Back to our Barca adventures before the kids are teenagers and I forget what it was like when they were cute and cuddly. During our stay in Barcelona we visited many kid friendly sites such as the Parc Guell,the Aquarium, and the Mountain of Montjuic. I still have a couple more places to share with you in Barcelona but for now we are going to focus on a place that is not only kid-friendly but very mommy and daddy friendly.
Every person I know that has visited Spain comes back home wishing they had been able to enjoy more of the delectable Spanish cuisine offered in Barcelona. In my opinion Barcelona has one of the best culinary scenes throughout Spain due to its Catalan influence, its delectable offerings of traditional fare and its proximity to the sea that make the seafood one of the best I’ve ever had. If you want to learn to cook like the Spaniards, you have to get at least some of their ingredients and observe how real Spanish food is made. Anyone can make Tapas, but not everyone can make Tapas that blow your mind and are actually considered to be edible by toddlers (at least not me!).
Immersed in the Spanish culture and ready for more culinary adventures we visited La Boqueria, the traditional market located in La Rambla. This place is hard to miss, just follow the tourists craving the 1 euro sangria and the busy restaurant chefs who had to run over to buy extra ingredients.
As soon as we entered this place I thought I was in the cornucopia of Spanish gourmet. Vibrantly fresh fruit, perfectly dried nuts and fruits, incredible charcuterie and fish galore. I just wanted to move to Barcelona to have access to all these delectable ingredients!
So you might be asking why I think this place is kid friendly, the truth is that not only do they have eye candy and real candy, but this is a fabulous place to teach your kiddos about the different fruits and veggies, colors, smells, etc. The sensory overload that you feel as you enter this beautifully kept market is something to be reckoned with. Evan was so excited so see so many stalls with different things that we had to chase him around. Josh was very excited too but wasn’t too happy to be on the baby carrier, that’s why I only have a few pics. Every time I tried to use the camera, he would pull on eat and try to eat it, yay for teething babies!
We showed Evan all the different stalls and he was very interested in the eggs and fish for some reason. I guess he could really recognize those and was proud of himself for doing so. I was particularly interested in the turron, a marshmallow like sweet that is made with different nuts and is just to die for. I really regret not having bought more of it. I knew we were going to Madrid after Barcelona so I decided to buy it there. Big mistake, the turron in Barcelona was way better and much more fresh than the one from the tourist shops in Madrid!
We are not huge pork fans but we hadn’t seen so much pork in a long time that in my delirium I was certain that I could fit a whole pata negra ham leg in my suitcase.
My other big achilie’s heel was the formidable variety of dry fruits. They offered dried everything! Cranberries, apricots, peaches, pears, apples, oranges, you name it! Again I started day dreaming of moving to Barcelona and having access to all the gorgeous fresh and dry fruit bounty available there.
La Boqueria is a must visit in Barcelona, whether you want your kids to try a new flavor or you just want a glass of fresh juice (or Sangria). It’s just a few steps away from la Rambla and a very easy quick visit. We were there for only about 25 minutes but could have stayed for longer if we had known that you can actually eat there (we had already had lunch) and if the boys hadn’t been so eager to run around. In my mind all I could envision was Evan grabbing a fish and fish slapping everything around him.
-Bring cash. Some places take credit cards but they don’t always work.
-Bring PLENTY of cash if you are planning on buying a lot. This place is not super expensive but it is not cheap either. Without realizing it you can end up buying a lot.
-Don’t have lunch before coming, you will regret it. You can tapa your day away at this market just eating a bit in every shop.
-Taste everything. Most places will allow you to have a sneak peek of their goodies. Go for it!
-Go on your last day in Barcelona, I’m certain you will find some things you will want to take home with you and just wait so everything is still fresh.
-Let the kids experiment with all the amazing fruits they sell. The fruit juices and platters are very affordable and they will usually give you a good deal if you buy more than two.
-Bargain, or at least try to. If you are getting several things from the same vendor, try to get a better price. If you don’t succeed you can at least say you argued with a Spaniard, not an easy feat.
La Rambla (Near the Opera)
Open Monday-Saturday 9:30 -5:30