“Al mercat de Galvany volem compartir amb vosaltres la nostra passió pel menjar de qualitat incomparable. Amb molta cura busquem i oferim els millors productes per cuinar, menjar i gaudir.”
“At Galvany Market we want to share our passion for food of incomparable quality. With great care, we seek to offer the best products for cooking, eating and enjoyment.”
From the Mercat Galvany website.
Barcelona has many local markets, most of which were rebuilt in the late 19th and early 20th Century as the city expanded. Mercat Galvany is one of these, above the older part of town in the wealthy district of Sarria (probably the last outlying village to be annexed by Barcelona in 1921). Construction work started on Mercat Galvany in 1868 and it was completed in 1927. As you can see from the pictures, the market sits behind imposing stone walls and looks somewhat temple like, with it’s ornately decorated exterior and stained glass windows. It’s even laid out in the shape of a Greek cross.
I’d heard about Mercat Galvany – it’s somewhat special, selling the very best quality ingredients, mostly to locals and it’s completely off the tourist track. Growing increasingly tired of how La Boqueria looses a few stalls each year to cheap fruit juice and fast food on sticks, I decided it was about time I sought out Mercat Galvany, so far untouched by a tidal wave of ignorant guiris. I set out on a sunny morning with Silvia, to discover if this market really is the jewel in Barcelona’s market crown.
Entering the market from C/de Santalò, one is drawn towards the centre of the market, but I noticed straight away, that the quality of produce here is exceptional.
At the very heart of the market is a circle of fish stalls, not unlike the Boqueria (although this is somewhat smaller).
Peix Fresc Feli had a beautiful selection of
We arrived at the market at around 1pm. You will notice from the pictures that it’s quite quiet at this time. No doubt the shopping for lunch is done earlier in the morning and market stall holders stay open for latecomers. Most people in Cataluña have a cooked lunch between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. This is consistent with taking a siesta after lunch – it’s quiet mild at this time of year, but in summer the middle of the day can be unbearably hot and sticky.
Above, the fishmonger at Joan i Antonio makes good use of his time by filleting small fish, such as anchovies. Anchovies are an inexpensive fish, often cured in wine vinegar (boquerones) and served as a tapa or starter.
This beautiful red bream really caught my eye.
At the far side of the market (C/d’Amigó) we found Fruites Josuna – note the in-season calçots at the bottom centre of the stall. The exterior entrance/exit here is a mirror image of the one we’d come through on C/de Santalò.
We started to walk around the stalls on the edge of the market. Vegetables seem to be positioned by the doors, fish belong in the middle and everything else radiates from the centre. TastaTu specialises in artesanal Catalan products, such as goats cheese, natural yogurt, honey, olive oil etc.
Here El Torrador del Galvany sells dried fruit, coffee, tea, caramels, etc.
Antic Estanyol sells sauces, canned goods, eggs, dairy, bottled water and (on the far right of the stall) bleach and cleaning products!
The Encarna Mauri stall (like Antic Estanyol) look to be original, with a beautiful marble counter. Encarna Mauri is a delicatessen, selling national and international cured meat and cheese. On their web page they state that they specialise in German produce.
Ous Jordi sells eggs, direct from the farm with an emphasis on free range and organic. On the left is Montse, with dried fruit and fresh pasta.
On the walls next to Montse and Ous Jordi, there’s an exhibition of photos from the 1950s – I particularly like the one above of the Polleria Salut (healthy chicken) stall, who no longer seem to be present, but perhaps the family married or joined another stall in the market – I’d like to think that’s the case.
I was amused to find roast beeff (their spelling) on the Alex stall,
but joking aside, their Ternasco de Aragón Marinat – Aragonese lamb marinated with olive oil, lemon, pepper, garlic and herbes de Provence, looks delicious.
Next door is Carnes Selectes Macià,
where I spotted this roll of breadcrumbs, mince, chicken and spinach.
Bar el Rincón is cute, with seating for 8 people. I bet they have a large breakfast trade and a carajillo (expresso with rum or brandy), at 11.30, is a popular morning pick up. You can tell they’ve been busy by the rubbish left underneath the stools!
There’s even a large seating area to sit down and rest your weary feet, not to mention a little Magic Roundabout by the door!
I’m not a huge fan of pre made pizza, but Xarcuteria Carles
may have changed my mind. I’d definitely buy their confit de canard.
Silvia pointed out some fungi, called Murgula (Morchella), which are imported from Turkey.
These hand made tortillas contain mushrooms
and just look at these slabs of dauphinoise potatoes!
We were delighted by Mercat Galvany – many of the stalls retain their original features and the quality of the food is stunning. I will definitely be coming back here to shop! The produce is not cheap, but as they say, “Lo barato siempre sale caro” – “The cheap always comes out expensive.”
Tired and by now starving, we went in search of a suitable lunch…
Opening hours, Monday to Saturday: 07.00 – 14.30, Friday: 07.00 – 20.00.