It is one of the most visited places by the thousands of people who visit “Chiclana de la Frontera” during the summer months, we could say that it is one of the obligatory places to visit.
I still remember what the old square of Chiclana used to be like, small but cute, with tiny stalls but with all the grace and charm of the local Chiclana people. Today it is history, and the new market square is spread over a very well-located building in the centre of Chiclana. It has a large car park, although we advise you to park elsewhere because in summer you will see long queues of cars trying to access it, and you will lose a lot of time.
Chiclana’s market square, or “la plaza” as the locals call it, is a multicoloured space with fruit, vegetables, fish and seafood. You will be particularly struck by its prices, especially for those from Madrid who are used to paying almost twice as much for a kilo of fish or fruit.
We recommend visiting it first thing in the morning, from 9 a.m., and once you have all your shopping done, have a coffee with churros for breakfast in the many cafés in the area, or a “mollete” with ham, which is also very typical here (no more than 3 euros). It is interesting to note that all the cafés allow you to buy churros in the churros shop and then eat them on the premises.
Fish. There are more than 20 stalls dedicated to the first attraction of the square. They are all located on one side of the square. If you are looking for a better price, don’t hesitate to go from 1 p.m., you will see that the prices start to go down. The merchandise is sold out daily. We recommend the “almadraba” tuna (one of the main attractions of the square), red mullet, sea bream, sea bass and anchovies. All the fish comes from the area, some from the estuary and some wild. Many locals take advantage of their holidays to load up large coolers with fish to take back to Madrid. We recommend the stalls of “Pescadería Ricardo”, he has the best material, although the highest prices.
Fruit and Vegetables. Another attraction in the square are the fruit and vegetable stalls. Their colour and prices are outstanding, especially the tomatoes. You will be surprised to see signs on most of the stalls with the title “tomato from Conil”, they are the best, so don’t miss out on the chance to buy some. The fruit and vegetable stalls occupy the centre of the square. When the strawberry season arrives, don’t miss the strawberries from Chiclana, very small but very tasty.
Seafood. There is a stall par excellence in the square that has gradually been gaining its place, “Mariscos Castilla”, in addition to buying seafood at the stall you can indicate that you want it cooked and they will make it for you at the moment. White prawns, langoustines and roe will delight visitors.
Meat. If you go to the square in Chiclana and don’t buy “chicharrones” (pork rinds), you really haven’t been there. They are made daily, they are indeed very fatty, but once a year does not hurt, you will also like the “manteca colorá” and if you want even with “zurrapa” (leftovers from the slaughter of the pig). All the meat stalls are on the opposite side of the street to the fish stalls. Here you can buy the best “retinto” meat, which is the name of the local meat. Be sure to try it, it is something different. Of course, if you intend to organise a barbecue, you will find chops, steaks, chorizos, black pudding, etc.
Other stalls. There is a bakery with bread. A stall with cold meats and cheese, we recommend the “payoyo” cheese, typical of the “Sierra de Cádiz”, you have many variations, “payoyo” cheese with pepper, with oregano, etc. A tea stall, here I have bought the best chai tea I have ever tasted.
It is worth remembering that there is no fish on Mondays, and that the square is not open in the afternoons, nor on Sundays.
All in all, a place to visit, enjoy and shop. Let us know what you find.