A great culinary experience in the Spanish Market and dining in the Guinness oldest restaurant in the world!
Strolling in the city centre of Madrid and looking for food is a fun activity – I am actually impressed by the taste and the delightful variety of Spanish cuisine: Seafood Paella, Tapas and Sangria, Iberia Ham, and Churro (like) ~ make you almost impossible to say no to all these yummy delicacies and just walking around in Madrid may surprise you in a good way.
Mercado de San Miguel
The most surprising experience in Madrid was that one afternoon we wandered to a local market – Mercado de San Miguel, not far from the Plaza Major. Surrounded by the glass wall, the market was not exceptionally big but it was well-lit by the Spanish sunlight “pro-” morning rain. During lunchtime, the market was packed with hungry travelers from all around the world, and the food stores had made their delicacy already and long queues were seen everywhere. Aside from the mouth-watering Tapas, Sangria, Paella, Churros, the market has also handicraft stores, bars, ham stores…, you name it. Outside the market were a dynamic dining and relentless clubbing area. The passionate latinos would probably give you the best hangover (which could last for days I’m sure). The market closes at 12 am weekdays and extended to 2 am weekends, no city on earth is more ALIVE than Madrid!
One of the most unforgettable finds in the market is the fresh and delicious oysters – oysters lovers alert!
Restaurante Botin: The oldest restaurant in the world
While wandering in the city drunken after a fulfilling afternoon meal, we ran into the Restaurante Botin, which was claimed by the Guinness World Record to be “The oldest restaurant in the world”. It says on the certificate, the restaurant was opened in 1725 and has been operating ever since; it even retains the original 18th-century firewood oven! It was run by the Gonzalez family.
As we had just eaten, we came back the same night – luckily we were able to grab a table just walk-in with only a short wait outside. We had a jug of Sangria and tried Cochinillo Asado – Spanish Suckling pig (NOT Chicharrón!!), which seemed to be a signature dish of the restaurant. Well, it tasted good, and we had a good time, and the experience of dining in the oldest restaurant in the world was special enough. 🙂