Food markets in Barcelona
There is no better way to explore a city that through its gastronomy. With every local dish you try there are countless opportunities to learn about which foods are produced locally in the area, how they are traditionally prepared in Barcelona, and how these dishes pair with the local wines.
Barcelona has an incredible 40 open air markets that without a doubt offer unlimited opportunities to explore the local gastronomy and culture. Constructed out of high steel beams and pillars, many of the markets also serve as architectural gems demonstrating the art nouveau architectural style that was so popular during the early 1900´s.
We have set out 3 of the best food markets in Barcelona, to really make your trip an authentic experience. Here you can get in amongst the real fabric of Barcelona´s culture, walking with the locals in between stalls, trying some of their famous dishes, and if nothing else, just watching the people of Barcelona eat, drink, talk and be together.
Rambla, 91 08001 Barcelona
Monday to Saturday 08:00 - 20:30
La Boqueria is the biggest and boldest of all the food markets in Barcelona. It has been called a gastronomic temple and is located on none other than the famous ´Las Ramblas´ street. Vibrant and colourful, ´Las Ramblas´ extends for 1.2 kilometres and is full of landmark buildings, street artists, flower stalls, shops and hotels, and of course is also home to La Boqueria food market.
La Boqueria food market has a long history that stretches far back and intertwines with Las Ramblas, making them both an indispensable part of modern Barcelona. The area where La Boqueria stands was once the place where medieval peddlers and butchers would sell their products, showing just how long La Boqueria´s tradition goes back. Nowadays, you can find a real multitude of foods at La Boqueria, from fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and kitchen produce, to elaborate tapas, seafood, dry fruits, olives, crepes, Greek and Italian foods and health foods.
The market is the perfect place to go, whether you are shopping for Catalan produce for your kitchen (try ´Petras Fruits del Bosc´ for fantastic local spices and herbs), or simply want to walk around the market choosing some Catalan tapas to eat on the go.
They also have a number of gastronomic activities that are organised around the La Boqueria market, such as the Local Wine and Food pairing event earlier this year. Partnered with the market, various restaurants around the city took the opportunity to showcase local ´Denomination of Origin´ (DO) wines from Penedes alongside dishes made with local produce from the market. This initiative, which lasted a month, is just one of the many wine and food events and activities that you find at La Boqueria. Go to La Boqueria website to find out more, or even take part in one of their cooking classes.
Plaça del Pi, Barcelona
First Friday and Saturday of every month
Also known as ´the honey market´, Fira Artesana sells all sorts of delicious things elaborated by local producers. It has a distinctly organic feel, and is the place to go to find sweet treats created in a traditional Catalan way. You can buy homemade cakes, honey-infused cheeses, roasted nuts and clover honey from the Pyrenees, among many other local products.
If you would like to find the market, it is held on the first Friday and Saturday of the month in the Barri Gòtic (Gothic quarter) of Barcelona. This is the oldest and most historical part of Barcelona and is mostly pedestrian, due to its labyrinth of winding streets that open out onto small squares. One of these such squares is the Plaça del Pi (Pine tree Square), where the Fira Artesana market is held. This square earnt its name from a large pine tree that used to stand in the centre of the square, and is home to the ´Santa Maria del Pi´ Basilica church, which you can check opening times of at the Santa Maria del Pi Basilica official website.
Mercat del Ninot
Jardins Dr. Duran i Reynals (Davant l'Hospital Clínic), 08036, BARCELONA
Monday to Friday 08:00-20:00
The name of the market comes from a local girl´s creativity in hanging up a wooden figure outside her family´s tavern, which was washed on shore from a local ship. The wooden figure, or ´el ninot´ soon became the customary name for the tavern and attracted much attention to the area, spreading the name ´el ninot´ to the nearby market. Originally named after the developing area in which it stood, El Porvenir (The Future), the market became known as the ´Mercat del Ninot´, an imagery so strong that original ´ninot´ figure is now installed in the Maritime Museum and today a replica of the original ninot stands outside the market.
Within the market you can find fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and tapas bars, all local and traditional to the area. The market also has local cured and dried meats, with some being cured for around 18-30 months.
The architecture of the building itself is another reason to visit the Mercat del Ninot, which combines stained glass, metal work and exposed brick in its design. The arches are particularly impressive and are evocative of the style popular in the late 1800´s.
Mercat de Sant Antoni
Carrer Comte d'Urgell, 1bis, 08011 Barcelona
Open Mondays to Thursdays 07.00- 14.30
Fridays, Saturdays and religious holidays 17.00-20.30
The Mercat de Sant Antoni is great food market in Barcelona that offers wonderful local fresh produce, such as meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, fish, olives and cured meats. Significantly less crowded with tourists than La Boqueria, you can walk around the Mercat de Sant Antoni browsing the produce and immerse yourself in the lives of the local people around you. For example you can buy local meats such as rabbit, turkey, Catalan sausages, chicken stuffing, Iberian ham, pies and snails, as well as farm, eco-friendly and quail eggs. There are also fruit and vegetable stands that offer locally grown produce, as well as more exotic products such as pineapple and mango. Moreover, the fish selection really shows off the local produce of the Spanish coast, with fish and shellfish freshly caught from the Catalan and Galician coast. Many stalls also offer home delivery.
If you are looking for some quick food, you can also sit down at (or stand up, as the Spanish do) at one of the bars in the market. Bar Lluís offers hot sandwhiches, coffees and drinks, and Bar Mariana offers all of the latter plus traditional tapas. Bar Casa Blanca is the place to go for to try some local breads and pastries, although you might have to wait a bit for a seat.
The second wonder of this market is that on Sundays, from 08:00 to 15:00, there is a special book and coin market outside the San Antoni market walls. This specialist market is full of collectors’ items and antique finds, perfect for a good milling around after you have enjoyed the food and tapas of the Sant Antoni.
Mercat de Santa Caterina
Av. Francesc Cambó 16, 08003, Barcelona
Tuesdays & Wednesdays 07:30- 15:30
Thursdays and Fridays 07:30-20:30
Reduced opening hours during July and August
The Mercat de Santa Caterina is a modern, jazzy, colourful building that reflects all of the original architecture that you will see throughout the rest of Barcelona. With its façade of tall metal beams and sweeping roof curves, its effect is distinctly creative and eccentric. It is the aerial view, though, that takes the biscuit, with a roof entirely covered in multi-coloured hexagon tiles in orange, pink, green, red and yellow, organised into a honey comb effect.
Inside the market the products range from raw produce of fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, to delicious cheese stalls and local bars. The stalls are spaced wide apart, in contrast to some of the older, more traditional markets, and it has more of a feeling of space. This is a great place to go if you would like to enjoy local food in a more modern atmosphere, or if you are interested in more modern architecture.
If you would like to dive into the wealth of gastronomy and wine that Barcelona has to offer, you can take part in one of our food or wine tours from Barcelona. We have gourmet food experiences, wine tastings and winery visits, where you can learn about and taste the cava that Barcelona is so famous for.
This tour is the best rated tapas tour in Barcelona and good value for money. It can be enjoyed at different hours so it can be enjoyed either for mid-day lunch or dinner. The amount of food served in the tour is enough to serve as a full meal. You will enjoy several local restaurants that serve traditional tapas. The tour will also include regional Catalan wines: a glass of wine at each stop!