La Boqueria Market, Barcelona – One of the Grandest Food Markets

La Boqueria Market, Barcelona – One of the Grandest Food Markets

Row upon row of fruit and vegetables are gathered into neat rows, piles and pyramids, glistening like jewels, tempting with shininess and aroma. This is the welcome you receive upon entering  Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, commonly known as La Boqueria Market, off las Ramblas in Barcelona. It’s true that there is a horde of tourists that walk through the market everyday, but this shouldn’t put you off as the history, authenticity and sheer variety of produce remain draw cards.

The last time I visited the market, in May this year, our guide Pax assured us of a return of locals and in particular young people, fed up with supermarket options who are asking questions about the origin of their food and wanting good value and a chat with the producers and farmers.

Navigate your way around

Within the main building, past the fruit and vegetable stands, where you must indulge in freshly squeezed juice of your choice, and the sweets and nut stalls with turron (try the Catalan turron or nougat), you will happen upon counters organised in spirals, brimming with seafood of every type. Seafood so fresh, the smell is actually pleasant, despite there being such vast quantities of it.

seafood on left and variety of eggs on right

The outer flanks of the market include sausages, chacuterie, meat, organs (expect trotters, tripe, hearts and even the bizarre like bull penises) and even a speciality stall selling the meat of fighting bulls that have been killed, an absolute delicacy I believe.

meat from the Toro, the fighting bull

 

*Warning to sensitive readers*…I think you know what these are….

Right, gather your wits about you and let’s proceed…

Don’t forget the sunny farmer’s stalls to the right, as you enter the market on Las Ramblas – nothing is as shiny as it is through the market’s main entrance but the produce is excellent none-the-less.

Top Tips on the Best Tapas

While you’re at La Boqueria, you must sit at one of the bars serving tapas. Seats are hard to come by, so even a bit of elbow room at a table will do. Order a glass of cava at El Quim de la Boqueria located in the centre which specializes in fricassee of artichokes and white asparagus, lamb strips in dark beer, tiny clams steamed in spring wine, squid sauteed with garlic and olive oil over fried eggs, and much more.

An old favourite Pinotxo (Pinocchio) is harder to get a table at, but has over the decades won international acclaim as a food haven. Owner Juanito Bayén and his family serve some of the best food in Barcelona. The xuixos (rectangular doughnuts enveloping a vanilla cream filling) are highly recommended.

Bear this in mind

– Arrive by 10 am, before the lunch time crush
– Go to the information kiosk located in the centre of the market and book a guided tour – again, highly recommended.
– Cooking classes can be arranged at the premises

Where: Rambla 91, Rambla, Barcelona, Catalonia, 08002 | Map It
When: Mon.-Sat. 8 am -8 pm
www.boqueria.info


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By | 2017-05-05T17:11:29+00:00 December 26th, 2011|Europe, Food & Travel, Markets, Review, Travel, Travel in Europe|3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Mark Boyd December 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Great photos and cool recommendations. For me, it really shares the bustle and joy of squeezing your way through La Boqueria. It is an essential experience when visiting Barcelona. While certainly in a class of its own, the Barcelona city government has a tradition of hosting a market like this in every barrio (district). There are over 20 spread out across the compact city and i link here to some of the other Barcelona market scenes, in case your readers would like to explore more.

  2. […] Pinotxos’s Tapas Bar, Barcelona […]

  3. polajar August 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Before the trip to Barcelona read your article and decided to visit the Boqueria. We had lunch in an unmarked shop somewhere in the depths of the market, were very satisfied with their choice – mussels, anchovy, croquettes, clams (shells-long sticks, in which something like milk, proved to taste like squid) – all it was cooked on the eyes for 1 minute and eaten for 2. For dessert, a neighboring shop bought dried figs and dates, as well as a handful of everything offered saleswoman. By the way, a full report on our visit to the market here, http://djanga.ru I still remember the fresh juices for every taste – from blackberry to mango – one euro is difficult to have more fun.

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