Mercat del Encants Food Hall


Mercat del Encants Food Hall

Tucked into the uppermost corner of the impressive Mercat del Encants flea market is a great, yet little-known food stop off. It’s combination of fresh, varied and generally healthy food, plus an outpost of one of Barcelona’s best loved cava bars makes it the perfect place to meet up with friends, grab a quick lunch if you work around the Glories area or like me, gather your colleagues for an end of week, post-work drink.

Comprising of six stalls plus an outdoor (but covered and sheltered) eating area, the food hall means you can sample food from one or more of the outlets without moving more than 20 metres. The stalls are best visited on a Saturday morning or around lunchtime to see them piled high with colour and choice, not towards the end of the day as we did, my photos here do not do the stalls the justice they deserve.

Encants food hall, Albion Food and Events

Stop & Mos offers pinchos and other small bites such as mini burgers, vegetables wrapped in filo pastry, empanadas (better known as ‘pasties’ where I come from), a variety of croquettes and even portions of British classics like Shepherd’s Pie.

Thin 'coca' bread with roasted 'escalivada' vegetables and goat's cheese, Stop & Mos, Albion Food and Events
Thin ‘coca’ bread with roasted ‘escalivada’ vegetables and goat’s cheese
Stuffed filo pastry parcels, Stop & Mos, Albion Food and Events
Stuffed filo pastry parcels
Melted brie, Iberian ham and green pepper pinchos, Stop & Mos, Albion Food and Events
Melted brie, Iberian ham and green pepper pinchos
Anchovy and escalivada pinchos, Stop & Mos, Albion Food and Events
Anchovy and escalivada pinchos

Moving along, Gallen Cantant has great lunchtime options with pasta salads, quiche, stuffed potatoes, again various croquettes and empanadas and fluffy potato bombas. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a slice of their homemade cakes or other tempting goodies.

Food selection, Gallen Cantant, Albion Food and Events
Food selection at Gallen Cantant
Homemade quiche, Gallen Cantant, Albion Food and Events
Homemade quiche by Gallen Cantant
Sweet treats, Gallen Cantant, Albion Food and Events
Sweet treats, Gallen Cantant

For lovers of Barceloneta’s long-standing but rather crammed Can Paixano Xampanyeria that want a little more room to manoeuvre, they can come here to enjoy the deliciously greasy hot sausage, bacon and other meat combo ‘butties’ the port side location is famous for, as well as plates of cheese, olives and other pica pica. 

We all know though that’s all just for lining the stomach for the copious amounts of cava you are going to drink, whether you intend to or not. At just over 1€ a glass and around 6€ for the bottle, you’ll never go there for “just the one”.

Aperatives, Can Paixano, Albion Food and Events
Aperatives at Can Paixano

Peixet als Encants is a fried fish fan’s paradise. Lightly battered whitebait, baby squids and cuttlefish pieces sit alongside fresh fish, green peppers and local artichoke waiting for your choice of the fryer or grill.

Choice of fried fish, Peixet als Encants, Albion Food and Events
Choice of fried fish at Peixet als Encants
Grilled cuttlefish, fresh fish and asparagus, Peixet als Encants, Albion Food and Events
Grilled cuttlefish, fresh fish and asparagus at Peixet als Encant
Waiting for the fryer or grill, Peixet als Encants, Albion Food and Events
Waiting for the fryer or grill at Peixet als Encants
Padrón peppers, Peixet als Encants, Albion Food and Events
Padrón peppers at Peixet als Encants
Local artichokes at Peixet als Encants, Albion Food and Events
Local artichokes at Peixet als Encants

Not everything gets dunked in hot oil though, they also do wonderful seasonal dishes such as this stew of baby broad beans, artichokes and baby squid cooked in their ink.

Stew of baby broad bean and squid, with artichoke cooked in ink at Peixet als Encants
Stew of baby broad bean and squid, with artichoke cooked in ink

For those of a more traditional fast food persuasion, they are well catered for with deep pan pizza ‘whole or by the slice’ at Mucho Gusto or a heaving plate of Chinese food from Menjar Fu.

Chinese fast food, Menjar Fu, Encants market, Albion Food and Events
Chinese fast food by Menjar Fu
Chinese fast food by Menjar Fu – photo courtesy of Encants market facebook page

Armed with a bottle of cava, we chose our snacks and took a seat, all of my colleagues on their first visit marveling how “we never even knew this existed”. Now make sure you acquaint yourself with it too.

Fried 'pescaditos fritos' whitebait, El Peixet, Albion Food and Events
Fried ‘pescaditos fritos’ (whitebait) from El Peixet
Shepherd's Pie, Stop & Mos, Albion Food and Events
Shepherd’s Pie from Stop & Mos
Potato ´bombas, Gallen Cantant, Albion Food and Events
Potato ´bombas from Gallen Cantant

Note: Encants market and the food hall are NOT open every day. The market is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays from 09:00 – 20:00, although in reality you’ll find many of the stalls starting to close earlier than that.

Mercat dels Encants, C/ de los Castillejos 158, Glories