Es MercatThe best fish & seafood restaurant
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.
A chef from Texas told me that he was so blown away by the food that by the time his main course arrived, “my eyes filled up”.
If you’re an old timer and wondering where Roberto and Lili, his joyous Swiss sidekick, are—they’re just around the corner in El Otro (Es Mercat)—a new cafe bar, also well worth checking out.
Bring an appetite. Credit and debit cards are accepted.
“Es Mercat is dedicated to seafood, but not necessarily to it being local. The cod comes from Portugal, the toothfish from the deep waters off the southernmost tip of the continent, and the octopus from whichever ever supplier meets Roberto’s exacting standards. None of it tastes like it’s travelled far, however. The meaty octopus tentacle I’m served — seasoned with healthy pinches of rock salt and paprika, its little suckers singed on an open flame — is the most satisfying I’ve had anywhere in the world.” — National Geographic Traveller
“There are some restaurants in the world that you just walk through the door and almost immediately get smacked in the face with the realisation that this is going to be memory food” – Matt Landau, The Vacation Rental Show (Watch the segment on Es Mercat — and feel your eyes fill up!)
Colón 1550 esq. Piedras, Ciudad Vieja, Montevideo
To reserve a table, email Facundo at firstname.lastname@example.org 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)