Barcelona’s vibrant La Boqueria market attracts Michelin-starred chefs and local grandmothers equally. As the center of the city food scene and epicenter of Catalan gastronomy, the Boqueria offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience the sights, smells, and tastes of gastronomic Barcelona. On this 3-hour Barcelona Food Tour, we'll explore the market and nearby specialty food shops, tracing the history of food in this culinary city. In the company of a chef or food writer, we'll get a basic overview of regional Catalan gastronomy while tasting local specialties.
"We learned so much about Barcelona's traditions and typical food from the region. Our docent gave us a better understanding of the city, its history, and its cuisine."
La Boqueria Market
We begin at the intersection of Carrer de la Boqueria and La Rambla, the ancient seat of La Boqueria, which was founded in the 13th century, making it one of Europe’s oldest markets. As we head toward the modern market, which has been relocated to a modern glass and steel structure nearby, we’ll discuss the long history of public markets in this city, from the medieval period to their revitalization in the 1990s.
Barcelona Food Tour
We’ll spend the majority of our time together under the glistening canopy of La Boqueria itself. We’ll venture into the briny, wet stands where fresh fish, shellfish, and an array of mollusks are arranged over beds of ice. We'll stop to examine freshly hunted wild mushrooms or to inhale the salty aromas of cured jamon and embotits. We may sample typical dishes
at such famed tapas bars as Pinotxo
(for those wanting a closer look at Barcelona's tapas culture, we recommend our Barcelona Tapas Tour
). Along the way, our docent, a trained food critic chef or historian, will explain some of the origins and provenance of these foods against the backdrop of Catalonia’s rich culinary history and diverse geography.
Inventive and Sustainable Cuisine
Catalan cuisine is as innovative as it is economical: No part of the animal is thrown out. Unusual combinations like rabbit with snails (conejo con caracoles) or pigs feet with nuts and peas (pies de cerdo con piñones y guisantes) illustrate the experiments of ancient Catalan cooks. From this lineage of contrasting flavor profiles and economical exploits, Catalonia leads the world in culinary innovation, boasting many Michelin star restaurants and forging new frontiers in molecular gastronomy.
The final leg of our walk will take us out of La Boqueria into the stone streets of El Raval—where we also offer an El Raval Tour
—and the Gothic Quarter, where we’ll visit select specialty food shops. Passing by several notable restaurants, we’ll pay particular attention to neighborhood establishments that specialize in “market cuisine” in order to highlight the dialogue between market and restaurant, produce and chef. We will stop briefly to discuss the role of seasonality and the continued globalization of our food markets. Depending on the time of day, our walk may end at either Granja Viader, a local "dairy" that serves the afternoon merinda
of chocolate, or the famous bakery Escriba to punctuate our experience. (Like chocolate? Try our Barcelona Chocolate Tour
Please note any food allergies or intolerances in the Notes box when booking.
Why not have a photographer join you and your docent on a private tour? We work with Flytographer, a smart travel company with a network of local photographers around the world. Contact us for more details.
Is this tour suitable for vegetarians?
Though Catalan food is traditionally meat- and seafood-based, we will taste some items that do not contain animal products. If you would like to customize the tour to fully meet your dietary needs, we recommend booking a private walk.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible?
Some of the shops we visit are small and many will have a step up to access them. The general route may include small streets with narrow sidewalks; please contact us if you have any questions regarding accessibility. We are also happy to design a private, customized tour for visitors with mobility concerns.