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May 21, 2009 10:28 AM

Relying on the Boqueria for meals - Smart?

Afternoon all,

I'm visiting Barcelona for a couple days in June with my parents. I've reserved one dinner (paella at Can Majo), but intend on having the other two lunches/one dinner at the Boqueria. In my mind, I imagine it as a gigantic building with hundreds of food stalls, where we can browse around and pick-and-choose what to try. Is this notion correct? Or should I be looking to reserve actual meals at sit-down restaurants?

I've tried searching Boqueria on the boards but the Chowhound search engine has been down for a couple days for me. Any suggestions/tips are much appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. I enjoyed some fantastic fresh juices when I was there, but I didn't see it as a place I could gather a meal. But maybe I was overwhelmed.

    I wouldn't depend on the market, but I also wouldn't bother reserving every meal. I remember there was this sunny plaza very close to Las Ramblas that had several restaurants, and Lonely Planet suggested one that was nice but not too much. It was good and I never would have found it without the guidebook.

    1. Sort of... ther are lots of shops, but they are not food stalls per se. You could put together a sort of picnic box but there is nowhere at the market to sit and eat. There are, of course, some nice kiosks selling prepared food, coffee etc like universal etc but these are sit down at the bar cafes.

      The market is to all intents and purposes closed on an evening though there are tapas places on the edge..

      1. You can certainly have lunch for the two days that you'll be in Barcelona at the Boqueria. Just to add a couple of comments to an earlier post on the few kiosks(I think there are 6 serving very similar type of food) that are in the Boqueria. They have only counter seatings each with no more than 12 seats (no tables) and can be very crowded during lunch time. If you are thinking about a food court where one buys food from different kiosks and bring to a central seating area to eat, this is not the set up. The boqueria is mostly retail with fish, produce, deli and various other stalls. Also having lunch both days might not be so convenient as one might be taking in sights in another part of the city. And the Boqueria closes around 7pm and the kiosks will be shut down even before that.

        1. I agree with PBSF. The only places where you can actually grab a meal are at a few 'bars'. The set-up is that you basically sit at the counter (if you can grab a stool) or eat counterside standing. Bar Pinoxto and El Quim de Boqueria serve what's fresh for the day at Boqueria Market. But yes, it is an actual 'market' selling fresh produce. I would highly recommend either reserving at some restaurants (though paella is not one of Barcelona's strengths) or having tapas at a variety of places. Just invade the reservations required for tapas.

          1. Thanks for the advice, very helpful! I think I'm going to go with the following plan:

            Thursday 6/11 - Arrive at hotel around 4pm, wander down to Boqueria, snack around, dinner at Can Majo at 8:15.
            Friday 6/12 - Restaurant San Joan, visit Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, wander around, dinner at Paco Meralgo

            I'm also looking at Cinc Sentits, but not sure how to work it in. I might drop Can Majo in favor of Cinc, but having a paella on an outside terrace near the beach sounds like a nice way to kick off the vacation!

            2 Replies
            1. re: CGengomics

              Also please keep in mind that the actual dinners in Spain start at 10-11pm. Lunch at 3pm.

              1. re: trvlcrzy

                go to "el quim" in la boqueria. (the stall had wooden paneling) get the baby squid with eggs. hands down, best food in la boqueria.