Barcelona - Farmers Markets
Having visited Barcelona on several occasions, and having happily shopped at various mercats (I'm based here for a few months rather than just visiting), it strikes me that I have been unable to find markets for local farmers, cheese-makers, bakers, etc. Sure, the provenance of products in the markets are noted on signs, and not a little does come from Catalonia. But, a lot of the stuff doesn't, and, a lot of what finds from stall to stall, market to market, is the same, and, apart from a handful of items (I'm speaking fruits and vegetables, now), not a whole lot different than what might find in the US. Of course the fish, charcuterie, and meats are different, but that's to be expected. Comparing the selection of things one finds in Parisian markets (especially Raspail, on Sundays), I have yet to be surprised. Please tell me I am missing something and point me in the right direction.
I don't know if it's what you're looking for, but there are people who set up stalls outside the markets in Gracia to sell produce. I've seen them at the Mercat de la Llibertat and, I think, also the Mercat Abaceria Central. I've never checked the origins of the produce, although I'm pretty certain the people there are not farmers.
There are also Saturday markets in Plaça Del Pi and outside Santa-Catarina market. You can find cheeses, charcuterie, honey and other such products.
For baked goods, you don't really need a market. There are bakeries everywhere. And although the bread leaves a lot to be desired, you can find a lot of very good baked goods. Amongst my favourites are the xuxos from El Forn de Sant Jaume on Rambla de Catalunya. There are also very good bakeries in Gracia. And the best bread I've found is, for better or for worse, at the Via Augusta location of the the French chain Paul - Maison de Qualité.
I reckon there must also be other Saturday markets like the ones in the Gotico. It's always good to ask around.
Good luck, and enjoy the city.
The market in Plaça del pi is called the Feria del Col.lectiu d’Artesans de l'Alimentació (Ciutat Vella). I found a blog post about it: http://cocinademercado.blogspot.com/2009/01/plaza-del-pi.html
EDIT: I found another reference that includes other markets in BCN. Just scroll down to the "comer y beber" section: http://www.bcn.es/publicacions/bmm/46...
Thank you. Just what I am looking for. Funny you find Paul the best you've had in Barcelona. Though I have enjoyed good bread on occasion in Spain, it always struck me how mediocre it generally was. One might say the same about many places these days, including France, but I found this bread-deficit even in restaurants I'd recommend without hesitation. Once, on a trip with other writers to the Castilla y Leon wine regionts, one of us asked our hosts why the bread in (that part of) Spain was so average. "I don't know what to say," she replied, "we think it's very good."
I've had similar experiences with Spanish friends and acquaintances. They don't really get where I'm coming from when I mention the so-so bread. I was always surprised by the pour quality of the bread used for montaditos and pintxos and what comes in the bread baskets of some well-considered restaurants. That's not to say you can't get good bread. It's out there. It's just not that easy to find.
I've mentioned before here that Sol de Nit in Plaça del Sol (Gracia) has some of the best Pan con tomate in Barcelona and it's partly because they use a hearty, crunchy ciabatta-type bread for it. There's a type of cakey baguette in some bakeries that's very good for bocadillos. The bakery that has a stand in the Mercat de la Llibertat makes some rather good breads. I wish I had found that out earlier than just four days before leaving town. Oh well, there's always next time.