advertisement

Just outside the walls of Plaza Mayor, the long-dormant Beaux Arts food market has been updated for 21st-century shoppers, with more than three dozen vendors sheltered under the gigantic wood-and-iron roof. The original 1916 Mercado was built to evoke Les Halles in Paris. Today vendors sell everything from fresh pastas and homemade pastries to cooking utensils. Stop by the cafe, tapas bar, or pastry shop for an inexpensive lunch. At night, Madrileños flock here for beer, tapas, wine, and even champagne and oysters.