10 Dishes You Must Try in Barcelona
If you hadn’t yet realized, Barcelona is foodie heaven. There’s a reason that food bloggers from around the world make this a number one destination when visiting Europe.
While you’re in town there are a number of dishes you should look out for when browsing local menus. Here are ten dishes you must try while in Barcelona!
1. Blistered Peppers
I’ve found just about every Mediterranean cuisine incorporates bolstered peppers of some kind into common dishes.
In Barcelona, blistered peppers are served as a dish of their own, usually served during lunchtime dining.
Blistered peppers are usually made using green peppers (Padron if possible) that are grilled until the inside is soft and the outside is blistered, even blackened. They are served as is and sprinkled with sea salt and aioli for taste.
In Barcelona, it is not customary for blistered peppers to be spicy in flavor. These are generally mild peppers with a heat rating of between just one and two out of ten.
2. Patatas Bravas
Basically, this is a small portion of cubed potatoes that are cooked by frying them in oil. They are doused in spices, and topped with a spicy tomato marinara-type sauce and also served with aioli.
Different restaurants in Barcelona will offer different renditions of the dish, some spicier than others. I recommend tying as many as possible!
Paella is another dish you won’t escape with ease while in Spain. This is served at just about every traditional restaurant in Barcelona, some making it better than others.
Paella is a seafood and rice dish that is usually cooked over a giant skillet. Saffron is the key ingredient, along with other spices, vegetables and white wine.
It’s a hearty and delicious meal to enjoy in both the summer and the winter. Again, where you decide to eat in Barcelona will determine how good your experience of this dish is. Be very aware of any restaurant that uses stock imagery on their menu; this is not somewhere you want to order this dish.
4. Crema Catalana
Crema catalana is the most important dessert in the Catalan region. It’s basically the Spanish version of the crème brûlée; the most important dessert in the French region!
A blend of custard is plated into ramequins and topped with sugar. The sugar is then caramelized using a blow torch, forming a hard crust layer on top. The main difference between crema catalana and crème brûlée is that it traditionally has an orange flavor to it.
5. La Bombas
Bombas are somewhat like croquettes in concept, though slightly different. On that note, croquettes are also something you should look out to try while in Barcelona!
Bombas area combination of mashed potatoes and meats that are balled up, coated in breadcrumbs and then fried. Their size is left to the discretion of the chef; some are served bite sized while others can be as large as a base ball with intention of sharing.
Bombas are always served with two different aiolis; one at the top and one at the bottom.
6. Spanish Omelet
In Barcelona, an omelet is not reserved as just a breakfast food. Spanish omelets are served all day long and you’ll find them at most local restaurants & cafes.
Spanish omelets are filled with onions and potatoes. They are then served with a generous dollop of aioli (yes, a lot of Spanish food involves aioli!).
If you’ve ever made a regular omelet, making a Spanish one from your Airbnb while in Barcelona isn’t that difficult.
Esqueixada is the most popular Catalan salad you’ll find while in Barcelona.
It’s comparable to a Latin American ceviche, in some ways. It’s a mix of shredded cod fish flesh, tomatoes, onions and black olives. The dish is lightly dressed, and served cold.
Again, you should find it on the menu of every decent traditional restaurant in Barcelona.
In Barcelona, fricando is simply a slow cooked beef stew.
It’s made by combining extremely thin slices of meat with very small local mushrooms. These ingredients are slowly cooked together in a sofrito sauce; a combination of onions and tomatoes, found in many traditional dishes in this region.
Fricando isn’t as easy to find in the city; more formal dinner restaurants would be the best place to look.
The French aren’t the only ones who contend in the cheese making industry. Spain also has its fair share of fermented milks, and mató is the one to look out for if you’re usually a ricotta cheese lover.
Mató is a goat-derived cheese. In Barcelona it is customarily served as a dessert with honey and walnuts. It does well as a dessert cheese as is it completely unsalted in its production.
Like fricando, more formal dinner spots in the city are likely to have mató on their menu. Alternatively you can purchase it yourself from any supermarket.
Finally, the ultimate of the Catalan dining experiences.
Tapas are likely to be the first and the last things you eat on your trip to Barcelona. This is where this style of dining derived.
Tapas are small plated dishes of food that are served with the intention of sharing. Directly translated, the word ‘tapa’ actually means small dish.
The sky is the limit when it comes to what kind of Spanish food is served as a tapa. They can be cold or hot, found in both restaurants and bars. Tapas rule the food game in Barcelona, you’ll see!
While you eat your way through the city, make some time for a free guided walking tour, especially through the streets of Old Town! You’ll also find all of the above mentioned foods here quite easily!