I heard there was a temporary market called Barcelo in Madrid that sells food items among other things. Does anyone know if this is still open? and what types of things they sell in this market? I am having trouble finding any info on it on the web, besides info on its great architectural design.
The old Mercado de Barceló was torn down a few years ago and is (very slowly) being rebuilt. It was supposed to be finished by now... when I walked by there yesterday it looked to still be in the very early stages-- they ran into some archaeological stuff underground, not to mention economic/political issues... There's a temporary, prefab sort of market in the plaza nearby (the former Jardines del Arquitecto Rivera off Calle de Barceló between Calle Fuencarral and Mejía Lequerica) very close to Metro Tribunal. It sells all the typical stuff that you find at a Madrid market, though it seemed quite a bit scaled back from its former permanent location when I went there several months back. It does look pretty when it is lit up at night, because it's made of a sort of translucent white plastic. If you are looking for a food market, there are many better ones in Madrid, though.
gracias por sus recomendaciones! i will probably check out the temporary market because i have seen photos and indeed the design does look great but @juandoe the other markets you recommend sound great. what is the best supermarket chain in madrid by the way? or one near the barrio historico? i usually like to stop by local grocery stores while traveling to pick up food items as well.
Just a warning, the architecture of the San Antón market is an affront to any sort of aesthetic sensibility! Really, one of the worst development projects that has happened in Madrid in recent memory. In the centro-centro of Madrid, you have...
Mercado de Antón Martín (Antón Martín metro stop)--small, but a solid neighborhood market with stores along the outside and inside. La Leonesa is a good store for ham/pork products.
Mercado de la Cebada (La Latina metro stop)--odd old building, a bit grungy (mainly because there are so many empty slots) but a traditional market with good fruit stands toward the back on the bottom floor, a meat stand downstairs that makes excellent sausages, and a solid pescadería upstairs to the left.
Mercado de los Mostenses (Noviciado/Plaza de España)--more grungy, but with some Asian/Latin American stalls.
Mercado de San Miguel (not a real day-to-day market anymore, more a place for grazing, though the cheese stall is good)
And also a plethora of of small food stores on the streets that sell cheese, fish, meat, fruit, bread, pastries, etc. Keep in mind that these traditional spots are only open from 9ish-2 and 5-8 (or 5:30-8:30 in warm months). I don't think the supermarkets can compare for fish, meat, or fruit, or bread but you have two El Corte Inglés supermarkets in the very center of Madrid at Preciados and Callao (the supermarkets are in the basement of these department stores).
Mercado de Chamartín (not much to look at, far from the center, but the most luxurious, food-wise)
Mercado de Tetuán
Mercado de Maravillas
Mercado de Ibiza (very close to the Retiro)
Mercado de la Paz
Mercado de Santa María de la Cabeza
You can see a more extensive list of the markets in Madrid broken down by district here: