In this post, I will be sharing the different types of food that I ate while in Barcelona. Here are breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas for your next trip to Barcelona. And if you haven’t read my first post for this series, check it out here.
On the first official day of my trip, I went on a food tour with Devour Barcelona. If you want to avoid the tourist trap restaurants, I would highly recommend going on a food tour at the beginning of your trip. Although I did not go back to any of the restaurants from the tour, it gave me the confidence to seek out other local restaurants during the rest of my trip. The tour I went on lasted about 3.5 hours and took the group through La Gracia neighborhood. Side note: if you do decide to take this food tour, make sure to bring plenty of water, as this is not provided.
One of the restaurants we visited was L’Anxoveta, where we learned how to make pa amb tomateq (bread with tomato). We also ate la bomba (top left), which was super spicy, but still good. It had a crunchy exterior, a creamy interior and the sauce helped to tone down some of the spiciness. Next, we visited a bakery called Pastisseria Principe, where I had a coconut, chocolate, and hazelnut pastry (top right).
Later we tried vermouth alongside pickled anchovies and fuet (bottom left). If you like strong drinks, then vermouth is the drink for you. For those not use to consuming strong drinks, restaurants also provide sparkling water to mix with the vermouth. I remember that my 4th-grade teacher always ate sardines for lunch. So, one day I had my mother buy me some to eat too, and I detested them. Since that time, I swore I would never eat them ever again. Then they brought pickled anchovies to the table during the tour. I was hesitant to try it at first, but I did (because YOLO) and it was surprisingly good.
One of the last places we visited on the tour was called La Botigueta del Bon Menjar. We tried a wonderful meatball soup with chickpeas. If you are looking for a hearty meal for a cold or rainy day, look no further than this soup (bottom right).
To view the other places I ate at during the tour, check out Devour Barcelona’s website.
A significant portion of the research I did for this trip, revolved around what to eat. My Pinterest board for this trip was literally filled with local restaurants to try. When I visit another place (even New York), I try and only eat local; no (inter)national chain restaurants I can eat in my own city. One of the restaurants I was excited to try was Federal Café on Carrer del Parlament. The layout for the restaurant had an open feel with window seating. I ordered the grilled chicken sandwich with brie and avocado. This was my first time eating brie, and it was incredible. The creamy texture of the cheese and avocado, mixed with the crunch of the arugula and the simple seasoning of the chicken, made this sandwich amazingly balanced and delicious.
Earlier, I mentioned pa amb tomateq, which is basically tomato with bread. It is a simple dish (if you can call it a dish) but tastes really good. On the food tour, we were actually taught how to make it. You rub garlic on the bread, add olive oil, rub tomatoes on it, and then season it with salt. I paired the bread with a small salad at Woki’s Organic Market.
One day while exploring the city, I ran into this small local restaurant (unfortunately I did not write down its name). The food item I was most eager to try was patatas bravas (left). Patatas bravas are native to Spain, and are very simple in preparation; think small potato wedges with a spicy sauce and aioli. If you’re like me and love potatoes, then you have to try patatas bravas. Also, I thought I’d try a sangria while in Spain. Although you can get sangrias at most restaurants, you should also try cava, which originates in the Catalonia region (aka Barcelona).
One thing that I loved about Barcelona is that most restaurants have a menu del día. In the United States, it would be the equivalent of what you will get during Restaurant Week. My friend told me about this before I left for Barcelona, and I was able to try it at a restaurant called 7 Birres. You are able to choose an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert for a fixed price. For the appetizer, I tried a boiled potato and ham dish (below), seasoned with olive oil and salt. I had a thin steak for the main course, and ice cream for dessert.
So far, I’ve talked a lot about food, but Barcelona also has great drinks. Throughout my trip, I went to different cafes for breakfast. Before another tour, I had a café con leche (coffee with milk) and an apple strudel. This breakfast later inspired me to make my own strudel using puff pastry. Another drink I indulged in while in Barcelona was chocolate caliente (or hot chocolate) at Petritxol Xocoa. And whatever your plans are while in Barcelona, make sure you come here and try their churros and hot chocolate. Their hot chocolate is a rich, thicker chocolate drink, unlike anything I’ve had before. I will warn those who are lactose intolerant to have a bathroom escape plan because this drink is truly rich.
Finally, I would like to end this post on Barcelona staples, paella, and tapas. I have to admit, that the restaurant I tried the paella and tapas was a little touristy. The whole trip I had been looking for a restaurant that had chicken paella, and this was one of the few places I found. The original paella has all sorts of seafood in it like prawns, which are not my favorite seafood. Both types of paella are good; which one you should try just depends on your preference of meat. They also served tapas as part of their menu del día, which included: grilled jalapeños, sauteed mushrooms, patatas bravas, a small salad, a type of cornbread and a croquette.
Barcelona is a paradise for food lovers, with its diverse and cultural dishes. The menu del día makes it affordable for any traveler to sample many dishes without breaking the bank. And the small portion sizes allow those watching their weight or on diets, to indulge on all that Barcelona has to offer them.
I want to leave you with two tips. First, research restaurants to try before you travel, but also be open to restaurants you may discover while walking around town. Second, make sure to bring plenty of snacks and water with you, as restaurants here open at different times than in the United States.
For more ideas on where to eat and where to visit while in Barcelona, you can check out my Pinterest board here. Thank you for reading and look out for my final Barcelona Series post on the places I visited. If you have any questions about the food that I ate, please feel free to comment below. And if you enjoyed this post, please: like, comment, subscribe and share.