Paella

What to Eat in Barcelona | The Ultimate Guide to the Best Local Food

Often, we determine the soul and culture of a place based on its architectural landmarks or historical monuments or buildings. Sadly, this is an incomplete interpretation of a place. Any traveler worth their salt knows that the only way to get to the throbbing heart of a place is through its cuisine. 

Barcelona will certainly not disappoint in this department.From high-quality street favorites to epicurean delicacies, there is a dish to match your every mood and palate at some of the best local restaurants in Barcelona. All you need to carry with you is your taste buds. We hope they are eager and ready. If you're wondering what to eat in Barcelona, we've got you covered. Our list of the best local food in Barcelona has all you need to know about the city’s culinary soul:

Top 10 Local Foods in Barcelona

Bombas
La Bombas

If you love croquettes and are looking for a Catalan version during your stay in Barcelona, then la bomba must be on your list to try. Made of meat and mashed potatoes that are formed into a ball and coated in breadcrumbs and fried, these are popular bite-sized snacks that can be shared.

This Barcelona traditional food is usually served with two sauces, salsa brava (spicy, with onion and paprika) and aioli (creamy, with garlic and lemon). The intermingling of the sauces and the potato crunch gives it that total ‘bomb’ effect. 

Where to Eat? You must visit Cova Fumada in Barcelona to sample these treats.

Cheese
Manchego Cheese

If you make it a point to try different varieties of cheese wherever you travel, then make sure to try Manchego cheese from the Mancha region of Spain. This hard-aged sheep’s milk cheese has salty, earthy, and nutty flavors all rolled into one making it an absolute palate pleaser. Supremely versatile, it can be paired with fruits, an assortment of nuts, crusty bread, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, or even a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  

 Where to Eat? La Trobada del Gourmet and Fromagerie Can Luc are among the two places in Barcelona, where you can try some fantastic Manchego cheese.

Pa amb Tomàquet
Pa amb Tomàquet

Often, we assume local delicacies to be a product of complex cooking skills, but Pa amb tomaquet dispels such myths entirely. Consisting of toasted slices of bread that are sprinkled with salt, rubbed with tomatoes, and drizzled with olive oil, this highly popular dish is an epitome of simplicity. Utterly delicious on its own, you can reach foodie heaven sooner if you stack it with cheese and/or with slices of meat. 

 The dish is usually eaten for breakfast or served before a big meal, as a tapa, or as a light meal. 

Where to Eat? Visit Paco Meralgo and El Xampanyet to taste some of the freshest and flavorful Pa amb tomaquet.

Iberico Ham
Iberico Ham

If you loved cured meat, then you must certainly not pass the opportunity to enjoy Iberian ham. This is the Spanish answer to Italy’s prosciutto. Usually sliced a bit thicker than prosciutto, this cured ham is meatier. One of the best ways to experience and taste this meat is to eat it without any accompaniment. Later, cleanse your palate with a fresh and fruity white wine for an enhanced experience. 

Where to Eat? Reserva Ibérica in Rambla Catalunya is one of the best places in Barcelona to savor this cured ham.  

Esqueixada de Bacalao
Esqueixada de Bacalao

Esquiexada de Bacalao is a perfect summertime dish, and it is a perfect salad to enjoy on warm days and balmy evenings.  This dish has bacalao (raw salted cod), and it is served with diced tomatoes, onions, and black olives. This light salad is fresh and full of flavor.  We recommend that you pair it with a glass of chilled house white wine for a lip-smacking experience. (Image Credits)

Where to Eat? Make your way to La Vinateria del Call in Barcelona, whenever the urge to try this delicacy strikes.

Churros
Churros

During your Barcelona tour, if you ever feel like a sweet pick-me-up, then make sure you try churros. These long, thin fried pastries with sugar sprinkled on top are best enjoyed with a cup of steaming hot chocolate or café con Leche. We recommend you dip it in indulgent chocolate sauce and enjoy it with a dollop of freshly whipped cream for a decadent touch—trust us, you won’t regret it.

Where to Eat? You can buy the best churros in the Carrer Petritxol district in Barcelona.

Patatas Bravas
Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas are a true-blue crowd pleaser. This deep-fried, crunchy and full of zest dish is always a go-to-choice as an appetizer or a snack. What makes this dish stand out is not just the crispiness of the potatoes but its sauce made of hot pimenton, saffron, sherry vinegar, tomatoes, garlic, and sugar.

 Where to Eat? Bar Tomas and Elsa & Fred are two must-visit places in Barcelona if you want to sample some of the best patatas bravas in town.

Paella
Paella

Any Barcelona food experience is incomplete without the mention of Paella. Originally from Valencia, Paella is a succulent and colorful rice dish prepared with an array of vegetables and aromatic flavors of paprika and saffron, and an assortment of seafood. Eat it as a main course with an assortment of side dishes, namely Caesar salad, slices of bread, Fried Pimientos de Padrón, and roasted bell peppers. 

Where to Eat? Opened in 1836, 7 Portes is indisputably the home to some of the most delicious and traditional paella in Barcelona.

Mató
Mató

Barcelona is home to an assortment of quality cheese. If you are a cheese connoisseur, don’t stop your cheese exploration at Manchego cheese. Mato is another must-try cheese. It has a texture similar to Ricotta cheese.  Sweet, velvety, and spreadable, savor Mato with a drizzle of golden honey and a sprinkling of crunchy walnuts. 

Where to Eat? To get a taste of a really good quality Mato, stop by Formatgeria la Seu in Barcelona.

Crema Catalana
Crema Catalana

A satisfying local food quest can be best judged by the note it ends on. And we reckon the best way to do so is with an irresistible Catalan dessert. Made with fluffy cream infused with flavorful lemon zest and aromatic cinnamon, Crema Catalana is perhaps the best way to round off a typical Catalan meal. 

Where to Eat? If you want to experience the best, we think you should head to Patisseria Escriba located in La Rambla. This well-known patisserie has been serving this sweet dish for almost a hundred years.