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Markets in Barcelona | Insight Guides Blog

Markets in Barcelona

Mercat de la Boqueria, El Raval, (photo by Gregory Wrona)
Mercat de la Boqueria, El Raval


There are more than 40 municipal markets in Barcelona. The largest of them – La Boqueria, Sant Antoni and El Born (now closed) – are impressive late 19th-century iron-and-glass structures built on the site of former monasteries. These cathedrals to food are ideal places to display Catalonia’s wide variety of produce from the mountains, farmlands and the sea, often sold by third- and fourth-generation vendors. In recent years, however, tradition has been giving way to trend, with juice bars and fusion food, and prices, ­particularly in touristy La Boqueria, have been ­rising. Santa Caterina and Barceloneta have been overhauled, and Sant Antoni is next.

Elsewhere, squares and open spaces are put to use with regular stamp, book, craft, antiques and bric-à-brac markets. The latest is the lively multi-cultural weekend market in Rambla del Raval. The main flea market is El Encants in Glòries. Get there early to dig out a bargain. 

Where to eat market produce

For a visitor, much of the food on offer at the city’s markets is merely for looking at. Fresh bread, olives, cheese and charcuterie make for a delicious impromptu picnic, but to really savour the range of produce, visit the market cafés and restaurants. Many of the established ones are institutions.

In La ­Boqueria, Pinotxo, run by the Bayen family, opens at 6am and specialises in oysters and cava. Foodies gather for breakfast from 8am at Quim de la ­Boqueria towards the back of the market, where Quim Márquez produces innovative dishes. In Mercat Santa Caterina, Cuines Santa Caterina, from the Tragaluz group, serves fusion food in a cool, modern space while Bar Joan offers excellent traditional dishes at an economic price. The revamped Mercat de Barceloneta offers the gourmet experience at Els Fogons de la Barceloneta and Michelin-starred Lluçanès by chefs Francesc Miralles and àngel Pascual, serving seafood such as tartar of escalopes with white truffles.

 

For more information about the city, see our Barcelona destination pages or buy one of our Barcelona travel guides