From where to buy all the ingredients for fideuá, to where to try some fresh, local produce, here’s everything you need to know about the best local shops in Barcelona.
One of our favorite things to do when traveling to a new city is wandering the aisles of supermarkets. We always find ourselves trying to pronounce the names of fruits in a different language, peeking at what the locals are buying and even trying to order some of the same products ourselves.
From an outsider’s perspective, it can seem overwhelming to grocery shop in Barcelona. It feels like you have never-ending options. For starters, you’ll find massive supermarkets with everything you need, from seafood to toiletries. But there is still a strong tradition for buying each item in its respective shop. Many locals still buy produce in the fruterías, meat in the carnicerías, seafood and fish in the pescaderías, and so on.
So where does one begin? Luckily, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about grocery stores in Barcelona in this handy guide!
Supermarkets in Barcelona
If what you’re looking for is a big shop with a wide range of products, a supermarket might be your first stop. Here are a few of our favorites that you’ll find in Barcelona.
Hands-down everyone’s favorite grocery store, Mercadona is always a good bet. You’ll find many locations around Barcelona, all with great products at a great value. Even their house brand, Hacendado, is excellent—one of their cheeses was among the best in the world!
Bon Preu has a slightly higher price tag than Mercadona and a smaller selection as well, but the quality is fantastic. Our favorite part? Their stores have amazing wine sections and cheese counters with exclusive cheeses from all over the world!
If you’re looking for all-natural and organic products, Veritas is your go-to store. You can also find organic products like shampoo and laundry soap. The price tag is higher than regular supermarkets, but the products are high quality and well worth it.
Food Markets in Barcelona
The first food market that may come to mind when in Barcelona is the famous Boqueria, located on the even more famous Las Ramblas. But this isn’t the only market in Barcelona, and also not the most frequented by locals due to the heavy tourist traffic.
Luckily, there are plenty of other Barcelona markets you can check out. Many of these places are institutions in their respective communities, and you’ll find locals frequenting them many times a week. More on those in a bit!
Insider’s tip: If you do visit La Boqueria, be sure to support local business by buying something. Remember that it isn’t just a tourist attraction—it is a lot of people’s livelihoods. Your pictures don’t pay the bills!
What to buy at a food market in Barcelona
- Fresh, seasonal and locally sourced produce. You’ll be hard-pressed to find strawberries in the middle of winter, but the mandarins are incredible!
- Farm-fresh eggs
- Seafood straight from the Mediterranean caught daily. (Avoid buying on Mondays, as the fishermen take Sundays off!)
- Unbeatable marinated olives
How to shop like a local
- If there’s a ticket machine, grab a number. If not, be sure to ask, “Qui és l’últim?” to find out who the last person in line is, and remember your spot!
- Be sure to know what you want and how much you want of it (in kilograms) before you get in line. The market is a fast-paced place, so there’s no time for dilly-dallying! (Quick tip: a kilo is about 2.2 pounds.)
- Bring your own bag or rolling cart from home.
Insider’s tip: One of our favorite neighborhood markets is the Mercat de Sant Antoni. Until spring 2018, it had been under reconstruction for years. Now you can enjoy the renovated market inside and out as you shop for everything from jam to jewelry! And if you’re itching for more, check out a few more of our favorite markets around Barcelona, like Santa Caterina featured in the video below!
Queviures in Barcelona
Queviures, also known as colmados or ultramarinos, were once a strong tradition found on each corner of the city. Think of them as an old-fashioned neighborhood supermarkets or town general stores.
Years ago, this is where everyone did their one-stop shopping for groceries. Nowadays, most colmados have been phased out by larger supermarkets. These bigger grocery stores offer more choice and convenience, but lack the charm and specialty that the queviures have been able to maintain.
You’ll notice that some restaurants still have a sign reading “queviures” on the awning, as a nod to the locale’s past. Many of the remaining colmados have turned into gourmet specialty shops offering the best canned goods, olive oils, wines, cheeses, jams and local treats to bring back as souvenirs for friends and family!
What to buy at queviures:
- Conservas, or canned fish and seafood such as sardines or clams.
- Cheese such as a nice manchego or a bit of mató de Montserrat, which is usually eaten with honey and walnuts
- Embutidos, or cured meats, like fuet and chorizo
- Products with beautiful Modernist labels still conserved from years past
Insider’s pick: Two of our favorite old-school grocery stores in Barcelona are Colmado Múrria, a Barcelona staple since 1898 (and a piece of Modernist eye candy) and Colmado Quilez-La Fuente, a family-run gourmet shop right on Rambla Catalunya.
Bodegas in Barcelona
It’s true that you can buy wine almost anywhere in Barcelona, but you can’t find just any wine anywhere.
Although harder to come by nowadays, bodegas are still a local staple around many neighborhoods around the city. Here, you can buy wine poured straight from the barrel at a considerably cheaper price than in the store, usually with a “try before you buy” philosophy in place. Some offer organized tastings, while others even offer tapas to take the edge off!
What to order at a bodega in Barcelona:
- Try some wine from two of the most famous regions in Catalonia: Penedès and Priorat.
- Don’t miss another Catalan favorite: vermouth!
Want to check out some of these unique local institutions for yourself? Our Tastes & Traditions of Barcelona Tour is calling your name. We’ll step into some of the shops, bars and restaurants that locals have frequented for generations—and try plenty of delicious bites along the way!
Emily fell in love with Spain the moment she got her first taste of salmorejo. Almost a decade later, she has learned to dance sevillanas, given up on going to the post office between 2–5 pm (embracing the sacred ritual of the siesta instead) and found she prefers a good jamón over being a vegetarian any day. Read more about her love affair with this country and its people, culture, and cuisine at http://thisisthemilk.blog.