Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spain/Portugal >
May 23, 2009 08:41 AM

Madrid cooking class / markets / foodie things to do

I'll be Madrid from Jun 1 to 3, just roaming around on my own during the day.

Can anyone recommend economically priced 1 day cooking classes? Any food markets (like la boqueria in Barca) to go check out? Or, just chill foodie things to do during the day while I explore. I love seafood.

Let me know.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The Mercado de San Miguel just opened after a big renovation--it's definitely worth checking out and has longer hours than the other markets (which keep regular shop hours 9-2 and 5-8). There are many other covered markets--Mercado de la Cebada, Mercado de Antón Martin, Mercado de los Mostenses, Mercado de la Paz, Chamartín, etc... all good for getting food to go, but only Mercado de San Miguel is set up for on-site snacking/eating. The kitchen store Alambique does 1-day cooking classes:

    1. I'm not sure the markets in Madrid will quite measure up to La Bouqueria or even the market in Valencia, but I haven't been to them all, so...

      I've been anticipating the opening of Mercado San Miguel, so I'm glad to hear it's open. This would be a must-visit for you! It's also conveniently located next to Plaza Mayor.

      More markets that might be worth visiting are:

      Mercado de Maravillas (Tetuan neighborhood, Metro: Cuatro Caminos)

      Mercado de la Paz (Salamanca Neighborhood, Metro: Serrano
      )Andrew Zimmern from the Bizarre Foods show on the Travel Channel visited here. See this clip:

      Here is a big list of websites from the Guia Metropoli Comer y Beber 2009 book put out by the newspaper El Mundo. These are all listed as offering cooking classes in Madrid:

      Good luck and have fun!

      1 Reply
      1. re: npwest

        awesome! thanks so much for the help!

      2. The Mercado de la paz was the only one that is authentic - but when I was there only about half of the stalls were open. We bought some cherries, figs, and seed packets (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) to take home- don't tell! Then we had a cafe cortado at a stall with a really nice lady.

        Mercado se San Miguel was a total disappointment!!!!! I was there 'back in the day' but after the remodel - it is totally renovated and modern and not at ALL like a "REAL" Mercado that you are thinking of. Only 1 place for fruit, 1 for bread...etc. Good for pictures, though but go to La PAz for atmosphere!

        1 Reply
        1. re: sparkalina

          The Boquería is also hardly an ordinary neighborhood market.

          Mercado de la Paz is the only market that's authentic? What are you basing that on? All of the others are regular neighborhood markets (Cebada, Antón Martín, Chamartín, Mostenses, Maravillas... and there are quite a few others) with many stalls of varying levels quality wise. I, and plenty of other local sorts shop at these all the time. Most markets have days and times when they are more active (Thursday though Saturday morning being an up time with more stalls open, Monday-Wednesday less so. August completely dead. December the very best, etc.)

          Mercado de San Miguel was a disaster for years. The new incarnation is a completely different concept where they brought together some extremely high end and recognized vendors who have a presence in other stores or markets--like the Horno de San Onofre, which has two bakeries elsewhere. It's the only place where you can snack on the food being sold in situ. That, and it's very tourist-friendly location makes it worth a stop.

          Madrid--more than Barcelona, in my experience--also has a huge number of small, market-like food stores (carnicerías, fiambrerías, pescaderías, pollerías, fruterías, herbolarios, etc.) sprinkled throughout the neighborhoods, usually next to each other).

        2. A local non-profit here in Madrid also just started offering cooking classes in both English and Spanish, which start in early June of this year.

          You can find out more about the non-profit by visiting:

          If you are interested, contact them by sending an email (in English or Spanish) to:

          It's a great course designed with both a cooking class, followed by a visit to the Mercado of San Miguel, while providing the profits to a great cause.

          Good luck!