I’ve been frequenting Mercado San Idelfonso found on Calle Fuencarral, 57 since it opened around 2 summers ago. Since it opened, I’ve always loved the look and feel of the place. That urban/street utopia feel was always a winning factor. I didn’t rate the food stalls that much in all honestly but the Bar at the top of the market was worth returning to again and again; it was the icing on the cake. However, right from day one, my food stall of choice was and will always be La Brochette. They offer some kickass meat, fish and vegetable skewers packed with flavour. They have them in all flavours from just seasoned, to mild to the self-explanatory, ‘Hijoputa.’ The skewers are already pre-marinated and all the guys do is grill them in front of you while you wait. I’ve tried the majority and love everyone I’ve tried. The chicken shawarma is on point, the pincho moruno is divine, even the HP in all its unbearable spiciness is to die for.
As time has moved on, much has changed in the market, putting it right up there with the other foodie markets of Madrid. One of the latest additions to the market that has set my tastebuds on fire is Boqueat. The owners have tried to do something unique by inventing a way to serve croquetas, street food style. The croquetas are served in a box that has holes for the croquetas and for the sauces. So each croqueta and sauce is perfectly portable and safe to eat while you walk on the street. Away from the ingenious transportation method, the croquetas themselves are just delicious. They come is all flavours from the typical jamon, chicken and mushroom to the more adventurous chocolate flavour and gin and tonic flavours. Each croqueta comes with a sauce carefully chosen to go with it. That way, what you experience is perfect flavouration mixing techniques that enhance your eating experience. You have the option to choose between two, four or six croquetas from as little as 2.90€.
On the ground floor, the other new addition to the market that is worth a try yes or yes, is Francesco’s Pizza. They offer New York style pizza made right in front of you in their wood burning oven. The pizzas are delicious all the way to the crust. The wood oven gives the base a unique flavour that only wood ovens can give to pizza bases. The menu is varied too, from your typical Margherita to their Pepperoni pizza with chilli strips, sriracha, lime rind, grapefruit rind and fresh mint and basil leaves. All these ingredients together guarantee you a fresh burst of flavour in your mouth that you would not want to share with anyone. Word on the street is that these are the best New York pizzas in the world. Although they proudly say they have not won this title just yet, they assure you that they’re on the way to getting it. “A bold statement,” I say but the pizza are good regardless.
All of this delicious food must be eaten after having enjoyed a Campari aperitivo at one of the 3 bars in the market. Of course, there are other stalls in the market that I would gladly spend my money on, but these three are my top choices. I went recently with some friends visiting from Pittsburg and all they could say was “Oh my Gosh,” repeatedly. I’m 100% positive that they’re now planning their move to Madrid!
What are your stalls of choice in Mercado San Idelfonso?
Be sure to keep up with the markets of Madrid series. Read about Mercado Vallehermoso right here.