Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, known in short as La Boqueria, is my absolute-hands-down-favourite place in all of Barcelona. If you’re looking to try as many local dishes as possible, I highly recommend a visit to La Boqueria market. This market features only the highest quality foods and is visited by countless locals and tourists daily (it is busiest around the lunch hour).
There are a couple of options for a self-guided food tour of the market: you can stop at one of the sit-down restaurants on the perimeter and enjoy the local cuisine while taking in the passers-by, or stroll through the aisles of food vendor stalls, sampling as you go.
Tips for Visiting La Boqueria
La Boqueria is located in the heart of La Rambla making it the perfect spot to stop for a bite while strolling the street market. Most vendors accept major credit cards, but cash is always easier in these situations. Note that the market is closed on Sundays, so plan your trip accordingly.
How to Experience La Boqueria
I highly recommend starting at one end of the market and weaving your way through, stopping to sample each thing that catches your eye. My top choices are: a paper cone of Serrano ham and Manchego cheese, freshly squeezed fruit juices, watermelon on a stick, empanadas, roasted nuts and churros.
Aside from the number of sit-down restaurants and bars around the market’s perimeter, there are also a number of food stalls that feature bar seating around their customer counters. Many of these places offer tapas and other small plates of their version of local dishes.
Fun Times at La Boqueria
La Boqueria was featured prominently in the Rick Steves Europe special about Barcelona and for good reason. I mention this because the program features a number of lovely things about the market, including a fun local celebrity at one particular tapas bar. I said to my husband, “Could you imagine if we saw the guy from Rick Steves? That would be so crazy!” and about five minutes later he points and says “Hey! There’s the guy!”
This fine gentleman has become a bit of a local celebrity in Barcelona and you can find him at his Tapas bar at La Boqueria, Pinotxo Bar.
For more information on visiting Barcelona, be sure to check out my Essential Travel Guide to Barcelona (coming soon!).