One of the highlights of travel is having the chance to try different dishes and culinary treats from around the world. From curious tourists to full-on foodies, sampling the local favourites makes the experience so much more rewarding. And Barcelona certainty fits the bill. With a range of national dishes, famous tapas and Spanish Omelette, there’s always something new to taste. Regardless of if you’re staying in a dorm bed or renting one of the luxury homes in barcelona, trying the best of these Catalan treats should be among any tourist’s top priorities.
Spain’s most famous food: Tapas. For a foodie, visiting Barcelona without tasting Tapas would to like going to Rome and missing the Colosseum. Featuring as an integral part of Spanish culture, the tiny meals come in all shapes, flavours and varieties. Some bars and hotels offer a plate of complimentary tapas when you order drinks which provides an inexpensive way to taste them. In Spain, it’s quite common to indulge in this type of food at all times of the day or night. So whether you’re peckish and fancy nibbling on something with your glass of wine or want a platter to sample different kinds, you’ll find it in Barcelona.
The typical ‘surf and turf’ dish mixes both meat and seafood with a type of small noodles to create delicious fideua. While you won’t be able to find this dish in every restaurant in Barcelona, you should be able to order it in the smaller, local spots. Few outside of Spain get the chance to try this traditional dish, and it should be included on any serious foodie’s list of must-try foods.
Catalan-Style Chicken and Fish
Visit almost any country in the world and you’ll find menus filled with chicken and fish based dishes. But the Catalan-style offers a unique culinary experience in Barcelona. The chicken or fish often comes with a slightly sweet sauce made from prunes, raisins and pine nuts mixed with a white wine base. And don’t be surprised if the dish arrives without any sides or vegetables. The Catalonians often eat their chicken and fish on its own. A top tip is to head to one of the upper-scale restaurants found through the city to taste this exquisite dish.
Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelette)
Tortilla, like tapas, comes in many shapes and flavours. Most of us associate this type of food with the Central American style of rolling a combination of fillings inside a long-flat bread-like tortilla. But the Spanish version is different. Instead, it resembles more of an omelette than a tortilla in the traditional sense giving it the English name ‘Spanish Omelette’. The dish arrives thick and juicy with eggs, onions, potatoes and pepper. You should be able to find this dish in most restaurants around Barcelona.
Botifarra (Catalan Sausage)
The pork-based botifarra is Catalan’s version of a sausage. With obscure origins and links to the ancient Romans, any foodie should order this mouth-watering regional favourite at least once on their trip to Barcelona. Cooking methods vary, but the most common way is to grill it to enhance the flavours. Expect the dish to be served with potatoes and white beans. Not every restaurant in Barcelona will feature it on their menu, but it’s quite easy to find the dish in the city. Most people enjoy botifarra with a glass of locally-produced wine.
The favourite Catalan dessert is as much as a must-try food in Barcelona as tapas. Sharing similarities to the French crème Brulee, the custard-infused cake guarantees an explosion of flavours when you bite into it. Expect hints of lemon and cinnamon and to be going back for more as soon as you’ve eaten it. You can find this in most bakeries in the city or served in the cafés. Nothing quite beats ordering a coffee and a creme Catalana as you sit under the shade of an outdoor café watching the world pass by.
Tips for Foodies in Barcelona
One of the highlights of travelling to Barcelona is the chance to taste some of the city’s famous Tapas. And pretty much every foodie in the world would want to try it at least once when they’re here. You can find restaurants serving the little snacks from budget-friendly eateries to those geared towards fine dining. Even some of the hotels serve it to their guests. But you should also be careful and a little cautious about the places where you eat. In a city with so much available, it’s not all good. Some places will try to pass off frozen food as fresh which inevitably affects the flavour and quality. Search online and read reviews to find out the best places to eat and the ones to avoid.
For environmentally conscious travellers, you can check out some of the city’s restaurants inspired by the ‘Slow Food’ movement. Rather than importing ingredients from around Europe at the lowest possible price, owners source their food from local farmers. Most, if not all, of the food on your plate will come from somewhere within a 100-kilometre radius of Barcelona. The food still tastes the same, and it gives the sense of contributing directly to the local economy.
Barcelona: A Foodie’s Heaven
From tapas and Spanish Omelettes to Catalan sausages and custardy desserts, Barcelona has an active and vibrant culinary scene. Whether you want to nibble on a plate of tapas while enjoying a few beers or indulge in Catalan-style chicken, a foodie’s active palate is rarely disappointed. Just remember to do your research before choosing a place to eat!