Sant Josep de la Boqueria is the most famous market in Barcelona, located in Ciutadella district, in the city center. The market started as a mobile stall market in Las Ramblas in Barcelona. It was the perfect place to sell, near the fortress entrance called Pla de la Boqueria, where farmers and peasants brought their products to be sold. Since 1217 it is documented the presence of the market right in the place where it is nowadays there were food stalls back in the day.
La Boqueria in Barcelona: the market that has everything
La Boqueria is a food market full of quality products, goods from other countries, veggies, tropical fruits, take away food, fish of any kind and meat. Everything you can think of, surely is in the market, it is actually the place where people from all over Barcelona go to find something rare, or special foods.
All rare products or difficult to find in the city can generally be found at the market, there are stalls specialized in imported and foreign products: fresh fruit from Thailand, products from South America, Chinese sauces, noodles, chilis etc…
I love tropical foods, now in Barcelona is more usual to find mangos and papayas but rare to find dragon fruit or maracuyás for example. I was super happy in Thailand to have all those great fruits very easy to taste them in shakes, salads and cakes. Every time I got to la Boqueria, I can't resist so I had to buy my favorite: passion fruit.
I love to go around the market and look at the stalls, everything looks so tempting, I would buy it all. If you are interested in gastronomy and Catalan culture it is a good opportunity to know more about the products used in Catalan cuisine.
In La Boqueria market there are also tours running from different companies that consist of a route all over the market to know better the ingredients used in Catalan dishes.There are cooking classes as well in the same market in a space called Aula Boqueria. If you go with a local you will learn all about the ingredients and what kind of things catalan eat, this culinary tours not only run in La Boqueria, but also in other areas of town less crowded and more authentic such as the Devour food tour we did in Gràcia.
When visiting the city center, save the lunch time to visit the market as you have take away foods available at the market at a very reasonable price. There are fruit packs all cut and prepared from 1 euro, fruit juices, take away rice dishes, pasta, salads etc… You can save money eating in the market and also go local and try typical foods.
If you would like a restaurant experience with La Boqueria products, in eat boqueria, you can book a menu with products from La Boqueria at a local restaurant from 40 euros per person. There are some restaurants in town offering these menus and in eat boqueria web you can book them in advance.
Where to eat in la Boqueria
Eating inside a local market in Barcelona is very authentic and in any neighborhood there is a market to go to and at least one restaurant. I am very fan of local markets and I go as much as I can, I recently discovered the Ninot market and a fish tapas restaurant.
Inside La Boqueria market there are also little restaurant stalls where you can sit in a stool and eat some tapas that are done with the amazing products from La Boqueria. The most famous restaurant it is called El Pinotxo, just stopping by to see the show of people queuing it is worth it, if you can sit and try some dishes even better. Here you can try typical catalan food: cap i pota (head and leg), callos (tripes), meat stew, butifarra de pagés -catalán sausage-, palamós prawns, squid with beans etc...
Another restaurant that it is well known is El Quim de la Boqueria, is a family run business, they have a wide selection of tapas from 3 to 9 euros each. They have grilled fish such as skid, salmon, prawns, clams, tuna, little octopus etc...They also have typical catalan dishes such as botifarra with allioli, eggs with iberian ham and mussels.
St Josep de la Boqueria market
Address : Rambla, 85-89 Barcelona
Everyday from 8am to 8:30pm
Note that it is a local market, so it is closed on Sundays