When in Barcelona and looking for a market, everyone goes to the Boqueria. And so they should. It’s a wonderful market, buzzing, lively and full of energy.
Often ignored by the traveller though is the everyday food market, San Antonio Market near the Universitat. The customers are mainly locals shopping for their daily produce. I didn’t see another tourist there the morning that I visited.
The San Antonio market has all that the Boqueria has, in an ordered controlled way. It has little tapas bars as the Boqueria does, granted not as many. It is not rammed (the Boqueria is always packed) and has everything you could possibly want. It has less of an international focus – the Boqueria stocks everything you could imagine – and if you’re in Spain, it is surely Spanish food you are after.
So, I would ensure that you do both. If you don’t like crowds the Boqueria will drive you crazy, but it is worth an explore and a stop off for tapas. Go to the San Antonio Market to buy food to bring home and to enjoy the tapas in a stress free manner. Mainly, go to experience markets in Spain as they really are.
San Antonio Market: