Skip to Content

This article contains affiliate links. We may receive compensation if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Barcelona Food Favorites: 28 Must Eat Dishes

Wondering what to eat in Barcelona? Discover 28 must-eat Barcelona food favorites as well as the best places to eat and drink in the vibrant city. In other words, we have you covered with this list that includes traditional Catalan dishes, Spanish classics and a few surprises.

Jamon at Bar Brutal in Barcelona
Image: ©2foodtrippers

Some journey to ultra popular Barcelona for the city’s nightlife while others want to explore striking architecture designed by Antoni Gaudi. Then there are intrepid food travelers like us who arrive with a plan to eat all of the best food in Barcelona, one of the world’s greatest food cities.

Discover more great global food cities.

Sunburst at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Touring Sagrada Familia is always amazing. This sunburst made this particular visit feel otherworldly. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We didn’t fall in love with the food in Barcelona during our first visit. While we ate at a lot of Barcelona restaurants, we loved only one (Albert Adria’s Inopia) which has since closed. Don’t worry – we still had a great time checking out the Gothic quarter and what seemed like 100 Gaudi sites.

To be clear, our initial 2007 Barcelona visit was at the tail end of our honeymoon. After traveling to super affordable Lisbon, the $1.43 Euro to Dollar exchange rate put a damper on our experience. Plus, there wasn’t a lot of information published online yet about the Barcelona food scene.

We’ve since returned to the Catalan capital again and again and again. Not only did the Barcelona food and culture grow on us like a favorite shoe but we also became savvy enough to identify the city’s culinary highlights and discover hidden gems. We now have our Barcelona food favorites and a thirst to taste more.

What to Eat in Barcelona

Wine Selfie in Barcelona
Drinking wine in Barcelona makes us smile. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Visiting Barcelona four times has enabled us to sample a variety of the city’s best food at casual tapas bars, neighborhood markets and no fewer than four Michelin starred restaurants. We’ve started mornings at hole-in-the-wall churros shops and ended nights in dimly lit gin joints.

As we’ve discovered, while many foods from Barcelona are famous, others are unique to the region. For flexible and adventurous travelers like us, eating in Barcelona can be a tasty voyage of food discovery.

Read on to discover our must-eat Barcelona food favorites.

1. Michelin Gastronomy

Iberian Suckling Pig at Cocina Hermanos Torres in Barcelona
The twin chefs at Cocina Hermanos Torres sourced pork from their property in Extremadura in Western Spain to prepare this Iberian suckling pig chop during our lunch. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Dining at a Barcelona Michelin starred restaurant is a must for food-focused travelers.

Local Barcelona chefs are highly skilled at transforming food using molecular gastronomy techniques like dehydration and spherification going back to days when Ferran and Albert Adrià operated elBulli up the Catalunyan coast in Roses. Although elBulli closed in 2011, Barcelona diners continue to have access to an inordinate number of Michelin-starred restaurants and a whole lot of foam.

Fig Leaf Dish at Cocina Hermanos Torres in Barcelona
We felt like we were taking a walk on Collserola mountain when we ate this dish artfully topped with fig leaves, almond cream, treen pistachios and pine nuts at Cocina Hermanos. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Barcelona currently has 19 Michelin starred restaurants including three (ABaC, Cocina Hermanos Torres and Lasarte) with three stars each. Disfrutar, run by former El Bulli Chefs Oriol Castro, Mateu Casañas and Eduard Xatruch, is currently ranked 5th on the World 50 Best Restaurants list.

We dined at two-starred Cinc Sentis during our honeymoon and later dined at two-starred Angle and the Roca brothers’ now-closed Roca Moo. Most recently, we experienced a wonderful meal at three-starred Cocina Hermanos Torres.

Sunflower Ice Cream at Cocina Hermanos Torres in Barcelona
Dishes like this sunflower seed ice cream slab served on a sunflower makes Michelin star dining special. We smiled while we ate it at Cocina Hermanos Torres and we still smile at the memory. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Michelin dining isn’t cheap and requires advance planning. However, for those who have the budget and make advance reservations, dining at a Barcelona Michelin restaurant will likely be a trip highlight.

Pro Tip: Consider ordering a tasting menu so that you can taste a variety of dishes. This approach can be a great value depending on the restaurant.

Where to Experience Michelin Gastronomy in Barcelona
*** Restaurants: ABaC, Cocina Hermanos Torres and Lasarte
** Restaurants: Angle, Cinc Sentis, Disfrutar, Enoteca Paco Pérez and Moments
* Restaurants: Aleia, Alkimia, Atempo, Aürt, Caelis, COME by Paco Méndez, Dos Palillos, Enigma, Hisop, Hofmann, Koy Shunka, Mont Bar, Oria, Slow & Low, Via Veneto and Xerta

2. Jamón (Ham)

Jamon Plate at Bar Canete in New Orleans
Sourced directly from Guijuelo in Western Spain’s Extramadura, this plate of luscious Jamón de Bellota didn’t last long during our lunch at Cañete. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

You’ll want to eat as much Jamón as possible in Barcelona. It’s essentially Spanish ham and comes in two main varieties – Jamón Ibérico (Iberian Ham) and Jamón Serrano (Serrano Ham). You’ll want to try them both and then mostly eat the former.

The best, Iberico Jamon Bellota, is made from special Iberian black pigs that roam freely in Spain and Portugal and spend the latter part of their lives feasting on acorns and olives. Artisan producers cure the resulting pork for months if not years, creating super-luxurious ham with the price tag to prove it.

Jamon Stand at Mercat del Ninot in Barcelona
Finding jamon isn’t difficult in Barcelona. We found this selection at a stand inside the Mercat del Ninot. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

It’s not that Jamón Serrano, a fine ham product with a similar quality to italian prosciutto, isn’t good. It’s just that Jamón made from Spanish black pigs is exceptional, ranking to many as the finest ham in the world.

We recommend eating Jamón Ibérico with abandon during your stay in Barcelona. Since Jamón Ibérico is likely a fraction of the cost you would pay at home, this should not be a problem.

Where to Eat Jamón Ibérico in Barcelona
You can buy Jamón Ibérico in shops and markets throughout Barcelona unless you want to eat Jamon at restaurants. We ate exceptionally good Jamón Ibérico at Cañete during our most recent visit. Other recommended spots include Casa Alfonso and Jamón Jamón.

3. Bocadillos (Sandwiches)

Bocadillo at Bodega in Barcelona
We ate this Bocadillo de Calamares with fried squid at now-closed Bodega 1900. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

A dainty yet fulfilling nibble, the Bocadillo is a tapas sized sandwich served on a roll similar to a baguette but smaller. Bocadillo fillings run the gamut and typically include proteins like jamón, pâté, omelets and seafood.

In Barcelona, you can find Bocadillos at casual tapas joints as well as at upscale restaurants. Our favorite Bocadillo is the one filled with fried squid and drizzled with spicy mayonnaise. We adore it so much that we consider it to be one of the best sandwiches in the world.

Where to Eat Bocadillos in Barcelona
While you can order Bocadillos at tapas bars around the city, the following Barcelona eateries specialize in sandwiches: Can Ros, Entrepanes Díaz, La Porca, La Xampanyeria and Quimet d’Horta.

4. Potatas Bravas (Spicy Potatoes)

Tapas in Barcelona
We felt spicy after eating this plate of Patatas Bravas at Bodega Puntual. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

You don’t have to be brave to eat Patatas Bravas, a tapas staple that tops fried potato cubes with both a spicy sauce and garlicy aioli. We’re not being cheeky. There’s good reason why pretty much every Barcelona tapas bar serves Patatas Bravas – this dish tastes great on its own and even better with beer.

Legend has it that Patatas Bravas were originally prepared in Madrid; however, that factoid doesn’t stop Barcelona locals from loving the tasty dish as their own. Instead, they belly up to the bar and order Patatas Bravas whenever they crave crispy carbs with a spicy kick.

Where to Eat Patatas Bravas in Barcelona
Expect to find Patatas Bravas at bars all over Barcelona. They’re especially tasty at the following spots: Bar Tomás, El 58, Elsa & Fred, König and Moritz.

5. Croquetas (Croquettes)

Croquetas at Martinez in Barcelona
Martinez served these Croquetas de Nuestra Jabuga for us with 100% acorn fed jamon. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Croquetas sound fancy but they’re actually a typical fried treat served at any and every tapas bar in Barcelona. You’ll understand why we’re fans after you pop one into your mouth, bite into the breaded, fried, crunchy outside and taste the creamy, savory center.

The most popular Croqueta is the Croqeta de Jamón made with Jamón Ibérico. Don’t worry if you don’t eat ham. While most Croquetas contain creamy Béchamel sauce, they don’t all contain the porky product.

Where to Eat Croquetas in Barcelona
You can eat Croquetas at neighborhood tapas bars all over town. However, the Croquetas at established spots like Cañete and Martinez are just a little bit better.

6. Bombas

Bomba at Bodega La Puntual in Barcelona
Eating this Bomba at Bodega La Puntual made us say “kaboom.” | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Bombas, tasty fried balls of goodness, were named after hand grenades used by freedom fighters during the Spanish Civil War. They also taste bomb-diggity good.

Truth be told, Bombas aren’t so different from Croquetas. Both are fried finger foods with tasty potato-based fillings. However, the Bomba always comes with white garlic ailoli and a red sauce that may be spicy enough to make you say “kaboom.”

Where to Eat Bombas in Barcelona
Rumor has it that Bombas may have been invented at Barcelona’s La Cova. While we haven’t confirmed that origin story, we’re certain that Bombas are addictively tasty at both Bar Morryssom and Bodega La Puntual based on our personal experiences.

7. Gazpacho

Gazpacho at Bar Canete in Barcelona
We drank this velvety glass of Gazpacho at Cañete. Its orange-pink color is typical for the chilled soup in Barcelona. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Gazpacho is a chilled summer soup that refreshingly blends tomatoes, stale bread, cucumbers, olive oil and garlic. Don’t worry during the colder seasons – Barcelona restaurants serve the popular soup as a starter throughout the year. After all, the Spanish soup ranks as one of the best soups in the world.

History buffs will appreciate that Spaniards have been eating Gazpacho for centuries, way before they “discovered” tomatoes and peppers in the new world. The recipe has evolved over the years both at home and in restaurants. Some restaurants even serve luxurious, silky, puréed versions of Gazpacho in wine glasses.

Where to Slurp Gazpacho in Barcelona
If you don’t get the opportunity to slurp Gazpacho in a Barcelona home, order the chilled soup if you see it on a restaurant menu. That’s what we did at Cañete.

8. Olives

Spherified Olives at Bodega 1900 in Barcelona
These speherified Olives, made famous by El Bulli Chef Ferran Adria at El Bulli, were concocted with olive juice and a whole bunch of chemicals. Think of them as an explosive interpretation of the biblical fruit. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Not all olives in Barcelona are created equally. Some like the picual are plentiful. Others like the arbequina are small. Then there are olives stuffed with anchovies. If you’re lucky, you may even bump into spherified olives during your visit.

Spherified olives are real olives… sort of. Originally invented by Ferran Adria at now-closed el bulli, the green round ‘olives’ come to life thanks to ingredients like olive juice, calcium chloride, xantham gum, alginate and sodium citrate.

Where to eat Olives in Barcelona
You can buy olives of all shapes and sizes at Barcelona’s many markets. As for spherified olives, your best bet is at one of the city’s most gastronomic restaurants.

9. Queso (Cheese)

Cheese Tasting in Barcelona
We paired this plate of Spanish cheese with glasses of Spanish wine in Barcelona. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Barcelona is a happy place for cheese lovers who want to sample a range cheese produced throughout the Iberian country. While many Americans are familiar with Manchego, the hard sheepy cheese produced in La Mancha, the country produces more than 100 cheese varieties with 26 achieving protected D.O.P. status within the European Union.

When you eat cheese (queso in Spanish) at a Barcelona tapas bar, you’ll likely want to pair it with Jamón Ibérico (see above) and a glass or bottle of wine. Expand your horizons by trying different queso varieties including one of our personal favorites – Garrotxa, a firm goats milk cheese produced in Catalan.

Where to Eat Queso in Barcelona
You can buy cheeses like Manchego and Garrotxa at Barcelona markets and specialty shops. You can also order cheese plates at many of the city’s restaurants and tapas bars.

10. Pan con Tomate / Pa amb Tomaquet (Bread with Tomato)

Pan Com Tomate in Barcelona
Starting our meal in Barcelona with this Pan con Tomate was a good choice. Sometimes it’s the only choice in Barcelona. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Rubbing bread with fresh tomatoes and adding olive oil and salt seems so simple but the end result is so good. However, there’s one complicated aspect to the popular meal starter – its name.

Some people call the dish Pan con Tomate which literally translates to bread with tomatoes. Other people call it Pa amb Tomaquet which translates to the very same thing. The difference is that the first name is Spanish and the second name is Catalan. Mystery solved!

Be aware that some restaurants serve the ingredients in lieu of a finished dish. If that happens to you, just roll up your sleeves and start rubbing.

Where to Eat Pan con Tomate in Barcelona
You’ll find Pan con Tomate everywhere in Barcelona from hotel breakfast buffets to restaurants. It’s that typical to eat as a meal starter.

11. Paella

Senorito Paella at Martinez in Barcelona
Topped with fresh seafood, this Senorita Paella at Martinez was a feast for all of our senses, especially the sense of taste. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Paella wasn’t invented in Barcelona. That honor goes to Valencia where Valencians first cooked the rice dish with rabbit and green beans in a shallow pan more than a century ago. However, as in the case throughout Spain, Paella is both popular and easy to find in Barcelona.

Cooked with rice and flavored with paprika and saffron, Paella hits all the notes. Adding seafood and chorizo takes the dish to the next level. Eating the Socarrat, the crunchy caramelized base at the bottom of the pan, is heaven.

In Barcelona, the question isn’t if you should eat Paella. Instead, the questions are what kind of Paella and what kind of wine. We chose seafood Paella and sangria.

Where to Eat Paella in Barcelona
We ate Paella at Martinez after doing a fair bit of research and were not disappointed. Other candidates for best Paella in Barcelona include 7 Portes, Barraca, Elche, La Mar Salada and La Paella de Su.

12. Fideuà

Fideua at Costa Brava Restaurant
Fideuà is a great alternative to Paella for those like Mindi who prefer noodles over rice. In other words, she was happy to eat this dish in Catalonia. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Despite luxurious ingredients like prawns, squid and saffron, Fideuà was originally a noodle dish of poverty eaten by Spanish fishermen. And, like Paellla, it was invented in Valencia more than a century ago. And, also like Paella, Catalans have embraced Fideuà as their own.

To make this traditional Spanish dish, Catalan cooks simmer short, golden noodles in rich broth flavored by the region’s bounty of fresh fish and seafood. Locals typically add a dollop of creamy, garlicy aioli for good measure whether they eat Fideuà in a fishing village or in the heart of Barcelona.

Where to Eat Fideuà in Barcelona
Many of the same restaurants that serve great Paella also serve great Fideuà. The following restaurants are considered among the best for the noodle dish: 7 Portes, Can Majó, La Mar Salada, La Paella de Su and Salamanca.

13. Tortilla Española (Spanish Omelette)

Tortilla Espanola at Bar Morryssom in Barcelona
We ate this rustic slice of Tortilla Espanola at Bar Morryssom in Barcelona. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We have one problem with eating Tortilla Española in Barcelona – the dish’s name. To us, it seems redundant to call it a Spanish Omelette since Barcelona is in Spain.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we’re free to admit our love for the traditional Spanish dish that’s nothing like a French rolled omelette or an American omelette. It’s not even a breakfast food. Instead, the comforting egg dish filled with potato chunks and onion slices is a staple at Barcelona tapas bars.

Where to Eat Tortilla Española in Barcelona
Most Barcelona tapas bars serve Tortilla Española. Try a few to find your favorite. Our favorite so far is at Bar Morryssom. Admittedly, the slice we ate wasn’t pretty. But who cares when the traditional Barcelona food favorite tastes so great.

14. Pimientos de Padrón (Padron Peppers)

Padron Peppers at Tonys in Girona
Paprika added extra flavor to these flavorful Pimientos de Padrón. We approved of the addition. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Padron peppers (Pimientos de Padrón) are popular at Barcelona tapas bars and why shouldn’t they be. For starters, a simple preparation that involves blistering the green peppers and then dousing them with olive oil and salt creates a dish that’s hard to stop eating. Plus, the dish provides a vegetal contrast to typical tapas dishes featuring potatoes and ham.

While rumor has it that 10% of the peppers grown in Padrón are hot, they all taste relatively mild to us. We’re not complaining. It’s just that we have high tolerance for heat.

Where to Eat Padron Peppers in Barcelona
Any and every Barcelona tapas bar serves Pimientos de Padrón.

15. Ensaladilla Rusa (Russian Salad)

Russian Salad at Bar Morryssom in Barcelona
Russian Salad is popular in Barcelona tapas restaurants like Bar Morryssom where we at this creamy serving. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Barcelona may be 2,000 miles from Moscow but that doesn’t stop Russia’s Olivier Salad from being a popular tapas dish throughout the city. However, don’t try to order this salad by its Russian name. In Barcelona, it’s simply called Ensaladilla Rusa (i.e. Russian Salad).

We were skeptical about the dish’s origin after we first tasted the salad made with potatoes, carrots, peas, hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise and canned tuna. However, the dish does indeed hail from Moscow though its inventor was from Belgium. Lucien Olivier apparently invented the dish in the 1860s while working as a chef at the Hermitage.

Is Russian Salad healthy? That would be a hard no. Healthy or not, it’s not our favorite tapas dish though you may like it more than us. Ordering the dish is a low risk proposition that may yield big rewards if you like creamy potato salad.

Where to Eat Ensaladilla Russia in Barcelona
Ensaladilla Rusa is another dish that’s a staple at Barcelona tapas bars.

16. Marisc (Seafood)

Fresh Seafood at Mercat del Ninot in Barcelona
The amount of fresh seafood at Barcelona markets is staggering. We found this bounty at Mercat del Ninot. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

While Galicia in Spain’s western region is famous for seafood, Barcelona is no slouch when it comes to quality Fruits de Mer. We discovered the city’s seafood bounty as soon as we entered La Boqueria for the first time and saw the clarity of the eyes on all the fish, both big and small, as well as the vast quantity of fresh prawns, razor clams and langoustines. We were so impressed with the famous Barcelona food market’s seafood that we took a gazillion photos of fish that day.

As we later learned while visiting the Tour of Museu de la Pesca in nearby Palamos, Catalonia has 532 indigenous species including fish and crustaceans like bluefish, anchovies, sardines, mackerel, monkfish, hake, rockfish, lobsters and the famed gambas (red shrimp). All things considered, it would simply be wrong to say “no” when offered seafood in Barcelona.

Where to Eat Seafood in Barcelona
Barcelona is swimming with seafood. You can eat all kinds of Marisc at tapas bars and restaurants that specialize in Paella, Fideuà and Sushi. You can also buy seafood at Barcelona markets to enjoy on the spot or later.

17. Pizza

Pizza at Parking Pizza in Barcelona
Our Mallorca Spicy Sobrasada Pizza with taleggio and thyme at Parking Pizza proved that there’s great pizza outside of the boot. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Like most global cities, Barcelona has joined the pizza revolution. The city has a cadre of pizzerias serving artisan pizzas using Mediterranean ingredients sourced locally as well as from Italy.

Some Barcelona pizzerias serve authentic Neapolitan pizza while others add their own twist. However, it’s fair to say that L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is the most authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in Barcelona. After all, Da Michele is one of the best pizzerias in Napoli and one of our personal favorites. One, Sartoria Panatieri, is ranked among the best in the world.

We’ve eaten at two excellent Barcelona pizzerias so far – Parking Pizza and the aforementioned Sartoria Panatieri. Both met our high pizza standards and make us excited to try more during future visits.

Where to Eat Pizza in Barcelona
Can Pizza, La Balmesina, Frankie Gallo Cha Cha Cha, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, NAP (Neapolitan Authentic Pizza), Parking Pizza and Sartoria Panatieri are standout Barcelona pizzerias.

18. Burgers

Hamburger at Caravelle in Barcelona
Our Bacon Cheeseburger at Caravelle had a lot going on inside the bun. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Burgers are popular all over Europe and Barcelona is no exception. Locals queue for burgers throughout the city just like they do in America. But, let’s face it, Barcelona isn’t in America.

We’ve only eaten one burger in Barcelona so far and we were far from impressed on so many levels. Let’s just say that we’ll be eating Catalan cuisine during future visits unless we’re eating pizza and leave it there. However, based on those queues, we’re in the minority in this regard.

Where to Eat Burgers in Barcelona
Bar Centro, Bacoa Burger, De Paula, La Royale, Oval, Santa Burg and Timesburg are all popular burger joints in Barcelona.

19. Brunch

Caravelle in Barcelona
We joined the weekend crowd at Caravelle for brunch during our most recent Barcelona visit. The popular spot with a hipster vibe serves both craft beer and specialty coffee in addition to brunchy bites. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Most Barcelona locals start their day with coffee and a pastry unless they splurge on Churros and Chocolate (see below) instead. We typically do the same when we’re in Barcelona. However, weekends are different. That’s when they linger over a meal with friends. And that meal is called brunch.

Brunch isn’t a new concept in Barcelona. Spots like Milk have been serving pancakes and mimosas for more than a decade.

But, as in cities like Amsterdam and Lisbon, the brunch concept has blossomed in Barcelona over the past few years. Today, Barcelona brunch spots serve ever-expanding menus that include vegan food and burgers as well as Tortillas de Patatas (i.e. potato omelettes).

Where to Eat Brunch in Barcelona
The following spots are all notable for serving morning meals that spill into the afternoon: Brunch & Cake, Caravelle, Eat My Trip, Federal Cafe, Flax & Kale, Milk, Norte, Picnic and Ugot Bruncherie.

20. Local Products

Vendor at Mercat del Ninot in Barcelona
Shopping at Barcelona markets like Mercat del Ninot is fun whether you’re buying or just looking. The quality of the local products is simply amazing. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Barcelona has a vast network of neighborhood markets which sell all sorts of local products that can be eaten on the spot or enjoyed later. These markets also sell items which would make wonderful edible souvenirs and gifts.

While we’re fans of smaller markets like Mercat del Ninot in the Eixample neighborhood, there’s no argument that Mercat de la Boqueria is the city’s most famous market. Recognized as one of the world’s best markets by National Geographic, the Boqueria market dazzles shoppers with hundreds of stalls selling an abundance of seafood, vegetables, charcuterie and fresh juice. It’s also a prime spot for tour groups and pickpockets.

We recommend a quick stroll through the world-famous market before exploring Barcelona’s vast network of neighborhood markets. Away from the tourists, you’ll be able chat with vendors and buy tasty treats to enjoy back at your apartment or hotel room.

Where to Shop for Local Products in Barcelona
After you tour Mercat de la Boqueria, check out neighborhood markets including the one most convenient to your hotel.

21. Crema Catalana

Crema Catalan at Can Roca in Girona
The best part of preparing this Crema Catalana at a Catalan cooking class was eating it for dessert. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Although Catalan chefs weren’t the first to top custard with caramelized sugar, Barcelona has adopted the global dessert as its own. After eating similar versions in England (Burnt Cream), France (Crème Brûlée) and Portugal (Leite Creme), we learned how to make Crema Catalana during a fun Catalan cooking class in Girona.

Both casual eateries and fancy restaurants serve Crema Catalana, a creamy dessert with hints of both lemon and cinnamon, in Barcelona. A caramelized top layer of burnt sugar transforms the dish from a simple custard to one of the best desserts in the world.

Where to Eat Crema Catalana in Barcelona
You’ll find the iconic Catalan dessert on restaurants throughout the city. Taste a few versions to find your favorite.

22. Xurros (Churros) and Chocolate

Churros con Chocolate at Xurreria Trebol in Barcelona
This pairing of Churros with Chocolate at Xurreria Trebol provided a sweet start to our day. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Spanish hotels tend to have great breakfast spreads but you’ll want to break away to start your day with one of the best desserts in the world – Churros and Chocolate. Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to eat dessert for breakfast when you’re in Barcelona. In our opinion, it’s mandatory to do this at least once.

Spanish people have been coating fried choux pastry with sugar and dipping the sweet cylindrical pastries in chocolate sauce for centuries. While it’s unclear who invented the combination, does it really matter if the credit belongs to Spain, Portugal or even China?

What does matter is that Barcelona has numerous cafes that serve Xurros (the Catalan word for Churros) and Chocolate at all hours starting in the morning. Beyond being fun, it’s easy to justify the calories when you know you’ll be giving your fitbit a workout during the rest of the day.

Where to Start Your Morning with Churros and Chocolate in Barcelona
Finding Churros and Chocolate is the opposite of a challenge. While we indulged our craving at Xurreria Trébol during our most recent visit, you may wan to try one of the following popular spots: Chocolatería la Nena, Comaxurros, Granja la Pallaresa, Granja Viader, Xurreria Sagrada Familia and Xurreria Sant Andreu.

23. Xuixo

Xuixo at Casamonera in Girona
The Xuixo is our favorite Catalan pastry. We ate this one at casamoner in Girona. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Imagine a rolled puff pastry, like a croissant, filled with pastry cream and then fried. A cronut you say? You would be wrong. It’s actually a Xuixo, Catalan’s greatest pastry.

We enjoyed more than our share of Xuixos during the month we spent in Girona, the city where the Xuixo was invented. Since Catalonia’s signature pastry is readily available at pastry shops in Barcelona, there’s no need to hop on a train to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Where to Eat Xuixos in Barcelona
Many Barcelona bakeries sell Xuixos in addition to croissants and other pastries. We’ve even spotted the local treat at Xurreria Trébol, a spot that specializes in Churros and Chocolate.

24. Coffee

Flat White at Nomad Coffee in Barcelona
These two former nomads felt at home while drinking this flat white at Nomad Coffee in Barcelona. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Drinking coffee is an important part of Spain’s food culture.

Spaniards often start their days with Café con Leche, a drink made with equal amounts of strong coffee and hot milk, while others prefer Cortados made with espresso and steamed milk. Most food travelers will be satisfied to sip both of these coffee drinks at cafes around Barcelona; however, committed coffee drinkers have another option – specialty coffee.

Barcelona may not have been early to the specialty coffee party but the city has caught up in a big way. A cadre of talented baristas prepare cappuccinos and flat whites to coffee connoisseurs while roasters sell their beans well beyond Barcelona’s borders.

Where to Drink Specialty Coffee in Barcelona
Check back soon for our Barcelona coffee guide featuring the city’s best specialty coffee shops including Nomad Coffee pictured above.

25. Beer

Beers at Parking Pizza in Barcelona
Beer is our beverage of choice wherever we eat pizza. We drank these beers at Barcelona’s Parking Pizza. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

August Küntzmann Damm started brewing Barcelona’s most popular lager in 1876 and, to be honest, it still tastes pretty good. However, Estrella Damm is no longer the only star that shines brightly in the Barcelona beer scene. Yes, we know that estrella translates to star.

Barcelona has morphed into a hotbed for microbreweries that brew beer and brew pubs that serve the hoppy beverage. Motivated craft beer drinkers can find IPAs and Belgian Ales all over the city with just a little bit of effort. Sometimes, though, drinking an Estrella is the easier way to go. We won’t judge you either way.

Where to Drink Beer in Barcelona
It’s easy to find Estrella Damm in Barcelona’s both humble tapas bars and the city’s trendiest pizzerias. Check out the following spots for more modern brews: Beer’linale, BierCaB, BlackLab, Craft Barcelona, Garage Beer and Kaelderkold.

26. Cava

Sparkling Wine during Barcelona Food Tour
We can’t drink enough Cava in Barcelona. Locals adore the local sparkling wine and we do too. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

While Sangria rules the roost in much of Spain, drinking Cava in Barcelona is a must. Locals adore the sparkling white wine produced with Penedés grapes that include macabeo, parellada and xarel varietals using same double fermentation process as Champagne.

You’ll find Cava at bars around the city where you can pair the refreshing sparkler with Conservas (tinned seafood) and other goodies. Better yet, you can visit a traditional Cava house to see where the Cava magic happens.

Where to Drink Cava in Barcelona
After you drink Cava at Barcelona bars like El Xampanyet, take a day trip to Cavas Codorníu and learn all about Cava and its traditional production method.

27. Vermut (Vermouth)

Vermut at Bodega 1900 in Barcelona
Topping this Vermut with soda water was both fun and satisfying. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

When Americans think of vermouth, they’re likely to think of a mixer that’s part of a Manhattan or Negroni cocktail recipe. Others may think of an aperitif imbibed by elderly relatives. If you fit into either of these mindsets, you’ll need to leave your vermouth impressions at home when you drink Vermut in Barcelona.

More than a martini ingredient, Vermut is popular with people of all ages who pair the herbaceous fortified wine with tapas at bars throughout the city. The best tapas bars produce their own Vermut and serve it with orange slices, green olives and a green canister filled with soda water.

We like to drink our Vermut extra fizzy. How you drink yours is up to you.

Where to Drink Vermut in Barcelona
Bar Electricitat, Casa Mariol, Els Sortidors del Parlament, La Vermu, Quimet i Quimet and Senyor Vermut are all great spots to start or end an evening with Vermut.

28. Cocktails

Cocktail in Barcelona
This crafted cocktail at Dry Martini whet our appetites for more cocktails. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Just like chefs push the culinary envelope at Barcelona restaurants, mixologists are doing the same with liquor at upscale cocktail bars around the city. Despite the prevalence of both Cava and Vermut, Barcelona holds the status as one of the world’s most sophisticated cocktail cities.

Cocktail purists won’t be disappointed by elevated Gin + Tonic cocktails served in huge goblets throughout the city. However, more modern mixology fans will want to order more complicated cocktails. Let’s face it – sometimes it’s just as much fun to watch an artist craft a cocktail as it is to drink the finished product.

Where to Drink Cocktails in Barcelona
Cocktail bars abound in Barcelona. Here are several where you can whet your whistle: The Alchemix, Boadas Cocktails, Bobby Gin, Caribbean Club, Dr. Stravinsky, Dry Martini, Ideal Cocktail Bar, La Javanesa, Marlowe Bar, Negroni Cocktail Bar, Paradiso, Solange and Tandem Cocktail Bar.

Pretty Building in Barcelona
Look up while touring Barcelona. The city is filled with gorgeous architecture. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Useful Barcelona Facts

  • Barcelona is the the second largest city in Spain.
  • Spain is in Europe. It’s both a member of the European Union and a Schengen country.
  • Spain’s currency is the Euro.
  • Spanish is Spain’s official language but many people also speak English.
  • Service is typically included but you can leave a ‘little something extra’ (5-10%) for excellent service.

Frequently Asked Questions

What food is Barcelona famous for?

Barcelona is famous for Catalan and Spanish food. Popular dishes include bombas, croquettes, patatas bravas and jamon iberico.

Is food in Barcelona expensive?

Food in Barcelona ranges from cheap eats to fine dining. In other words, you can easily eat for well under 50€ a day or blow it out and spend much more.

Is tipping necessary in Barcelona?

No. Tipping is optional in Spain.

Where did Anthony Bourdain eat in Barcelona?

Bourdain visited Bodega 1900 (permanently closed), Dos Pebrots, Enigma, La Plata, Mitja Vida (permanently closed), Quimet y Quimet, Suculent, Tickets (permanently closed), Xurreria Dels Banys Nous and Xarcuteria La Pineda while filming the fourth season of No Reservations.

Where did Phil Rosenthal eat in Barcelona?

Phil visited Bar Cañete, Bodega 1900 (permanently closed), El Quim de la Boqueria, Granja Viader, Pakta (permanently closed), Suculent, Tickets (permanently closed) and Vila Viniteca while filming the first season of Somebody Feed Phil.

What time do people eat dinner in Barcelona?

People typically eat dinner between 9pm and 11pm in Barcelona.

Are restaurant reservations necessary in Barcelona?

Yes. Reservations are necessary at restaurants in Barcelona. While you may be able to walk into Barcelona tapas bars without a reservations, reservations are recommended at popular tapas bars for those who want to avoid dining disappointment.

Video Recap

Barcelona Planning Checklist

Hungry for More in Barcelona?

Chocolate Treats at Chok in Barcelona
Barcelona Bucket List
Barcelona Food Favorites - Social IMG
Food Experiences
Mussels Moqueca, Prawns, King Crab, Saffron and Coconut Noodles at Cocina Hermanos Torres in Barcelona
Red Beach Selfie in Santorini

About the Authors

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.


Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

We self-funded our multiple trips to Barcelona.

Original Publication Date: May 12, 2022

Get our free guide to eating like a local when you travel.