La Boqueria food market Barcelona - the best food market in Spain
La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona marzipan fruit on a stall

La Boqueria food market Barcelona

La Boqueria food market Barcelona – a guide to the famous market on La Rambla in Barcelona.

La Boqueria food market Barcelona is one of my top things to do in Barcelona.

Oh, I do love a good food market. Sant Josep La Boqueria food market Barcelona is among the best markets in the world.

For me, there’s no better way to understand a culture than through its food. What people eat and how they eat explains a great deal about a society. The ingredients you find in food markets explain the landscape and environment of a country.

The authentic taste of Barcelona is found in La Boqueria food market. It is an impressive space and if you visit the city, is a must. La Boqueria food market Barcelona is a gastronomic temple of temptation. Wandering through the magnificent maze of market stalls is an assault on the senses. The food is so colourful and vibrant. The smells of the fresh fruits and sweets mix with the heady aromas of spicy chorizo and garlic frying in olive oil.

La Boqueria food market Barcelona congregates all the stages in the food chain. Here you can meet the producers, harvesters, butchers, fishmongers, cheesemongers and bakers. You’ll see professional chefs buying produce next to locals and tourists. La Boqueria food market really is a fantastic experience for everyone to enjoy.

Visiting La Boqueria food market is a wonderful way of getting to know Barcelona.

La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona entranceYou get to see what the locals eat. You can see how they interact with the stall holders. Watch how they pick their fruit and veg and what type of fish and cuts of meat they buy.

There are plenty of places to eat at the market too. It is an excellent way to observe how the people of Barcelona eat. Much like the people of Madrid, they don’t rush their food. They linger over it and savour it. Food is more often than not accompanied by an alcoholic drink, be that wine, beer or sangria. (Find out how to eat like a local in my Madrid food and drink guide).

The food in La Boqueria food market Barcelona is second to none, as is the people watching.

La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona vegetable stallThe stalls sell a huge array of produce. You can find stalls that sell: charcuterie, meat, offal, seafood, fish, salted fish, poultry, game and eggs. There is an abundance of dry fruits, fresh fruit and vegetable, legumes and cereal, olives, pastries and preserved foods. You can buy herbs and spices and jams and spreads and preserves. there are local specialities and ready meals too.La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona empanadas for sale

La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona Spanish nougat stallIf you go La Boqueria food market Barcelona, be sure to pick up some different types of chorizo and local ham especially pernil de Salamanca. This 100 per cent Iberian Ham DO Guijuelo de Salamanca is one of the highest quality hams with a three-year healing. Enjoy an empanada or two and savour the sugary goodness of Catalan’s oldest nougat.La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona Iberian Salamanca ham

La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona fruit juice stallCheese lovers are spoiled for choice when it comes to local Catalan queso. Pick up some Tupí, a fermented cheese aged in a clay pot for months, Formatge Garrotxa, Tou dels Tillers, or anything from La Cerdanya or Alt Urgell.

To wash down all your edible delights seek out a bottle of Cava, the Catalan sparkling wine. Need more suggestions? Here’s my guide to Spanish food and wine pairing.

Apart from the market stalls, there are also many bars, tapas bars and other places to eat dotted throughout La Boqueria food market Barcelona.

La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona tapas barsIt is very obvious from the queues of tourists which bars are listed in guidebooks. My suggestion is to avoid these if you can. Whilst the food will no doubt be good, it won’t be any better than most other places, but the prices might be higher and the wait will be longer.

Instead, find a bar with some locals sitting at the counter and go there to eat. Locals will not pay over the odds for food and they know good local cuisine.

I dined at a few stalls and everything I ate was excellent. However, there was one stall in particular that I do recommend.

Bar Central in La Boqueria food market Barcelona is a wonderful find.

It may be in some guidebooks, I’m not sure, but the counter was filled with locals. The food was cooked fresh before my eyes and the menu has some typical Spanish and regional dishes. It is the perfect place to try out a few different tapas.

I adored the pa amb tomàquet. This simple but flavourful dish consists of toasted bread scraped with garlic, drizzled with olive oil, salted and lightly coated with the flesh of fresh tomatoes.

I also had ‘un pincho de tortilla’ – a portion of tortilla that is slightly larger than a tapa of tortilla. This was flavoured with fried onion and courgette. It was slightly crisp on the outside and creamy inside. It was elegant yet filling. La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona grilled vegetablesLa Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona tomatos on Bread and Spanish tortilla

Another typical Spanish dish I tried was the gambas al aioli.

As you know, gambas al aioli is one of my favourite Spanish tapas. This dish consists of succulent sweet prawns and pungent garlic fried in olive oil. This was served with lots of fresh crusty bread to mop up the juices. Heavenly. Check out my gambas al aioli tapas recipe. Also, here’s my list of the best tapas in Dublin – where to eat Gambas al Aioli.

I also had a massive plate of Parrillada de verduras (grilled vegetables) at Bar Central in La Boqueria food market Barcelona. The vegetables were so fresh and juicy and covered in the most glorious coating of strong Spanish olive oil. The plate was a vibrant mix of red and green peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, courgettes and aubergine.

Additionally, my friend ordered the calamari. It was a huge portion but it was so tasty that he finished it all. The batter was delicate and light but super crispy and the calamari was meaty and tender – cooked to perfection.

Finally, we washed all of this down with cold Estrella beers and some good, strong coffee.

La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona gambas al aioliLa Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona tapas of calamariAlso, in La Boqueria food market Barcelona there is a culinary classroom. Therefore the market is educational too as children and adults are taught to cook with the ingredients found in the market. Different gastronomic events are organised every day. Make sure you check the events section of el mercat de la Boqueria website to see what’s on.

With all of this under one roof, La Boqueria food market Barcelona is one of my top things to do in Barcelona.

La Boqueria food market Barcelona address
Rambla, 91 Mercat de la Boqueria
(Edifici Direcció, 2a planta)
08001 Barcelona

La Boqueria food market Barcelona opening hours
Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Here’s a video of a tour that you can take of La Boqueria food market Barcelona.

Click here for my Madrid food and drink guide.

Click here for my guide to Spanish food and wine pairing.

Here’s my Spanish style Gambas al Aioli tapas recipe.

Here’s for my blog post on the Best Tapas in Dublin – where to eat gambas al aioli and gambas pil pil.

If you like this post on La Boqueria food market Barcelona, please share with others.

Finally, have you been to La Boqueria food market Barcelona? What did you like or dislike about it? What did you eat, drink and buy? Let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you.

3 Comments
  • KevininCO
    Posted at 12:52h, 05 November Reply

    I too loved the market and had an amazing lunch there. My other favorite things in Barcelona: all the Gaudi architecture. Very worth the time to see the magic of his work from a family home all 5e way up to the cathedral of course!

    • Melanie May
      Posted at 14:01h, 05 November Reply

      A visit to Camp Nou is also great. So much to see and do in Barcelona. I didn’t actually so up the top of La Sagrada Família as the queue was far too long but it’s on my list of things to do when I do go back.

  • Marina Manasyan
    Posted at 20:14h, 13 November Reply

    Awesome, La Boqueria has so much life and delicious foods!

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