Tasting your way through Barcelona
The city of Barcelona is famous for a lot of things – architecture, art, the music scenes, and so much more. However, one thing that every visitor to the city remembers is the food. In no uncertain terms, Barcelona is a paradise for foodies.
Simply put, if you love to eat then you’re going to fall head over heels with Barcelona. So this article will go over some basics about eating out in Barcelona, Barcelona as a center of regional cuisine, and a list of some must try foods.
The Barcelona Food Scene
Generally speaking, food in Spain differs from region to region with each having and using different local ingredients. People tend to be quite proud of their food traditions as well. With that in mind, food in Barcelona is a reflection of the city’s character as both the regional capital and a major city. As such, you’ll find a combination of traditions from Catalonia as well as various influences from around Spain. On top of that, Barcelona is an international hub, so you can add on different influences that borrow from traditions from all around the world.
On top of cuisines, you also have a huge range of options for how dressed-up or casual you want your experience to be. Eating out in Barcelona can mean stopping by for simple traditions like tapas at a local bar. It can also mean going out for fine dining at one of the city’s 66 Michelin star restaurants.
So let’s talk about price for a moment? Eating out is an institution in Spain as a whole, so going out for a bite in Barcelona is generally quite affordable. If you’re looking at a mid-range restaurant for two people, you can find a three-course meal for around 54 euros. If you’re looking for something simple, then dinner at an inexpensive restaurant for one person is around 12 euros. If you’re looking for a fine-dining experience then the cost of a good dinner can easily run into the hundreds and beyond.
Must Try Foods in Barcelona
Now that you’ve got a general overview of food in Barcelona, let’s go over some of the dishes that you simply have to try.
Pa amb tomàquet
The name comes from Catalan and literally means ‘bread with tomato’ which will give you part of the story. It consists of a slice of bread soaked in tomato, and seasoned with olive oil and salt. There’s also an option to rub a bit of garlic on the bread before adding on tomato, though this only works on toast. Olive oil however is a must.
Paella is probably the food that most people associate Barcelona with. Ironically, the dish actually isn’t actually a plato barcelonés since it really comes from Valencia. In any case, walking around Barcelona, you’d have to close your eyes to not find a place that serves paella.
The dish itself is savory and consists of rice with vegetables as well as meat or seafood. The name itself simply means ‘frying pan’ in both Valenciano and Catalan, which gives you a clue about how it’s prepared.
Today, it’s easy to find numerous kinds of paella with different ingredients and flavors, no matter your tastes, there’s a paella for you.
Patatas bravas are simple but so delicious. With a name that translates to ‘spicy potatoes’ it’s an excellent snack made of fried white potatoes covered with a spicy sauce. Usually it comes with spicy red sauce, alhought an aioli garlic sauce is also common.
While you might know tortilla as a sort of corn flatbread for making burritos, the tortilla española is something else entirely. A sort of small mini-cake made of eggs and potatoes. Sometimes there are other ingredients like onions, but the joy comes from its simplicity. You’ll often find them at parties and on tapas menus.
There is a lot to say about meat in Spain, and in Barcelona in particular. If you enjoy quality meat, then Barcelona will leave you wanting more. Some meats will come on pieces of bread, while others will be served by themselves. Some of the most common cuts you’ll find are jamón (ham) and chorizo.
No mention of food in Spain is complete without mentioning tapas. You can think of these as appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, snacks, or just eat them and enjoy. The word tapas refers to a huge range of food. These include cold dishes like olives, cheese, sliced meat or hot dishes like patatas bravas or fried squid. You’ll also encounter pintxos, which are generally considered tapas that are placed on bread and have a palillo (tooth pick) holding them together.
If you’re in Barcelona, then finding tapas is simple. Just walk down most any street and you can find them in nearly all traditional bars and restaurants. And you can often pick them out as you want, so if you make an order and find yourself wanting more, it’s simple to keep on tasting everything Barcelona has to offer.
Compared to the US and Canada, eating out in Barcelona is generally cheaper aside from fine dining.
No. The dish is actually from Valencia, but there are restaurants and paellerias where you can try the dish all throughout the city.
The word tapas refers to a huge range of foods that are served in Spain in small portions including meats, cheeses, potato dishes, olives, fish, and more. There is no one set definition of tapas.
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