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La Boqueria
Foto: Olivia Rutherford / Time Out Mercat de la Boqueria

Barcelona markets: The top ten

Your ultimate guide to the best Barcelona markets – fresh meat, fish, fruit, veg and so much more

By Lottie Chesterman

Food is an integral part of Catalan culture, and Barcelona is the perfect example of this. With its 39 food markets spread throughout the city's neighbourhoods, tourists and locals alike don't have to travel far to see the displays of the fresh products that line the market aisles. From fresh produce, like fruits, veggies, meat and fish, to a more widespread array of food, flowers and boutiques, the markets around town are all unique in their own way. The bars and restaurants in and around the markets are some of the best places to treat your taste buds too.

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The Ten Best Barcelona Markets

Quim de la Boqueria
Photo: Jordi Cotrina

1. Mercat de la Boqueria

Shopping Markets and fairs El Raval

La Boqueria is the best-known market in Barcelona and has become somewhat of a tourist attraction thanks to its location on the bustling La Rambla. Hosting a wide range of fresh food, it's the perfect stop to have a bite to eat while taking in the sites of central Barcelona. Whether you choose to find a seat at one of the many teeming countertops or pick up something on the go, you'll find a huge variety of food, from salads and sandwiches to snack cones filled with ham or shrimp. Losing yourself in the crowds thronging the aisles is a great way to soak up the atmosphere, while the tantalizing smells from fresh fish and charcuterie entice you in.

Where to eat:
Bar CentralOne of the busiest and most popular bars in the market that excels in its fresh fish dishes.

El Quim de la Boquería. Another highly regarded bar whose signature dish is baby squid with eggs.

Bar PinotxoOwned by the lovely Juanito, this is a must-visit for their delicious chickpea dishes.

Mercat de Sant Antoni
Photo: Pere Virgili

2. Mercat de Sant Antoni

Attractions Eixample

The Sant Antoni neighbourhood market reopened in May 2018 after undergoing major renovations that lasted nearly a decade. It now has 235 establishments, with 52 of them alone selling fresh produce inside the market. The others surround the market on various days. On Sundays, the book market is outside of the building on C/Urgell, and you can sift through books and arrays of other trinkets and goods.

Where to eat:
Bar Casa Blanca. Located inside the market, Casa Blanca always has fresh fish, and the recommendation list changes daily. The bacon and cheese sandwich for lunch is also a must. 

Mercat de Santa Caterina
Photo: Lottie Chesterman

3. Mercat de Santa Caterina

Attractions Ciutat Vella

Easily spotted from Plaça Nova, Mercat de Santa Caterina is most distinctive for its vibrantly coloured, undulating rooftop designed by Catalan architect Enric Miralles, a representation of the colours of the fruit and vegetables found in the market, which encapsulates Barcelona's modernista tradition. Less chaotic than La Boquería, it's still a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, creating a vivid and lively atmosphere. The stalls sell a beautiful assortment of fresh produce including meat, fish, cheese, fruit and vegetables, making it easy to visualise the architect's inspiration for the unique roof design.

Where to eat:
Bar Joan.
Frequented by regular shoppers as well as wide-eyed visitors, Bar Joan's flavoursome Catalan dishes are popular among all. 

Mercat de Sant Andreu
Photo: Lottie Chesterman

4. Mercat de Sant Andreu

Shopping Markets and fairs Sant Andreu

This local market is located in a delightful colonnaded square in the charming neighbourhood of Sant Andreu. It may not be huge, but it has everything you could need in terms of fresh meat, fish, fruit and veg, as well as herbs and condiments. There are more stalls, shops and bars beneath the colonnade itself, including florists and bakeries. A favourite is Chocolat, specialising in tea and, yes, chocolate: the passionate chocolatiers sell high-quality chocolates, ice creams and a variety of teas. The chocolate-covered comfit orange peel is not to be missed.

Where to eat:
Restaurante Rabasseda. This little restaurant in the colonnade sells a variety of dishes that use products from the market.

Mercat de la Concepció
Photo: Lottie Chesterman

5. Mercat de la Concepció

Attractions Eixample

La Concepció is particularly well known for its flower market, located at the back. Here you’ll find all types of flowers and greenery, ideal for anyone with gardening ambitions. Entering the market is an unusual experience. The space opens up in front of you like a large warehouse; to your right an appliances shop, to your left and below you, a supermarket. Yep, that’s right, below you. In fact, to get to the market stalls you have to walk across a bridge suspended over the supermarket – quite the grand entrance. The market itself boasts a fantastic range of fruit, veg, meat and wine stalls. The fresh fruit and mixed juices are particularly delicious.

Where to eat:
Forn Pastisseria L’Eixample
Originating in 1910, this bakery sells beautiful sweet and savoury pastries. Alternatively, swing by one of the fruit stalls for freshly cut fruit if you’re looking for a healthier option.

Mercat de Sants
Photo: Lottie Chesterman

6. Mercat de Sants

Shopping Markets and fairs Sants - Montjuïc

Located in the neighbourhood of Sants, near Montjuïc, Mercat de Sants is another example of stunning modernista architecture, set in a large and spacious brick building with ornate details and charming original features. Inside it has a surprisingly modern feeling, its high vaulted ceiling providing a light and roomy atmosphere. The stalls offer the usual fresh produce as well as several counters where you can buy ready-made meals and snacks such as pastas, croquettes, empanadas and salads.

Where to eat:
Arrom. Swing by Arrom to pick up some exquisite charcuterie and cheeses, or stop and take a seat at the counter for a sandwich, prepared before you, with delicious fillings including Iberian ham, pork or a selection of cheeses.

Mercat del Ninot
Photo: Lottie Chesterman

7. Mercat del Ninot

Shopping Markets and fairs

Having reopened in May 2015 after a five-year refurbishment period, El Ninot has a much more modern feel than some of the other markets. It's spotless and spacious; the cavernous roof that covers the stalls below is constructed from steel and glass, creating a light and airy atmosphere. Even during the busy lunch hour, there's still enough room in the wide aisles for all of the many customers cruising the stalls to find something to eat.

Where to eat:
The Res. A small bar tucked in a corner of the market, it's best-known for its charcuterie, and serves delicious tapas and a variety of other dishes. The 'croquetas de jamón' (ham croquettes) are particularly delectable.

Mercat de Galvany
Photo: Lottie Chesterman

8. Mercat de Galvany

Shopping Markets and fairs Sarrià - Sant Gervasi

A Sarrià-Sant Gervasi neighbourhood favourite, Galvany differs a bit in style from many of the typical Barcelona markets. In place of the usual steel and wood or glass construction, this market is housed in a beautiful brick building that resembles a village hall or church. This image is completed with a couple of small stained-glass windows, although the elaborate mosaicked depictions of fruit over the main door are the most attention-grabbing elements. Inside you'll find an impressive display of high-quality produce, from cheese and charcuterie to spices and sushi. It may not be the biggest market in town, but you can get everything you need here with the bonus of lovely surroundings.

Where to eat:
El Café del Galvany. Join the locals who've been frequenting the market for years and grab a snack at this little bar. Take a break from shopping and soak up the ambience.      

Mercat de la Llibertat
Photo: Lottie Chesterman

9. Mercat de la Llibertat

Shopping Markets and fairs Gràcia

La Llibertat is slightly more intimate and has a local, village market feel to it. There are fewer stalls around the outside of the market and instead the intricate, metal ornamentation above the doors and on the roof draw your eyes upwards. Inside you'll find a Bonpreu supermarket as well as the fresh food stands. Seafood stalls are particularly prevalent here; indeed the stock of one is so fresh you can watch it as it crawls around its tank.

Where to eat:
El Tast de Joan Noi. Savour exquisite fresh fish cooked to perfection right in front of you at this popular bar. 

La PubillaNot inside, but nearby the market, La Pubilla’s take on traditional dishes made with fresh market ingredients are highly recommended. 

Mercat d'Hostafrancs
Photo: Lottie Chesterman

10. Mercat d'Hostafrancs

Shopping Markets and fairs Hostafrancs

Further down the road from the Mercat de Sants, Hostafrancs is perhaps the most eclectic market in the mix. Round the outside are various bargain clothing, accessories and homeware stalls and, whilst the inside does focus on foodstuffs, you'll also encounter the occasional stand selling other goods. Upstairs there's even a stationery shop selling paper products, pens, books, toys and more. In short, you can find pretty much everything on your list at this market.

Where to eat:
Bar del Mercat d'Hostafrancs. Stop by this counter for some tapas, traditional dishes and sweet or savoury pastries, all made with produce from the market itself.   

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La Cova Fumada
Photo: Maria Dias

Best tapas in Barcelona

Restaurants Spanish

When you're looking for tapas in Barcelona, you'll see menus boasting them just about everywhere you turn. The choice can be overwhelming, and nowhere else but Barcelona boasts tapas in such variety – but this can apply to quality as well as the dishes on offer. Here is our guide to the restaurants, cafés and bars serving the best mini-meals in Barcelona.


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