Alicante Central Market
Browsing market stalls can be fascinating and a highlight for many holidaymakers looking to find gifts for friends and family back home, and for serious foodies, it doesn't get much better than Alicante Central Market. Situated on Av. Alfonso X El Sabio and close to the charming old town, the market is known locally as Mercado Central and was constructed in 1911 on top of the original 18th century walls that surrounded the city. With a wonderful facade, many decorative features and a spacious interior resembling a basilica, visitors could be mistaken in thinking they were entering a museum rather than a market.
Alicante Central Market
With its central location, the market is within walking distance from many of the city's hotels and holiday apartments, and for those staying outside the city centre there is both a bus stop and tram stop just a few metres from the market's main entrance. The square outside the market has a lovely social scene, with pavement cafes and tapas bars offering refreshments to passers by and a large, colourful flower stall adding a delightful perfume to the air. Ereta Park is just 200 metres from Alicante Central Market, making it possible to stock up on some tasty fresh produce from the huge variety of stalls and head to the park for a leisurely picnic.
Set over two levels with a grand central staircase, the market's interior is clean and spacious, and although the main produce on offer comprises fresh, cured and tinned food items, there are one or two stalls selling non food items. More similar to small individual units than the usual stalls found at street markets, it is obvious the pride that has gone into the presentation of each unit, with owners adding charming touches such as plants and flowers to add a bright and cheerful feel to the market.
Probably the highlight of Alicante Central Market is the amazing array of wonderfully fresh fish and seafood that rivals any food market found in Barcelona. Lobsters and crayfish take pride of place surrounded by different varieties of sea and fresh water fish, prawns, crabs langostines, octopus, squid and a fantastic selection of clams, mussels and oysters. Further fresh produce includes home baked bread, rolls, cakes and pastries, fruit & vegetables, every cut of meat imaginable, and a favourite for many, delicatessen counters festooned with strings of cured sausages, whole haunches of Serrano ham, huge cheeses, large bucket loads of olives marinaded in a wonderful variety of secret herbs and spices, nuts, dried fruit and farm eggs.