Supermarkets in Barcelona: a user’s guide

Published by in the category Food, Shopping. Article updated 10 May, 2017. 0 comments

Everything you need to know about supermarkets in Barcelona. Got your list? Let's go!

supermarkets

Grocery shopping can be a pleasure or a chore! We’ve come up with a little guide to Barcelona’s supermarkets to make life easier.

Supermarkets in Barcelona: not as important as you might think

Supermarkets aren’t as important in Barcelona as they are in many other places: it’s still standard practice to buy groceries from several different retailers, rather than doing a big, one-stop shop.

Food markets form an essential part of local culture, and can be found in almost every area. They’re open from Monday to Saturday, and are very popular. Prices are no higher than in a supermarket, and may even be cheaper. It’s also a lot nicer to stroll around a covered market than a supermarket…

Fun fact: you’ll sometimes find a supermarket within a market, or in the basement below.

In addition to the markets, there are many shops which only sell specific types of product, for example dairy (the Granja Armengol is a great example), or fruit and vegetables (cheaper than the supermarket).

vegetables

Supermarkets in Barcelona

The main supermarket chains with stores in Barcelona include:

  • Mercadona: probably Spain’s most popular supermarket chain, known for its own-brand products, offering good quality at a reasonable price.
  • Bon Preu: “bon preu” means “right price” in Catalan, and the chain lives up to its name. Unlike Mercadona, Bon Preu stocks named brands, representing excellent value for money.
  • Consum: Consum is somewhere between Mercadona and Bon Preu in terms of the products on offer, including both big-name and own-brand Consum items. The quality is generally good, but there’s less choice than at Mercadona. You’ll also find franchised “Consum Charter” stores, but these are sometimes badly designed and only offer a limited range of products.
  • Caprabo: this supermarket has a wider choice of products than the others mentioned above, but it’s also more expensive. A large Caprabo store can be found in the Illa shopping center in the Corts quarter, and there’s another in the Mercat de la Concepció.
  • El Corte Inglés: by far and away the nicest supermarkets to stroll around, with a wide variety of appealing products and attractive displays… at a price, of course. This is Barcelona’s most expensive supermarket, but if you can afford it, go ahead! The Corte Inglés on Plaça Catalunya and the one on Avigunda Diagonal have deli counters in addition to the supermarket proper.
  • Carrefour: unsurprisingly, the commercial juggernaut that is Carrefour also has stores in Barcelona (on Las Ramblas and in the Glòries shopping centre).

Useful information

  • Many of the supermarkets in Barcelona offer free home delivery if your shopping exceeds a certain price. Very handy!
  • Supermarkets are generally open Monday to Saturday, from 9 or 10am until 9 or 10pm.
  • Handy hint: the Carrefour Express and the Estalvi in the Mercat de la Concepció are open on Sunday mornings. Some supermarkets offer free parking (upon presentation of a receipt), but this is the exception rather than the rule. Most are situated in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi quarter.
  • Opencor supermarkets are open 18 hours a day, every day of the year, but they’re more expensive.
  • Certain products can be hard to find in supermarkets, one notable example being toiletries. You should be able to find something, but the choice is extremely limited. For more options, go to perfumería (perfumery) – these stores carry a range of shower gels, shampoos, lotions and potions. Another option is Clarel, a chain which also sells household cleaning products.
  • Looking for a superstore?  The Carrefour in the Gran Via 2 centre (just outside Barcelona) should do the trick.

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About the author

Pauline

Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?