The Sant Josep market, better known as La Boquería, is the central market of Barcelona and is considered one of the best in the world. With 2583 m² and more than 300 stalls, it is the second largest market in the city.
La Boqueria market offers fresh products of great quality and you can find products from all over the world and, in addition, if you do not find what you are looking for, they promise to look for it. It is also perfect to have a snack (such as oysters with a glass of cava or a white wine) or at noon eat a plate or tapas and enjoy the atmosphere. Due to its location (it is in the middle of La Rambla, very close to the Gran Teatre del Liceu) it is a tourist attraction that you cannot miss.
There are documents confirming the presence of tables for the sale of meat on the esplanade of the Pla la Boqueria in 1217. At that time and in the following centuries, there were several outdoor street markets located on the Rambla, which welcomed the peasants of the towns around Barcelona that sold their products in the city. They were outside the walls of Barcelona to pay less taxes. When the old wall was demolished in 1777, the street market stalls moved to different areas of La Rambla, and even settled on the avenue. In 1827 the market had 200 stalls, 100 of fresh and salted meat, 48 of fish and the rest for various products. In 1836 the market was moved to the site that occupied the convent of San José de los Carmelitas Descalzos, which was set on fire in a revolt. He no longer moved from there. It was still an open-air market and in 1840 the first stone of the current market was laid. Over time the market expanded and architectural and decorative elements were added such as the placement of the modernist arch of the entrance to La Rambla, designed by the architect Antoni de Falguera. In 1914 the metal roof was built and until 1985 no notable renovations were made. Nowadays, La Boquería Market has an underground car park, offices, a training center (Aula Boqueria) where courses, workshops and events related to cooking and gastronomy are held, and a waste management area.
Visit the La Boqueria Market
Most likely, you do not enter La Boqueria to buy something, although if you have rented an apartment, you may want to cook a dish based on market products one day, and for that this market is a guarantee. You also have other options: let yourself be guided by an expert who will help you buy, and cook later! or eat in some of the market bars, market products. But if you go on your own and want to simply know the market, come in and let yourself go. In two hours you can see everything, without losing detail. La Boqueria, like many markets, is an explosion of colors, smells and flavors. You will find all kinds of stalls: poultry and eggs, pork and charcuterie, butchers, specialties, fruit and vegetables, nuts, legumes, offal, olives and preserves, fish and shellfish, saltwater fishing and grocery stores. Do not miss the central part, where the fishmongers are located, it is very colorful, although in color those who win are the greengrocers that organize the product in a way that you want to try everything. If you want to plan your visit and visit, inevitably some stall, here is the plan with the detailed cards of the positions.
The bars of La Boqueria
In La Boquería there are 10 bars where you can taste the products of the market. In all you will eat very well. These are the most prominent:
- Quim de La Boquería: they started in 1987 with three meters of bar and five stools. Today it is one of the most emblematic bars in the market. They offer culinary creations, always with market products. Its specialty is fried eggs, eggs with squid and chanterelles with foie. To find it: entering La Rambla, in the third aisle on the left, next to the seafood area. Open on Mondays, from 12:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. / Tuesday through Thursday, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. / Friday and Saturday, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Pinotxo Bar: a classic from La Boquería. It has been in the market since 1940. It offers Catalan and market cuisine always with seasonal products. Their specialties: the "capipota" (stew with nose and veal hands), squid with beans from Santa Pau and fresh fish. To find it: it is next to the entrance of La Rambla, in the first aisle. Open from Monday to Saturday from 07:00 am to 04:00 pm. Note: for legal reasons, the Pinotxo bar is now called the Mític Bar, perhaps temporarily.
- Bar Central: market cuisine with fresh fish and seafood. They prepare grill products and breakfasts. Its specialty is paellas. To find it: entering La Rambla, in the second aisle, turn right and count four aisles. Open from Monday to Saturday from 08:00 am to 8:00 pm.
- Kiosko Universal: in La Boquería since 1973. Its specialties are fish and seafood, vegetables and mushrooms. It is considered as one of the best grills in Barcelona. To find it: entering La Rambla, in the second aisle turn left and continue until the end. Open Monday to Saturday from 09:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
La Boqueria Market Opening Hours
- From Monday to Saturday: from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Closing days: Sundays, January 1, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May 1, Easter Monday Granada or second Easter, June 24, August 15, September 11 and 24, November 1, December 25 and December 26.