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