The Catalan capital of Barcelona, on Spain’s northeastern Mediterranean coast, enjoys a food culture all its own with influences from Southern France, the tapas culture of Andalucia, and global cuisines. Eating is a huge part of the culture here, and these are the foods and activities you shouldn’t miss.
While most visitors associate Spain with tapas, Barcelona is actually a hub of Catalan cuisine. Many locals start their day with fresh fried churros dipped in thick hot chocolate for breakfast. Boquerones (anchovies in vinegar), olives, grilled octopus, and pan con tomate (crusty bread with tomato, garlic, and olive oil) make the perfect afternoon accompaniment to a glass of vermut (vermouth). Be sure to try fideuà, the Catalan version of paella made with buckwheat noodles, and finish off your meal with some crema Catalana, a thick Spanish custard.
Keep an eye out for bombas on the menus of Barceloneta; these fist-size potato croquettes, often stuffed with meat, come topped with garlic aioli and a spicy red sauce. If you’re in Barcelona during spring, follow the smoke to a local street barbecue where calçots, a type of green onion native to the region, are grilled and served with romesco sauce.
- Sample traditional Spanish food while watching flamenco dancing at the legendary Tablao Flamenco Cordobés.
- Enjoy a variety of the city’s best bites on a guided tapas tour through the Gothic Quarter.
- Taste your way along the Cava Trail in the Barcelona countryside to learn more about the region’s rich wine culture.
- Polish up your cooking skills as you learn to make paella, tapas, and sangria with the help of a local chef.