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Legendary grocery stores - history of the food revolution

Gastronomía Gastronomy 05/06/2024
an advertisement for legendary grocery stores in barcelona

The food revolution that Spain experienced during the 19th and 20th centuries led to the proliferation of grocery stores, full of local and international foods.

What were known as grocery stores were establishments that sold a little bit of everything, products that could be preserved for some time. From basic necessities such as powdered milk, packaged sausages or canned food, to bulk wines, nuts or products that came directly from the colonies, such as coffee, spices, tea or sugar.

Through the port of Barcelona, all these products that arrived from overseas were marketed and undoubtedly enriched the product offering and made it possible to discover new delicacies from all over the world.

The verb “fill” exactly defines this process of filling stores with products until they are full, perfectly organized, visually very attractive and with delicacies such as wine, liquor, canned fish, oils, jams, chocolates, cookies and many more products.

These establishments have been precursors and witnesses of the evolution of our city and have contributed significantly to the revolution and gastronomic quality of Barcelona. Always in busy neighborhoods, in chamfers, with large shop windows, they have been a very important example for advertising and its evolution.

Over the years they have become exhibitors of our most everyday history, customs, traditions and flavors from before and always. They are part of the gastronomic landscape, of the history of Barcelona and of the city's gastronomic revolution. The usual places where such attentive and personalized attention is offered, which give life to the neighborhoods; businesses run by families that have survived generations.

Most have lasted through generations or have been acquired by enterprising businessmen who have known how to respect their essence but focus the business on more modern times, but with their personality of yesteryear.

Many of these establishments have become fashionable places to shop or have a drink and are undoubtedly worth a mandatory visit on any trip to Barcelona.

Casa Alfonso

C/ de Roger de Llúria, 6

Casa Alfonso opened its doors in 1934 and has been growing from generation to generation, evolving from an Iberian grocery store to an emblematic restaurant in Barcelona.

The fourth and fifth generations continue with this project to maintain the traditional “chup-chup” cuisine and the care and detail with which their ancestors took care of their customers.

In an endearing, warm and welcoming atmosphere, with all the original furniture of its time, a place where you can taste tapas and traditional dishes.

Casa Gispert

C/ dels Sombrerers, 23, Ciutat Vella, 08003 Barcelona

Wood-burning oven and original furniture in a family business from 1851 dedicated to roasting coffee and nuts. Casa Gispert is one of the oldest food companies in Barcelona. The store is located in the center of the city, next to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, very close to the Picasso Museum. Casa Gispert has been selling colonial products since 1851: nuts, dried fruits, coffee, tea, cocoa, spices such as vanilla, cinnamon, saffron... and the interior of the store has been preserved in its original state, like a museum but still working.

Colmado Casa Buendía

C/ de Roger de Flor, 139, L'Eixample

Food store in Eixample that has opted to recover the essence of traditional Barcelona grocery stores, betting on a top quality product and a very personalized and professional service.

They offer a large selection of artisan products and typical products from the Peninsula, including sausages and cheeses, pâtés, sweets, oils and preserves.

Don't miss their events around vermouth.

Colmado Múrria

C/ de Roger de Llúria, 85, L'Eixample

Modernist establishment founded in 1898 located in the Eixample of Barcelona, very close to La Pedrera and Plaza Catalunya. Specialized in Catalan and international gastronomic products. Its façade and its modernist signage are quite a reference.

Colmado Quilez

Rambla de Catalunya, 65, Eixample

C/ d'Aragó, 241, L'Eixample

Colmado Quílez is an institution in Barcelona, a historic 200 m2 store that opened in 1908 as a pastry shop and later became a grocery store. It was the first store in Barcelona to import Scotch whiskey and buy condensed milk. Part of the current name (Colmado Quílez) dates back to 1940, when two partners, Julián Quílez and José Múrria, bought the business. The Lafuente name was added in 1974, when the business was purchased by Andrés Lafuente.

At Colmado Quilez you can find 4,000 food items, including a selection of preserves, national and imported cheeses, coffees, teas, asparagus, oils, vinegars, caviar, and smoked products, and 3,500 national and imported wines, liqueurs, and spirits. , whiskeys.

Lasierra Butter Shop Colmado

C/ del Rosselló, 160, L'Eixample

They offer with history, a cultural experience within each product thanks to specialized gastronomy and close and accessible treatment. Exclusive and top-quality service thanks to personalized attention and customer advice. Excellent selection of wines, sausages, cheeses, cavas and preserves. As fascinating as its facade.

Queviures Serra

C/ de Girona, 13, L'Eixample

Founded in 1890, shortly after the young Serra entered as an apprentice, and in 1963 it was transferred to the Serra family, who became the owner of the grocery store.

In 2003 a period of great changes began, maintaining the essence of the premises. The restoration of the façade also gave way to the name change, which went from “Colmado” to “Queviures J.Serra”, with the idea of reinforcing the renewal of its image, its essence and tradition.

In this article we wanted to mention those classic grocery stores that have maintained their original essence, that have known how to survive and that deserve to be known as authentic gastronomic museums that have been and are direct witnesses of the history of our city.