02 Jan Travel Tips: Barcelona Morning Market Walk with Chef Greg Martin
One of my new year resolutions is to take a bit of time to relax and if possible, do a bit of traveling. I’ve been able to peel a couple of days off in the first days of 2016 and decided to do a long weekend in Barcelona and Paris. Even with just a couple of days for each city, my plan is to visit markets, new restaurants and enjoy the limited time I have. In the next couple of days I’ll share my best finds.
First to be crossed off my list was a quick morning tour of the food markets in Barcelona. Staying near the Plaça de Catalunya, I was centrally located to simply walk to the three major markets in my area: Mercado de Santa Caterina, Mercado de La Boqueria and La Concepcio.
Mercado de Santa Caterina
Starting at 7:30am local time, I first hit the Mercado de Santa Caterina in the Riberna neighborhood. Distinguished by its colorful undulating roof representing the produce sold in the market this market opens early and features friendly vendors and excellent produce, meat and seafood. Of the three this one was my second favorite. It was clean and most vendors were happy to share samples of their produce and detail their origins. You will find fresh eggs, Spanish saffron and an abundance of fish right out of the Mediterranean. Av. de Francesc Cambó, 16, 08003 Barcelona
Mercado de La Boqueria
This is without a doubt THE market to visit in Barcelona. Mercado de la Boqueria is located right off Las Ramblas, this world famous market is a favorite with local chefs and where all the tourist crowd to gawk at the goods. You can’t miss the juiced fruit drinks or the fresh produce. Spanish jamon is the star of the show here, prominently displayed and greeting visitors at the entrance. My primary reason for waiting for breakfast at this market was El Quim, a very small stall in the middle of the market well know for producing some outstanding food. We ordered the fried eggs and jamon with potatoes, oxtail risotto and foie gras with wild mushrooms and fried egg. I’ve been to El Quim several times and have never been disappointed. From seafood to game and cava, you can’t go wrong there. Don’t go on Friday or Saturday, you will be run over by the mass of tourists, if you must, go early. Les Rambles, 91, 08001 Barcelona
Mercat de la Concepcio
This market is located in the Eixample neighborhood. The Mercat de la Concepcio is essentially a market attached to a supermarket and housewares store. Offering much of the same seen in the Mercado de Santa Caterina it lacks the energy and abundance of La Boqueria. I found it more like an extended grocery store than a traditional market. It is bright and polished like your local superstore. If you have to miss one, this one is it. Aragó, 313-317 08009 Barcelona
Next on the list was tapas. I’ll give you the details in our next travel blog post next week along with our Paris quick adventures.