Without a doubt sample these 5 foods in Barcelona
Calçots are chives served with a delicious and very typical sauce called romesco, it is made with tomatoes, peppers, etc. Calcots are best had in a barbeque. If you are going to Tarragona, try them there as Calcots originated from Tarragona.
Where to go - In Barcelona go to El Jardi de l’Apat for a calcotada (a barbeque of calcots!). Combine this with your Park Guell visit, it is almost next door. This place has with nice views of the city below. If you are in the city, head to L’Antic Forn (the old oven) in El Raval,
2. Pan con tomate
Pan con tomate is bread with tomato, served on coca bread. It is delicious. The coca is a kind of bread, but much thinner (looks like pizza) and is served with very different ingredients. This is also a typical food during the festivity of Sant Jordi, but then it is served sweet.
Where to go - El Atril in El Born makes the best Pan con tomate. It is a charming place, no hang ups, with good service.
3. Arroz negro
Arroz negro is black rice a typical dish with squid or cuttlefish. The black colour is because of the squid ink. Also added in are garlic, peppers and other seafood.
Where to go - El Cheriff in La Barceloneta uses fresh ingredients. Book in advance.
The cargols are snails that are served with different sauces, the alioli (with garlic) being the most famous. Spicy sauces are also served along with it.
Where to go - A nice central place for Cargols is El Disbarat in Gracia.
5. Crema Catalana
The famous Catalan cream is like crème brulee, a delicious and traditional dessert with crunchy caramel ... one of my favorites!
Where to go - Head to Granja M Viader just off La Ramblas.
Must-try traditional food of Barcelona
To try Fideua, head to Restaurant Can Majó on Carrer l'Almirall Aixada, by the Barcelona beach. Ask for fideuà with squid ink.
Anchovies have a strong connection to Barcelona. According to folklore, Catalonians embraced the art of salting fish from ancient Greeks. Soon, it became one of the most popular foods for both the classes and masses. Anchovies are served at most tapas bars and always had with Cava (sparkling wine).
In Barcelona, you must try at El Xampanyet, a traditional restaurant famous for its house-cured anchovies and other traditional food.
The recommended place to try Esqueixar in Barcelona is La Vinateria del Call, a tavern-style wine bar located in the historical streets of the old Jewish neighbourhood in Barcelona. You can have a cava, a beer and vermouth to wash down the Esqueixar.
4. Suquet de Peix
To try an authentic Suquet de Peix in Barcelona, head to Torre D'Alta Mar restaurant, located at the top of the tower, where the Teleferic starts from Barceloneta beach. At Torre D'Alta Mar, enjoy great views as well as some incredibly delicious traditional food of Barcelona.
In catalan, escalivada means slow cooking over the ashes. The dish is a mix of vegetables, aubergine, red pepper, onion and tomato grilled in the embers of a wood fire. As can be inferred, this dish is popular with vegetarians coming to Barcelona.
To try Escalivada in Barcelona, head to Sesamo, one of the top rated vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona.
6. Catalan Cream (Crema Catalana)
Try Crema Catalana at Granja Viader, a traditional chocolatier that opened its doors way back in 1870. While at Granja, do not miss their Cacaolat.
7. Faves a la Catalana
This is a traditional seasonal food of Catalan peasants. It is made mainly with fava beans (also known as the broad bean) and slices of botifarra (Catalan blood sausage). Tradition is to prepare this dish in harvest season in an earthen ware dish.
Try this dish at Els Quatre Gats, the restaurant with a rich history. This Barcelona restaurant was the meeting place for famous artists throughout the modernist period in Catalonia. Later on, it was a favorite haunt of Picasso. The menu of this restaurant was designed by Picasso himself.
Molecular Cuisine tips in Barcelona
You cannot leave Barcelona without trying the molecular cuisine in the city. This nouvelle cuisine was really made world famous by Ferran Adria of El Bulli restaurant (now closed).
ABaC by Chef Jordi Cruz, is located in the serene environment of Tibidabo. This is a sophisticated restaurant, Michelin starred and priced accordingly!
Can Jubany by Chef Nandu Jubany, serves Molecular versions of traditional Catalan cuisine.
Tickets by Albert Adria, is the right place for sophisticated, molecular Tapas or as they say "La Vida Tapa."
Also see this guide for some other places to try nouvelle cuisine in Barcelona
Authentic Catalan food
I recommend the Nostrum franchise, it is very cheap and you can find authentic Catalan dishes. I recommend the escudela, a typical soup of Catalonia. There are very healthy options.
Pudding Bar – for families
One of my favorite places to eat and have breakfast is The Pudding Bar located on Carrer Pau Claris. It is a magical place with a spectacular atmosphere, as the design is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. It is inexpensive and offers vegetarian dishes, totally homemade and with very good quality products. I recommend the bagels and the carrot cake as they are delicious. The price per person is around 10-15 euros.
It has another Pudding coffee shop opened recently (av. Diagonal) but this time with "Harry Potter" aesthetic. Highly recommended to go with children, as they will enjoy the decoration and the different workshops they offer.
Les galtes al forn
It is a very typical dish consisting of baked pork cheek. Normally it is prepared on embers or in a wood fired oven, it is the reason why its flavor is incomparable and delicious. It is accompanied by excellent vegetables and sometimes potatoes.
(Where to have : Restaurant Balmes Rosselló, Carrer de Balmes).
This dessert consisting of fresh cheese is very typical of the area, and is usually accompanied by honey and nuts of the first quality. When boiling the milk, lemon juice is added and this mkes the dessert very smooth as a result.
(Where to have : Segons Mercat.Carrer de Balboa).
Rovellons a la brasa
This dish is very typical of autumn, as it consists of grilled mushrooms. Added is minced garlic, parsley, salt and olive oil. It is delicious as an accompaniment to meats.
(Where to have : Restaurant Cabaneros, Carrer del Vallespir).