Exploring the Best Food Market in Barcelona

Barcelona food marketOn our prior visits to Barcelona, we found ourselves staying in hotels near the tourist center of town, Las Ramblas.  It also meant that we frequently found ourselves in one of the most beautiful markets we have ever seen – La Boqueria, probably the most popular food market in Barcelona, but that does not mean it is the best food market in Barcelona.

We knew La Boqueria was touristy, but we did not care. With fruit, vegetables, meats, and cheeses displayed stunningly, and a few bars and eateries tucked in the back, we thought we had found heaven on earth.  Since our first visit, we have told anyone we know who was heading to Barcelona, to stop at La Boqueria. 

Until now.

We met Carlos on our Devour Barcelona food tour.  Spanish born, Australian raised, he is a tour guide who brings groups through Spain.  He luckily told us about his favorite food market in Barcelona, which was only a five minute walk from our GoWithOh apartment. 

Why Santa Catarina is the Best Food Market in Barcelona

We found the market on a Saturday, and it was gorgeous.  The displays were not only amazing, but the lighting was done in such a way that every little morsel under the huge ceiling looked delectable.  There is just something about food markets in Europe, and in particular markets in Italy and Spain, that just makes me drool.

Barcelona Food Market

Barcelona Food Market

Barcelona Food MarketAnd, because it was a Saturday, the market was packed with people buying food to make their big weekend family meals

We saw a butcher delicately preparing meat for a customer, taking so much pride in his work.

Barcelona Food Market

We saw people pushing in, standing three deep waiting to order from the fish monger

Barcelona Food MarketWe saw people ordering fish or vegetables.  The owner of the stall would show off what he was about to wrap up to ensure it satisfies the customers’ standards – such a pride in their offerings.

Barcelona Food MarketWe saw older ladies pointing and directing workers to find their perfect piece of meat, or in this case, eggs.

Barcelona Food MarketAs we were attempting to live like the locals for our time in Barcelona, we ordered some cheese, and a bottle of wine to bring back to our apartment.  We also stopped at the bar for an early morning glass of cava and some plates of fresh foods. 

It made me realize how much I want to live for awhile near a market like this, to shop at the market like the locals do.  One that is clean and so much more approachable than the markets in Asia, which practically display Asia food.  Eric said we would have to get a grill for our apartment to cook up all the amazing meats and fish.  I would be happy to make salads from the fresh vegetables, use the amazing fruits for a lovely breakfast, and, of course, eat cheese for most meals of the day.

Santa Catarina market quickly became one of my favorite markets in the world.  I didn’t want to leave!  It’s what made Santa Catarina market my new favorite food market in Barcelona.

Santa Catarina Market is at Av. Francesc Cambó, 16, in El Born, Barcelona.  They are closed on Sunday.

18 Comments

  1. Wow, that’s one clean and packed market! Love markets, too, especially one that offers the freshest produce of varying types. Now I have go-to Barcelona expert to ask 😉

    xx Gourmet Getaways

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  2. Wow! Those veggies! I will serve and eat salads and veggie dishes everyday if I can buy them as fresh as that.

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    • Yeah, agreed. Although all I wanted to do was head home with some fresh made pasta and those great fall mushrooms and whip up a mushroom cream sauce!

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  3. I loved it as well. Akis and I had an amazing breakfast in Boqueria and lunch at the Santa Caterina…in fact we didn’t stop!

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    • That’s what I like to hear!

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  4. I love the markets in Europe, and this one looks especially good. In fact, I want one of those tomatoes NOW.

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  5. One of the best things about traveling in Europe is getting to go to markets like Santa Catarina. I’ll remember this when I finally make my way to Barcelona!

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    • Yeah, it was stunning!

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  6. Oh yummy yummy!

    During my trip to BCN last summer, I visited the market on a day it was closed so I never got to see it…. I might have to travel back to BCN again when I go to TBEX in Girona next spring!

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    • We should go to Santa Catarina market together during TBEX next year!!!

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  7. SO glad you posted this! The down side of cruising is that you often only get one day in a city and, in our case, our one day in Barcelona was the day the market was closed. 🙁 I appreciate this look at what we missed. On the up side, we have many, many reasons to get back to Barcelona ASAP! And your photos are making me drool…

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    • I know! I wanted to go back to the market on Sunday for another visit, but it was closed. Always a bummer. Definitely try to spend more time in Barcelona!

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  8. What incredibly beautiful photos. Everything looked spectacular and made me hungry even though I just finished supper.

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    • I probably have at least a dozen more really good photos from this market too. The food, and the lighting made it so easy. Everything looked tasty!

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  9. Lovely description on our fav market in Barcelona!! As we’re there minimum 3 times a week, we need to tell you: if you visit it again, we really recommend you to stop in the olive oil shop on the corner, to taste and explore about our olive oils!! Arbequina olive oil now is freshly pressed and you’ll be delighted!! Oh, and we can’t skip buying their truffled crisps!! Hope you’ll enjoy it!

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    • I will try to remember that, because I feel pretty sure I will return!

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  10. Thank you for this post! I’m planning a trip to Barcelona and was bummed that I couldn’t get to a nice market since La Boqueria is going to be closed on that day! I’ll definitely try Santa Catarina :)!

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    • Definitely check it out! Santa Catarina, I believe, is closed on Sundays, FYI. Enjoy, and send me a photo from there. Post it to the FB page, or Tweet it to @husbandintow!

      Reply

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