Top 10 Traditional Food In Barcelona, Spain

traditional food in barcelona
| 4 min read

Barcelona in Spain is one of the top destinations for a good variety of food. It’s in almost all foodies’ to do list to try Spanish cuisine. What many do not know is that Spanish cuisine has such a wide variety, that each cuisine is different for every region. But if you’re planning to go to Barcelona, they almost have everything from every region. It is the Capital after all. There are a lot of local foods that you should give a try. Not only are they delicious, but also have a rich history. Here are some of the top 10 traditional food in Barcelona that you should try!

1. Bombas (potato balls)

You’ve probably seen the famous “arancini” when ordering food in an Italian restaurant. Bombas are the Spanish version of this. Bombas are made up of delicious potato balls filled with meat and spices. They’re close to croquettes, but this is more quirky in terms of taste. Bombas don’t have a strict recipe, you can fill them with anything that you like. An example of this is the vegan Bombas, which is getting more famous in Spain.

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2. Esqueixada de bacallà (cold cod salad)

Esqueixada 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user diluvi used under CC BY 2.0

Want to eat something with high protein but has a low-fat content? This cod dish is the answer. The Esqueixada de bacallà is a white fish based dish with onion, red pepper, tomato, and black olives. It is relatively high in salt content, so this is an automatic favorite by salty food lovers. The Esqueixada de bacallà can be served in two ways: it can be shaped like a Japanese roll, or it can be served as a salad. This dish is served cold, so it’s a go-to during the summers.

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3. Cargos a la llauna (grilled snail)

Source: Pexels

If you’re feeling extra experimental, and your palette is hungry for an exotic taste, then you should definitely try the Cargos a la llauna. This dish is snail based. You read that right. Snails! You shouldn’t worry about hygiene, because these are sold in the Spanish market fresh and clean. There are two ways to prepare Cargos a la llauna so it is up to you if you want to grill them or soak them in tomatoes.

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4. Mel i mató (cheese dessert)

Mel i Mato (Camp Portel)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tamorlan used under CC BY 3.0

When it comes to desserts, Spanish cuisine is nowhere behind. This dessert is made from fresh cheese which is the “mató.” It is similar to ricotta cheese but milder. What’s special about this dessert is that it’s not just another cheesecake. It plays on a tasty mix of honey and nuts. The Mel i mató is one of the primary go-to’s when it comes to Spanish desserts.

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Barcelona Tour Guide

Perry Tours

Perry Tours

Hello! My name is Perry, originally from the heart of Belgium, famed for its waffles and fries. However, it wasn't just the call of the Spanish sun that brought to Barcelona, but rather a captivating encounter with a German-Uruguayan beauty in Thailand. This led to the birth of our son in Ibiza, and eventually, more than two decades ago, I found myself in the vibrant city of Barcelona. My passion for meeting people from different nationalities and cultures, coupled with an insatiable appetite for adventure, has empowered me to transform ordinary days into extraordinary stories. In 2020, I embarked on a new journey by starting my own sightseeing company, showcasing the wonders of Barcelona to people from all over the world. With nine years of guiding experience in this magnificent city, I am thrilled to share its beauty and hidden gems with you.

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5. Allioli (garlic mayonnaise)

Source: Photo by Flickr user Núria Farregut used under CC BY 2.0

Spanish cuisine is so competitive that they even make their own version of mayonnaise called the Allioli. It’s very easy to make because you just mix ingredients and blend them together which are the following: garlic, egg, light olive oil, and lemon juice. The Allioli is usually served with seafood, bread, and other dishes that require a fuller taste.

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6. Pa amb tomàquet (tomato bread)

Pa amb tomaquet
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jennifer Woodard ... used under CC BY 2.0

Think tomato and bread combined together. But instead of just adding the tomato on top of the bread, the tomato is brushed and rubbed on the bread, like a seasoning. The Pa Amb Tomaquet is a classic food in Spain that is usually eaten during breakfast or as a snack. It’s your choice if you want to toast the bread or not. The important thing with this dish is getting the freshest bread and tomatoes.

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7. Sopa de galets (pasta soup)

Sopa de galets
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jordi Domènech i ... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The sopa de galets is a traditional starter dish during Christmas in Spain. Then it is immediately followed by the heavier dishes like the roasted chicken or lamb. It’s a good starting dish because it’s soup with a rich broth. This soup is easily distinguishable because it makes of pasta in shell shape. Simple but festive, you should consider making this your entry dish during the holiday season.

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8. Botifarra amb mongetes (sausage and beans)

Botifarra amb mongetes
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ines Yeh used under CC BY 2.0

According to most Catalans, the botifarra amb mongetes is the traditional Catalan dish that best represents all of the Spanish cuisines. It is also very easy to make. The Botifarra is the main meat of the dish, which is a huge grilled sausage. The mongetes is a Catalan white bean and should be soaked in water overnight. These two are served together, and you can also add aioli and garlic mayonnaise for tastier flavors.

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9. Fideuà

"Fideuà" valenciana
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Juan Emilio Prade... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Originating from Valencia, the Fideuà is a dish similar to the classic paella. Their main difference is that the Fideuà’s base is noodles instead of rice. This dish is like a crossbreed between risotto and paella, so you do get the best of both worlds when you eat a Fideuà.

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10. Crema catalana (creamy dessert)

Creme catalane
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Popo le Chien used under CC0

Have you tried a creme brûlée before? The crema catalana is not far from this famous dessert, but what separates this Spanish dessert from the French is that it is much easier to make. The crema catalana is not made in a water bath, unlike the creme brûlée. It is known for a fact that crema catalanas started appearing in Spanish cookbooks during the 14th century, while creme brûlées appeared in French cookbooks during the 17th century. So it can be said that creme brûlée is actually the French version of crema catalana.

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Satisfy your cravings

Source: Pexels

Once you’ve tried these Catalan dishes, there’s surely no more going back. These dishes are not complicated to prepare. So if you find yourself craving these flavors after your Barcelona trip, you can always make them for yourself. Most of the dishes listed here have ancient history, and are influenced by ancestors who helped in shaping these tasty flavors, so it’s not a surprise if a non-local would want to carry these dishes at their own homes, because it really does have a different impact not only in terms of taste but also in terms of culture and tradition.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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