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stereoboard

Early morning markets, Farmers markets etc

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So I have my trip to Spain booked, my restaurants are reserved and my stages are sorted out, transport is pretty much done also, ( thanks for the advice egullet people)

Now for the local info, Where can I find the local food markets that the chefs head to ? I will be in San Sabastian, Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Denia, and Girona, If you could tell me of any food markets in the areas, I would be greatful.

hope you guys can help

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This is a short list of what I consider the best markets in Madrid:

- Mercado de Tetuán, C/ Marqués De Viana 4-6

- Mercado de la Paz, C/ Ayala 28

- Mercado de Chamartín, C/ Bolivia 9

- Mercado Maravillas, C/ Bravo Murillo, 122

You might also find interesting have a look at Gold Gourmet in C/ José Ortega Y Gasset 85 , more a shop than a market, where you will find very expensive high quality product.

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In Madrid also the newly reopened Mercado de San Miguel for luxury specialities and good tapas by the way.

http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/

In San Sebastian the basement level of the Mercado de la Brexa especially for fish & seafood

http://www.iberiarural.es/lugares-destacad...e-la-brecha.htm

In Denia the Mercado Municipal has great products and you cant miss out on the Lonja ( fish and seafood auction market)

http://www.denia.net/es/seccion/compras/mercados.asp

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Mercado de San Miguel is bit upscale, and seems geared a bit more towards wine bars/tapas and pintxo eating than other markets I visited in Spain. It was fine and handy for a bite to eat, but touristy given its proximity to tourist attractions. It's also indoors and air conditioned, which is nice.

The Boqueria in Barcelona is a must. It's outdoors, hot, and very crowded with tourists, but gets less crowded the further you wander. Tourists mostly bunch up in the front where all the fruit vendors are. Closed Sundays, and about half open on Mondays (with most of the seafood vendors closed on that day). It has a few stalls with counters to eat but not a whole lot.

In comparison, the Bretxa market in San Sebastian was not that spectacular, save for the fish/seafood vendors. The Bretxa market is now a mall and the market area is only in the basement level now but half under construction. You won't find a big selection of bread, fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, spices, etc. I saw mostly meat, fish, some cheese, and a few fruit vendors open when we were there a few days ago. It paled in comparison to the Mercat de la Boqueria. I only saw one or two stalls with counters to grab a bite to eat there.

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What no one has explained to stereoboard is that these are not 'early morning markets' or 'farmers' markets', but fulltime, permanent covered markets opening six days a week - a Spanish specialty that is not quite like any other version. La Boquería in Barcelona is the most famous one, and overall the best one (with such unique stalls as the Petras wild mushroom stall, http://www.boletspetras.com/) , but the city with the greatest wealth in covered markets is Madrid.

Not just the outstanding ones already mentioned (Chamartín is the best one, with the top seafood stall in Spain, Ernesto Prieto, http://www.ernestoprieto.com/, and one of the top butchers in Spain, Raza Nostra, http://www.razanostra.com/default.htm), but even smaller ones can be outstanding.

Two good examples are to be found on the same street in Madrid's Chamberí district, Alonso Cano. The larger Chamberí market (Alonso Cano 10) has outstanding vegetable stalls (including a growing array of exotic produce - a reflection of the increase in the immigrant population), three good fishmongers with the new El Señor Martín really standing out, and a surprising cheese and sausage stall, Jamonería Castellana, offering from three or four different Spanish and Portuguese 'tortas' to... New York pastrami. At Alonso Cano 77, four blocks away, the smaller Galería Comercial has one of the best seafood stalls in Madrid.

Unfortunately, the covered markets are slowly dying (hence the shrinking La Bretxa): stall owners retire at age 65, no younger people (including their children) take over because it's hard work and not too profitable, and one stall after the other closes - modern hypermarkets and supermarkets progressively take over.

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There is a great market in Santiago also. I don't rememver exactly where it is but it is the Cathedral area and any local can tell you when and where.

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Does anyone know anything about daily markets in Las Alpujarras? I'm aware that Orgiva has a Thursday market but I can't find out about any others. We are spending a week in the area next month and would like to find sources for local cheeses, wine, olive oil, and any fruits or vegetables that might be in season at the end of March.

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