The Best Stalls at La Boqueria
Tucked away on Barcelona’s most famous street is Barcelona’s even more famous market, La Boqueria. The street is called Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas is a little less than a mile long and leads from Plaza Catalunya all the way to the seaport. Las Ramblas at one time was a river. While it is excellent for people watching whilst getting your purse stolen… it is all dried up as far as a quality meal goes.
To be honest, the entire street is a tourist trap. The restaurants that line the street cater to those interested in frozen paella and “American” style burgers and fries. Pretty girls pass out menus and discount coupons along the entire length of the strip and lure in middle-aged men with their charm and thick accents. Do yourself a favor and do not eat at any establishment on La Rambla. Turn away from the pretty girl’s boobs and head straight to el Mercat de la Boqueria.
El Mercat de la Boqueria is as close to heaven as any foodie is going to find here on earth. La Boqueria is more alive than any other food market I have entered. It is a true paradise for all your senses. Just be careful. If you touch too many things, take too many photos or just glare at one pear for too long you will have an old woman yelling at you in Catalan before you know it!
The vendors at el Mercat de La Boqueria are there to sell, not impress the tourists. The vendors sell fresh fruit, vegetables, seafood, fish, cured fish, salt cod, canned goods, eggs, game, meats, cheeses, yogurt, bread, pastries, pies, pizza, pasta, rice, chocolates, truffles, smoothies, juices, coffee, tea, spices, oils, nuts, herbs…. you get the idea.
You will be in el Mercat de La Boqueria for days if you intend to sample something from every stall. Not to mention you will have a ridiculous stomach ache. Instead, brave the crowds and stop by the best stalls at La Boqueria.
If you need lunch: Universal Kiosk
If you are heading to el Mercado de La Boqueria for lunch, Universal Kiosk is the place to eat. Universal Kiosk serves traditional Mediterranean dishes and seafood. They use the best ingredients and cook on premises (right in front of you, actually) to ensure quality and freshness. The bar stools are always full so you are lucky if you can find a seat right away. Put in your name and wait! Order los pulpitos (baby squid), the fish of the day, the mixed mushrooms, and the mixed vegetables. Read my review entirely about Universal Kiosk for more details.
If you are thirsty: Fresh Juice
There is no particular stall when it comes to this category. Freshly puréed juices are available at nearly every fruit stand in the market. These are whipped up for the tourists in need of an afternoon pick me up or a morning juice. They come in nearly every flavor. You can choose your more traditional orange or strawberry but there are also exotic variations and combos like coconut and papaya or mango and passionfruit.
Do not be lured in by the first stall you see! The juices are marked up excessively towards the edges and the entrance of the market. Head inwards and find a juice priced for €1. Trust me, they are identical to the ones valued at €2. You’re paying for th real estate, not the flavor.
If you want to admire or buy some eggs: Simplement Ous
Simplement Ous, is the most photogenic stand in the market. Here you can buy a whole lot more than regular old eggs. Sure, they have those too, but that’s not why restauranteurs come to Ous. At Ous they have turkey, chicken, quail, ostrich, duck, goose and emu eggs. If it lays eggs, they’ve got it.
Want pizza? E-Slice
Try a slice of pizza from the Italian pizza stall that is all the rage in Barcelona. Many claim E-Slice has the best slice in Barcelona. Not convinced yet? You can charge your phone while you eat! Ok, now I convinced you, I’m sure.
Stalls 455 & 456
Feeling nutty? Try Fruita Seca Morilla
Fruita Seca Morilla is located in the center of La Boqueria next to the fish circle. Here they have at least 15 different varieties of almonds. You can have your almonds sliced, whole, raw, coated in sugar, coated in spice, salted, mixed with sesame seeds, or my favorite… covered in dark chocolate. Whatever way you like your almonds, Fruita Seca Morilla has you covered. Don’t like almonds? Don’t worry. They have plenty of other nuts and dried fruits to suit your fancy.
Stalls 427 & 458
If you are craving dried fruit: Fruites i Verdures Romana
This stall is not cheap nor is it friendly. I got roped in to buying way too many dried mangos here assuming it would be reasonably priced like my market in Murcia. Of course, I was mistaken. The displays here are marked so you aren’t getting completely bamboozled, but be careful! They will fill up your bag so make sure to tell them when to stop. Don’t feel bad about it either. You want what you want! The quality is good, I’ll give them credit there.
Another favorite purchase at El Mercado de La Boqueria is chocolate. I haven’t quite decided on my favorite stall. There are also gummy candies aplenty and an overwhelming amount of places to buy fresh produce, meat, and fish. Wander and enjoy! You will never see another market quite like El Mercat de La Boqueria.
The Mercat de San Josep de La Boqueria, Les Rambles, 91