Sometimes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Such is the case with the Barcelona food scene. There’s so much good food that it can be overwhelming to know how to and what to eat in Barcelona Spain. Here are five suggestions on how to dive into the local food scene without missing a beat plus an additional idea for drinkers.
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, eating is the best thing to do in Barcelona.
How to Eat in Barcelona
Wondering how to spend your time in Barcelona? Here are our five favorite ways to explore the city through its fabulous food with a bonus for drinkers.
1. Dine in a Unique Venue with Locals
Locals always know the best way to eat in a city and Barcelona is no exception to this rule. The challenge is to meet locals while on holiday. Luckily, dinners in Barcelona solve this problem by connecting travelers and locals who share a mutual love for food.
You may want to start your exploration of Barcelona’s exciting food scene by eating dinner on a private rooftop. Or perhaps you’ll prefer to ramp up your local Barcelona experience by taking a cooking class in an actual Barcelona home.
Pick your passion. You can find fun culinary experiences like Unique Pop-ups, Supper Clubs, Cooking Classes, Food Tours and more with Eathwith.
2. Graze through La Boqueria
Barcelona has many neighborhood markets, but Barcelona’s biggest market is the world-famous La Boqueria right in the heart of the city on Las Ramblas. This 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. Click here to schedule a four-hour tour of the epic market.
La Boqueria market is just one of 39 markets in Barcelona. These markets sell similar products as Boqueria but on a smaller scale and with fewer tourists. We especially like the Mercat del Ninot for shopping for some of the best food in Barcelona.
Chök is located at Carrer del Carme, 3, 08001 Barcelona, Spain.
3. Eat at a Barcelona Tapas Bar
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 the best tapas in Barcelona can involve just snacks or it can be a full-on meal. Popular dishes include pan con tomate (tomato bread), patatas bravas (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:
- Bardeni is a modern meat bar located near Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. The small Barcelona restaurant is the perfect place for an affordable meal like steak tartare with a side of patatas bravas.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
4. 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.
Visitors to Barcelona can and should spend time exploring the city’s amazing architectural sites like Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and Casa Batllo. However, we propose that visitors spend time exploring Barcelona’s temples of gastronomy as well.
The best restaurants in Barcelona Spain elevate food with gastronomic techniques like spherification, not to mention a healthy respect for foam. More importantly, these top Barcelona restaurants are serving beautifully plated food with exquisite flavors.
5. Take a Food Tour
Since Barcelona’s food culture can be a bit intimidating for a first-time visitor, taking one of the Barcelona food tours 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.
If you’re more interested in an evening tour with tapas and wine, Devour Barcelona offers a tour for that too.
Bonus Tip for Drinkers
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.
Hungry for more? Check out our tips for planning a culinary weekend in Barcelona.
Wondering what to do besides eat in Barcelona? Click here for suggestions on how to spend 48 hours 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 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.
Research Barcelona Hotels
We recommend two different Barcelona hotels:
- Hotel Praktik Bakery in the Eixample neighborhood is within walking distance to many restaurants, bars and tourist sites including those mentioned in this article. Click here to explore the best rates for this conveniently located hotel with a bakery in the lobby. Yes, you read that right – this hotel has a bakery in the lobby.
- The conveniently located Silver Aparthotel Barcelona in the Gracia neighborhood makes a great base for exploring the city. As a bonus, it’s near the Devour Barcelona tour recommended above and many of the best places to eat in Barcelona. Click here to check rates for this 2foodtrippers approved hotel.
Book a Barcelona Tour
There’s a lot to do in Barcelona that doesn’t involve food! Click here to find an awesome Barcelona tour or try one of these tours:
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