YOURS restaurant shops in Mercado do Bolhão.
Even before YOURS and as a family, we did our fruit and vegetable shopping in Mercado do Bolhão. Why? If you want to buy the freshest products, with higher diversity and a highly personalized service, Mercado do Bolhão is the best place in town.
In terms of price, Mercado do Bolhão, is slighty more expensive than the average supermarket, disadvantage largely compensated in terms of quality and variety of the products, facts that in my opinion, make of Bolhão’s vegetables and fruit the best in town. The Mercado has been selling potatoes, onions and vegetables from local producers, mainly from Esposende (a city near Porto) for many years. The best thing is to do is to compare. Imagine you want chives. Why don’t you try what you get in modern supermarkets. There will be able to find one or two options. In Mercado do Bolhao you have many sellers offering a vast range of the same (seasonal) products. However, if you happen to be a regular customer, then on top of what your eyes can see, we can count on the friendly warning of the shopper “this is not for you, today sir!”. And this is the secret, being regular customer.
The origins of Mercado do Bolhão are back to 1839, when Porto Mayor decided to buy some land to “Cabido” and build a small Market. Only in 1850 the city leaders have decided to expand and build a bigger market. The name “Bolhão” originates from the existence of an extensive marsh on site, traversed by a brook that formed a bubble of water, which resulted in the name of Bolhão. In 1910 a draft of the Market was presented by the architect Barbosa Casimiro, to answer the food demand and supply of the city (which was a competence from the City Hall). These project, abandoned by economical reasons, estimated a building with two wings, and a central zone in Rua Sá da Bandeira. The alternative version was drawn in 1914 by the architect Correia da Silva. Mercado do Bolhão was a avantgarde building due to the use of reinforced concrete in conjunction with steel structures, roofing and wood granite ashlar stone. In the beginning of the 1940 Mercado do Bolhão was improved and became of you can see today, still being the largest Mercado of its kind in the Portugal. Unfortunately, Mercado do Bolhão is degrading, increasing the degree of deterioration day by day.
Around Mercado Bolhão, and to further supplement your needs, are the best delicatessens in town, such as “Casa Chineza”, the “Comer e chorar por mais” and “Perola do Bolhão”, cathedrals for City cooks and good housewives, or curious tourists who want to visit them due to the number of articles written and postcards made of these fantastic city landmarks.
Anyone who visited Barcelona, for example, and went to the markets of St. Catherine and Sant Josep, or the other 38 marketplaces thinks: how can this market be rehabilitated to modern standards and still respect the current quality of their products and the nature of its people?
Mercado Bolhão is decadent or in reconstruction?
Porto Mayor recently decided to renovate another market from the city– Mercado do Bom Sucesso. It became a showcase of Gourmet shops with products unaffordable for Porto people full of uncharacteristic shops, that included a Hotel – Hotel da Musica and a modern restaurant. A venue for tourists only! …
Anyway, while we wait year after year for a politician that decides to rehabilitate Mercado do Bolhão, we will continue to purchase on the purest place for shopping in town, Mercado do Bolhao, where the grocers still treat me like a boy and where they choose products for our consumption at HOME. We can just hope that briefly Mercado do Bolhão will be rehabilitated and will remain the best venue for shopping in the city for the city.
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