We love how the Spanish have held onto their food markets, and brought them bang up-to-date to ensure a younger clientele use them frequently. Some new-style markets, like Málaga’s Mercado Merced, have added food stalls to the existing, more traditional vendors – such as greengrocers, fishmongers and butchers – while, over in Marbella, there’s a new gourmet market offering 14 gourmet food stalls in a newly-created space.
Eat inside, sit out on the pavement or take the food away, Mercado Abastos & Vilandas is a 500,000€ new development and is a great addition to Marbella’s food scene. Accessed from the main drag of Avenida Ricardo Soriano, or the lovely streets behind, you can indulge in all manner of specialties. The jamón stall (pictured) looked great, with fresh, crusty bocadillos, as well as a huge selection of ham. There was also – refreshingly – a concession specialising entirely in gluten-free eats (hallelujah!), plus a cool concrete bar, super-fresh sushi, a croqueta stall, Asian food, and a burger and steak joint.
It had only just opened when we visited and it became clear that visitors definitely need more signposting when it came to instructions on how to use the space. We sat outside for an age, perched on high stools waiting for a menu from the aproned waiting staff. Do we order at each concession? Get served at our table like the chap next door? Help? Anyone? No? We’re aware these are merely teething problems for this exciting new venture. We’re looking forward to a revisit.
Open from midday until late, Sunday to Thursday, this is a welcome addition to Marbella.
Abastos & Vilandas, Av. Ricardo Soriano, 19, Marbella, 29602
+34 952 764 500