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There's no shortage of food purveyors in Barcelona, ranging from the neighbour meat, poultry and fish shops to the famous and tourist-packed Mercat de la Boqueria. Since I moved here I've been slowly discovering more and more possibilities on where to get my stuff. Now what I would like to know from more experienced locals is what options they favor.

Do you always go local, or run a couple of times a week to the Boqueria? I went there a couple of times but it can get busy and I'm not a big fan of crowds. I live a couple of blocks away from el Mercat El Ninot and I usually favor that one.

I'd like to hear from other people's experiences, where do you find the freshest products, opinions on price, etc.

Mariano

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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I don't live in Barcelona and don't shop, except as a tourist looking for things I can take back to the states--aged cheese, canned or preserved fish, piquillo peppers in jars, etc.--but I've been impressed by the other two markets I've seen in Barcelona and will usually check out any large covered market if I'm near one. They're well marked on the maps in the Michelin Guia Roja. That's another good use for that guide.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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I've been impressed by the other two markets I've seen in Barcelona and will usually check out any large covered market if I'm near one. They're well marked on the maps in the Michelin Guia Roja. That's another good use for that guide.

I assume they are the Mercat del Ninot, which is the one 4 blocks from my place, and the other one might be Mercat de Sant Antoni, in the Sant Antoni neighbourhood, closer to the Gran Via and the Raval area (about 10 blocks from here). Bux, would you mind cheking in the guide?

For the kind of stuff you mention (preserved stuff, etc) I've found a great place in Barceloneta called La Ribera, they have olives by the 1/2 kg and a very extensive array of preserves of all kinds, including meats, and fishes. I noticed they had some cheese, but didn't take a close look. Their prices are excellent. A few weeks ago I went there and got 4 or 5 full bags of goodies for no more than 60 EUR.

La Ribera

Plaça Comercial, 11 (behind the old Mercat del Born)

tel: 93.319.52.06

http://www.laribera-sa.es

email: laribero@laribera-sa.es

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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I'm a local but I don't cook much so I don't have as much to share as I'd like.

I think people tend to go local, buying as much in small shops (peixateries, carnisseries, xarcuteries) as in neighbourhood markets as in supermarkets (not necessarily bad). I've heard the Mercat del Ninot is expensive relative to quality. My nearest market, el Mercat de la Sagrada Familia, seems fine to me. But I'm sure you'll find plenty of great food shops in your area, since it's a non-tourist neighbourhood.

As for specific suggestions, it's difficult to recommend something worth going out of your way for. I can only suggest Colmado Quilez, in carrer Aragó with Rambla de Catalunya, which should be near enough where you live, for high quality canned products, cheese and spirits. It's much better than El Club del Gourmet in El Corte Inglés, and that goes for tourists as well.

A similar place to La Ribera according to your description is not far away, in small Carrer Sombrerers, on the side of Santa Maria del Mar. Highly advisable both for ambiance, products and price. Can't remember the name though.

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I've heard the Mercat del Ninot is expensive relative to quality. My nearest market, el Mercat de la Sagrada Familia, seems fine to me.

I can only suggest Colmado Quilez, in carrer Aragó with Rambla de Catalunya, which should be near enough where you live, for high quality canned products, cheese and spirits.

Thanks for the tip. I'm currently working a couple of blocks away from Sagrada Familia, so I'll stop by the mercat and report back tonight. I'll try to visit the Colmado as well.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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I assume they are the Mercat del Ninot, which is the one 4 blocks from my place, and the other one might be Mercat de Sant Antoni, in the Sant Antoni neighbourhood, closer to the Gran Via and the Raval area (about 10 blocks from here). Bux, would you mind cheking in the guide?

One was the Mercat Sant Antoni. The other was on Mallorca between Casanova and Villarroel, a block away from a big hospital. I don't know its name. Unfortuantely the map on which it appears is not of sufficient scale for Michelin We happened to pass it when going to the car rental place one trip. We don't pass markets that easily, so we checked it out.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Colmado Quilez, in carrer Aragó with Rambla de Catalunya,

That's a very interesting shop. It's window display with all sorts of food stuffs and wines caught our eye the first time we passed it and it remains a landmark for us. As crowded as it can get on occasion, we've spent time browsing the stock as well as the window. It seems to be an institution from another time. Much of the stock has to be retrieved, by clerks behind the counter, from wherever it's kept. One also has to pay at a cashier before claiming one's groceries. On a busy day at a busy time you get to wait in two lines, which is not to imply that Spaniards wait in line in quite the same way as the British do. In spite of that, or maybe because of it, the place had it's charms.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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One was the Mercat Sant Antoni. The other was on Mallorca between Casanova and Villarroel, a block away from a big hospital. I don't know its name.

That is indeed the Mercat del Ninot, the one close to my place. I just came back from the Mercat the Sagrada Familia, and while it is indeed a bit cheaper than the El Ninot, I prefer the latter both in quality and variety... but this is probably quite subjective, and some of the shops were already closed when I got there.

I didn't get to visit the Colmado... will try maybe tomorrow.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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I've always liked the "Murria", a delicatesssen at Roger de Lluria #85, with its traditional decor and approach to its customers as well as its niche products. Here I used to find THE apricot and raspberry marmalade highlights from the company "Renart", as well as a wide selection of cheeses, different hams, esparragos, pimientos de piquillo de Lodosa as well as of course a great wine selection. But: They are traditional in their approach which means no fresh meat/fish/poultry/vegetables

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I think people tend to go local, buying as much in small shops (peixateries, carnisseries, xarcuteries) as in neighbourhood markets as in supermarkets (not necessarily bad).

The words xarcuteries and Barcelona (Catalonia, in general) rang a bell in my mind. Spain is indeed great for sausages no matter where you go, but Catalonia truly has some local specialties that I'm very fond of. Butifarra blanca, butifarra negra, fuet, sacallona, ...

Perhaps not 100% objective, since I was born in BCN :wink: .

Asola and the other locals, any special places to get good sausages? There's a difference between a good butifarra and a great butifarra.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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I am not local, but my Butifarra dealer :cool: has given me a list of Charcuterías and Colmados in Barcelona worth the visit:

La Botifarreria de Santa Maria Carrer Santa Maria 4, next to the church of Santa Maria, sells excellent butifarras raw and cooked (With mushrooms, with rokefort, with foie), cheeses, hams, pbtes, and homemade sobrassadas (pork pbte with paprika). Look for the Can Pistraques brand (The black one is amazing)

Charcutería Casa Pepe: Balmes, 377 Tf. 93 4171176 or Pza. Bonanova, 4 Tf. 93 4180087. They even have tables where you can taste the goods they sell.

Charcutería Semon: Ganduxer, 31. Tf. 93 2016508. A bit posh, but an institution in Barcelona. It has a restaurant at the back.

Charcutería Tivoli: Muntaner, 361 Tf. 93 2091980. For french cheeses and iberico ham.

Charcuteria Murria: Roger de Lluria, 85. Tf. 93 2155789. Like going back a hudred years. The original Colmado.

Mantequería Ravell : Aragó 313 Tf. 93 4575114. For duck related products. With tables where you can have a pair of fried eggs with foie.

You are welcome

Edited by Rogelio (log)
Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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When a Spaniard refers to foie, he usually means foie gras.

Castellano: foie

Français: foie gras

English: foie gras

Castellano: higado

Français: foie

English: liver

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Rogelio, it took me a few menus to comprehend what was meant by "foie" and that it means two different things in Spanish and French and nothing in English. It probably makes no sense that we don't call it "fat liver" or that you don't call it "higado gordo" but that's the way it is and just one of the things that makes reading any menu in a translated form rather scary.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Asola and the other locals, any special places to get good sausages? There's a difference between a good butifarra and a great butifarra.

Besides buying sausages in rural villages, which I do everywhere I can, the place to buy them in Barcelona for me is on Sunday street markets in Avda. Gaudí, besides Sagrada Familia (only the first and third Sunday every month). Absolutely recommended.

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That sounds quite interesting, asola! Are there any other products that are worth getting on that Sunday markets? Are they similar to the farmers market in the States?

I'd say that kind of markets, where the number of steps between the producer and the consumer is as low as possible is becoming rarer and rarer in Spain, even in the rural areas. But it's something that sooner or later will explode, if the interest that eco/bio produces attract is taken into account (IMHO).

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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That sounds quite interesting, asola! Are there any other products that are worth getting on that Sunday markets? Are they similar to the farmers market in the States?

I'd say that kind of markets, where the number of steps between the producer and the consumer is as low as possible is becoming rarer and rarer in Spain, even in the rural areas. But it's something that sooner or later will explode, if the interest that eco/bio produces attract is taken into account (IMHO).

Yes, they're like farmers markets but limited to certain products. You can mostly find sausages (embotits), cheese, honey and marmelade (sp?), bread and other pastries, herbs and maybe some fruits.

I'd say it's an increasing trend, for now limited to Barcelona. I know there's another one in C.Rogent/C.València and I suppose there must be more in other neighbourhoods. Till now you could find some of these products in those small shops we were talking about but I think people knew they were more expensive than necessary, so there's a niche for them. The only problem is people leave on week-ends!

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Not long ago, someone asked about outdoor markets in San Sebastian and the Basque region and I believe it was vserna who said these were uncommon in Spain. They are quite common in France where most small towns have a market day in which farmers and vendors set up stalls or sell from their vans. They have become increasingly popular in the U.S., although they are quite different from the ones in France. In France you are likely to find not only food, but clothing and hardware sold by itinerant peddlers. It's a continuation of a long tradition of a sparsely populated rural society. In the U.S., it's more about getting fresh farm produce and artisanal food products into the heart of the city. To that extent, what's happening in Barcelona is more like we have than what's in neighboring France. It's interesting that this market is more about artisanal product--sausages, cheese, baked goods, etc.--than it is about raw produce. It's hard for the artisan to compete in today's industrialized world. By providing direct access to the consumer, the premium that must be paid for such artisanal food stuffs is reduced to a more reasonal level. Even in France, some of the best things in the market have been the very non-commerical cheeses. These products while already becoming rare are further forced off the market by new E.U. regulations.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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I believe it was vserna who said these were uncommon in Spain. They are quite common in France where most small towns have a market day in which farmers and vendors set up stalls or sell from their vans.

Actually what I meant is that permanent outdoors markets are infrequent in Spain; OTOH, permanent covered markets as we have in Spain are infrequent elsewhere. Also, one-day-a-week outdoors markets are extremely common in every mid-sized village in Spain, and (as in France) you can buy from CDs to underwear to pineapples.

Edited by vserna (log)

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Re: outdoor markets in Barcelona. There's a pretty good (if rather touristy) one in Plaza Pi off the Ramblas run by the Col.lectiu d'Artesans de l'Alimentacio (Artesan Food Producers Collective - rough trans). All the stalls are run by Catalan artisanal food makers - cheeses, chocolates, hams, pates, honeys etc. It's all rather cutesily packaged and possibly priced for tourists (though still good value in my opinion), but it's a great place for visitors to get gifts to take home.

Personally I go there for chocolate - there's a particularly interesting stall which sells very pure chocolate (Xocolata Vall d'Or). It's made by a collective in deepest darkest Catalunya (a village famous for its witches which possibly explains its magical taste).

There are a number of South Americans in the collective so there's spicy mole sauces and bars of chili chocolate as well as chocolate-covered pieces of cocoa kernel, a chocolate (cocoa kernel) infusion, and 100 per cent cocoa chocolate, plus lots of other more usual flavours. My favourites are the tequila truffles and the chocolate bars with chewy pieces of real orange.

They used to have a tiny shop behind the cathedral run by the lovely Ricardo who handmade many of the products himself - it was a very spiritual process for him. We used to go in looking for tequila truffles but he'd say he had to be in the right frame of mind (and soul) to make them. He was a great fount of information on all the ancient Aztec and Mayan traditions and beliefs with regard to chocolate. Sadly, he left the collective and the shop closed.

The market is held on the first and third weekend of every month (Fri, Sat, Sun).

Sorry - I've got a bit off-message with this one! Turned into a chocolate post. :raz:

Here are a few other shopping tips to compensate:

I echo the recommendation of Botifarreria de Santa Maria. Also great stuff at Arantxa C/ Tallers. It also does great hot and cold tapas and there's a dining room at the back. Ask to try some horse ham if he has any in (cecina de caballo).

For cheeses try La Formatgeria de la Seu on C/Dagueria off C/Jaume I. Run by a wonderful Scottish lady called Katherine. She specialises in small-production Spanish cheeses. Because she's so picky the range of her stock can be limited but it's all v good. She does tastings too.

For wine try Torres on C/Nou de la Rambla. It used to be a really trad dusty old grocers with small but very good value wine selection. Now they've moved to large shiny new premises across the street (where the little old lady behind the till looks a little lost). Now the prices are still good but the selection is bewildering.

The Boqueria can be expensive and quality not great - get there early and become a regular at a stall (and speak Catalan). My favourite stall is Petras for great salad leaves and herbs at reasonable prices compared to the rubbish you get elsewhere (and of course his mushrooms are amazing!) Also get fruit and veg from the market garden stalls (mornings only and not every day, all day Sat I think) in the square to the side of the market. That way you know the stuff is at least local and seasonal - what we ought to be buying!

I've had Peixos Arrom in Merca Santa Catarina (in temporary premises along Passeig Lluis Companys) recommended to me, though I've only been there once - got some great freshwater trout from them. Nice people, great filleters. There's also a great charcuterie stall in the same market run by Alex Corretja (tennis star)'s mum and dad.

Hmm... hungry now, better pop out and follow my own advice.

Kirsten

www.saboroso.com

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My favourite stall is Petras for great salad leaves and herbs at reasonable prices compared to the rubbish you get elsewhere (and of course his mushrooms are amazing!)

Saboroso, I don't think I'm wrong if I say that Petras it's one of the prominent figures in the gastronomy scene of the country. If a mushroom broker exists, that's him. Buying and selling all kind of mushrooms all over the world, he's appreciated by every chef who's passionate about mushrooms. And certainly among aficionados alike, category which I belong to.

Thanks for your interesting set of addresses. I'll see if I can sample their products sooner than later.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Re: outdoor markets in Barcelona. There's a pretty good (if rather touristy) one in Plaza Pi off the Ramblas run by the Col.lectiu d'Artesans de l'Alimentacio (Artesan Food Producers Collective - rough trans). All the stalls are run by Catalan artisanal food makers - cheeses, chocolates, hams, pates, honeys etc. It's all rather cutesily packaged and possibly priced for tourists (though still good value in my opinion), but it's a great place for visitors to get gifts to take home.

Considering that this is an English language web site, it stands to reason that many of our members are going to be visitors to Barcelona and I suspect many Spaniards are tourists in Barcelona as well. An address of a place to get gastronomic gifts to take home is most welcome. My problem is not so much finding a place to buy such gifts, as it is in parting with them when I get home.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Question for the locals: Where would you go to get foie?

I've been going more and more to the Boqueria lately, getting to know the different stalls (and still working on my catalan!). It's amazing how quality, variety and price change depending on time and day. Saturday afternoon is my favorite to find bargains!

I haven't discovered Petras yet, but since both my wife and I love mushrooms, I will definitely try and find it next time.

thanks for the good tips.

Silly.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Question for the locals: Where would you go to get foie?

Reputed local sources point out that Mantequería Ravell (C/ Aragó 313) is the place. They also have a couple of tables to lunch some fried eggs with foie.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Went to Ravell this afternoon, hoping to get some foie and eggs. The place is really charming, I talked to the owner for a while and they have a somewhat impressive pure malt selection for local standards.

However, with the foie and eggs dish at a frightening 21 euros and the menu (3 dishes) at 39, it was a bit out of my league.

I promise to come back for my birthday though :).

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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