By Fabiolla Loureiro – www.fabiollaloureiro.com
Ah Madrid! One of Europe’s best gastronomy capitals.
Travel within the villages of Spain and you will find that each has its own speciality. Travel to Madrid and you will find all flavours from Spain. In Madrid, eating is important. It’s one of life’s premium pleasures. Meaning, a social event taken very seriously where one should invest hours to savour it like the best thing in life.
Madrid is today one of the biggest seafood market cities in the world. Not only that, it is in fact home to the second largest fish market in the world, the largest one being in Tokyo.
Mercado de San Miguel
With that said, one of the ‘must do’ visits in Madrid is undoubtedly Mercado de San Miguel, the San Miguel Market. Located just a few metres from Plaza Mayor, the biggest food market in Madrid is a nirvana for every gastronomy lover. It was constructed from 1913-1916, purchased by private investors in 2003 where it was extensively renovated, to reopen in 2009 with its beautiful irons structures.
Today, the market is not only a cultural place, but also an important gourmet location in Madrid, with more than 20 food stalls which houses a huge variety of food and drinking.
Once you hit the market – doesn’t matter if it’s 12:00 pm or 5:00 pm – if you love seafood, you have to stop, drink and eat at the Morris stall. You will understand why madrileños and people from all over the world are so passionate about Morris seafood and stay there for hours drinking and eating.
The owner, José Bonales, aka El Morris, is a super host and makes you feel very welcome, explaining about the place, the seafood, the wine that goes better with each plate. What I mean is, Morris makes you feel like you are seated in the finest restaurant in Madrid, and – best of all – at a very competitive price. His Galicia oysters are the best I’ve had in my life. Juicy, tasty, a bliss for all five senses! And not only oysters, but also Galician octopus, lobsters, anchovies, shellfish, shrimps, barnacles, mussels, clams, scampi, prawns and scallops. Remembering it makes me feel like being there right now, eating everything! “Our product is very fresh, seasonal and of great quality,” Morris says. And indeed it is. It is a fantastic high-quality fresh product.
Morris has a great history. His family has owned this place since 1947. From a time when the stall used to be a traditional place, Morris is the only one from the old days. Not long ago, Monserrat del Valle decided to change the concept of the traditional market, that was lacking customers, and elevate it to a delicatessen gastronomy venue. So she started to buy all stalls, one by one, but not Morris. Not this one. El Morris didn’t want to leave the place where his grandfather started everything. Luckily, he managed to keep it and reinvented his stall from fish market to a new gastronomy place. A delightful place where you can consume all kinds of seafood platters, have some great wine and enjoy the atmosphere of Mercado de San Miguel.
Don’t miss the chance to indulge in the best Galicia oysters at Morris, a place where Bonales has mastered the art of seafood. You won’t regret it.
Last but not least, when I met Morris I was having a glass of wine at his friend’s stall El 19 de San Miguel, where Misael Rodríguez offers a wide range of wines, I mean, the finest Spanish selection carefully picked and updated every three months. If you want just to have some great wine and chit-chat with a friend, that is also a fine spot inside the market.
My point is, if you love excellency in Spanish cuisine, don’t miss the chance to visit Mercado de San Miguel. The buzz that surrounds the place is a memorable gastronomic experience. Located at Plaza de San Miguel, s/n 28005, Madrid, it is open from 10:00 am to 12:00 am from Monday to Wednesday plus Sundays, and from 10:00 am to 2:00 am from Thursday to Saturday (this time is the best!).
Also, don’t forget to enjoy Madrid, one of the most beautiful, cosmopolitan and cultural cities of Europe!
About Fabiolla Loureiro
Based in São Paulo in Brasil, Fabiolla Loureiro has been working as a photographer since 2010.
First as a hobby, a Nikon D50 and only one lens, she ended up discovering within the photography herself. She developed her skills in Studio Loureiro with her sister, where she mainly explored portraits and nude photography. But in the last few years, she became obsessed with travel. Travelled over 30 countries and found herself enthralled with the freedom and opportunity that this kind of photography allows.
With minimum use of Photoshop, we realize in her photos the practice of natural light and an abundance of black and white. Her inspiration comes from names like Brassaï and Robert Capa, chaotic urban lifestyle, rainy nights and also the period before World War II.
Also, Fabiolla is one of the permanent artists of Andreus Gallery in São Paulo and currently participates in an architecture/design project with Casa Portoro. In this project, she has more than 40 photos in exhibition, different measures, that are part of a few ambiences in the house in collaboration with some of the biggest names of architecture in Brazil.
In the past year, she had 3 exhibitions taking place in London, São Paulo and Bologna. Her first 3 individuals happened in 2016. In January 2018, she was selected as one of the members of Contemporary Art Curator, an online contemporary art magazine, where it covers visual arts events and connects artists from all over and also now is part of Art Productions New York, a network of representation for artists with prestigious standards and vision.