Barcelona Mercat Boqueria – the Ultimate Super Market

Mushrooms at La Boqueria, Barcelona

Wild Mushrooms at La Boqueria, Barcelona

You already know how much I detest the American Supermarket. If you ask me, local merchants are the way to go. While I love San Francisco farmers markets, I’d never seen anything like the Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain.

I just returned from a vacation on Barcelona; a place where food is serious business. We rented a little flat which was just across from the Boqueria, an open air market which has been running daily since the mid-nineteenth century. (Read more about the history of the Boqueria.) Here you can find every manner of delicacy from whole pigs, to wild mushrooms, spices, foie gras, game, every manner of vegetable, shepherd-made cheeses, cured meats and even snails— and I’m not even scratching the surface.

I will admit, that the amount offered, is a bit mind boggling. Add that to the winding aisles of vendors and it’s quite easy to get lost here. We seemed to get lost every time we visited. Thankfully, there are a few places to sit down and have a drink or a snack.

Like everything in Barcelona, it’s open late. They officially close 8:30pm, although, if you wander in at eight, don’t be surprised to see merchants who are more interested in cleaning up than answering your questions.

If you’re visiting this glorious market and curious about what you can bring back to the states, I found this guide, Bring It on Home very helpful. In a nutshell, no produce, no meats (cured or otherwise), and no cheese runnier than brie. The good news is that you can bring home most of those wonderful stinky cheeses, as well as candies and spices!

For my photos of Barcelona’s Boqueria see my flickr set.


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