Food Tours Help Family-Owned Stores in Barcelona Thrive

Much of Barcelona’s history is preserved in historic markets and bakeries
Food Tours Preserve Old Barcelona

Photo Modified: Flickr/OK Apartment/CC 4.0

A produce aisle at the Boqueria Market in Barcelona.

In most of the world, more and more big chain stores are putting smaller shops out of business. Barcelona is one of the many cities affected by this phenomenon. However, food tours might be saving these shops from disappearing.

NPR reports that Barcelona is experiencing gentrification brought on by a boom in tourism. More than 7.5 million tourists frequent the Spanish city each year. Rent controls also expire this winter, and the price of rent is too expensive for many family businesses to keep up with.

Renee Christensen, an ex-pat now working as a tour guide for Devour Barcelona, told NPR that her food tours frequent mom-and-pop tapas bars.

“We have a market here, a great place to have seafood, places you won't find in a guide book,” Christensen told NPR. “But I think a lot of these places, too, are places with history, so we hope that none of these places will ever close.”


Some stops along the Devour Barcelona include a vermouth bodega, a bakery run by a Syrian immigrant, and a colorful market that has been around since 1892.