Mercado del Puerto in Montevideo

I love the global and diverse appeal of markets the world over. Montevideo has it’s fair share and I visited about 4 or 5 markets in the city during my stay there. Whether it’s a food market or a goods market, I love my visits to them. [I:]

Mercado del Puerto is obviously down near the port and is actually indoors, the area nearby can be dodgy at night I heard but by day and especially late afternoon, this is the place to eat! A great atmosphere and aroma within!

The market is well laid out and very clean. You basically just rock over to a seat by each bar/restaurant and order from the bar. Some are slightly more posh with waitress service. We ended up at La Maestranza, a wee barbecue restaurant with a very pretty waitress who I believe was called Natali.

The beer was Patricia – very popular and thirst quenching in Uruguay. You buy beer by the bottle and share it in glasses. This is the cheapest option and the beer doesn’t get too hot quickly. At that time (November 2010), Montevideo was enjoying a hot summer.

At the entrance to Puerto Del Mercado. We went there by bicycle, hired from the hostel and you pay a guy to look after the bike – this seemed to be the safest option. [I:]

Take your time to read the menu as there is a lot on it and a fantastic range of meats that you can eat barbecued. We went for Morchillo, Salchincha, Chorizo and Rincon which are all types of beef or pork and you also get bread and sauce to eat with them. It’s all barbecued in front of you as you relax with a beer!

The garnish, bread and crackers that come with it is free. So you only pay for the meat they cook and the beer. Tipping is optional, but we left a bit for the staff.

During the meal a local TV crew came over to make a video so we managed to get on video while eating our Barbecued Uruguayan meal!! My Spanish wasn’t great but at least I could say something to them!

The prices were decent – a 1 litre of beer was 100 pesos and we foundt hat to pick and mix the barbecue food is the best option – variety and a deal by buying in bulk. The menu is fairly easy to read.

The market has an upstairs as well and I just popped up to capture a photo. Our restaurant – La Maestranza. Well recommended. Seriously, as foods of the world go – you will love it! Uruguayan Parrilla (pronounced Parisha by the way). Yum!

To read more stuff like a Barbecue in Montevideo head to Jonny Blair’s insightful site about a lifestyle of travel for funny travel tips and stories.

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