Barcelona boasts some brilliant fresh food markets, including the famous (although now very touristy) La Boqueria on Las Ramblas, Santa Caterina in El Born, Barceloneta in the neighbourhood of the same name, and Mercat de la Liberta in Gracia, the barrio where we’re staying. There are also excellent supermercados in the basements of El Corte Inglés department stores dotted around Barcelona. Here is our Barcelona shopping list.
Before we get to that, one of our readers commented in response to our last Jerez Price Check that we should have been shopping the local markets, rather than supermarkets, where prices can be cheaper. We do both actually – we will buy fresh seafood, meat, fruit and veg, cheeses and cold cuts, olive oils, etc, in a market when we can, and buy the basic essentials (sugar, tea, coffee, milk, and so on) in a supermarket.
For the purposes of our ‘Price Check’ exercise, however, we’ve chosen to get our prices from supermarkets because it makes it easier for us to compare prices of similar products between different destinations. Also, you can’t always get everything you need in a market (eg. sugar), the prices are not always cheaper in markets (eg. at touristy La Boqueria), and in places like Marrakech, some traders will charge you ‘tourist prices’ if you’re not with a local.
We definitely recommend you shop the markets for a more local experience. But if the market stalls don’t have fixed prices, and you’re on a tight budget or concerned about getting ripped off, we strongly encourage you to note down the prices in the supermarket first. That way you’re in a far better position to bargain!
We should also point out that we always go for the top quality produce rather than the cheapest stuff, so, for instance, at La Boqueria markets today there were loads of tomatoes ranging from €1.80-2.50 per kilo, however, they tended to be bruised and discoloured, while the best and brightest tomatoes were closer to €3. For ethical reasons as much as taste preferences, we always buy free range eggs too, which is why our eggs are on the higher price side. So please don’t come at us with the “but it’s cheaper in blah, blah, blah.” We know.
Price Check: a Barcelona Shopping List
|1.5 litre water||€0.40||£0.36||US$0.54|
|1 litre milk||€0.50||£0.45||US$0.67|
|Bottle of local wine||€7.00||£6.31||US$9.47|
|San Miguel beer||€0.50||£0.45||US$0.70|
|250 g Segafredo Coffee||€3.15||£2.83||US$4.26|
|Mint tea 50 bags||€2.15||£1.93||US$2.91|
|1 kg sugar||€0.95||£0.85||US$1.28|
|Jar of cherry jam||€1.65||£1.48||US$2.23|
|1 loaf of bread||€0.85||£0.76||US$1.15|
|250g quality butter||€2.20||£1.98||US$2.97|
|200g Queso Curado||€3.75||£3.40||US$5.15|
|500 ml olive oil||€4.75||£4.28||US$6.43|
|One dozen eggs||€2.80||£2.52||US$3.79|
|1 kilo tomatoes||€2.50||£2.25||US$3.38|
|1 kilo onions||€1.90||£1.71||US$2.57|
|1 kilo apples||€2.25||£2.02||US$3.04|
|250g jar pimientos||€1.75||£1.57||US$2.36|
|250 g pistachios||€4.45||£4.01||US$6.02|
Price Check is a series of posts from every destination we visit where we settle in for a while, that could serve as a shopping list for you to stock the kitchen at the start of your stay, as well as a cost of living index, giving you an idea as to what things cost in that place. We include some basic items to get you started, plus a local specialty or two from the place.