Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of Santiago de Compostela at this exciting market.
Visit Mercado de Abastos de Santiago, one of Spain’s most well-known produce markets, with hundreds of stalls loaded with vegetables, seafood, meat, wines and spirits. Although the market is an understandably popular tourist attraction, you’ll see just as many locals shopping as you will visitors. Many of the city’s restaurants and bars source their produce from this market each day.
The hundreds of stalls inside the market specialize in seafood, meat, bread, cheese, cold cuts, chicken, eggs, fruits, vegetables and salt cod. Be sure to check out the displays set up outside the main building as well, where locals can usually be found selling smaller amounts of produce.
The seafood at Mercado de Abastos de Santiago is exceptional in its variety, with dozens of different kinds of fish and shellfish available. Look for a stand selling polbo á feira (an octopus dish), which is a Galician specialty. Watch the vendor boil the octopus, while another expertly chops the tentacles into bite-sized pieces and yet another then adds the seasoning. The octopus is generally served on a wooden plate with toothpicks for eating.
As you walk through the market, look for other local specialties, such as homemade liquor de café made from sugar, coffee and brandy; and tetilla, an unusually shaped, semi-hard cheese with a mild flavor. You can also pick up a bottle of albariño, a dry white wine made from grapes grown in Galicia’s Rías Baixas wine region.
Take your produce to the small restaurant found on the western side of the market called Churro-Manía. The restaurant will cook any items you buy for a fraction of the cost you’d pay for a meal at a local full-service restaurant. It’s a wonderful opportunity to sample Galician products that you might not know how to prepare at home.
The Mercado de Abastos de Santiago is located on Rúa de Ameás, between the Piazza San Fis de Solovio and the Church of Santo Agostiño. The market is open Monday through Saturday mornings, with most stalls beginning to close in the early afternoon.