Better known as La Boquería, in the heart of La Rambla is the Mercat de Sant Josep. It is the liveliest and most famous of Barcelona’s markets. This iconic space of the city, which occupies what was once the patio of the old church of Sant Josep, was inaugurated in 1836. The Boquería Market is a must-see for both locals and tourists, who will undoubtedly enjoy the exciting mix of colors and flavors and its lively atmosphere.

The exterior of the Boquería is made from metal and glass. But it is its interior that attracts attention and makes this market famous for the quality and diversity of its products from all over the world. The best way to feel its buzzing atmosphere is to walk among its fruit and vegetable, fish and meat stalls. However, even if you don’t want to buy anything at the market it is worth visiting to absorb the atmosphere and the explosion of colors of the fresh fruits on the stalls. Approach its bars and restaurants and enjoy the mixture of sounds, smells and flavors.

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And there are places to eat inside the market too. Here are a few of our favorite places to eat while in La Boquería.


Pinotxo Bar

Pinotxo Bar is a living legend of the La BoquerÍa and one of the most recommended places to eat in this Barcelona market. This is because of its owner, Juanito Bayén a.k.a Pinotxo, one of the market’s most vibrant and charismatic characters. His signature dress is a bow tie and waistcoat alongside his eternal smile.

At Pinotxo we are offered a whole range of traditional Catalan dishes made with fresh products. Some examples are chickpeas with black sausage, squid with beans, mushroom scrambled eggs, tortillas and tapas, among others. Very few wines by the glass are served as this environment calls for wine-decanting joy by the bottle, with cava and beer also standing out. This place is a good option to enjoy a tasty breakfast, as its cuts are famous.

In this must-see bar, great chefs frequently visit, so don’t be surprised if Ferran Adrià has breakfast next to you.

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El Quim de la Boquería

This is a small bar where a family of three serve delicious tapas. It occupies a stall in the Boquería market but it can be considered one of central Barcelona’s best places to eat. Reservations are not available so you would normally have to wait for a table unless you’re getting a takeout. It is well known for its great service and friendly staff.

This amazing location is among the classics inside of the market. The bar has been around since 1987 and takes pride in delighting its customers with its sublime market cuisine, traditional and inventive, made with the freshest products. Here you can order a diverse range of dishes from a perfectly prepared cod fish to a tender spicy squid. For dessert why not try the region’s famous Crema Catalana or their homemade ice cream.

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Bar Central

Bar Central is located at stalls 494-496 inside La Boquería and is the ideal place to have an informal and quick meal after a long walk through the city center. In the Bar Central there are no tables; just a bar of a few meters’ length, meaning you should be willing to wait a few minutes on your feet until you have a place.

What matters most to Bar Central’s team is having the highest quality ingredients, with which they prepare tapas of both fish, vegetables and meat, cooked fresh to order. They also have an amazing and generous parfait. It’s great to be able to order an extraordinary sangria, a house wine or a fresh beer after a long day. Also recommended are the different varieties of top-quality coffee. In short, Bar Central is a highly recommended place to enjoy Mediterranean cuisine in the heart of Barcelona.



Direkte Boquería

In 2007, Arnau Muñío noticed the small-format restaurant model in Japan, with one or two workers, and his friend and his former boss gave him a helping hand to do the same. So Muñío opened this little restaurant at the back door of the first municipal market in February 2018. It is a tiny and unusual eatery of 14 square meters for 8 diners with two shifts, offering a fusion of Catalan and Mediterranean ingredients with Asian influences. It’s a cuisine so tasty and attractive that it really catches your eye. Everything prepared hand in hand with his colleague Shu Zhang.

You can taste them à la carte or in the form of a tasting menu; the short one, with nine courses and the long one, with a dozen. On the Asian-Catalan side, you could sample an oyster wrapped in gyoza and capipota juice: a delicious sea and mountain that explodes in your mouth. On the more Catalan side, you could enjoy peas, squid and Iberian bacon, or a honeyed cod where the pil-pil at times becomes the best brava sauce in history. The grilled cheesecake with matcha tea is said to be exceptional.

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Bacaro is an authentic Venetian tavern located in the Raval on a narrow street that leads to the back of the Mercat de la Boquería. This could easily be one of the best Italian restaurants in Barcelona, ​​mainly for the food, but also for its authentic atmosphere. Bacaro is the term they use in Venice for tavern. Its owners buy the freshest products every day to prepare an excellent menu with no shortage of homemade pasta or fish.

Bacaro is an ideal place to go with friends or family to enjoy Venetian cuisine. Some of their specialties are burrata de Puglia with marinated zucchini and tomatoes, sautéed mussels and tomatoes, Galician beef tagliata with baked potatoes and endive salad, Veal liver alla veneziana, and more. You can delight yourselves with the best flavors of northern Italy in this restaurant. Without a doubt, a great alternative to enjoy less commercial Italian cuisine.

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We recommend that you visit the Boqueria market and immerse yourself in its gourmet mix of culture, leisure, history and color. Accompany your visit with a Barcelona Segway Tour and enjoy Barcelona in the best way.