Barcelona Insider Info: How to find cheap supermarkets in Barcelona and the best Spanish food
I finally managed to find cheap supermarkets in Barcelona!
It isn't easy, especially when you’re new in Barcelona and still trying to figure out where you are and how you get from the apartment to the metro! These supermarkets are "student friendly" and by that I mean they have prices which students, interns or young professionals who’ve just moved to Barcelona, can easily afford.
But let me get this straight: Even though some supermarkets in Barcelona are more expensive than others, that doesn’t mean they differ from other supermarkets around the world. Well, obviously supermarkets in Barcelona have a somewhat different food range than supermarkets in Bangladesh. In general though, food prices in Barcelona are more expensive than food prices in eastern countries or Germany, but less expensive than in Great Britain or Scandinavian Countries.
The day you arrive in Barcelona is a day full of new impressions and can be sometimes very overwhelming - depending on how long your journey was and how many hours you slept. So, on arrival, you shouldn’t think about finding the cheapest supermarket in Barcelona but just go to the first fast-food place or nice restaurant and enjoy your first day in Barca.
Try to avoid Barcelona supermarkets at, or near, typical tourist places. For example, on “Las Ramblas”, the biggest entertainment street in Barcelona, there are several little supermarkets called “Spar”. You should avoid these little Spar supermarkets for big grocery shopping because a little packet of cheese can cost you almost 5 €. You’ll find these little Spar supermarkets nearly everywhere in Barcelona and especially at the seaside and they are very expensive.
During my first 2 weeks in Barcelona I spent a lot of money in Barcelona supermarkets, because I was paying 10 € for a yogurt, a bottle of water and a packet of Cornflakes in an organic food store. At the beginning I lived in el Gótico which is near the seaside and next to Las Ramblas. In this specific area there is absolutely no supermarket except for an organic one at la Via Laeitana, a big parallel street to Las Ramblas. No wonder food in these kind of stores is hugely expensive. Most organic provisions like yogurts , lemonade or Cornflakes are imported from places such as Germany, Holland or Italy.
You will be able to find a supermarket in every Barcelona Neighbourhood
and they are usually open until 20.00h - 21.00h. Barcelona supermarkets like Mercadona, Dia, Super Sol, Lidl or Bon Preu are the cheapest places to get your food. Barcelona supermarket chains like Capbrabo, Carrefour, Carrefour Express, Consum, etc. are a bit more expensive, but have a greater range of food. But if you buy food products of the In-house brand, you can save a bit of money. You need to try out what’s good and what’s not. I, for example like the Carrefour milk and cheese, olives and tinned corn. Especially the olives are very nice and cheap.
What kind of food can you suggest in Barcelona supermarkets? – Comments are more than welcome!
SuiteLife’s personal favourite shopping experience is Mercadona hands down. They have by far the best quality to price ratio. Mercadona is also the Barcelona supermarket that has the best house brand in the city. It’s called “Hacendado” and for almost every product (we love the hummus, chocolate-covered walnuts, and everything else really) they have a high-value house brand alternative. Also, For those of you that are single and looking, the Mercadona on c/ Aribau w c/ Travessera de Gracia, for inexplicable reasons, seems to have the youngest and best looking shoppers. Strike up a conversation in the fresh produce section and who knows, you could be going home with more than your normal weekly vegetables!
Apart from a lot of corner shops, Barcelona also has a lot of Chinese Supermarkets. Good places for purchasing vegetarian food like soya, tofu and vegetables. If you need cheap fruit and vegetables and want to see the Catalan way of life, you should visit a local Mercado (market). A famous one is the Mercat de Boqueria, situated about half way down La Rambla, next to the metro stop Liceu. It is open everyday from 8am to 8:30pm and is closed on Sundays.
If you have any other suggestions or just want to share your experience with supermarkets in Barcelona, please feel free to comment!