Barcelona’s Famous Mercat de la Boqueria And Kiosk Universal

Mercat de la Boqueria

If you are a lover of food, you must visit Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona’s most famous food market. Keep in mind that you won’t be alone, thousands of shoppers as well as tourists visit every day so plan a visit early in the day if you can. 

Mercat de la Boqueria
Entrance At Mercat de la Boqueria

My husband and I are traveling foodies and if you have been one of my readers for a while, you know that we appreciate good food whether we dine at a Michelin starred European restaurant or eat at a small clam shack along the coast of New England. When visiting a new city, one of the things we like to do is walk through local markets to learn about the culinary traditions that we might encounter during our stay.

When planning for our visit to Barcelona last year, we both knew that we had to visit the Mercat de la Boqueria. It is the city’s most famous food market where some of the top restaurants in Barcelona shop for their fresh ingredients for each day’s special offerings.

During my research on Barcelona, I read that the market gets thousands of shoppers and tourists visiting the market each day. From our visit there, I would suggest planning to go to la Boqueria between 10 A.M. and noon, 9 A.M. if you want to have breakfast there.

Click on any photo below to enlarge and see a slide show.

Wander up and down all the food aisles and marvel at the huge selection of carefully stacked fresh produce, tropical fruits, all kinds of seafood, meats including Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, thought to be the finest ham in the world, fresh baked pastries and sweets that are all beautifully displayed.

One of the pleasures of visiting la Boqueria, is being able to sample some of the wonderful food that you have admired like croquetas, empanadas and fresh fruit smoothies.

If you are like lots of the people visiting the market who plan to have lunch there, know that space is extremely limited at the small food counters. I would recommend trying to eat a little earlier than the regular lunch crowd. Check each of the small restaurants blackboards listing their daily specials and decide where you want to eat. If the restaurant’s counter is full, keep an eye out for people who are just finishing their meal and perhaps you can grab their stools as soon as they pay and leave.

On our visit, we decided that we wanted to eat at Kiosk Universal, which is located in the middle of the market. It specializes in grilled seafood such as Galician octopus, scallops, razor clams and baby squid. They also serve meat for those that don’t care for seafood. What also made us decide on the restaurant was the giant platter of seasonal wild mushrooms on display along with platters of fresh vegetables and potatoes that you could order as appetizers or sides.

Kiosk Universal has a very large counter with stools and a half dozen or so tall tables in a seating area just to the side. They will take your name and put you on a wait list if there are no seats available but we were lucky enough to get two stools at the counter when a couple stood up to leave right when we walked up.

Kiosk Universal has a large blackboard above the grill that lists their specials of the day in both Spanish and English which makes ordering easy. There is also a printed menu in both languages. What we thought was fun about sitting at the counter is that you get to watch the cooks preparing each order right in front of you. A lot of the fresh fish and vegetables are displayed along the counters and if you see something you like, you can just point to it.

The mixed grilled vegetables we had as an appetizer were great, the fresh seafood was simply prepared with olive oil, lemon and seasonings and cooked to perfection, the mixed grilled wild mushrooms had amazing flavors and they all went well with chilled glasses of white wine. While you may be able to eat cheaper somewhere else, the atmosphere and freshness of the food couldn’t be better…we think it is a must try if you love seafood.

Local Farm Stands Outside la Boqueria
Additional Local Farm Stands Outside Mercat de la Boqueria

The market can be very crowded at times with local shoppers as well as tourists but we throughly enjoyed our visit and lunch at Kiosk Universal. After all, where can you go nowadays and not find tourists and the Mercat de la Boqueria has become one of Barcelona’s top tourist attractions. The atmospheric market is a must see if you happen to be foodies like we are and want to get familiar with the culinary traditions of the region.

****

There are nearly 40 wonderful food markets in Barcelona where locals do their shopping but if you are a first time visitor, you should try not to miss Mercat de la Boqueria which is also called Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boquería by the locals. The market is located just off Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous street which you will surely be visiting before the end of your stay. Note that the market is closed on Sundays and that during the week, some stalls close around 2 P.M. so plan your visit accordingly.

 

Posted by

I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

146 thoughts on “Barcelona’s Famous Mercat de la Boqueria And Kiosk Universal

    1. Hi Darlene, I know what your mean…so many things to see and so little time to do it. I do hope you make it to the Mercat de la Boqueria on one of your future visits.

  1. Lovely to read this and see all your wonderful photos, Karen. It’s years since I’ve been to Barcelona (pre blog!) but stayed near the boqueria market and remember how wonderful it is. And eating at kiosks in markets like this, as you did, is just the best way to sample local food.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment about the Mercat de la Boqueria photos Kay, it is much appreciated. The market really is a wonderful place to try some of Barcelona’s well know dishes.

    1. Hi Angie, you can’t believe all the wonderful seafood stalls at Mercat de la Boqueria and it was all immaculately fresh with no smell what so ever.

    1. It was truly an amazing experience. Mercat de la Boqueria is huge, the displays beautiful and the food we had was delicious. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you Jenna.

    1. Hi Linda, You and the girls are going to have a great time not only in Barcelona but also your shopping adventure at Mercat de la Boqueria for your cooking class.

    1. What a treat to hear from you Peter, I do hope you are feeling much better. I appreciate your lovely compliment and I’m happy you enjoyed the photos. Thank you and take care.

  2. I know about the Mercat de la Boqueria but haven’t been there. I’ll be in Barcelona really briefly this year so won’t be able to visit, but will have more time there in 2020 — gotta go there! Great pictures — thanks.

    1. Hi John, I know you will love visiting Mercat de la Boqueria on a future trip. When on a cruse with only one day in port it is hard to visit everything you want to. We ended our cruise in Barcelona and stayed three extra days so were able to spend a good deal of time at the market.

    1. Hi David, Mercat de la Boqueria truly is a great experience for foodies like us. Hope you get to visit Barcelona and the market on one of your trips to Europe.

    1. Definitely put Barcelona and the Mercat de la Boqueria on your bucket list. I can’t believe it took us so long to visit…you will love it, Bobbi.

    1. Hi Ronit. I’m happy to know that the post brought back nice memories of your time spent in Madrid and I do hope you get a chance to visit Barcelona in the not to distant future. You are right, the food in Spain is wonderful.

    1. Hi Jovina, You and I both when it comes to wishing we had a market like that to shop at. I appreciate your lovely compliment on the photos, thank you.

  3. Walking up and down Las Ramblas in Barcelona is one of the many joys of this amazing city and we too loved that market. I was surprised to see the Galician Octopus served as a long tentacle, as the usual way is cut into thin slices. I grew up in Galicia and never saw it served like that before. Did you try it? It should be very tender if prepared properly.

    I hope one of your cruises will stop at the gorgeous port and town of La Coruña and you’ll be able to walk in its old quarters and enjoy the seafood restaurants it is known for: you’ll love their windows displays!
    Happy travels and happy eating.

    1. Hi Fatima, We did so much walking in Barcelona as well as using the hop on, hop off bus. My husband loves octopus and said it was some of the tenderest that he had ever had. We did dock in La Coruña on our cruise but took a bus trip to Santiago de Compostela. After the tour we spent about an hour in La Coruña before heading back to the ship…we definitely have to return some day.

      1. Santiago de Compostela is an amazing place to visit. Did you press your forehead to the head of the saint at the entrance of Cathedral as tradition has it?

      2. It was Sunday and the Cathedral was very crowded so I couldn’t. I did go down to the crypt where the St. James relics are kept in a silver casket, I was the only one there…it was like no one knew about it.

      3. I can assure you they do: that’s why people go on pilgrimages there, ever since it was built in the 12th century. El Camino (or Way) to Santiago is one of the most popular pilgrimage routes to follow and the most important for Catholics.

  4. Having the opportunity to see markets like this is one of the many reasons I am still trying to grab that time to travel outside of the states. How intoxicating it must be for foodies like us!! Wonderful post and photos, Karen!

    Jane

    1. Jane, I truly hope you get the opportunity to visit Europe someday. It is so very different from our country…we find it fascinating and the food is outstanding. Thank you for your lovely compliment, I’m happy you enjoyed the post and photos of Mercat de la Boqueria.

    1. You have it right Lesley, the days go by so quickly and you never get a chance to see and taste everything you want to when traveling. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos from the market.

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment Darryl about the photos, thank you. Mercat de la Boqueria truly is foodie paradise and it is nice to know that you have been able to visit it.

    1. Hi Jeanie, your comment gave me a laugh because I know exactly what you mean. I’m glad you enjoyed visiting Mercat de la Boqueria through my photos.

    1. Oh yes Laura, Mercat de la Boqueria should be put on your “must visit” list. It is a wonderful market and Kiosk Universal had the most delicious seafood you can imagine.

    1. Hi Judy, My husband is much more adventurous than I am when it comes to food but I have to say that the food at Kiosk Universal was delicious. All those pastries did look so good…so much food, so little time. 😀

  5. What a spectacular market! I’ve heard Barcelona has excellent food choices and I can see from your photos that this is true. I want to dine on that grilled octopus. I definitely hope to visit Spain one day, especially as a couple of my husband’s cousins have moved from Italy to Spain, and we hope to visit them there.

    1. Hi Pat, Isn’t Mercat de la Boqueria wonderful. You are right about the food, everything we had on our visit was delicious. It would be great if you got a chance to visit Spain, especially since you husband has family living there now.

  6. I love the Boqueria and you chose well with Universal – I’ve had some great lunches there with my Argentinian friend and restaurateur, Alfredo, who taunts the chefs with good humoured abuse – much to everyone’s amusement!

    1. Hi Mad Dog, I couldn’t help but think of you when we were in Barcelona. I do remember your writing about Mercat de la Boqueria and yes, Kiosk Universal was terrific. We also went to another restaurant that you had mentioned…Llamber. We had an early Sunday dinner there and it looked like mostly families from the nearby area were eating there.

      1. Fantastic! I hope your lunch in Llamber was good – I’ve always had good food there. I had lunch in La Mar Salada (the other one I recommend) this week and it was excellent.

    1. Hi Pam, If you make your way back to Barcelona, I do believe you would enjoy a trip to Mercat de la Boqueria. Luck are those who get to shop there on a regular basis.

    1. Hi Nancy, You read about great places to visit but I was amazed with the amount and variety of foods on display at Mercat de la Boqueria. it is famous for a reason and I now know why. 🙂

  7. This market looks so fantastic! When I lived out east, a lot of towns had great markets – like the Reading Terminal Market in Philly. In Chicago, there’s not so much an open-air market tradition. I mean, there are some … but they’re not such incredibly celebrations as this on in Barcelona obviously is. I’d love to visit it one day.

    1. Hi Jeff, I’ve been to some wonderful markets in Europe but Mercat de la Boqueria tops them all. I’ve been to a couple of the large markets in NYC but nothing compares to this one. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to shop there on a regular basis. I do hope you get to visit someday.

  8. I so enjoy food markets and this one sounds (and looks) fabulous. The My son’s partner just left for 2 weeks in Spain so I will be emailing her the details of this one. As usual your photos are so colourful.

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment on the photos Kathryn. I hope your son’s partner gets a chance to visit Mercat de la Boqueria during her time in Spain…I think she would really enjoy it.

  9. Fun place, Karen. Fabulous food in such a big market. When we visited there we couldn’t find a spot to sit. 🙂 Enjoy your beautiful photos!

    1. Hi Amy, I know what you mean about finding a place to sit at the Mercat de la Boqueria. The nice thing is that at Kiosk Universal they will put your name on a list which I don’t think they all do. Getting there a little before the lunch crowd and watching for someone getting ready to leave seems to be the answer.

  10. What an incredible experience! I can see why this is such a popular destination. Everything looks so fresh and healthy, how does one choose! Thanks for the amazing tour through your photos!

    1. Hi Jan, It was fun watching the women shopping at Mercat de la Boqueria. I think they all have the favorite vendors and get to know them well…how else do they decide. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos.

    1. Hi Mollie, The Mercat de la Boqueria is a foodie’s heaven…it was incredible. Can you imagine being a local and shopping there every time you need fresh produce, seafood, etc.

    1. Hi Lisa, With all the stalls and all the people you might expect Mercat de la Boqueria to be littered but it was clean and no smells coming from where the fresh fish was sold…it truly is an amazing market.

  11. We’re traveling to visit friends in Spain this summer. They live in Madrid, but we’ll be taking many small trips, including Barcelona. I’m definitely going to make it to this market. Thank you! It looks amazing! Can’t wait.

    1. Hi Valentina, I know you are going to love your visit to Spain. We really enjoyed our time in Barcelona and thought the Mercat de la Boqueria was wonderful. Have a great visit this summer.

  12. Oh, how I’d love having the Mercat de la Boqueria close to me. I viewed the empanadas and thought I’d just have these for lunch. But, then I saw the slideshow of the Kiosk Universal and knew that’s where I would dine should I visit. That octopus looks amazing. Thanks for taking us along on your adventures.

    1. Hi Ron,I know what you mean about all the selections at the Mercat de la Boqueria. While everything looked wonderful and I would have loved to have sampled lots of things, when it came down to our choice of where to eat Kiosk Universal won hands down once my husband saw the fresh octopus. You two would make good eating companions. 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you.

    1. Hi Jo, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of Mercat de la Boqueria, you will have to make a return trip some day to see what you missed. 🙂

    1. Hi Eva, I do hope you get a chance to return to Barcelona and visit the Mercat de la Boqueria as well as Kiosk Universal…you would enjoy the whole experience.

    1. Hi Abbe, We always try to visit the local markets during our travels and Mercat de la Boqueria was fabulous indeed. We did eat well…very well. 😀

  13. Now that’s a market! What a variety of tasty, colorful and fresh food items to tantalize all of your senses! Your photos would be great in a travel brochure, Karen. 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, I appreciate your lovely compliment about the photos, thank you. The market is definitely colorful, I really noticed that when I was putting together the photo collage.

    1. Thank you for your kind words about my photos Hannah, that is very nice. We really did enjoy our visit to Mercat de la Boqueria, it was a wonderful experience.

  14. I have never been to Barcelona and now I really want to go…what an amazing market…I would not be able to leave the place. Thanks for sharing…love the pictures. Have a wonderful rest of the week Karen!

    1. Juliana, You would definitely enjoy a trip to Barcelona, we had a wonderful time there. One of the highlights was the Mercat de la Boqueria and all of its displays. I’ve had a nice week, I hope you have as well.

    1. Hi Amalia, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos from Mercat de la Boqueria and they brought back nice memories of your visits there. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Dawn, I know you would love Mercat de la Boqueria if you get a chance to visit Barcelona some day. The city and the market are both wonderful.

  15. Surely one of the premier and most delightful markets in Europe – still mine to discover in person unfortunately . . . Mad Dog has written more than a few stories re the same thru’ the years . . . . . .

    1. Hi Eha, Mercat de la Boqueria usually makes the list of one of the top 10 markets in Europe, I know we really enjoyed our visit. Yes, Mad Dog has shared a lot of his market discoveries as well as many restaurants in the area. Lucky him for being able to visit on a regular basis. BTW, your comments have been popping into the spam queue…have you made changes to your private blog lately?

    1. Hi Laura, You will love everything about Barcelona…it is a wonderful city to visit. If you do visit, plan a trip to Mercat de la Boqueria, we thought it was great.

  16. Like you, I’m a traveling foodie too. I think that the markets in Europe are the best places to go to experience the cultures! Your photos are so wonderful and helped me feel as if I were there. My son was in Barcelona last year and visited this market. I simply have to get there! Thanks for taking us on all of your amazing journies, Karen!

    1. Hi Roz, I always like having you following along on our adventures…thank you for your nice compliment. Yes indeed, you definitely would love Mercat de la Boqueria and all the wonderful food stalls. I’m glad you agree about visiting Europe’s markets, they do give you a wonderful introduction into the food culture of the region you are visiting.

    1. Hi Amy, I think all traveling foodies love markets and Mercat de la Boqueria was one of the best we have been to. I hope you get a chance to visit some day.

    1. Hi Alida, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post, thank you. You are right, the fish at Kiosk Universal was cooked perfectly…simply seasoned to let the fresh seafood shine.

  17. Markets are really a window into the soul of a city! Your vivid photos really show how this market reflects the life of the city. Very enjoyable post!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. I appreciate the pin Fritzie, thank you. You will definitely enjoy a trip to Barcelona. Being a foodie, I know you will want to visit Mercat de la Boqueria, we loved it.

    1. You made me laugh Liz, there are countries I’ve been to as well where the only thing I saw was one of its airports. You would love everything about Spain, I do hope you get the chance to visit some day.

    1. Thank you Sheryl, I’m glad you enjoyed the virtual visit to Mercat de la Boqueria, it certainly was a terrific place to visit during our stay in Barcelona.

    1. I know what you mean Sartenada, the market was much more impressive that I had read about. There was such an abundance of everything and it was so beautifully displayed.

    1. Hi Michelle, The only thing better than a good food market is having an empty suitcase to bring back lots of the ingredients that are on displayed home with you. 😀

    1. Hi Heather, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I know, I could have made a meal on the olives and other marinated veggies. And the seafood…well we did have a delicious seafood meal at Kiosk Universal. 🙂

  18. Visiting marketplaces is one of the best ways to really get to know a city. Barcelona’s is exceptional. I am so envious looking at your photos. What a treat to eat your way around there. 😉

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos from the Mercat de la Boqueria and Kiosk Universal, Cathy. I hope you get the opportunity to return to Barcelona for another visit.

  19. Karen, the market looks fantastic! I don’t think I’d have breakfast or lunch, I’d just eat my way through the whole day! Barcelona is now at the top of my vacation wish list. I noticed the fresh fruit juice was only 1 euro. Are the prices there less expensive than in the states?

    1. Hi Kelly, There certainly was enough food there to satisfy you for the whole day. It is hard to say about the prices because of our exchange rate. There are probably small local markets where prices might be better but the quality and quantity can’t be beat and of course it is in the heart of the city off Las Rambles…the main boulevard.

  20. Fabulous post! Believe it or not, I haven’t been to Barcelona yet, though it—and in particular La Boqueria market—have been on my bucket list for years now. Maybe this summer, I’m thinking…

    1. I appreciate your kind words Frank, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post on Mercat de la Boqueria. I hope that you will be able to check both the market and Barcelona off your bucket list soon. Barcelona is a must see and you will love the food.

  21. Oh, this post made me hungry! Especially the photos of the olives — one of my favourite snacks.
    I love browsing around food markets. I was recently in London and went to some great markets there. It’s a wonderful way to shop, so much more character than a soulless supermarket.
    I’m glad you enjoyed Barcelona. 🙂

    1. Hi Grace, It is always nice to hear from you. So true, local markets such as this one in Barcelona are a wonderful experience and way more interesting than your average supermarket. 😀 I wish there was one like Mercat de la Boqueria where I live.

    1. Hi Pam, I knew we would enjoy seeing Mercat de la Boqueria but it was much more than I was expecting…definitely a “must see” if you visit Barcelona.

  22. I had to stop watching the photographs because I got too hungry but all I had in stock in the kitchen seemed so boring…. I agree with MJ: such a market is a culinary heaven! If moreover you can have meals there, now wonder it was obligatory place during your travel. Thank you for sharing once more your culinary adventures!

  23. lovely post! we love Spain and its islands, naturalmente y me gusta mucho Barcelona, olé! ❤ we live less than 4h-drive from this awesome city where we've taken all our visitors… 🙂 some of our American relatives and friends often fly from the US to Barcelona with Iberia or Norwegian Airways, then, they rent a car to drive to Toulouse… 🙂

Leave a Reply to Everyday Living Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s