The Spanish have managed to maintain a fluency with eating over the years that no one else can even hold a candle to.
To take a trip to Barcelona is to go into the belly of the cultural beast, while also receiving a masterclass in culinary arts.
If you’re thinking of taking a trip, you should check out a few of the places listed below. And if you’re not, you probably will want to by the time you’ve finished reading this…
1. The Barcelona Eat Local food tour
The Eat Local food tour is the first of which to explore the two regions Sant Antoni & El Poble Sec, untouched gems with regards to fun, food and fashion.
Meeting at the Sant Antoni market, you are handed a tray of cod croqueta, a cod tapa and cod bonyols, and then continue into the belly of some of Spain’s oldest markets.
Don’t believe us? Just check out the colony of rave reviews on TripAdvisor.
2. Because some of the best meat in the world costs less than a fiver
The best jamon (or pernil, in Catalan) is called Iberico de Bellota, and you should eat as much of it as you can, as it’s far cheaper and easier to get than anywhere else.
Well, what are you waiting for?
3. Catalan cuisine at Cerveseria Catalana
As with all restaurants worth their weight in cured meat, there will be a wait here, no matter what. However, when you finally sit, you’ll be treated to all the classics on any Spanish tapas menu, along with plenty others you might not have ever heard of, in the form of Catalan cuisine.
It goes without saying that everything is great, so get a few staples, like jamon and patatas bravas, but be sure to order off the written specials menu as well.
4. Paella at 7 Portes
Rice, rice, and more delicious rice. While paella is native to the Spanish city of Valencia, the Catalans have adopted it in their own way.
While you’ll find plenty of locals eating here, many will write 7 Portes off as being too touristy. You do it regardless. The rice here is among the best in the business.
5. Caracoles at Can Cortada
Can Cortada, an old Catalan cuisine staple near the top of the hills above the city, is the less-touristed cousin of restaurant Can Travi Nou. Expect excellent grilled meats and vegetables, cannelonis, and other Catalan delicacies.
Their famous caracoles (snails) are cooked in butter, and just melt in the mouth.
6. Tapas at El Vaso de Oro, Barceloneta
El Vaso de Oro is a bustling tapas hotspot at the very top of Barceloneta, who have been in the tapas game for 50 years – so, yeah, they know their stuff.
The bar is long, narrow and chances are you’ll be eating standing up, but it’s worth it for the small plates of perfection you’ll be served on arrival. Dripping in atmosphere, El Vaso de Oro is about as authentic as it gets.
7. Cappuccini at Cafe El Magnifico
Although the coffee culture in Barcelona is largely, non-existent, Cafe El Magnifico coffee roasters is keen to change that.
They are one of the very, very few cafés who have managed to find a small artisanal producer (Granja el Prat) to supply them with milk to complement their beans, and boy does it show.
8. Cheese at La Seu, Barri Gotic
Run by an English woman, La Seu has been up and running for 14 years, in an old butter making factory, that drips with character, and hopefully not with cheese.
In here, you can get yourself a small platter of sheep, cow and goat cheese for €3. Prompting you to stock up with the delicious produce sold there afterwards, obviously.
9. Brunch at Caravelle
Barcelona’s new fad, much like the rest of the world, is is all about brunch, and Caravelle is the place to be come Sunday morning. But this isn’t brunch like you’ve known it before: think the staples, but with a Spanish twist.
Breakfast, lunch, coffee and dinner are all on offer, as well as their Galactic Sundays offer, including tacos and crispy squid tostadas.
Stick an ice-cold beer alongside it, and life really doesn’t get much better.
10. Mussels at La Muscleria
If mussels are your thing, then La Muscleria is well worth a visit. This basement restaurant in the Eixample is homage to the tiny molluscs that come with a long list of preparations.
Among them is cider, wine, cava or beer; ginger, curry, pesto or mustard. The curried ones are their most popular, and are definitely worth trying.
11. La Boqueria
If you’re strolling down La Rambla, it’s hard to miss The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, or as it’s better known, La Boqueria. The huge marketplace is world-renowned for its diversity of produce, with fresh fruit and veg everywhere, butchers, fish mongers, sushi, hot food vendors, bar stalls, chocolatiers, and cured ham as far as the eye can see.
No trip to Barcelona is complete without seeing this place for yourself.
12. And of course – pinchos at Maitea, Eixample
If you’ve gone this far in Barcelona without trying pinchos, then Maitea is the best place to discover them. A plate of treats will arrive at your table, and at the end of your feed the waiter will count up the sticks and charge accordingly. How civilised.
The array and quality of the toppings is what makes this Basque restaurant in particular one of the best pincho places in the whole of Barcelona.