Mercado del Puerto, Montevideo
Coming out of the Buquebus terminal and walking past the Navy/Customs building, you will wander across to the Mercado del Puerto. There is a restaurant/craft shop filledplaza on its east side. Within the iron superstructure, many more restaurant and shops are to be found. Andrea tells me the wrought-iron edifice was originally to be built as a train station – somewhere else, but it ended up here instead, without the trains.
For a different food experience you should head for the Ciudad Vieja's Mercado del Puerto. Inside this ornate building that once was a train station, market stalls have been converted into parrillas and seafood restaurants with exterior sidewalk seating as well. Many of the establishments have proper tables, but many visitors prefer sitting on a stool facing the grill for an up-close view of the action.
Mercado del Puerto is a large market-hall that was built between 1865 and 1868. Nowadays it is mainly a giant hall for restaurants and a really interesting place to go, when you like to enjoy this sort of architecture, while tasting some of the grilled specialities, even just the typical smell of it is worth to go there.
I had a bad stomach in Montevideo, otherwise I would have tasted some of the meat there.
Mercado del Puerto (Port Market) is more than what its name tells about it. It is a picturesque area of the city where handcrafts are sold and where there are many restaurants with outdoor tables.You can have excellent "asado" (uruguayan and argentine style barbecued meat) here and enjoy the music of the amateur singers that frequent the place. Please, donýt miss a cup (OK, maybe two or three) of a traditional medio y medio cocktail (half sweet white wine, half white sparkling wine). Believe me, it will be a great experience!
This IS the place to be on Saturday. Tons of people, tons of activity, and tons and tons of meat! Hot, crowded, and crazy. And, meat, and more meat. What a scene!
Montevideo's port market has a great atmoshpere and is filled with informal places to eat, which in Uruguay usually means, parillas with tons of meat and a good glass of wine.