Ash
Written by Ash

La Boqueria Market 2020 – Where to Eat and What to Buy

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So you’re in Barcelona and you love food – we’re off to a good start.

It might not be front and centre of the average itinerary, but the great foodie pilgrimage the city has laid at our feet with La Boqueria Market can’t be missed.

The only problem is it’s a bit of a jerk – it wants your money.

So how do we go in guns blazing?

With my guide of course. Let’s get sat at the best restaurants in the market, find the best quality stuff at stalls, and leave like locals without getting swindled… vamos!

La Boqueria Market Barcelona Info

  • Barcelona’s biggest food market with 40,000 visitors a day.
  • Dates back to a 1217 meat market on the same spot.
  • Named after boc (‘goat’ in Catalan) meaning ‘place where goat is sold’.
  • Voted best food market in the world by CNN.
  • Home to a huge range of food products, handicrafts, and farmer’s shops.
  • Most stalls owned by fourth and fifth generation heirs.
  • Popular for seafood tapas, ham, and fruit smoothies.

Best La Boqueria Restaurants

La Boqueria Market has many places to enjoy high quality Catalan cuisine. Keep in mind however that most are not restaurants but tiny bars to be sat at. Space is extremely limited.

For this reason your best bet is to go early as possible for breakfast.

There are no reservations. If you want to sit down there’s some skill to it. You’ll need to lurk around people who look about to finish eating then pounce on the chairs when they pay.

Expect to wait about 25-30 minutes.

El Quim de La Boqueria

At stall 582 you look up and see the yellow metal sheeting and the distinctive ‘egg Q’ logo.

This Boqueria restaurant that every local raves about started as a tiny 5 stool bar in 1987. It’s now a 16 meter counter that’s plugged with people from dusk till dawn. Most of the traditional Spanish dishes here work for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The house specialty that you need to try? Fried eggs with baby squid.

Other favourites include the grilled garlic shrimp, foie gras with caramelized onion and wild mushroom, and oxtail risotto. Get them all and gorge! With wine/sangria expect to pay about 25 euros per person.

Hours: Mon 12:00-16:00, Tues-Thurs 07:00-16:00, Fri-Sat 07:00-17:00 (Sunday closed).

More info at El Quim de La Boqueria.

Bar Pinotxo

Forget restaurants at La Boqueria. I’ve had people tell me that stalls 466-470 are home to the best tapas restaurant in Barcelona period.

This small family-run business is a relief from the showboating, loudmouthed staff of other bars trying to angle tourists. Here they let their food do the talking. If you want a no frills flavour explosion this is your place.

Nobody leaves this restaurant without getting garbanzo beans with blood sausage. You also can’t go wrong with the beef cheek stew or eggplant omelette. Look to pay 20-25 a person with coffee/wine.

Hours: Mon-Sat 06:30-16:00 (Sunday closed).

More info at Bar Pinotxo.

Kiosko Universal

Starting at stall 691 is a restaurant that’s no slouch in the tapas department.

This counter specializes in grilled seafood directly from the market. There’s a freshness here you won’t find anywhere else. If you love cooking it’s fascinating to watch the cooks at work. There are decent portions here so 2-3 tapas should do it for two people.

Here the specialties are the grilled sardines, Galician octopus, and calamari. If you’re feeling gluttonous then go for the grilled seafood platter to sample a bit of everything. Expect to pay about 20-25 euros per person.

There’s no need to lurk around this restaurant: they take your name and put you in a queue.

Hours: Mon-Sat 08:00-17:00 (Sunday closed).

a pan of seafood paella at bodega joan restaurant in barcelona spain a pan of seafood paella at bodega joan restaurant in barcelona spain
Get a paella tasting menu at the legendary Bodega Joan!

Food Shopping at La Boqueria Barcelona

It’s never a bad idea to cook if you’re staying in a holiday apartment with a kitchen – and there’s no better place to grab some top notch ingredients than La Boqueria Market.

So how do I know which stalls are the best?

I did a food market tour with the famous chef Iker Erauzkin, who for years was head of La Boqueria’s famous culinary school. If he doesn’t know the best stalls then nobody does.

Ham

Spain produces an astonishing 40 million hams a year and some of the best ones end up here.

Here we’re not concerned as much about stalls as we are ensuring we get a good quality cut of jamon. If you’re in it to win it you’re going to skip the cheapo ham-filled cones you see being sold and go for the goods.

We’re looking for Jamon Iberico de Bellota.

These pata negra (black-hooved) pigs raised on the Spain-Portugal border roam free range through old growth forests and dine on herbs, grass, and most importantly bellotas (acorns). The result is a nutty and beautifully marbled melt-in-your-mouth slice of cured meat.

It’s unlikely you’ll get it for much cheaper at other Barcelona markets, but an elite brand to keep an eye out for is called Cinco Jotas – just be prepared to pay €10.00+ for 100 grams 😉

Fruit and Vegetables

The fruit and vegetable stalls are without a doubt the most colorful and fascinating of all the market. You’ll find everything from exotic fruits to different types of chili peppers to edible flowers!

Make sure to grab yourself a fruit cup or smoothie for the walk around.

Among many options I find the best quality/price ratio at Fruites y Verdures Soley Roser in stall 509.

Mushroom lovers should head to Bolets Petras at stall 867.

Red Meat

Of all the food markets in Barcelona this is the perfect place for top quality cuts but be careful: they have the prices to match!

For all your juicy meat entrees I recommend Carnisseria Soler Ferran Capella at stall 992. The specialty here is a cut of meat called cabeza de la reina (Queen’s head).

Poultry, Game, and Pate

At Boqueria Market you can also find good game meat and organically raised chickens.

A trick to recognize the organic chickens is that the skin of the flesh is yellow. Stay away from the whitish skin and keep your ecological conscience at ease.

To buy the best chicken and game head to Avinova at stall 689.

Fish

Lovers of good fish who have stuffed themselves silly with our list of best restaurants in Barcelona won’t be able to resist themselves in front of all the fresh tuna, salmon and shellfish!

Freshly caught crabs, shrimp, sea urchins, mussels, and clams of all sizes will move in front of your very eyes. We recommend Eva Peix Pepi at stall 801.

Tip: A dead giveaway for not-so-fresh fish is a grayish cloudiness in the eyes.

sagrada familia passion façade under construction sagrada familia passion façade under construction
Saving 20% on attractions is just the beginning!

La Boqueria Market Hours

The market is open Monday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm (closed Sunday).

Some of the stalls shut as early as 2 pm so it’s best to get there beforehand. In general the best time to visit is between 10 am and 12 pm when the market is all set up but still not roaring busy.

For more visiting hours information consult the official website.

How to Get to La Boqueria

La Boqueria Market is at 91 La Rambla and is reached by Liceu metro on the green line (L3).

You’ll find it about half way down Barcelona’s most famous street.

From Plaça de Catalunya it’s about an 8 minute walk down hill and you’ll find it on your right hand side. Walking 5 minutes up hill from the Columbus Statue and cruise ship port you’ll find it on your left.

The two closest Bus Turistic stops are Plaça de Catalunya and Museu Maritim.

You can also reach the food market with buses 59, 91, and V13.

La Boqueria Guided Tours

Secrets of the Old City Guided Tour

It won’t be specifically focused on La Boqueria but it’s included.

And for me there’s no better way to get your hand on the pulse of the history, the current political situation, and the future of Barcelona than this wonderful walking tour (video preview here).

You’ll roll with one of the best guides in the business: local Texan Alvaro.

Prepare to be ‘edu-tained‘ at La Rambla, Boqueria Market, Barcelona Cathedral, Plaça Sant Felipe Neri, the Augustus Temple, the Jewish Quarter, and much more.

You’ll also get an old Picasso haunt, one of Barcelona’s sweetest snack stops, and street art galore.

Tours run daily at 10:00 am and last around 2.5 hours.

GOTHIC QUARTER TOUR
Book my tour now!
tourists listening to tour guide alvaro garza in the gothic quarter barcelona spain tourists listening to tour guide alvaro garza in the gothic quarter barcelona spain
Discover the secrets of the old city with Alvaro!

Chef’s Tour + Paella Cooking Workshop

Wouldn’t it be a waste seeing all these ingredients without a chef to put them together?

During this informative small group tour you’ll learn the secrets of the market as you pick up ingredients to make a traditional Spanish lunch under the guidance of a trained local chef.

So roll up your sleeves and get in there! There’s plenty of wine for encouragement. By the time you leave you’ll know how to cook (and have eaten) Spanish classics like seafood paella, gazpacho, Spanish omelette, and crema catalana.

Price: €78.00 (children €39.00).

Duration: 4 hours (Mon-Sat 10:00 am to 2:00 pm).

BOQUERIA TOUR + COOKING CLASS
Book my ticket now

The Iker Erauzkin Tour

Famous Basque chef Iker Erauzkin can take you on a guided tour of La Boqueria Market then cook you a customized lunch or dinner to your tastes at his home/kitchen in Barcelona’s Sants neighbourhood.

This is a truly unique and relaxing experience where you’ll feel at home – you can even go into the kitchen, open his fridge and grab a cold one while he cooks for you.

Upon advanced request (with necessary compensation, of course) the chef can even cook in your apartment.

For more info contact him on his Facebook page.

La Boqueria Market Hacks

  • Prices generally drop the deeper into the market you go.
  • Sangria is for tourist suckers! The locals drink vermouth or tinto de verano (a cold wine drink).
  • Tins of Spanish paprika are way cheaper at supermarkets.
  • Around closing time (8:30 pm) you can find deals on almost anything.
  • Don’t go too early! 10 am is when it really gets going.
  • The fruit smoothies should be €1.50 or 2 for €2 (if they look separated they’ve sat out a while).
  • The non-Rambla entrance has a massive square to relax in the sun.
  • Bring cash as many vendors don’t have debit machines.
  • Parents: just behind this square on the right is a playground for kids.
  • Those delicious little tapas on bread are 50% cheaper on the famous Calle Blai.
  • There’s a decent public toilet if you have 50 cents exact change.
  • Try not to touch the products: ask for assistance first (most speak decent English).

Get More Boqueria Info in the Comments

If there’s something I’ve missed and you’ve got more questions about La Boqueria market then please don’t hesitate to write me in the comment section below.

And for those who visited – did it live up to all the hype or was it just overcooked? I am curious to hear 🙂

Also don’t be afraid to join the Boqueria Market discussion by first giving me a like on Facebook and then joining my group I’m Off to Barcelona – here you can ask any questions, air out grievances, and chat with thousands of Barcelona travelers.

Anything goes!

27 comments
  • February 1, 2020 at 9:11 pm
    Yvon
    so we spent 100€ at Kiosko Universal: 20€ galician octopus - very good, picant, tender and thus recommended, for one person can be a lunch. Mixed seafood grill - prawns, langustins, various shells, calamary. A few shells were broken(I would advise against eating these), a few just empty. For 30€ I reckon not the best value. Lobster costed 50€ - was tasty, they crushed it the way it was fully eatable. They gave us the bill and that would have been it, but I aksed for "spanish limoncello" so they obliged by providing a herbal liquor. Resume - ok for one time.
    • February 3, 2020 at 10:39 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Thanks again for the input! :) I always find lobster easy to disappoint based on its expensive price tag... the octopus when done correctly is always the star of the show for me, so I think we have a lot in common haha.
      • February 3, 2020 at 3:46 pm
        Yvon
        a bit of disappointment came with the service - I don't know how much money two eaters leave at one at this stall, but not to offer some digestive is kinda awkward. The night before we have been to Madre Lievita and at 50€ total they offered us limoncello on the house.
        • February 3, 2020 at 4:13 pm
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Yes that makes sense... in Boqueria it's so full of tourists that they don't have to do any favours for anybody. It's sad really. Also from my experience having lived in both countries I'd say Italians are much more likely to give you a little digestif at the end. It's why I'd eventually like to end up living there ;)
  • November 19, 2019 at 10:47 am
    Linda
    Hi Ash, I was in Barcelona a couple of weeks back and I went to the market and it was amazing. I ate the really lovely almond nuts crusted with coconut and I have been looking for what’s its called so I can search the recipe or even try and purchase it online from the vendor I bought form. Do you have any idea what it’s called?
    • November 19, 2019 at 12:24 pm
      lucile
      Lucile
      Hola Linda, Maybe it was Panellets or a type of Turrón? If not, I'm sorry but I don't know how it's called... Cheers, Lucile
  • November 4, 2019 at 4:31 am
    Alma
    Hi Ash, Do you have any recommendations for any artisan trinkets or souvenir in Barcelona? I love all your reviews, they’re really helping me plan my trip. Thanks
    • November 4, 2019 at 12:10 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Alma, Thanks for the kind words, very glad to be helping :) Honestly this is something I don't have a lot of experience with. I did however have a good experience buying a nice bracelet for my girlfriend at a place called Ringels and it's right across from Sagrada Familia. It has a nice artisan feel that you don't find in a lot of souvenir shops here. Hope this works :) Ash
  • October 15, 2019 at 7:20 pm
    Migdalia
    I’ll be in Barcelona at the end of October 2019, any idea where I can I buy a whole jamón to send home ( Boston,Ma)? And more or less the cost, is it worth it? I just found your page , thank you for such an informative site! Gracias, Migdalia
    • October 16, 2019 at 11:02 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Migdalia, I went through this process when a friend from Seattle came but it's no dice :( You can't ship nor bring a jamon back in your luggage... these are strict laws and can only be circumvented when importing large quantities. At any rate thanks for the very kind words :) Hope you can consume enough jamon on holiday to make up for it haha. Ash
  • October 4, 2019 at 3:55 pm
    Arlene Luis
    Does the market close early on Dec 24th?
    • October 4, 2019 at 4:25 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Last year it was regular business hours on the 24th... still waiting to see what they say for this year, but it should be the same :)
  • September 11, 2019 at 12:05 pm
    Dewi R.
    Which one do you prefer better? La Boqueria or Santa Cataroma Market? And why?
    • September 12, 2019 at 12:24 pm
      lucile
      Lucile
      Hola Dewi, For a tourist I would recommend La Boqueria, for its architecture and unique atmosphere but for a more local place I would recommend Santa Catarina Market because it's a bit cheaper and less crowded. I like La Boqueria for a snack and a smoothie, not really for shopping. If you can go to both it's even better! ;) Cheers, Lucile
  • April 4, 2019 at 12:31 pm
    Christine Sams
    I recently had the pleasure of being in this market, amazing, we bought a mince roll, savoury but with a hint of sweetness, not sure if it was wrapped in pastry or pitza dough, it was out of this world, I've tried to find the recipe, no luck, any ideas, thanks...
    • April 5, 2019 at 10:45 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hmmm, this isn't ringing any bells... can you post a picture perhaps? ;)
  • March 4, 2019 at 6:36 am
    Margie
    Hi Ash, You and your site are both absolutely awesome! Thanks for all the time you put into it and answering questions. I've been to Barcelona twice before and my favorite place was La Boqueria (yep, love food). Am planning the 3rd trip now when I found your site, and I gave you a shout out on my roll call on cruisecritic.com because you've got some invaluable material here! Isn't there any where I can click on your site to make you money?!? Thanks! Margie
    • March 4, 2019 at 11:43 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Wow Margie that is some amazing praise! Thank you so much for the kind words and the shout out :) Many of the tickets I've advertised here do come with a small commission for myself... I would only say that if you buy some attraction tickets to click the links here, whatever they may be! But of course, I'm not going to force you! I'm happy just to cover the server costs and the time I invest responding to the queries... which is actually growing now that the site is unexpectedly getting quite busy ;) Ash
  • November 10, 2018 at 8:52 am
    Katerina
    Hola Ash! I’m visiting Barcelona with my family on 31/12 for 5 days. I was wondering if La Boqueria is open on the 1st of January- I can’t find this info anywhere... maybe you can help. Your blog is really helpful, you’ve done a wonderful job! Thank you in advance. Regards, Katerina
    • November 10, 2018 at 11:00 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hola Katerina! Unfortunately like most things La Boqueria is closed on January 1st - I've got this and more holiday hours in my article on visiting Barcelona over Christmas. https://www.barcelonahacks.com/barcelona-christmas/ Thank you so much for the kind words on the blog, I hope I have helped :) Ash
  • August 29, 2018 at 3:34 pm
    Violeta R. (California,USA)
    We just got back from our European trip with my family. We went to “famous La Boqueria”, oh my gosh, foods are amazing!!! It was our first time to La Boqueria, we did not have a tour guide, but ourselves. Lol Thanks for Uber. I would say, La Boqueria is a place to visit when you’re in Barcelona. We were so glad we went to see this market. Thanks to our daughter, who had done so many months of research, in order to make our vacation a success. Violeta R. (California, USA)
    • August 30, 2018 at 5:04 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Violeta, Thanks so much for the wonderful backup of my recommendation! I am happy you had an amazing time :) Please don't be shy in sharing any additional information! Ash
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