Barcelona Food – The Best of Spanish and Catalan Food


Barcelona cuisine draws its inspiration from France and central Spain, as well as les materies primes—high-quality ingredients prepared to showcase their inherent flavors. Look into the best information about restaurants in Barcelona.

As one example of traditional breakfast fare in Spain, bread rubbed with tomato (pa amb tomaquet) is often featured at the table, while its namesake dish, paella, combines Valencian and Madrilenian recipes.

1. Gazpacho

One of the signature dishes from Barcelona, this cool and creamy soup is a popular summertime favorite here. A refreshing way to cool off with something different, enjoy it alongside anything from Spanish ham to arancini to escalivada roasted vegetables for a delightful experience!

You’re sure to come across it at restaurants and bars all around town during the hot months, and it’s also simple enough for anyone at home to make on their own – here is the recipe:

Breakfast sandwiches are a classic breakfast item, even offered at some hotel buffets. All it requires are some slices of Catalan country bread toasted, some garlic (rubbed or sliced), fresh tomatoes, and quality olive oil; garnish can vary; for example, some people add jabugo ham or chorizo, while others like to top theirs off with slices of cured ham or chopped tomatoes as garnish. It is sometimes made using red wine vinegar in place of sherry vinegar, while thickening could also include adding bits of stale bread into the mix in order to give it thickness – see the recipe above!

2. Tapas

Tapas are often the highlight of a meal in Spain. These small plates of food served alongside drinks in bar settings range from olives and cheese plates to full-cooked callos (tripe and chickpea stew).

Gazpacho, a chilled soup composed of raw vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, garlic cloves, sherry vinegar, and stale bread, is one of the city’s must-try summer dishes. The recipe for gazpacho varies, and it is served chilled.

Croquetas are a classic dish, and there are endless variations available. Classically, they are filled with ham, but depending on the restaurant, you could also include pulled chicken, shrimp, or cod. They can either be deep-fried or baked before topping with bechamel sauce for extra decadence.

Pa amb tomaquet is one of my go-to dishes and remains one of my favorites. It consists of toasted bread seasoned with salt, spread with tomato, and drizzled with olive oil—it makes an ideal vegetarian option! Another must-try in Catalonia is botifarra d’ou or fuet, two types of sausage consisting of both pork (one being white sausage with egg) and dry, cured varieties reminiscent of salami.

3. Cannelloni

Catalan cuisine’s delicious take on this famous Spanish dish uses noodles instead of rice and seafood instead of chicken. Their version, called Fideua, is usually served with garlic sauce and aioli on the side for extra flavor. You will likely come across it on restaurant menus.

These must-try treats in Barcelona! Deep-fried potato balls filled with all manner of fillings are deep-fried to perfection for an unforgettable treat that resembles croquettes but boasts a more substantial bite. A favorite among both children and adults, this delectable treat has become one of the city’s signature snacks!

Bars and restaurants frequently top them with Pata Negra ham from pig hoof, considered one of the finest options available.

Catalonian winter cuisine features this delightful treat: long leeks are fire-roasted before being dunked in Romesco sauce made of tomatoes, almonds, and garlic for an incredibly flavorful and messy meal! If visiting during this period, it is available only between December and March.

4. Seafood

Attractively located in the Vila Olimpica area, this seafood restaurant offers an expansive menu of fresh fish and shellfish, as well as traditional Spanish dishes, at reasonable prices.

Also try Bombas, breaded and fried potato balls filled with either octopus or minced meat and seasoned with paprika and peppers before being deep fried in oil and served with spicy aioli sauce. Inspired by homemade grenades thrown during Barcelona’s civil war, these tasty tapa dishes have quickly become one of its most beloved tapa dishes today.

Fideua, a Catalonian-style paella, replaces rice with fideos pasta. The other ingredients are similar to those in regular paella dishes, such as squid, tomatoes, bell peppers, and garlic. It’s available at many local restaurants.

5. Ham

Catalans love jamon, the iconic Spanish cured ham. From the Iberian variety to the Serrano variant, jamon can often be found at lunch and dinner tables across Catalonia.

Ham is typically displayed from the ceiling, which was once part of its cultural tradition but now serves a more practical function; hanging it allows for proper ventilation, which in turn enhances its flavor. Be sure to look for labels that indicate the type and length of curing when purchasing this delicate meat product.

As another option for light meals, try the popular beachside restaurants of Barcelona serving Arros Negre—a black dish composed of squid ink seasoned with garlic, tomato sauce, peppercorns, and olive oil—perfect for an easy and light bite!

As winter nears, small stalls around the city offer freshly roasted chestnuts for purchase. Ask for a paper bag full of them and watch locals devour these mouthwatering treats, then dip them in an irresistibly creamy Romesco sauce made of nuts, peppers, tomato, and garlic. Additionally, there may be grilled calcites, which resemble green onions; once burnt on the outside, they can be peeled to reveal meltingly tender bulbs inside before being served with an accompanying dipping sauce.