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Plate of Jamon in Barcelona Spain

7 Essential Barcelona Food Experiences

In Europe, Food Guides, Spain by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch9 Comments

Barcelona cuisine is amazing! Check out the seven essential Barcelona food experiences you shouldn’t miss when you visit the exciting Catalan city. 

Spanish Jamon - How to Enjoy Barcelona Cuisine n a Weekend

What would you do if you had the opportunity to visit Barcelona for just two days?

We recently had the opportunity to visit Barcelona, but we only had a couple days free between our planned visits to Girona and Helsinki. Though we strongly prefer slow travel, we made an exception for Catalan’s jewel city – we just couldn’t say no to a weekend trip to Barcelona, Spain. Seriously, only crazy people would pass on the chance to visit one of the best food cities of the world, even for a short time. We’re a lot of things but we’re not crazy! With some advance planning and not a lot of sleep, we managed to pack a ton of food fun into our weekend trip to Barcelona.

Barcelona is a city that takes its food and wine seriously. Locals regularly plan their days around food and why shouldn’t they. These lucky Spaniards live in a city where the food is as exciting as the architecture. Or is the architecture as exciting as the food? Either way, we can all agree that Barcelona has an awesome food scene to go with its Gaudi designed buildings. And it’s not just the residents who benefit from the abundance of Mediterranean seafood and Catalan wine. With some savvy planning, visitors can experience some of the best Barcelona cuisine in just a few days.

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How to Enjoy Barcelona Cuisine in a Weekend

We recommend that travelers spend at least a week in Barcelona to enjoy the city’s wonderful cuisine at a leisurely pace as well as the numerous Barcelona attractions. Sometimes, however, we all have limited time. Don’t despair. Here are seven food activities to do in a hectic but fun Barcelona weekend.

Experience a Ham and Wine Tasting

Ham and Wine in Barcelona Spain

We tasted all of this ham and wine during the Barcelona Ham and Wine Tasting Experience.

There’s only one problem with the ham in Barcelona – it’s addictive. Whether it’s jamón serrano or jamón ibérico, Spanish ham melts in the mouth and leaves a deliciously salty aftertaste. It’s easy to find ham everywhere, especially at cafés, restaurants and stores.

To learn more about Barcelona’s ham, why not participate in a Barcelona Ham & Wine Tasting Experience? We recommend this interactive ham tasting which includes lunch and plenty of wine, ham’s perfect partner in crime.

Mireia Rojas - Barcelona Tour Guide

Mireia Rojas, Barcelona Tour Guide and Wine Lover

Based at Barcelona’s new Gastronomic Center, the class provides a virtual tour of Spain that starts with a video and continues with a generous tasting of five wines and six hams. Here you will learn to put all of your senses into the wines and develop your own aromas before indulging in copious amounts of ham and cheese served with wine or beer to wash it down.

Pro Tip:  Click here to book a Barcelona Ham & Wine Tasting Experience or one of the other 200 tours and experiences offered by Visit Barcelona.

The Gastronomic Center is located at Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 10 – 14, 08001 Barcelona, Spain.

Eat at a Tapas Bar

Meatballs and Polenta Sticks at Bodega 1900 in Barcelona Spain

Meatballs and Polenta Sticks at Bodega 1900

Eating tapas is one of the best things to do in Barcelona whether you’re a foodie or not. Barcelona tapas restaurants serve food in a social setting where diners are encouraged to taste lots of items and share plates with their friends. Eat at one of the city’s many local tapas bars like Quimet & Quimet and Lolita Taperia or blow it out at an upscale tapas bar like Bodega 1900. Barcelona tapas favorites include Patates Bravas and Jamón Ibérico, though Bodega 1900 serves creative dishes like spherified olives in addition to more popular Barcelona dishes like canneloni and molletes (mini bocadillo-like sandwiches).

Pro Tip: Check out Barcelona Life to learn about common tapas dishes as well as some Barcelona restaurants where you can try them.

Bodega 1900 is located at Carrer de Tamarit, 91, 08015 Barcelona, Spain.
Lolita Taperia is located at Carrer Tamarit, 104, local2-4, 08015 Barcelona, Spain.
Quimet & Quimet is located at Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, 08004 Barcelona, Spain.

Dine at a Gastronomic Restaurant

Dessert at City Bar and Restaurant in Barcelona Spain

Barcelona chefs push the culinary boundaries as seen in this dessert served at City Bar and Restaurant.

Barcelona is the epicenter of gastronomic dining, so eating a meal at a high-end restaurant is a must. We recommend dining at one of Barcelona’s 22 Michelin starred restaurants like Roca Moo and Restaurant Angle, though there are other Barcelona restaurants like City Bar & Restaurant at Grand Hotel Central that serve beautiful food that challenge all of the senses. These Barcelona restaurants are pushing culinary boundaries in exciting ways by combining local Catalan ingredients with ultra modern molecular gastronomy techniques. The results are magical.

Pro Tip: Make reservations in advance to avoid disappointment since Barcelona restaurants tend to book up early. You can use the free Barcelona restaurants app to search and reserve restaurants by cuisine, area and price.

City Bar & Restaurant is located at Via Laietana, 30, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
Restaurant Angle is located at Carrer Aragó, 214, 08011 Barcelona, Spain.
Roca Moo is located at Hotel Omm, Carrer del Rosselló, 265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain.

Participate in a Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting inside Mirador de Colon in Barcelona Spain

Marc Enfante pours wine in the tasting room inside Mirador de Colon otherwise known as the Christopher Columbus statue.

The country of Spain produces 69 wine appellations across 17 provinces, with many of the great winemakers not far from Barcelona. These nearby Catalan wineries produce the globally popular Cava sparkling wine as well as other excellent varietals like Tempranillo and Monastrell. We highly recommend participating in a wine tasting to learn more about these wines and more.

For a unique wine tasting experience, go to Mirador de Colom (the Christopher Columbus statue) at the base of La Rambla. Yes, this wine tasting room is inside a statue constructed in 1888! Wine offerings include affordable choices like Abadal Crianza 2012 and Penedes Cava bottled for two years. Wines are available both for tasting and purchasing. As an extra bonus, you can ride the elevator to the top of the statue for a bird’s-eye view of the Barcelona skyline.

Pro Tip:  Don’t worry if you don’t see the entrance to Mirador de Colom at first glance. The tasting room is literally in the basement of the statue, so you need to enter the statue by descending a small stairwell. If we could find it, you can find it too!

Mirador de Colom is located at Plaça Portal de la pau, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain.

Take a Food Tour

Patates Braves in Barcelona Spain

This plate of Patates Bravas was one of many plates we devoured during our Devour Barcelona tour.

Barcelona has a lot of food tours, which makes sense for such a culinary city. Although it’s easy to find a Barcelona food tour, it’s important to find a good one or you’ll be wasting your valuable time and money. We recommend Devour Barcelona based on our two tour experiences with the company. Devour Barcelona offers five different Barcelona food tours, all focused on local food and wine like the Evening Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour which we highly recommend.

Pro Tip:  Schedule a food tour soon after your arrival in Barcelona. The tour will help acclimate you to the Barcelona food scene. Plus, you can connect with fellow travelers during the tour.

Shop at a Local Market

Candy at a Barcelona Food Market

Barcelona markets are fun places to shop for produce, meats, cheese and even candy.

Barcelona is an ideal city for travelers who like to live like locals. The city has 39 local markets spread throughout the city, each filled with seasonal produce, meats, cheeses and so much more. Most tourists flock to La Boqueria, the large central market rated by many periodicals as one of the world’s best market. Although we recommend a stop at this famous market for the experience and photos ops, we also recommend that travelers check out a neighborhood market frequented by locals instead of tourists.

We enjoyed our visit to Mercat del Ninot so much that we produced a YouTube video about the experience.

Pro Tip:  Consider renting an Airbnb apartment for your Barcelona visit. Having access to a kitchen will allow you to shop at local markets and prepare wonderful food at home. Not only will you get to experience life like a true local, but you will be able to save some money to splurge at one of the city’s gastronomic Michelin starred restaurants. (See above.)

Drink Cocktails at a Trendy Bar

Jim-Let Fox-Trot Cocktail in Barcelona Spain

The Barcelona cocktail scene is exciting and fun. We couldn’t resist drinking specialty cocktails like this Jim-Let Fox-Trot.

Considering the quality and quantity of Catalan wine, not to mention the wine’s affordability, it’s ironic that cocktails are so popular in Barcelona. Ironic or not, Barcelona is a great city to try cutting-edge cocktails, many crafted with infused gin and unique ingredients. England may have invented the Gin + Tonic, but Barcelona has taken the trendy drink to the next level at cocktail bars like Javier de las Muelas’ Speakeasy at Dry Martini. Be sure to try a specialty cocktail like Speakeasy’s Jim-Let Fox-Trot made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, Lima Rose’s and Tónica Premium Schweppes.

Pro Tip:  Plan to drink your cocktails late in the evening. Many BCN restaurants don’t start serving dinner until 8:00 pm. The cocktails bars are open even later.

Speakeasy is located at Carrer d’Aribau, 162, 08036 Barcelona, Spain.


If you like taking food tours around the world, check out our favorites food tours for inspiration.


Research Barcelona Hotels

We stayed at the comfortable, conveniently located Silver Aparthotel Barcelona during our time in Barcelona. Click here to find the best rates for this 2foodtrippers approved hotel.

Book a 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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We thank Barcelona Turisme and their partners for supporting our visit to Barcelona. We also thank Aparthotel Silver Barcelona and Devour Barcelona.

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Comments

  1. What definitely stayed with me after visiting Barcelona are the colourful markets where they sell the freshest of food and ingredients. And the amazing tapas obviously!

    1. Author

      We love visiting markets when we travel, and Barcelona has some of the best in the world. We still can’t get over the freshness of the fish.

  2. I’ve never had a problem finding great places to eat in Barcelona. It’s more where not to eat – [erhaps just a question of avoiding the tourist trap restaurants along the Ramblas for example. Has Roca Moo lost its star?

    1. Author

      We just checked and Roca Moo still has one Michelin star. We’re not surprised since their food is so beautiful.

  3. One of my favourite things to do is go on a walking food tour the first day, you’re so right it helps you get acquainted with the city and the guide usually has great suggestions.

  4. Everything about your trip sounds enjoyable. Particularly, the food tour and wine tasting. And though I don’t eat ham, you made it sound so amazing. I love tapas style dining too. It seems to encourage socializing among the group.

    1. Author

      Like many cities, Barcelona has lots of great vegetarian options. We especially love the olives. So no worries if you don’t eat ham!

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