Yatai Market: Asian Street Food in the City Center
Move over San Miguel and San Antón—there’s a new kind of market in town.
Let the buzzing neon signs and colorful lights lure you in to the latest addition to Madrid’s foodie scene, the new mecca of an increasingly trendy culinary genre: Asian street food.
Located just off Plaza de Tirso de Molina, Cortezo Yatai Market unites several different vendors under one roof, letting diners sample all the greatest hits of East Asian comida callejera. It preserves the essence of the street food experience, with an atmosphere that’s both casual and chaotic, laidback and lively. Its creative concept combines the shareable dishes, miniature portions, and social atmosphere of Spanish tapas culture with the flavorful flair of Asian fusion cuisine.
Various vendors are arranged around the perimeter of a large room, with high top tables and stools in the center. There’s a bar in the back offering beer, wine, and cocktails—but if you want something a little more exotic, try a can of tamarind soda or coconut water.
Once you’ve got a drink in your hand, take a few minutes to wander around and explore your options (there are plenty). At HOTBAO you can take your pick from a variety of stuffed bao buns and several kinds of dimsum.
Right next door, Funky Chen offers pad Thai, noodles, and rice topped with everything from veggies to duck to soft-shell crab.
On the other side of the room, colorful curries tempt customers to the counter of Asia Cañi. Don’t forget to try one of their rolls, with creative fillings like ceviche de chicharrones and cocido madrileño (yes, you read that right).
To the right of Asia Cañi you’ll find Le Japonais, offering sushi, nigiri, maki, and poke bowls. To the left, there’s Ramen Suk, with steaming noodles that are a far cry from the powdered soup you might be picturing.
Before you make any decisions, don’t forget to check out Smok Mok, tucked away in the market’s smaller and quieter back room. It may be set apart from the main area, but with everything from vegan options to smoked Japanese BBQ meatballs—and the only dessert on offer at the market—you definitely don’t want to miss it.
The best thing about Yatai Market? It’s got something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a hearty bowl of curry to warm the soul or you want to sample several smaller dishes, you can design your dinner (or lunch) experience to match your mood.
Not to mention the fact that prices are more than reasonable: you can get a roll or dimsum for as little as €1 or a bao for €4. Larger dishes range from €6 to €14. Asia Cañi even offers combo meals that include 2 rolls, curry, rice, and a drink for just €9.
If you’re in the mood for something different than the same old neighborhood bar or quiet café, this is the place for you. With the spirit of a classic Madrid market, the hipster vibes of a Malasaña pop-up, and the exotic flavors of a faraway continent, Yatai Market should be at the top of your list.