First Timer’s Guide to Barcelona’s Mercat de la Boqueria

You’ve been told to visit the best market in the world during your trip in Barcelona, but what exactly for? It’s doubtful you have to shop for produce or meat cuts while on vacation. Fortunately, there’s more to La Boqueria than groceries – fresh juice, breakfast, seafood or tapas chased with a refreshing beer are sure to give you a taste of the region and beyond.

The market dates back to 1217, with open-air stalls. Today, La Boqueria is bustling with local chefs picking out goods in the early hour and a flood of tourists during the day. Arrive early when the market opens (around 8 am) and expect a healthy dose of chaos.

First time at Mercat de la Boqueria? Let us recommend where to go.

Juice

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Fresh juice and smoothies abound at La Boqueria, displayed over piles of ice. There’s no special stall to choose from – they all offer similar products at varying prices and they’re all tasty.

Breakfast at El Quim

After a juice, make your way to El Quim for a smartly-prepared breakfast with only the freshest ingredients. This is the place where chefs eat. Enjoy two farm-fresh eggs exquisitely fried with a tasty accompaniment, as conservative as ham or as rich as foie gras. El Quim serves fresh tapas all day, but its breakfast can’t be beat. Stall #582

Fresh seafood at Ramblero

For those interested in a variety of fresh seafood, consider Ramblero. Juicy prawns, raw oysters and freshly-caught fish are masterfully prepared and served. Enjoy with a light beer for the full experience. Stall #550

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Small plates at Universal Kiosk

Universal Kiosk is located on the front left corner of the market when entering from La Rambla. Chances are it’ll be busy, so put your name down and wait for a seat to open up. It’s worth the wait! Try baby octopus and sauteed mushrooms, best washed down with a cold beer. Stall #691

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Pizza at Eslice

Feel free to stray from traditional Catalan fare with a slice from Eslice Pizza. It’s surprisingly wonderful pizza, and at an affordable price you won’t break the bank. Stall #455

See what all the fuss is about at Pinotxo

Pinotxo is a long, long, long-time staple at the market, serving homestyle Catalan food for the better half of a century. Keep an eye out for the famous proprietor, Juanito, who will most likely be behind the counter offering daily specials. The 14-stool bar is favored for its razor clams. Prices are a bit steep at this legendary spot, but many leave feeling that it’s well worth it. Cash only. Stall #465

Chocolate stalls

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Like the juice at La Boqueria, you can’t go wrong with the chocolate stalls. Pick out handmade and decorated chocolate stuffs for souvenirs, or pick up a bit of everything to enjoy throughout your trip.

Want a map of the stalls? Check out the stands at La Boqueria.

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