Hand on heart. The Guru’Guay will wager that this is the best fish and seafood restaurant in Montevideo.
Since a writer from National Geographic called it “the most satisfying I’ve had anywhere in the world”, the star-turn at Es Mercat is the pulpo (octopus). The Vacation Rental Show raved about the “seared merluza negra with golden crackling skin” (South Atlantic sea bass) seasoned solely with rock salt—regulars bring the chef unique salts back from their world travels.
In our experience, the trick to having the best culinary experience at Es Mercat is to have the owner and chef Roberto Connio, or his son, Facundo—he who looks like one of the three musketeers—also an excellent chef, choose what to serve for you.
For two, they’ll generally recommend a couple of appetisers and one main course as main dishes are large enough to share.
Colón 1550 esq. Piedras, Ciudad Vieja, Montevideo
To reserve a table, email Facundo at email@example.com or call +598 2917 0169
Lunch: Wed-Sunday noon till 4 p.m.
Dinner: Wed-Saturday 8.00 till 11.30 p.m. (kitchen closes)
Photos: Miguel Angel Canale
We visited, at your suggestion, Es Mercat, 3 times! Most fabulous restaurant along with its fabulous owners. (Yes, when we told them you had recommended this, we did get special treatment! 😁) Of the many wonderful experiences we had visiting Uruguay, especially Montevideo, Es Mercat is way up there on our list of favorites! It is a MUST for any traveler! The ambiance is perfection; the chef and the staff are fantastic. DO try any of the fresh fish/seafood dinners–not to be missed! Thinking about their food makes my mouth water, even from afar. They are a treasure! Check them out! You will NOT be disappointed! But don’t forget to say that Karen referred you to be treated like semi-royalty!
I was at Es Mercat’s new restaurant (El Otro), just around the corner from the place you went, last night, to celebrate my son’s birthday. The new place specialises in tapas but the Es Mercat favourites (the octopus!) are still on the menu. We asked Roberto to send us out whatever he wanted. Bacalao croquettes, fresh prawn empanadas (it’s prawn season in Rocha), Spanish omelette, Patagonian trout—and of course, we insisted on a portion of octopus…. ahhhh. Lili and Roberto came out to join us and brought champagne. We met a couple from Mexico who own a bar in Tristan Narvaja (Montevideo) and a mezcal distillery in Mexico! A memorable time is guaranteed at Es Mercat for sure. Thanks for sharing your experience, Julie! — Karen
I was in Montevideo last month and now at work….and had a random memory of the dinner I had at Es Mercat….and how delicious it was. Highly recommend! Even thinking of it in the United States!!!
OMG, that is so amazing to hear, Rebecca!!!
Our very favorite restaurant in Montevideo – and we were there 5 weeks to try a lot of places! Great food, service & vibe. :}~
[This comment was added to Guru’Guay’s old site on 11/01/2019]
In a city where it is difficult to find a non-meat meal, Es Mercat stood up to the challenge with a wonderfully grilled and fresh whole sea bass. The service was outstanding with the wait-staff and chef treating us like family and hugging us as we left. Don’t miss this wonderful restaurant!
[This comment was added to Guru’Guay’s old site on 23/10/2018]
We had our third visit last night and Es Mercat never fails to deliver !
Roberto and Lili are very welcoming made us feel right at home.
Roberto whisked us up a tasting platter of a little of everything from the menu (not listed as a menu item, so ask, if they can they will) with some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste.
Great atmosphere and excellent wine recommendations.
I can’t recommend this place highly enough !
[This comment was added to Guru’Guay’s old site on 06/10/2018]
The Guru’Guay recommendations are spot on! This place is amazing and makes you feel so welcome. Upon the recommendation of the Guru’Guay, we asked for the Chef’s recommendations. We had an amazing meal: yellowtail ceviche, Black Sea Bass, grilled octopus, Balleno Tannat vino, coffee ice cream cake, espresso…..mmmmm
[This comment was added to Guru’Guay’s old site on 28/08/2018]
Been there twice now and planning to return. The merluza negra was absolutely delicious – the best fish I’ve had in a while – as was the grilled octopus…and don’t even get me started on the fresh baked bread! It’s also got a great vibe. Highly recommended!
[This comment was added to Guru’Guay’s old site on 27/04/2018]
We will be there in late Dec. around Christmas. I hope that this place is open, can’t wait to taste the fish, I am true fish lover. A meal for two with a glass of wine, how much should I expect to pay?
Dear Ray, you’ll have seen I recommend having Roberto choose the menu for you and that for two he usually chooses two appetizers and a shared main course such as sea bass? Well that plus wine each should set you back about 1000 pesos each. The current exchange rate is about 28 pesos to the dollar. Es Mercat usually stays open for the holidays so you should be in luck! Do write a review here once you have been! All the best, Karen
[This comment was added to Guru’Guay’s old site on 16/09/2017]
The dinner in “Es Mercat“ was incredible. A big THANK YOU to Facundo Connio for this delicious experience. We enjoyed it very much and would love to come again!
[This comment was added to Guru’Guay’s old site on 21/07/2017]