The food market in Santiago de Compostela, known as Mercado de Abastos, in the Old Town, is the city’s second most visited attraction after the cathedral and a must-see for food lovers.
At Santiago food market, you will find an impressive selection of the best fresh Galician produce: a mind-blowing range of different fish and shellfish; fruit and vegetables, meats and cheeses, local wines and liquors, honey, artisan bread, etc… It is here that keen foodie visitors and pilgrims will be able to treat themselves and find all superior Galician products such as Padrón peppers, octopus, salted cod, gooseneck barnacles, empanada (savoury pies) in all shapes and sizes, and more.
The market has been supplying the people of Santiago de Compostela with quality food and other popular items since 1873, primarily produced in the surrounding areas. Although the current building dates from 1941, the market has been here for three centuries. Today, the market is managed by a cooperative of 70 food producers and other business owners. A colourful mix of retailers and food sellers share this bright market space: from artisan stall holders to old ladies from neighbouring villages selling seasonal items such as garlic, cheese or ‘grelos’ (the green leaves of the turnip used for Galician broth, ‘caldo’). This eclectic mix makes the market such an exciting place to see.
Santiago food market is open from Monday to Saturday, from 7 am until 3 pm; over 4,000 people visit it on Saturday, the busiest day at the market.
Many new restaurants in the vicinity have also been opened in recent years, such as Abastos 2.0 and Pazo de Altamira, offering high-quality, contemporary cuisine that gives classic Galician dishes and exceptional fresh produce an innovative twist. It is these new contemporary restaurants that attract many city dwellers to the food market around lunchtime on Saturday: Abastos is not just a place to go do their food shopping but also enjoy a glass of wine and a quick bite with friends, particularly on sunny days.