Barcelona is a dream come true for those who are passionate about food. The city offers a genuinely diverse cuisine, and there is nothing you won’t be able to discover there in terms of food. From basic, rustic eateries offering traditional dishes to avant-garde restaurants serving top-notch delicacies, you won’t find anyplace else.
With so many great options, deciding what to try may be difficult, especially for first-time visitors to the city. For that reason, we have compiled a list with some of the must-try nibbles you have to taste in your next visit to Catalonia’s capital.
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Barcelona was a pretty dangerous place during the dark days of the Spanish Civil War. Anarchists and revolutionaries fought General Franco’s Fascists by throwing homemade grenades across the slums of Barceloneta.
These little grenades proved to be quite successful, inspiring a local and genuinely creative chef to create la bomba, which since then became one of Barcelona’s most famous tapas dishes.
Bombas are tennis ball-sized mashed potatoes, and ground beef deep-fried croquettes are served with white garlic allioli or a rich, spicy red sauce. You can find bombas almost anywhere, but the most iconic place to have them is “La Cova Fumada”, a typical restaurant in the heart of Barcelona that has served them since the 1950s.
This light and rustic feast is created with bacalao (raw salted cod), romesco sauce, tomatoes, onions, and black olives and is probably the most popular salad in Catalonia. It is light and refreshing and makes a perfect match with a glass of sparkling Catalan Cava throughout the summer!
The oldest wine bar in Barcelona, La vinatería del Call, is known for its excellent Esquexiada, among other classic Catalonian delicacies.
Pronouncing the name of this traditional dish might be a little tricky. But do not worry, there are many different spanish courses barcelona that will help you sound like a local.
Sometimes less is more, and Patatas bravas are the perfect example of a simple and exquisite snack. These French fries with a spicy sauce will definitely blow your mind. Despite you can find them anywhere around Spain, the Catalan version has something special. It is simple, delicious, and perfectly matches a cold draft beer.
Pa amb tomàquet
This snack is so simple and delicious that you will not believe it. It consists of a slice of bread rubbed with tomato (can be tomato cubes, mashed potato, or thin tomato slices) seasoned with salt and pepper, olive oil, and the star: garlic.
Pa amb tomaquet is very popular among locals. They eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and as an accompaniment. You can find it anywhere and order it at any time.
If you are making a food trip through Barcelona, make sure you save space for something sweet, especially crema catalana.
This dessert is made with a creamy vanilla custard that has been blown to a glossy crust. Although this Catalan variant is sometimes likened to crème brûlée, history suggests it first appeared in recipe books hundreds of years before its renowned French version.
The use of milk rather than cream and the substitution of vanilla for lemon peel and cinnamon are some of the differences. You´ll be hooked right after you break the crispy, crunchy top layer with your spoon!
Despite this delicacy that can be found almost anywhere, Pastisseria Escribà and Bodega La Palma will offer the most mouth-watering version ever.
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Calçots and romesco sauce
Calçot is a green onion from Catalonia. Grilled sweet onions (along with various meats) are served with homemade romesco sauce, a classic Catalan salsa prepared with almonds, hazelnuts, and red peppers.
If you plan to visit Barcelona between January and March, you will experience the calçot season. Catalans celebrates calçots arrival with calçotadas (some kind of street barbecues). This delicious native onion is a must-try. They are a little messy to eat, but they are definitely worth the effort.
The biggest calçotadas take place in the countryside, where rural communities get the first selection. It’s the ultimate gourmet extravaganza! This rustic ceremony is also available in the city restaurants’ eateries Quinabarra and L’Antic Forn.
Even in October, when it is still hot in Barcelona, drinking this chilled tomato soup is a terrific way to cool off.
The soup is sometimes served with toppings like croutons, red pepper, avocado, and onion on the side, although it was most typically eaten combined with Pa amb tomàquet on the side.
Chorizo and other kind of charcuteries
It is a typical spicy Spanish sausage that can be served as a sausage, sliced like salami, or an ingredient in a meal.
Botifarra sausage is one of Catalonia’s most popular dishes. You can prepare it for a fast on-the-go supper, throw it inside a sandwich. It makes a filling lunch when served with veggies. You can even take it to a neighborhood barbecue and enjoy it hot off the grill.
One way or another, do not leave Catalonia without trying Botifarra! You will not regret it!
Escalivada, like so many other renowned Spanish meals, is all about emphasizing the excellence of each ingredient. It’s created by simply grilling eggplant and red peppers over an open wood fire and serving them with plenty of good olive oil, garlic, salt, and if you’re lucky, anchovies. It’s straightforward but oh-so-delicious.
This was a top-rated list of the must-try dishes in Barcelona that you will find instrumental when planning your next food trip to the city. Bon appetit! We promise that you will love all of them.