One of the main issues when visiting foreign countries is knowing what to eat, especially in cities with a wide range of typical dishes. In this post you will learn about the best local Catalan dishes so you can enjoy food in Barcelona. The Catalan cuisine offers a huge variety of products and ingredients so you will be able to decide among a lot of dishes. We recommend you to pay attention to the seasonal products so you get to enjoy the best of your stay in Barcelona whenever you come.
Food in Barcelona – TOP 15 typical Catalan Dishes
1. Bread with tomato
Probably the most famous Catalan dish and at the same time the simplest one. A different and creative way to combine these two ingredients, it consists of a toasted loaf of bread with rubbed tomato, olive oil and salt.
Usually served as an appetizer, this dish is the perfect option for vegetarians. A mix of roasted peppers, onions, tomatoes and eggplants that can be eaten both as a cold or as a warm dish.
Hands down, the most special dish ever created. Calçots are a type of onion that are grilled and then wrapped with newspapers to keep them warm when you eat them. The external layer is burned and you have to remove it and the dip the calçot it in the sauce (made out of tomato, pepper, garlic, almonds, bread and olive oil). Eating calçots with friends is hilarious,and calçotades (meetups to eat calçots) are really common among locals. Since this is a seasonal product, you will only be able to eat it from January to April.
4. Butifarra with beans
Common in rural areas, this delicious recipe combines a large sausage called butifarra with white local beans. It’s a heavy but delicious dish.
Every region in Spain has its own type of soup and escudella is the catalan one. It is a broth made with chicken, potatoes and other vegetables, chickpeas and veal. It’s a tradition to eat it with your family in Christmas.
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Quite popular food in Barcelona, it consists of veal meat stewed with mushrooms. It gains more flavour if it’s cooked a couple days before eating it.
7. Crema Catalana
The ultimate Catalan dessert. It’s a cream made with milk, eggs, sugar, lemon peel and cinnamon. Once the cream is ready it’s sprinkled with sugar that will be burned to create a crunchy layer on top of it.
“Escaixar” means to tear apart in Catalan. It consists of raw desalted cod soaked the day before and usually served with tomato, pepper and olives.
9. Suquet de peix
This was a typical dish among humble people that the fishermen used to prepare back in the days. A fish stew mixed with fish broth and a stir-fry, served with cooked potatoes. A great option to combine with a white wine.
10. Mel i mató
Another sweet dish in the list of food in Barcelona. This dessert consists of mató, a typical catalan fresh cheese made out of goat or sheep milk, served with nuts and honey.
Eggplant and zucchini cubes fried with garlic, onion and grated tomato. Typical not only from Catalonia but also from Comunidad Valenciana.
12. Coca catalana
There are hundreds of versions of it and it can be served with a lot of different ingredients. It’s a type of bread, similar to pizza, that can be used in both sweet or salty recipes.
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Originally from Italy, cannelloni are also part of the Catalan culture, in particular in Barcelona. Because of the difficulty of its elaboration, they are usually eaten only in special occasions such as local festivities or Christmas.
14. Arròs negre
Black rice. The number one summer dish in Costa Brava, this rice is prepared with squid, seafood, onions, garlic and tomato. You better brush your teeth after eating it!
The last dessert on the list, panellets are only eaten in autumn to celebrate La Castanyada (the catalan festivity on the 31th of October). It’s a sweet dough made with sugar, almonds, egg and potato.
Thoughts about Food in Barcelona
As you could see, the Catalan cuisine has a lot to offer to visitors looking for new types of food in Barcelona and for those who enjoy experiencing different gastronomic cultures. Barcelona is probably the best option to get a general idea about the typical dishes in Catalonia and the list above can help you to decide which dishes you want to try. Don’t forget to pay attention to the restaurant recommendations in other posts in this blog to make sure you chose the right restaurant for the right type of food.