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12 Must-Try Foods and Drinks Everyone Will Love When Visiting Barcelona

Updated: Apr 23

Across continents and oceans, food becomes the language of history, geography, and the bountiful resources that shape a region. As we delve into the culinary delights of different lands, we unravel stories simmered in traditions, infused with local ingredients, and spiced with the ingenuity of bygone generations. From exotic spices that transport us to distant lands to humble recipes passed down from family member to family member, the vibrant tapestry of flavors unfolds, inviting us to savor the world's diverse heritage on a plate. Through the language of food, we gain a deeper appreciation for the richness of our global community.

Nestled on the sun-drenched northeastern coast of Spain, overlooking the sparkling Balearic Sea, Barcelona is a melting pot of flavors and a treasure trove for discerning foodies seeking a gastronomic adventure like no other.

With a storied past that echoes the footsteps of ancient civilizations, Barcelona's cuisine reflects its rich tapestry of cultural influences. From the Phoenicians and Romans to the Moors and Catalans, each chapter in the city's history has left an indelible mark on its culinary traditions. Furthermore, Barcelona's strategic location at the crossroads of northern Africa and the Mediterranean has given it a wide range of ingredients, spices, and techniques that infuse its dishes with a distinctive character.


Here are some signature drinks, meats and cheese, and great dishes all foodies need to enjoy when visiting Barcelona.


First the beverages...

1. Sangria

A beloved classic that embodies the spirit of Spanish indulgence. Picture yourself lounging in a charming courtyard on a scorching day, sipping this delightful elixir. Sangria, with its refreshing blend of wine, chopped fruits, and a hint of sweetness offers the perfect respite from the heat. The beauty of Sangria lies in its versatility, as each restaurant and Sangria maker infuses their unique twist, resulting in a kaleidoscope of flavors. With menus boasting a dazzling array of up to six different varieties, Sangria enthusiasts can explore new combinations that will awaken their taste buds.

2. Cava

The sparkling jewel of Spain. Raise your glass and revel in the enthusiasm as tiny bubbles dance on your palate. Cava, often described as Spain's answer to champagne, offers a delightful range of sensations. While it is known for its slightly sweeter profile, there exists a variation that captivates the hearts of those with a penchant for drier delights—Brut Cava. This elegant version exudes a sophisticated charm reminiscent of traditional champagne. As you sip this golden nectar, you'll be transported to a world of celebration, where every moment becomes a toast to life's pleasures.

Next, the traditional meats that make dishes divine...

Now, let's savor the traditional meats that grace the tables of Spain, adding a symphony of flavors to Barcelona's culinary scene. These meats are not to be missed and are essential to any food enthusiast's list.

3. Iberico Ham

Regarded as the crown jewel of Spanish gastronomy, Iberico ham holds a place of honor, much like its Italian counterpart, the prosciutto. Renowned among world-class chefs and discerning palates, this ham is one of the world's finest. With its rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a depth of flavor that lingers on the tongue, Iberico ham is a true testament to the art of curing and craftsmanship. Whether enjoyed on its own, carefully sliced to reveal its marbled beauty, or incorporated into exquisite dishes, Iberico ham adds a touch of luxury and sophistication to every bite. The slices, slightly thicker than delicate prosciutto, offer a robust and meatier experience, enhancing the culinary journey through Spain.

4. Chorizo

A vibrant and flavorful sausage that captivates the senses. Bursting with a medley of spices, this spicy sausage embodies the essence of Spanish cuisine. Sliced up like salami or sizzling on a grill, Chorizo lends its bold flavors to numerous traditional dishes, infusing them with its distinctive smoky and tangy notes. With each bite, the robust combination of spices dances on the palate, creating a symphony of taste that leaves a lasting impression. Chorizo embodies the spirit of friendliness and is integral to Spanish culinary traditions, bringing a fiery kick to tapas, paellas, and countless other mouthwatering creations.

Introducing the cheese Barcelonians love...

5. Manchego

Named after the La Mancha region of Spain, boasts a rich history that stretches back centuries. Its distinctive salty and earthy flavor profile and subtle nuttiness create a remarkable taste experience that lingers on the palate. The cheese's smooth and firm texture, with its characteristic herringbone pattern imprinted on the rind, adds a touch of elegance to any culinary ensemble.

Across Spain, Manchego cheese reigns as a beloved culinary treasure, gracing countless plates and captivating the hearts of cheese connoisseurs. Its versatility shines through as it takes center stage on charcuterie boards, pairs perfectly with fresh fruits and honey, or becomes the crowning glory in a delightful sandwich. With every bite, Manchego offers a journey through the rugged landscapes of La Mancha, where the sheep graze on fragrant herbs and wildflowers, imparting their essence into the cheese.

And last, here are some great dishes and other fare that those in Barcelona simply cannot live without…

6. Gazpacho

A chilled tomato soup that brings relief and satisfaction on a scorching Spanish summer day. With its vibrant red hue and refreshing taste, Gazpacho captivates the senses as it invigorates the palate. Served with a side of Pa amb tomaquet, a traditional Catalan bread rubbed with olive oil, garlic, and ripe tomatoes, or accompanied by croutons, red peppers, and onion, Gazpacho is a harmonious symphony of flavors that celebrates the bounties of the Mediterranean.

7. Bocadillos

The Spanish version of a sandwich that elevates the art of handheld delights to new heights. Picture a soft yet crusty baguette, lovingly embracing an array of delectable fillings. From succulent meats to vibrant sauces and toppings like lentils, lettuce, corn, or cucumbers, Bocadillos cater to every palate, delivering an explosion of textures and tastes with every bite—a culinary masterpiece born from the creativity and passion of Spanish cuisine.

8. Seafood

As Barcelona basks in its coastal glory, the sea bestows upon the city an abundance of treasures from its depths. The calamari and squid take center stage, offering a tempting choice between crispy fried or succulent grilled preparations. Barcelona's proximity to the Balearic Sea and the Mediterranean ensures that these seafood delicacies are as fresh as can be, a testament to the city's love affair with all things aquatic.

9. Bombas

Prepare yourself for a delightful explosion of flavors with Bombas, a culinary gem that combines velvety mashed potatoes and savory meat, rolled into a ball, coated in breadcrumbs, and fried to perfection. These bite-sized delights come in two sizes, offering a quick snack or a satisfying meal. Topped with aioli, one on top and another on the bottom, Bombas are a testament to the indulgence and creativity that define Barcelona's culinary scene.

10. Spanish Omelet

This is not your ordinary breakfast omelet but a versatile dish savored throughout the day. Imagine a fluffy omelet filled with chunks of potatoes and onions, offering a hearty and satisfying experience. Served in individual portions or as slices, this culinary masterpiece is complemented by a generous dollop of aioli, adding a creamy and tangy note to every mouthful.

11. Pa Amb Tomaquet - This humble yet ubiquitous bread accompanies many dishes, its popularity so profound that servers may assume you want it unless otherwise specified. A slice of bread adorned with a rub of luscious olive oil, ripe tomatoes, and a dash of salt, Pa Amb Tomaquet is a timeless classic that embodies the simplicity and perfection of Mediterranean cuisine. Variations abound, with some toasting the bread to enhance its crunchiness, while others delight in serving it with generous chunks of tomato, adding an extra burst of freshness.

12. Croquettas

A delightful treat resembling the shape of elongated ovals. These delectable morsels are filled with an irresistible combination of meat, often chicken or the famous Iberico ham and cheese. With each bite, the crispy exterior gives way to a creamy and savory filling, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that will leave you craving more.

Indulge in the gastronomic wonders of Spain, a true paradise for food lovers. From the enchanting streets lined with incredible restaurants and charming cafes to the small-plate style that allows you to savor the best of Spanish cuisine all day long, the culinary delights of this country await your exploration. Whether you opt for pintxos, the perfect bite-sized snacks for on-the-go adventures, or gather around a table to share tapas with loved ones, every dining experience in Spain is a celebration of flavors and shared moments. So, embark on a culinary adventure and let your taste buds guide you through the rich tapestry of Spanish dishes.

Contact us today to plan your unforgettable adventure to Spain. We have access to fabulous restaurants that will make your journey one of a lifetime. Bon appétit!


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