There is no doubt that everyone loves lazy Sunday mornings when time drifts away in bed and the promise of a relaxing day lingers, but much is to be said about Saturday mornings. The day is young and awaits to be molded as we desire. Walking or driving through a big city has an almost magical quality on a Saturday morning. While clubbers recuperate from a long night out others are already on the move. The early morning joggers or spandex cyclers move freely around the traffic-free streets, seemingly feeling that the world is at peace. Crisp morning papers in hand as one enters a local cafeteria for a steaming cup of coffee and an early morning breakfast. Shop doors are still down but the local market is already on the move, setting up their stalls with fresh produce in an array of colors and smells. Just looking at them makes your imagination wonder. One of my favorite Saturday morning activities is going to the market with a long shopping list full of the goods needed for one of our spreads. As I shop I already start to envision the dish and my mouth starts to water. Due to its proximity to our home we usually shop at Mercado de la Paz at 28 Ayala Street but I do love Mercado de Chamartin at 9 Bolivia Street.
Mercado de la Paz
My favorite stalls to shop at Mercado de la Paz are Maestro Selección de Carnes where you can get high-quality meat from the US (rib-eyed steak), Argentina and of course national from Galicia among other destinations. The rib-eyed steak on the BBQ on a hot summer’s night after an afternoon of sun and pool is heavenly. Hamburguesa Nostra, with a wide array of flavors and very good buns. I don’t particularly like their sauces though. They used to carry my much beloved Stokes which is English which I highly recommend. La Vianda de Julian where they will ever so patiently knife grind your meat for steak tartare. La Boulette is a cheese store away from France where they sell excellent quality cheeses and hams. I am a particular fan of Comté 36 months, it is any mouse’s dream.
Mercado de Chamartin
This two-storey market is much bigger than the latter where you can pick up almost any produce. Raza Nostra has a very long counter space where you can buy all sorts of meats and right next to it is Hamburguesa Nostra, by the way, they are great on the grill. For fish I always head straight to Ernesto Prieto. Their tuna fish is spectacular for tartar. A nice cheese store is Bon Fromage although I have to admit I don’t regularly get my cheese there but when I have, it is good. For capons and pullets, Hermanos Gomez is the place to go. They stock both national and French breeds. In the center of the ground floor you will find Peña Delicatessen where they handle a carefully selected variety of canned and jarred goods such as Santoña anchovies and La Catedral de Navarra’s fabulous but very pricy fabada stew. The mi cuit at Alimentación Alonso is worth a try.
Over the past years I have become a true fan of local markets where you can find high quality products in a warm town-like environment. Who would think that you are smack in the center of Madrid? I have also heard that Mercado de Marvillas on 122 Bravo Murillo is also fabulous but I have yet to go. It is definitely on my to-do list.
Mercado de la Paz, Ayala 28 – www.mercadodelapaz.blogspot.com.es
Mercado de Chamartín, Boliva 9 – www.mercadodechamartin.es
Mercado de Marvillas, Juan Bravo 122 – www.mercadomaravillas.eu