
around, the other thing is two people just came up to me who were fans of the YouTube channel, and they made a really comment. They’ve obviously seen the
channel, they’ve explored, they’ve been to places beyond
the Mercado De San Miguel. They said they love it here. So I thought that was really interesting. They’re people who have
watched a lot of the videos, they’ve explored, they’ve gone deeper, they’ve gone to tapas bars
that are in the neighborhoods and things like that, they
still like this place. They still enjoy it, and I
think that’s why it’s wrong to say that you should avoid
the Mercado De San Miguel. Yeah, it’s gonna be a little
bit more expensive at times. Depends on the stall,
but it’s a great place to get your sea legs, a
great place to come first, a great place to walk
around with a glass of wine, get exposed to so many different types of Spanish food in one place. But just know that it’s the
beginning of your adventure eating in Madrid, not the end of it. Okay, so the bravas have come now. Very different experience
from the fried fish. These were cooked to order, so I waited about 10 minutes for them. So that’s a good sign, and a good serving. A good serving size, a
(foreign language) size. So it wasn’t like I spent
€7 and got a tiny portion. Let’s try them, let’s
see what they’re like. I’m actually surprised,
I thought they were gonna be a lot better, freshly cooked. The sauce just isn’t very nice. It’s kind of, it’s not
sort of really spicy, it’s a bit watery, so pretty average. But I actually don’t
think that necessarily has anything to do with
the Mercado De San Miguel. If you go to (foreign
language) their bar in Ibiza, it’s possibly the exact same recipe. Everything’s exactly the same. So, they’re a legitimate bravas. I just don’t like the style,
I don’t think they’re great. All right, next I want
to talk to you about the pintxos, those little things on bread that you’ll see down the
other end of the market. Because those are really
popular with people, and I kind of want to
help you understand them. So let’s head there. So one style of tapas you’re gonna see a lot of here in the market are pintxos, those are those things on
bread, kind of like this guy excuse the napkin, (laughs)
where they’re a style of tapas as you’ll know if you’ve
been watching this channel for a while, from the north
of Spain, particularly from the Basque Country, and
it’s a really popular option here in the market because
it’s really easy to serve and to eat on the run, when you’re getting your central table, and
you can get a whole bunch of different yummy things on top of bread. So you’ll see multiple
different stalls serving them. A few that are more
focused on that purely. Now, my only suggestion with that is I would say, stick to
pintxos that don’t need to be reheated, because
sometimes they will here, put them in the microwave. I would actually prefer to eat it lukewarm or room temperature than to have it go through the microwave. So I would focus on things,
seafood, ham, cheese, in this case I have anchovies, boiled egg, and little chopped up
onion by the looks of it, and a little bit garlic alioli on top. Let’s see how it is. Really, really delicious actually. That was really, really good. Perfectly garlicky alioli
there, it’s got the onion with some nice bite, the anchovy. So that was excellent. That was actually from a
place that’s right behind me, Amaiketako, which has a
lot of different canned and preserved products from
the northern parts of Spain. And they have this other
one which is an artichoke and it has like, ham on the top, or something like this,
and what was interesting is that they didn’t microwave this. They had it heated up,
they put it under a grill. So much better, it’s good
to see that happening. That was really good, I
know I’m frowning a lot. But I’m not intending
to, that was delicious. That was an artichoke that had been served on a plastic spoon, sitting
in beautiful olive oil and with little bits of,
tastes like little pieces of Iberian ham on the
top, really, really yummy. And again, they heated
it up, not in a microwave but under the grill,
and you didn’t even have to do that, I think
you could have eaten it just at room temperature as well. It would have been delicious. So again, that’s my tip for pintxos. Stick to the ones that
don’t need to be heated up. Okay, one of the most popular
stalls here in the market is the paella stall, called Paella Power. It’s kind of a (foreign language) name. But the paellas looked great. This one, it’s actually
headed by a Michelin star chef called Rodrigo de la Calle, and as I say, they look pretty good,
and they look authentic, and they’re being served and
made in the moment there, just on propr ring grills,
as a paella should be. And every 10, 15 minutes,
they come out with a new one. And I guess what’s important
about paella to know, is that unlike fried fish,
it’s been sitting there for 10, 15 minutes, that’s fine. You know, leaving it better with flavor. So I’m gonna try it, and I’ve got it here. Hot, actually it’s not
bad, it’s full of flavor. You can really taste
the rosemary in there. It’s got that (foreign
language), it’s got the chicken, it’s got the beans,
it’s good, it’s not bad. The rice is a little bit
crunchy, a little bit al dente, as it should be, you can
tell that they’ve been making them really quickly. So the stock hasn’t quite integrated. But the stock is almost
a little bit overpowering for a paella that’s kind of fast food and made that quickly,
I think that’s actually, yeah, pretty legit, pretty legit. I’m gonna give that one a pass. €10 for this plate, so
again, it’s expensive, but it’s a legitimate, and and I’m glad they’re doing legitimate paella here. And again, the other thing also, is that if you go to a restaurant, you might have to order an entire paella if you want to try it,
because if you only want to order a small portion,
it may be pretty bad in a typical restaurant
because it’s not made for you. So I think if you want just
a single portion of paella, well then you’re gonna pay
a little bit of a premium, this is actually a pretty
good place to try it. Good work, Rodrigo de la Calle. Why can’t I say the name
(tries to say Rodrigo)? It’s so hard, can you say that at home? Can you give me any tips
for saying it properly? (tries to say Rodrigo) I think it’s the D and the R. I can say (foreign language), that’s easy. All right, moving on. Okay, so I have stuffed
myself with savory dishes. It’s come time for dessert. Now there’s a couple of options here for sweets in the market,
there’s the Horno de Sano Fre, which is a pastry shop, bakery, that’s been running in Madrid, they have a few branches
around the capital. But I wanted to go with
something a little different, and that’s a new stall,
and that’s Rocambolesc. Rocambolesc is an ice
cream parlor, gelateria, that’s been created by Jordi
Roca, who’s a very, very famous pastry chef, and Michelin starred pastry and dessert chef, and he has this place. They have one in Barcelona as well. And this is like the Madrid grand shop at here in the market. Now I’m not a huge sweets person. I’m not a huge ice cream person either. But I’m gonna try it
and see what it’s like. Yeah, it’s good, it’s a good ice cream. I mean, it’s been a long time
since I’ve had ice cream. But that’s quite good, it’s
creamy, it’s not too sweet. That’s great, and actually,
I think it’s a gelato. It’s not an ice cream, so as
you can see, out of my idea. But in terms of a white, ice
creamy, gelato-y dessert, that is delicious, it’s
got some toppings on there that she recommended, there was some chocolate brownie on top, there’s
some caramel crunchy bits. They’ve got some crazier ones there. They’ve also got a chocolate flavor. So if you feel like something
really cool and refreshing and sweet and the end of your adventure here in the Mercado De San Miguel, I think that’s a totally,
a fantastic choice. So guys if you’re looking
for traditional markets, as I say, the Mercado De San Miguel is more of a gourmet food hall, then check out the description below. And I’ve put the names of
some traditional markets including the Mercado de Anton Martin, which is a fantastic traditional market. But I actually made a video
on about exploring that, all the different stalls,
and you’ll really see the difference from this place, so I’ll link to that video below. The other thing, if you wanna
eat tapas here in Madrid, or Barcelona, Seville, or San Sebastian, also below I will link
to my free tapas guide that lists five of my favorite tapas bars in each of those four
cities, Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and San Sebastian. Download it for free, check it out, and that will really help you explore and eat really well in those
different parts of Spain. And last of all, in the link below, a playlist so you can eat
like a local in Madrid, and keep eating, and go beyond
the Mercado De San Miguel. It’s a great place to start, great place to get your sea
legs, but there’s so much more. So I’ll put all that information below so you can explore more,
great to see you guys today. (foreign language) And we’ll
see you in the next video. (foreign language)