Sometimes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Such is the case with the food scene in Barcelona. There’s so much good food that it can be overwhelming to know how to eat in Barcelona. Here are five suggestions on how to dive into the local food scene without missing a beat.
5 Ways to Eat in Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the world’s most vibrant cities with awesome art, architecture and nightlife. There are so many cool things to do in Barcelona, but, at least in our opinion, the best thing to do in Barcelona is to eat.
1. Graze through La Boqueria
Barcelona has many neighborhood markets, but Barcelona’s biggest and best market is the world-famous La Boqueria right in the heart of the city on Las Ramblas. The market is a magical place featuring delectable jamon, wide-eyed seafood and fresh-from-the-farm produce. Although La Boqueria is always crowded with tourists and locals, it really is a can’t miss destination for any food lover.
Chök is located at Carrer del Carme, 3, 08001 Barcelona, Spain.
2. Eat at Tapas Bars
Tapas bars are everywhere in Barcelona. Thanks to the popularity of al fresco dining, there’s a buzz in the city created by clinking glasses and animated chit-chat on almost every corner.
Eating at a tapas bar can be just snacks or it can be a full on meal. Popular dishes include pan con tomate (tomato bread), patatas brava (fried potatoes topped with aioli and spicy tomato sauce) and croquetas (fried bundles of oozing deliciousness). With so many options, it can be challenging to select a tapas bar. Here are three tapas bars that you should check out:
Cal Pep is a bustling tapas bar in the trendy El Born neighborhood. It’s a good spot to experience an open kitchen making traditional tapas dishes.
Bodega 1900, part of the Albert Adria restaurant empire, serves innovative tapas in a lively atmosphere. From spherified olives to cannelloni stuffed with foie gras, the restaurant takes old-school tapas and makes it new and exciting.
Bardeni is a modern meat bar located near Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. The small restaurant is the perfect place for an affordable meal like steak tartare with a side of patatas bravas.
Bardeni is located at Carrer de València, 454, 08013 Barcelona, Spain.
Bodega 1900 is located at Carrer de Tamarit, 91, 08015 Barcelona, Spain.
Cal Pep is located at Plaça de les Olles, 8, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
3. Experience Molecular Gastronomy
Molecular gastronomy has its epicenter in Barcelona. Perhaps this is because the same creativity can be found in a well constructed plate of food as can be found in one of Gaudi’s modernist buildings.
There are a whopping 22 restaurants in Barcelona that have been awarded Michelin stars. These restaurants elevate food with gastronomic techniques like spherification, not to mention a healthy respect for foam. More importantly, they are serving beautifully plated food with exquisite flavors.
Angle is located at Carrer Aragó, 214, 08011 Barcelona, Spain.
Roca Moo is located at Carrer Rosellón, 265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain.
4. Take a Food Tour
Since Barcelona’s food culture can be a bit intimidating for a first-time visitor, taking a food tour is a fun way to learn about the city and its food. As a guest of Devour Barcelona, I participated in a comprehensive food tour in the charming Gracia neighborhood. The four-hour Devour Barcelona walking tour offers a wide selection of foods and drinks prepared by local artisans and chefs. Taking this tour is a fun way to learn about Barcelona’s rich food culture.
5. Don’t Forget to Drink
Drinking in Barcelona is more of a right than a luxury. Beverage prices are reasonable, so there’s no excuse not to enjoy a drink (or two) at every meal when you eat in Barcelona. My drinks of choice are Cava, Red Wine and Vermouth.
Cava – There’s no better way to start a meal in Barcelona than with a glass of Cava, Spain’s sparkling wine that rivals France’s Champagne and Italy’s Prosecco.
Red Wine – Catalan wines can be bought all over the world, but they keep the best bottles for themselves. My favorite varietals are Garnacha and Tempranillo, especially those from the Priorat region.
Vermouth – No longer relegated to the grandmother or nana crowd, vermouth is a popular drink in Barcelona for people of all ages. Served with a slice of orange and a green olive and often accompanied by a green canister of soda water, a glass of house-made vermouth is not to be missed in Barcelona.
Xix is located at Carrer de Rocafort, 19, 08015 Barcelona, Spain.
Where to Stay in Barcelona
Wondering what to do besides eat in Barcelona? Click here for suggestions on how to spend 48 hours in Barcelona. Better yet, plan to spend three full in the city days since there are so many great things to do in Barcelona. Also, if you want to see the nearby countryside and visit a historic monastery, you can plan a day trip to Montserrat.
Traveling beyond Barcelona? We highly recommend the Savored Journeys Spain Travel Guide. There’s so much to see (and eat!) in this exciting country – you don’t want to miss a thing.