In Europe, markets aren’t just filled with organic food lovers and grandmas. They’re the place to be for Friday night tapas and drinks, a quick bite to eat before the beach, or to get your hands on an ornate piece of clothing.
1. La Boquearia in Barcelona, Spain
La Boquearia is located in the heart of Barcelona. It’s a great stop for a meal, snacks, or to grocery shop. Foods are brought in from all over the world where stands specialize in fruit or delicacies from certain regions. This market is one of the largest in all of Europe and is filled with fresh produce, meats, fish, nuts, and chocolate.
#SpoonTip: Make sure to pick up a delicious flute of Spanish cured meats and a freshly squeezed juice.
2. Time Out in Lisbon, Portugal
The Time Out Market is the best place to taste tons of local restaurants and food from top chefs in Lisbon. The prepared food stall section is open seven days a week and is a great place to go with a group so that everyone can enjoy what they would like.
When I went, I got chimichurri chicken and a warm sweet potato salad while my friends got pizza, croquettes, tapas and pasta. We all got what we were craving and enjoyed amazing sangria at the same time.
3. Mercado Lonja Del Barranco in Seville, Spain
Many major cities in Spain had amazing prepared food markets with even better bars. Every night, tons of locals fill the buildings after work devouring tapas and drinks. In Seville, the market is right on the river with a beautiful interior and breathtaking terrace. It isn’t overly big and overwhelming but is the perfect size to find something you’d like. A few of the food stalls were fresh smoothies, tacos, sandwiches, fresh seafood, or barbecued meats.
4. Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid, Spain
Like in Seville, Madrid has a number of prepared food markets. San Miguel is the main market right by Plaza Mayor. It is a lively spot for a delicious lunch, dinner, or just a drink. Stations include burgers and steaks, paella, tostadas, fruit, fresh grilled fish, and any tapas imaginable.
5. El Rastro in Madrid, Spain
El Rastro is a special flea market that fills blocks every Sunday in Madrid. There are tons of people walking the streets viewing the wide variety of stands and live Spanish music. You can pick up anything from an authentic pair of Levi shorts, cool artwork, food, spices, tapestries, or one of a kind pieces of clothing.
6. Mercado San Ildefonso in Madrid, Spain
San Ildefonso is a lot like Mercado de San Miguel in Spain but much more relaxed with different and unique stands. Enjoy a day of shopping in Grand Via and then walk just a few blocks to this great location. There are about 18 stalls with a terrace and rooftop bar.
7. Marche aux Fleurs in Nice, France
Located right by the beach and in Old Nice, Marche aux Fleurs features vendors with products special to the area. It’s the perfect place to pick up some fresh produce, pastries, or a gift to take home.
Bonus: Jamal El Fnaa in Marrakesh, Morocco
The famous square, Jamaa El Fnaa, in Marrakesh could keep you busy for days. Stalls contain everything imaginable from fresh juice, desserts, clothes, leather goods, shoes, and pottery. Don’t be startled by the vendors trying to hassle you to buy their product and be sure to bargain any price they tell you. Also make sure to stop by at night when over 100 restaurants set up booths while you hear drums from dance circles on the other side of the square.