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Best market in BCN


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4 replies to this topic

#1 Fat Guy

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:23 AM

I just visited BCN and went to La Boqueria and Santa Caterina. I was most impressed with Boqueria but some people have told me others are better, cheaper, more respected by locals, etc. So what's the answer? What's the best, and how do we define best?
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#2 weinoo

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:38 AM

That's a tough one - how to define best?

There's no doubt that the experience of La Boqueria is not to be missed. And certainly, to eat in the market is wonderful. Santa Caterina's design and historical connection set it apart, in my opinion. It's design is quite Barcelonian, for want of a better term, and it's built on top of medieval ruins; the archaeological excavations are on display to the public. It encompasses a real supermarket as well.

Finally, Mercat de la Concepcio was the market I'd shop in daily if I had my druthers. Less crazy then La Boqueria, quaint and manageable with beautiful foods on display, and in a neighborhood that I wouldn't mind being a part of. Here are some shots from my favorite market:








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#3 Parigi

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:28 AM

I agree with weinoo.
What is best? How can we guess at your concept of the best?
For the overwhelm factor, nothing beats the Boqueria.
In terms of quality and compactness, Santa Caterina is certainly my favorite.
You see, I find it much easier - and less NYT-style-self-congratulatory - to use the word favorite instead of best.
But I would let someone who has visited all, I mean all, the markets of Barcelona to try to answer this question...

#4 conifer

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:55 AM

Let's see, I've been to Boqueria, Santa Catarina, San Antoni and Concepcio. When I lived close to Santa Catarina, that was my go-to place. Now I live closer to Boqueria, I go there. Yes, it's full of tourists, but the produce seems the same as at the other places, perhaps with more selection, especially in seafood. The prices are the same as long as you stay away from the front and middle row of stalls. San Antoni, when they've finished renovating the old building and it moves back in is going to be nice. Same for El Born, which is going to be absolutely huge. There is also a market in Barceloneta, I forget the name, but it's quite small and doesn't have a great selection.
I'm sure they all use the same suppliers anyway. If that's the case, then the busiest market should have the freshest products, so it's La Boqueria for the win. But I don't think that any one market is "better" than another.
I do find the staff in Santa Catarina to be friendlier.

#5 conifer

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 04:56 AM

Just an update to this one. I've been comparing prices a lot lately between Santa Catarina and the Boqueria. Santa Catarina is MUCH more expensive. Chicken and meat products are about a euro a kilo more, and most veggies and fruits seem to be about 50 cents more a kilo. For example, chicken wings last week in just about all the stalls in the Boq were 1.99/kilo, but 2.99/kilo or more in S.C. Same difference for whole chickens. Pork belly, 3.80 in the Boq, 4.70 in S.C.
I also would like to rescind my comments about the staff at Santa Catarina being friendlier. Once you start frequenting one stall regularly in the Boq, they quickly become very friendly. I suppose that they are normally so overwhelmed with tourists it's hard to be nice to everyone!

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