During the early 1900s the Ensanche district of Valencia began to expand at a rapid pace, and the need for a market to meet the neighbourhood’s growing needs became apparent. A block in the centre of the district was split up, and construction on the immense building now known as Mercado de Colón begun. This project was helmed by Francisco Mora, a Valencian architect heavily inspired by the Catalan Modernist Movement. This style of architecture places emphasis on curves over straight lines, rich decoration and fine details, an ambitious yet refined aesthetic style that perfectly describes the colossal structure.
Consisting of an upper and lower floor, Mercado de Colón boasts a variety of small businesses, which tick every box you’d expect from a grand marketplace. Most noticeable is the market’s wide array of restaurants. Whether it be the upmarket, luxurious dining experience of La Cambra, the authentic, ‘open kitchen experience’ of the Japanese-inspired Momiji, or the quaint and cosy charm of the relaxed Bocados Café, each establishment offers a unique and specific vibe, contributing to the market’s overall diverse atmosphere. The market also has a large outdoor seating area for customers that wish to soak up the sun during their visit.
As well as being the perfect destination for tourists and sightseers looking for a one-of-a-kind dining experience, Mercado de Colón is also home to a range of stalls that supply produce for local businesses. For example, Las Cervezas del Mercado (a speciality craft-beer bar/restaurant) proudly explained to me that they source the ingredients for their tapas within the market itself, regularly venturing on a 30 second walk to reach the greengrocers and butchers stalls at the other end of the building. This emphasis on community is an aura that was noticeably present throughout my time here.
A popular market that has served residents for well over a century, Mercado de Colón has a bustling atmosphere that consists of tourists and locals alike, providing friendly and convenient service for customers from all walks of life.
Article and Photos by Tom Bache
Article and photos copyright Tom Bache / 24/7 Valencia
MERCADO DE COLÓN
Address: Jorge Juan, 19, 46004. Valencia.
Open/close times : Monday – Thursday: 7:30am to 2:00am
Friday – Saturday: 7:30am to 3:00am