Madrid is one of the culinary capitals of Europe, and a trip here would not be complete without sampling the culinary wonders that the city has to offer. However if you only have time to make one eating stop - make it Mercado de San Miguel.
The market building is a very beautiful cast iron building that has been meticulously restored. The high ceiling and double-tiered roof lets in lots of natural light. One of the most intriguing features is the terra cotta tiles lining the ceiling - which cast a warm glow over the whole interior space.
There are over 30 vendors housed within the market. Some sell premium raw ingredients like meat and fish, but most stalls sell prepared food ranging from sandwiches, tapas, pastries to burger and paella. The choices are really plentiful and all look amazing.
One of my favourite stalls is La Casa del Bacalao. Here they make their own bacalao, but also some really delicious montaditos (open sandwiches) with smoked and cured fish. The cured sardine was a revelation - I had to go back for seconds.
Another great stall is El Pescado Original - a bar with some great selection of montaditos. I had the cured fish with cream cheese, and pork with carrot - both were great.
Cafe del Art serves great coffee and pastries.