Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mercado de Santa Caterina

Not as famous as La Boqueria of Las Ramblas, El Mercado de Santa Caterina located off Via Laietana near the Born is actually the oldest covered market in Barcelona. Neglected and forgotten, it had fallen into disrepair by the late nineties until it was refurbished as part of a neighborhood redevelopment project.

The colorful roof was the most prominent addition and can be seen from the surrounding buildings, giving it a fantastical feel of a colorful ocean. Meanwhile, three of the original façades were maintained to honor its long and storied history.

Inside, the market is full of stands selling fruit, vegetables, meat and fish and walking around can provoke a sensory overload from the sights, smells and sounds.  It also has a small grocery store providing all your culinary needs if you live close by. If you're just visiting and feel hunger pangs from all the food, there's a new restaurant Cuines Santa Caterina.

Far from your traditional Spanish or Catalan restaurant, it serves an assortment of dishes using different styles from Japanese to Argentinean in a setting that produces a zen-like feel. The quality of the food is outstanding, although a bit on the pricey side, making it the perfect place to bring visitors who like to pick up the check.


  1. Thanks for posting this! That market looks super cool (so Barcelona!! :) I've actually seen a couple of flats in the area (online) seems like a good place to leave, maybe a bit too touristy? I checked out the restaurant, love the atmoshere with the roof windows!!! x

  2. Hey! The Born is a great place to live and popular with guiris and locals alike. Lots of small bars and boutiques to drink and shop at. A little less hectic and touristy than the Gothic quarter. Just avoid streets near Palau de Musica!

  3. I think they've done a great job with the market and the presentation of the stalls is fantastic. I compare it with Madrid where the tendency is to get rid of the older markets and in those that survive the goods are almost always presented in a take it or leave it style.

  4. Hey Graeme,

    Yeah, Barcelona does seem to take special pride in its food markets compared to other places I've been in Spain. Even the local ones are great.