I could spend all day long in a food market. Roaming through one was one of my favorite activities while traveling. Whether you are in Vienna, London or Budapest, food markets are a surefire way to taste, smell, and see particular dishes that make a city special. It is also a chance to get to know the people and vibe of the city better. La Boqueria market in Barcelona is no exception when it comes to enjoying a city’s food and its people.
Situated off La Rambla, La Boqueria is the one of the most popular markets in Barcelona. As soon as my girlfriends and I stepped off the train into the city, this place was the first stop of the day and we stayed there for a couple of hours. The entire space is housed under an open-air warehouse with rows upon rows of stalls full of fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, nuts, cheeses, and sweets. Not only does fresh produce have the best taste and is beautiful to look at because the colors are so vibrant but they are the perfect buy for the traveler because it is affordable and easy to carry around for when you need a snack later in the day. I bought slices of delicious papaya, strawberries, pineapple, and apple all packed together and kept on walking. I most definitely made a stop at a sweets stand that had an assortment of dark and milk chocolates and without keeping tabs of how much I was dropping in my bag, I racked up a 10 euro bill but it was all worth it.
With bags of snacks in tow, I stopped at Pinoxto for lunch. The stall is family owned and once I sat down at the counter the owner made me feel right at home with a big smile and a hello and suggested a dish for me to try. I was introduced to bocadillos, a Spanish omelette of potato and egg usually stuffed into a baguette moistened with a sliced tomato. It is a staple to the Spanish cuisine just as much as a baguette and cheese is a staple to the French cuisine. I quickly became addicted and had to have at least one every single day that I was in Barcelona. I even made an effort to quickly grab the sandwich just before my train left for the next city on my itinerary. As I ate I watched the owner strike up conversation with all of his customers, mostly friends, and they were all relaxed sitting down and having a coffee watching all the bustling shoppers buy their produce. There was no rush inside this warehouse, but just a leisure environment and it was the perfect place to absorb the culture and fill up my belly before stepping back outside to explore more of the best that Barcelona had to offer.