Palma's Olivar market reaches out to a wider public
These days the traditional markets of the big cities in Spain are changing. They are no longer just places to buy fresh fruit, vegetables meat and fish but are becoming more like social, gastronomic, cultural hubs in the city centres. Good examples of this are the Boqueria in Barcelona and San Miguel in Madrid, both markets which attract the traditional local shopper but are both firmly entrenched on the tourist routes of the cities.
Palma's Olivar market is slowly but surely heading in this direction and for several years now has been changing tack and evolving from a sales space consisting of traditional produce stalls to embrace prepared foods and quasi-restaurants selling sushi, oysters and the like.
In addition it regularly has tastings of wine, ham, cava and seafood as well as a special 'gastro-space' where events like demonstrations and show cooking take place with well known and award winning – we're talking Michelin Star here – chefs strut their stuff. Readers may remember that the Mercado Olivar has also been the scenario of one of the famous Peccata Minuta Chefs(in) events too.
The latest developments from the market's management team are a new updated logo, looking every bit like a 21st century smart phone app, the installation of Wi-Fi throughout, later opening hours on Fridays so customers can enjoy the bars and eateries until 20:00 as the weekend starts and a desire to put more cultural events on – the plaza outside is ideal for music and performances.
The bosses also would like to put a tourist information kiosk in situ to draw more foreign tourists to the area, whether on day trips from the resorts or visiting on cruise ships. The ultimate aim is of course, to bump up user numbers above the 3,500 people per day who currently shop in, and enjoy the market.
If you are in Palma for any reason, go and have a look inside the market, it's easy to find, full of local life and colour and is an ideal place to grab some lunch or an afternoon snack at very reasonable prices just like the locals do.