La Boqueria Market is one of my favorite spots in Barcelona. The market is a large, covered marketplace that offers everything from candied fruit to foie gras, just off La Rambla, one of Barcelona’s busiest streets. A market has been operating at the same location as far back as 1217, though the face of the market has changed many times over the years. The modern market was built in 1840.
The market is packed with with chefs, locals, tourists and foodies from the time that it opens very early in the morning. The vendors sell just about everything you can imagine. Chefs stock up on very fresh, top quality meat, fish and poultry, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh eggs and all kinds of cured meats and cheeses. Tourists are more likely to purchase fruits, nuts, artisan candies, chocolates and individually wrapped foods that they can eat with little to no preparation as they wander around the market taking photos – and there are a lot of people taking photos at the market.
Read on for lots more photos of the market!
The best part of the market is that many of the stalls are actually small restaurants. These bustling restaurants serve some of the best, freshest food that you’ll find in the city – with ingredients that came from the stall next door and arrived at the market that morning. Usually small, with just a few stools and many people to compete for them, these restaurants serve both traditional Spanish food and more innovative Catalonian fare and offer a fantastic value for what you get. My favorite would be El Quim de la Boqueria (full post coming soon) and Pinotxo Bar, but there are many others.
Finding the market off La Rambla is easy and finding your way around the crowded maze of stalls is not as difficult as you might think. Although you can simply wander through the corridors of the covered market and make your own path, the market often stations people at the entrance to hand out guides to the market so you’ll be able to find what stalls are where more easily. It’s a fantastic place to explore, take photos and – of course – eat. Have breakfast, have lunch, have an afternoon snack. The market opens before dawn and most of the vendors close down after lunch, around 3 or 4 pm.