When I am in a new city, I always visit the market. Bustling and lively, markets immerse you in the destination’s food scene and culture, where you taste the fresh produce, mingle with purveyors, rub shoulders with residents, and bond with other tourists. It’s also a great excuse to put those foreign language skills to use.
La Boqueria is one of Barcelona’s most visited landmarks. Built in the mid-nineteenth century, the market is housed in a beautiful iron and glass building arched by an impressive iron entrance. Formally known as The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, the market is affectionately referred to as La Boqueria.
Located on La Rambla, La Boqueria welcomes a steady stream of pedestrian traffic every day except for Sundays, when the market is closed. Some places hold their weekends sacred!
Here, all sorts of Mediterranean treats are available: meats, seafood, breads, pastries, freshly squeezed juices, aromatic edible flowers, and green, black, and brown olives. Frutas y verduras, colourful candied fruits, and mixed nuts are piled high, begging to be sampled.
The market is also home to a few wonderful tapas spots. We visited Pinotxo Bar, helmed by the bow-tied ever-smiling owner, Juan. With a wink, we were seated for breakfast.
Leaning against our high stools, we constantly peered over the counter to see how the dishes were prepared. Our order included vegetable frittata, sauteed spiced chickpeas, snails, garlic-and-tomato-rubbed toast with olive oil and salt (a typical recipe in Catalonia), and of course, smooth espressos with caramel crema.
Since we missed taking a photo with Juan on our May 2011 visit, I was so glad to have come acroos Rick Steves’s blog, where a photo of Juan was pasted from Rick’s visit in October.
Here’s a link to another blog that describes La Boqueria: Barcelona: La Boqueria | Amy Davies.