food in barcelona, feed your trip

16 must eat food in Barcelona

Tapas, dishes, dessert or drinks that you can not miss in your next vacation to Barcelona. A list created especially for foodies who are interested on the best Catalan cuisine to try in Barcelona.


The Catalonian capital has been working very hard in terms of chefs and organizations, in order to grow-up the cuisine level. In fact, the gastronomy is one of the 38 reason to visit Barcelona , explained in last Feed Your Trip post.


Barcelona has the honor to live the benefits of Mediterranean cuisine with a diversity of natural product. Which makes the best scenario to create amazing dishes sweets and salts.


As food lover, I have selected the best dishes to taste in Barcelona exclusively to you. In addition, since 10 years ago, I almost only eat seasonal & slow food, I provide you season information about when is the best time to have these Catalonian food, let’s go!

1. Bomba

It is a mashed potato ball filled with meat like Bolognese style. Normally, it is cover by sauces: allioli and chili sauce.

This tapa is very famous on Barceloneta district. Seems it was created by the grandma of “Cova Fumada” who usually cooked at home. One day the grandfather decided included it in the menu, of their restaurant, as tremendous success.

Season: during all year.

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2. Esqueixada

A starter very fresh, include crumbs of cod, red & green pepper, olives, onion in brunoise. everything dresses, as salad with olive oil and some drops of vinegar.

Catalan citizen cooked at home or eat it as first course in local restaurants.

Season: summer.


3. Fideuà

Quite similar to paella, its main ingredient is seafood but with a special pasta instead rice. Also have the option to be a black meal with squid ink. Normally, the waitress brings you a portion of allioli to dress a little bit your fideuà.

Expand your horizon and not only visit Barcelona to taste paella. Even this fideuà was born in Valencia, Catalan families has made it proper year by year.

Season: during all year.


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4. Sopa de galets

Is a vegetable & meat soup made with conch pasta form, served with “pilotes” meatballs.

Super traditional Catalan course. Is possible have only the soup with meatballs or, eat the vegetables and the other meats which was used to make the broth, as well.

Season: Christmas day & winter.


5. Botifarra amb mongetes

The first word is a Catalan sausage usually grilled on the barbecue. From other side, mongetes are beans boiled with a light touch of salt, garlic and chopped parsley.

This Catalan dish is a popular second dish, and many times served on barbecues or calçots time.

Season: Calçotada time & winter.


6. Cargols a la llauna

Simply as land snails charcoaled or grilled in the oven. Season with olive oil, pepper and paprika is optional, but a great idea.

Eat with locals in Barcelona and as a local, tasting this eccentric (for many cultures) dish popular in Lleida Catalan zone.  

Season: winter.


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Best food in Barcelona also for vegetarian


7. Patatas Bravas

After Iberian ham and Spanish omelet, patatas bravas is the most popular food in Spain. usually, is a quarter of kilo of fried potatoes cut in wedges form. Finally, patatas bravas are covered by a spicy sauce or allioli.

Currently, bars & restaurant have their own version of this famous tapa. Absolutely, patatas bravas is a food that you must eat in Barcelona. Otherwise, you have not been in here.

Season: during all year.


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8. Calçots

As we have already comment in our last post “Why visit Barcelona? We give you 38 reasons”. Calçots is a food in Barcelona super traditional in winter season as a social event with friend in barbecue. Likewise, you can have them in traditional restaurants.

“A calçot looks like an oversize scallion with an extra-long white stalk. They are traditionally grown from whole sweet white onions, which are harvested and then replanted in late summer; these days, special calçot bulbs are available for planting.”

The technique to eat them is:

  • Remove the burnt part.
  • Dip the calçot on Romesco sauce.
  • Rise your arm with the calçot in your hand.
  • Finally, eat the calçot from the bottom-up.

Season: winter. If you see calçots at any restaurant menu during spring or summer time, calçots has been kept frozen.


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9. Alcachofas a la brasa

The closer place from Barcelona where artichokes grow is “Baix de Llobregat”, it is around 30 Km far away.

Harvesting takes place since November until end of march. So is very common have them in the same barbecue as calçots. It can be a side dish for the second course which included grilled meat.

Also, you can have at any restaurant as tapa or side dish; grilled or fried. Is very popular with Iberian ham, as well.

Season: autumn & winter.


10. Allioli

Original version is a Mediterranean sauce made with olive oil and garlic. Basically, you have to mix both ingredients within a mortar. Current version includes egg yolk to emulsify.

Allioli is part of traditional Catalan cuisine, and is employed in many typical foods in Barcelona, as ex: patatas bravas, black paella or fideuà, roasted chicken, etc.

Season: during all year.


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11. Pa amb Tomàquet

Oriental gastronomy uses the rise as side dish, as Catalan cuisine use the bread with tomato.

Original version takes “penjar” tomato type and brush on bread (toasted or not), after that bread is drizzled with olive oil.  At present, tomato is often crushed mixing with olive oil, and placed on the bread. Order it to accompany your tapas in Barcelona.

Season: during all year.


12. Escalivada

One of my favorite Catalan food. Eggplant, onion and red pepper cooked at the oven for 40 minutes approx. Traditionally, vegetables are shopped in strip and condiment with fresh garlic and olive oil.

Some restaurant also offers a version with goat cheese. A delicious way to have this popular food in Barcelona is with “pa amb tomàquet”.

Season: summer.


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13. Mel i Mató

First word means honey, and the second one is a whey local cheese made from cow (or goat sometimes). Both together makes an emblematic Catalan dessert.

Season: during all year.


14. Crema Catalana

A dessert based on cream egg & milk, very smooth and cover with sugar caramelize crunch.

Quite similar to Crème brûlée. From my point of view, since I have prepared both, is crema catalana is cooked in a pot and Crème brûlée is baked in bain-marie.

A dessert that you must eat in Barcelona, which has also been extended to another areas by Spain.

Season: during all year.


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15. Panellets

If we are talking about traditions, it is absolutely one of them. It is a small ball mixing almond flour and boiled & crushed potato (some versions also include boiled & crushed sweet potato). The little ball normally is cover by pinions and baked into the oven.

Season: Castanyada day – November 1st.


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16. Cava

Even denomination of origin not only include to Catalunya. It sparkling wine encompass the biggest area on vineyard and production.

Catalonian have made this beverage as part of their life, not only for celebrations, they drink it as aperitif, or with crema catalana or even with ham as appetizer.


food in barcelona