Sometimes you choose to travel for art, sometimes for history and for a lot of us its also about enjoying local food. Barcelona is one of those cities that you should definitely travel for to try the food. Catalan cuisine has very prominent characteristics unique from Spanish cuisine. The culture, lifestyle and dialect are different here and the food is too! You might be curious about what to eat in Barcelona, and more importantly, where to eat in Barcelona. Those can be tough questions! However, you don’t need to worry because we have prepared for you the perfect guide of where to eat local food in Barcelona.
Here are 11 things to eat in Barcelona and where to eat them!
If you are visiting Catalonia, you will have a chance to eat calçots. So what exactly are they? Calçot is a crossover species of spring onion and leek – and it really looks like a mixture of the two. Calçots are seasonal so you can only have them between November and March. The best way to enjoy calçots is in a winter barbecue style with romesco sauce – which is called Calçotada. Most of the time you have to travel to the countryside of Barcelona to eat it but if you want to try it in the city center try them at l’Antic Forn.
Address: Pintor Fortuny, 28
Phone: +34 93 412 02 86
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Paella is an extremely popular dish in Spain, it was created when Arabs showed Valencians how to cook rice perfectly with saffron and Valencians combined it with their pans and seafood. It requires some cooking expertise to make it as it can often come out bland and taste a bit metallic-y. Despite its origin from Valencia you can enjoy this dish in different regions of Spain, especially those by the sea and Barcelona is somewhere to try it! Can Majo is a restaurant which happens to offer a huge variety of seafood mixtures and rice dishes – so their paella is a must eat while in the city!
Address: Almirall Aixada 23
Phone: +34 932 21 54 55
3. PATATAS BRAVAS
In theory this should be an easy dish to make since its just potato fries but while you are in Spain try your best to avoid places that make this traditional tapas dish with store bought potatoes and sauces. Patatas Bravas are best made with hand cut potatoes and topped with a spicy bravas sauce or occasionally, alioli. Naturally they are best eaten at a tapas bar, to be more specific have it at Bar Tomas de Sarria – where you can enjoy a truly homemade plate of Patatas Bravas.
Address: Major de Sarrià 49
Phone: +34 932 03 10 77
4. JAMON IBERICO
Jamon Iberico’s fame has passed beyond the borders of Iberia. Also known as Iberian ham, Jamon Iberico is a type of cured ham geographically indicated and regulated by EU. This special ham is generally made from black Iberian pigs. There are four grades of Jamon Iberico: Black, red, green and white. The Black label has the highest quality which is also known as “de bellota”. This version of ham is not chewy and will melt in your mouth while you are eating it. Try Jamon Iberico from different regions at Riserva Iberica – delicious cured meat is waiting for you there.
Address: Rambla Catalunya, 61
Phone: +34 932 15 52 30
Botifarra is a Catalan sausage, it is typically made with raw pork and spices however you can find many different versions of it around town. The options include sausages filled with pork blood, rice, eggs, tripe or truffles. Botifarra is usually grilled or used in stew-like dishes and served along with white broad beans. This sausage is a staple in the Catalan cuisine so don’t be surprised if you see it in many different dishes. Can Paixano is a perfect place to stop by and taste different kinds of botifarra of the house. You can also enjoy a nice glass of cava here.
Address: Carreer de la Reina Christina 7
Phone: +34 933 10 08 39
6. CREMA CATALANA
Let’s talk about desserts, shall we? Imagine a custard which is as light as air but as sweet as your dreams. Crema Catalana is able to serve you this absolute joy with its perfectly balanced sweet custard. You can smell the citrus and cinnamon aromas when it passes you at a restaurant. It has a perfect balance of milk and caramel. Try this amazing dessert at Granja M. Viader – which is a milk/pastry shop that opened in 1870. You can have the traditional or mousse version of Crema Catalana here, both versions are delicious.
Address: Xucla Street 4-6
Phone: +34 933 18 34 86
7. LA BOMBA
Another favorite plate of tapas is Bomba, it is a staple! Bomba is a fried potato sphere usually filled with ground meat and topped with bravas and aioli sauce. It goes very well with a good drink or after you have had a few too many! It actually originates from the neighborhood of La Barceloneta! La Cova Fumada is a small yet popular tapas bar that offers Bomba that taste like a home cooked meal and they are known to have the best bombas in town!
Address: Calle Baluard, 56
Phone: +34 932 21 40 61
8. PAN AMB TOMAQUET
This is one of the simpler tapas plates. It is a simple bread topped with tomatoes – it is called pan con tomate in Spanish. It is typically the first tapas dish on the menu and its the ultimate comfort food as it has a nice soft bread with fresh tomatoes that are topped with garlic and olive oil. Its a classic here and you should definitely add it to your variety of tapas plates! In Barcelona you should try it at El Xampanyet, enjoy their delicious pan con tomate with a bottle of their home made cava!
Address: Carrer de Montcada, 22
Phone: +34 933 19 70 03
Something important to know when eating in Barcelona is that Fideua and Paella are not the same thing! Fideua is popular among the locals of Catalan and it is known as the sister of Paella. However, it is a bit different, instead of rice it has short and thin noodles and is topped off with aioli. You will find this dish in all the traditional Catalan restaurants in Barcelona however you may have to ask if its available on the day as the dish cannot be prepared for one person. Salamanca is a great place to try this dish, you can enjoy a fresh and delicious plate of Fideua near the beach!
Address: Carrer de l’Almirall Cervera 27
Phone: +34 932 21 66 16
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10. BUNUELOS DE BACALAO
As you can tell the Spanish really like tapas, so here is another one to try! Bunuelos de Bacalao is salt-cod fritters. Bacalao is the term used for salted and dried cod –like baccala in Italy. Bunuelos refers to a shape and cooking style called beignet. Salt-cod is a typical dish and feature in the cuisine of the seaside areas of the Mediterranean, Barcelona included! For the best salt-cod fritters in town, hit another tapas bar called Cal Papi – you can enjoy their amazing Bunuelos de Baacalao with a nice cold beer.
Address: Carrer Atlantida, 65
Phone: +34 932 21 85 64
Xuixo, xuxo or suso. A heavenly treat with many different names. If you like crema catalana, you will like this even more! Why? This delicious treat is deep-fried sweet dough filled with crema catalana! Does it get any better than this? It’s a must taste when you visit Barcelona. Bar Pinotxo has very popular Xuixo especially at breakfast! Make sure to get there early as they sell out quickly!
Address: Rambla, 91. Mercat de la Boqueria
Phone: +34 933 17 17 31