Gastronomical Palma: a visit to the Olivar Market

It is possible that many find it similar to La Boquería and San Miguel markets, in Madrid, but the Olivar Market of Palma has its own spirit.  Centre of the gastronomic life of the Balearic city, it boasts a privileged location, right in the heart of the old quarter of the city, next to the main commercial streets and the bars and restaurants areas more visited in Palma.

Full of colour, smells and traditions, this municipal market has changed in the course of time improving more and more its quality and variety of products, and becoming a tourist attraction point from where you can contemplate one of the most exquisite routines of the island: buying all these regional products and turning them into succulent bites.

With all types of stalls, this market hosts a big supermarket which belongs to a national chain, but what really attracts attention and is worthwhile, are the fruit, fish and meat stalls,  strategically placed and offering a unique range of traditional flavours.

The central area is dedicated to fruits and vegetables.  It is the most colourful area where many visitors and curious people stop to enjoy the smells and take photos of the picturesque stalls.  From exotic fruits to traditional baskets, this section of the Olivar Market in Palma corridors will take you to a new universe: the essence of the Majorcan fertile region.

Barcelo Illetas Albatros Hotel

The fish market area shows some of the best kept secrets of the Mediterranean.  One of the local products par excellence in this market section is the Soller’s red prawn, a real luxury worth tasting.  Actually, there is a restaurant in the Olivar Market that prepares what you have just bought, an excellent way to enjoy it with your friends or family.  Fresh, fresh.

The scorpion fishes and shellfishes are some of the star products of this fish market’s section.  Here you can also savour the sushi prepared in front of you by Japanese chefs with the same products of the stalls that surround this incredible Asian restaurant.

The meats section, very close to the fruits and vegetables area, offer all kinds of ready meals, from the traditional pollo a l’ast (spit-roast chicken) to the meatballs, Salisbury steaks or croquettes made in the poulterer’s shop.  The sausages and viscera are essential elements in these stalls, since they represent one of the pillars of the Majorcan diet.

And… if you start to feel hungry after walking round this varied market, don’t hesitate: visit one of the small tapeo bars that are close to the different stalls, generally placed in the corners of the most exterior corridors of the Olivar Building.  A beer and a dish with varied tapas is one of the best preserved traditions in Palma.

Arriving to the Olivar market is very easy, especially if you stay in a hotel in the centre of Palma: it is right between the San Miguel and Avenidas streets, next to Plaza de España and very close to Plaza Mayor.  If you are in a hotel near to the Palma beach, you have 2 options: going by bus (there are 3 buses that goes by the hotels area) or renting a car, which will allow you to move more freely  around the island.  Now, car parking in the centre of Palma is difficult.  The best option is leaving the car in the underground car park, in a shopping centre (Cortés Inglés is close to it) or in the streets near to the Palma intermodal station , in Plaza de España.

àAre you looking for accommodation in Palma for these holidays or for a business trip? Here you have some options:

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