Lavapiés and its Market: the real food emporium!

Lavapiés market de san fernando by Naked Madrid

Grab a round of imported German beers at wholesale price, share a bottle of local Spanish wine for as little as 2€ (bottled and corked right before your eyes), and all the while, snack on kalamata olivesmanchego cheese or even sushi. How nice does that sound?

Madrid’s Mercado de San Fernando, or “el mercado de Lavapiés”, as it is more commonly known, is a vibrant indoor market where bars selling imported German beers, local Spanish wines, Italian breads, sushi, homemade Greek food, oysters and much, much more are nestled in right alongside the cobbler, grocer and butcher.

Mercado de San Fernando, Lavapiés, by Naked Madrid

Local Spanish wines for less than 5E , bottled and corked right before your eyes. Makes for a perfect gift.

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Greek Kalamata Olives, my favorite

As in all big cities, neighborhoods go in and out of style as fast as Zara’s storefronts. Madrid is no exception. Once considered a dodgier side of town, Lavapies is fast becoming the city’s newest nightlife destination, attracting Madrid’s trendiest young hipster crowds. Great restaurants and bars, from urban chic to authentic Moroccan, are interspersed within the demographic makeup of the neighborhood. And the prices are still modest in comparison to other hotspots like Malasaña and Chueca.

Mercado de San Fernando, Lavapiés, by Naked Madrid

Colorful handmade leather goods

All neighborhoods of Madrid have their local markets. Many, especially in the more upscale areas, have been refurbished and turned into fashionable displays of Spain’s haute cuisine, such as Mercado de San Miguel and Mercado de San Anton. But in 2012, Mercado de San Fernando — el mercado de Lavapiés — decided to reinvent itself making it more reflective of the eclectic tastes of its host neighborhood. Unlike the others, Lavapiés’ market has managed to embrace the new while maintaining its laid-back, local and traditional essence.

Mercado de San Fernando, Lavapiés, by Naked Madrid

the old-fashioned Bar Barroso isn’t going anywhere!

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the “ecological” fruit seller

The streets of Lavapiés are lined with Indian restaurants, hipster cafés and independent boutiques, and its market is just as diverse as all the small alleys and plazuelas surrounding it. Here you will find a wonderful mix of traditional Spanish shops and foreign options. The fruit-seller and the good old Bar Barroso blend happily together with the higher-end oyster/wine bar, Bond 40, and the stylish leather handbag maker.

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Cocktails and oysters

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oyster bar and butcher shop sit side by side

When I first went to Mercado de San Fernando, it was by chance. I was walking up Calle Embajadores and stumbled upon a rather austere building with a grey facade. Little did I know that I was about to slip through the market’s winding aisles to discover stands selling quiches and empanadas, as well as full bars crowded with patrons from all walks of life–families with children, the older generation, groups of hipsters, foreigners and locals alike.

Mercado de San Fernando, Lavapiés, by Naked Madrid

Homemade food from quiche to meatballs

Mercado de San Fernando, Lavapiés, by Naked Madrid

Sushi!

I like to start off by browsing through the market’s many stands, and graze a bit before I settle down at the German bar for an imported beer. Then I head over to the Greek’s for dinner–moussaka, kalamata olives, feta cheese and spinach pie. It just doesn’t get any better than that. For me, that is. For you, who knows?

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irresistible Greek food

Though the possibilities are endless when it comes to food, here you can expect, above all, a great ambience. Judging from the live music and boisterous company I experienced the last time I went, it’s safe to say that the word is out.Naked Madrid

Oysters, clams and pimientos de padron

Mercado de San Fernando, Lavapiés, by Naked Madrid

bread and empanadas… mmmm

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the quintessential Spanish butcher

While I think the monthly Mercado de Motores is Madrid’s “coolest” market, Mercado de San Fernando is much different. This one’s open every day and it’s totally unexpected!

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Spanish-style treats and snacks

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Mercado de San Fernando/Lavapiés’ facade on calle Embajadores, 41

Plus, on Sundays they throw different events, such as Swing Dancing and Salsa Lessons (free…)!

Information:

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Metro: Embajadores/Lavapiés (yellow line 3)
Address: C/ Embajadores, 41
Email: mercadosanfernandomadrid@gmail.com

Schedule:

  • Mon: Fri: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Sat: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Sun: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
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