Tapas and wine at a restaurant in Barcelona, Spain

A Quick and Simple Barcelona Foodie Guide

Kylee Hayes Food, Travel Tips 11 Comments

Forget the architecture: Barcelona is a food city. Following our recent visit, we wanted to put together a quick guide to Barcelona food. There are so many amazing restaurants to check out in Barcelona. You could spend weeks in the city and hardly make a dent. With such an overwhelming list to choose from, we decided to narrow it down for you in our Barcelona Food Guide. So to help satisfy your culinary cravings, here are some of our favourite picks of what to eat in Barcelona.

How-To Tapas!

The world of a tapas bar is an intimidating place to a newcomer. There’s a chaotic flow at work that everyone else seems to understand. Though at most places, it’s a fairly straightforward process.

Eating and Drinking

Get the bartender or servers attention yourself; they usually won’t ask you if you need help. If you know what you want, order straight away. If not, just point at dishes you see at the bar or that people are eating nearby. Sometimes a menu will be posted, but not always.

For drinks, don’t get too fancy, this isn’t a cocktail bar. Order a glass of beer, wine or Cava — Spanish sparkling wine. Sangria is a popular choice as well, but not served at every bar.

What to Eat

Here is a list of some of the popular choices of tapas you will find. There are many other different types of fish, meat, and vegetarian options as well. But these are ones you’ll likely find everywhere:

  • Pincho De Tortilla/ Truita: Spanish Omelette (frittata) with potato and olive oil.
  • Tripes/Callos: Tripe usually slow cooked in a sofrito (tomato sauce) served with chorizo
  • Jamon Iberico: An amazing nutty ham made from free-range Black Iberian pigs that roam oak forests.
  • Pan con Tomate: Freshly toasted white bread, rubbed with crushed cold tomato and garlic, and drizzled with olive oil;
  • Bombas: Mashed potatoes wrapped around a spiced meat mixture, fried, and topped with aioli — Invented here, it’s truly Barcelona traditional food;
  • Jamon Croquetas: Breaded rolls filled with bechamel and ham, and deep fried to a golden brown;
  • Gambas: Head-on prawns in garlic butter;
  • Pimientos de Padron: Blistered Padron peppers, a great accompaniment to all tapas;
  • Patatas Bravas: A staple to any tapas bar, fried potatoes with a mayo-based sauce. Try ‘Spicy’ Bravas;
  • Boquerones: White anchovies marinated in vinegar, topped with olive oil and parsley;
  • Albondigas: Meatballs in sauce;
  • Pulpo a la Gallega: Octopus topped with smoked paprika on potato;
  • Morcilla a la Planxa – an amazingly delicious blood sausage;
Barcelona Food Guide Tapas selection.
A Selection of Tapas in Barcelona

For First Timers

Tapas is very fast paced, and if you are too nervous to try it on your own, there are many tours available for every budget. They’re a perfect introduction into the flow. However you decide to do so, make sure to visit a tapas bar when in Spain.

Here are our top picks for Tapas Tours in Barcelona:

Tapas Restaurants in Barcelona

There are too many Tapas bars to choose from in Barcelona, you’ll find them on almost every street. We received so many suggestions for places to check out, like the famous ‘Quimet Y Quimet.’ Although we didn’t go, it’s often considered the top tapas restaurant in Barcelona, so make sure to check it out and let us know. To keep things as uncomplicated as possible, here are our top three picks.
 

La Bodega d’en Rafel

  • Address: Carrer de Manso, 52
  • Website

This is a very traditional, Catalan style, family-owned tapas bar with homemade eats and drinks. The prices are amazing, the food is outstanding and the servers are so kind. Though there is a menu in English, our server was more than happy, even with his lack of English, to explain everything and help us order.

We had the Courgette Tortilla (Zucchini Spanish Omelette), two Bombas, Pan con Tomate, and their incredible Morcilla a la Planxa. Throw in two glasses of white wine and the total came to the low price of 11 Euros.

Make sure to ask for the special house-made sauce on the side, and put it on everything. Check out the menu here:

A visit here is a definite MUST on your trip to Barcelona.

Bar Jai-Ca

  • Address: 13 Carrer de Ginebra
  • Website

One of our favourite finds in Barcelona. With two locations just across the street from one another, you might just want to hop into both! It was packed full on the Sunday afternoon we visited, but the buzzing vibe here was addictive.

If you can find the room, squish your way into the place, grab a seat at a table or the bar and order some prawns. This seemed to be the specialty there since they were on every table we saw in the joint.

We ordered Gambas and Jambon Croquetas along with two beer for 12.60 Euro. We suggest you do the same.

Grilled prawns and potato croquettes in a tapas restaurant in Barcelona.
Grilled Garlic Prawns and Iberico Ham Croquettes

El Pintxo

  • Address: Carrer de Petritxol, 9
  • Website

El Pintxo is a different type of tapas experience from the previous two. Grab a table or a seat at the bar, order a drink, then check out the selection of Pintxos (canapes) on display. They are spread out on plates along the bar, each one having its own tasty topping and priced accordingly.

Simply take the pintxos you want to try, either one at a time or grab a whole bunch and save the wooden sticks from each piece. When you are finished, they will count up your sticks and give you a bill — each length represents a different price.

They also have an a’ la carte menu if you prefer to order some hot food.

We had four different pinxtos with a glass of house white each and paid 14.80 Euro.

Barcelona Food Guide featuring El Pintxo tapas and wine.
Jamon Iberico and Melon – Some Things are Classics for a Reason

Barcelona Food Market Eats

One of the best places to find tasty local snacks in Barcelona is at one of the many city markets. However, due to our brief visit, we only had the chance to visit the most famous of them all:

La Boqueria Market at Las Ramblas

The best tapas in Las Ramblas Market are Pinotxo Bar and El Quim which were suggested to us by many travellers. These two places were so busy that we couldn’t get a seat, and were too hungry to wait. Make sure to get here early or you will have to stand behind people waiting for them to be done.

Instead, we just wandered around finding different bites from all types of stalls. We had:

  • Iberico Ham cone: Slices of the sweet nutty ham served in a paper cone (4 Euros) because we really needed to try the ham on its own. Pro Tip: You should too.
  • Empanada Chorizo y Queso: Hand pie with spicy sausage and cheese (2.50Euros)
  • Bacalhau Balls: fried balls made from salt cod served with aioli and hot sauce (2 Euros for 4)
  • Mango Strawberry Juice (1.50 Euro) Make sure to choose a juice that is sitting in ice and has ice covering it, to make sure it has been staying cool. Or get them to freshly make you one. Many were sitting out in the heat most of the day.
A stall in La Boqueria Market Barcelona, selling all kinds of local cured meats.
Cured Meat, a foodies Heaven
Understand
There is some controversy surrounding this place in regards to over-tourism. Over the years, La Boqueria Market has become a major tourist spot — and many locals are not happy. Keep in mind that this is still a market where locals do their daily shopping. It isn’t some attraction built for your entertainment.
When visiting, try to remember a few things:
  • Be respectful of locals;
  • Ditch the selfie stick, and if a sign says no photos, don’t take photos;
  • Be mindful of those around you who might actually be shopping;
  • Generally don’t do anything that will make the rest of us look bad;

Higher-End Fare

When you want to go to a popular restaurant, and don’t make a reservation, make sure to get there before 8pm, it will give you the best chance to get a table since most people don’t eat until later in the evening. As mentioned prior, these are just to help you narrow down the search of endless possibilities of eats in Barcelona. We only chose our top two upscale restaurant picks, because they were the ones that stayed on our minds the longest. They had the best food paired with amazing prices.

Vivant

  • Address: Carrer del Consell de Cent
  • Website

An amazing, diverse menu including gastronomic delights to traditional “Grandma’s recipes” that feel like a warm hug. Although there are several select dishes rotating daily, we opted to order off the menu.

We ordered two Bombas de Bacalao, the Steak Tartare with Dijon ice cream, and the grilled calamari with sausage and mint oil. Everything was phenomenal. With two glasses of house white, the total came to 35 euro.

Try the Menu Del Dia which includes a Starter + Main + Dessert for 11.50 Euros.

Be sure to book ahead.

Barcelona Food Guide featuring Vivant Restaurant food.
Vivant’s Steak Tartare and Dijon Ice Cream – So Good!

Teleferic

  • Address: Placa del Dr. Letamendi, 27
  • Website

A hip restaurant with a great affordable menu, Teleferic won our hearts and our tastebuds. Teleferic always tries to work with locally sourced products or imported from the Basque Region. The Barcelona location is their second restaurant, following the success of the original in Sant Cugat, northwest of the city. Since then, they’ve opened up an award-winning location in San Francisco.

We tried the Iberican pork ribs with BBQ and pickled onion; grilled foie gras with cherry jam; and tomato salad with tuna belly. Complete with two glasses of wine for a total of 32 Euros.

Make sure to make a reservation.

Must-Try Cheap Eats!

Churreria Layetana

  • Address:Via Laietana, 46

This is the top choice for a chocolate and churros stop, as well as the best breakfast in Barcelona. If you fancy a sugar kick first thing in the morning, Churreria Layetana is for you. For 3.60 Euro you get a whole cup of thick, delicious hot chocolate and a bag of freshly made churros.

The place is usually packed full of people, especially in the mornings, so be prepared to wait. As well, the amount of chocolate they give you is enormous, so you can definitely share two servings of churros for one cup of chocolate. Closed Saturdays.

Conesa Entrepans

  • Address:Carrer de la Llibreteria, 1

A very well-priced and delicious sandwich shop right around the corner from the Bishop’s Bridge. It’s a simple fast food-style deli, but the quality is on point and locals love it. They have a variety of meats and fillings as well as vegetarian options. You can stay here and eat or take it to go. Make sure to try the boudin noir (black pudding) sandwich.

We had two sandwiches and a drink for about 10 Euro.

Alternative Eats

Because sometimes you just want a change of flavour, especially if you have been travelling for a long period of time, this is our favourite option for alternative eats in Barcelona.

Takumi Tonkotsu Ramen

  • Address: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes

They have an array of different ramen broths to scarf down, for reasonable prices. An average bowl is around 11€ and everything on the menu looked amazing.

We had the black garlic ramen which had rich, deep flavour, and the spicy Buta Tama ramen. The second could have used a little more spice, but it still tasted amazing.

We also ordered a refreshing side of kimchee with two beer and the total was 30 Euro.
 

Takumi Tonkotsu Ramen in a Barcelona Food Guide.
Ramen is always a Good Idea, anywhere in the world.

Dessert

Swiit Ice Cream

‘Life is better with Ice Cream’
A highly recommended place that we never ended up getting to but had to mention from all the hype. A single scoop cone is 3.50€ and we are told it is definitely worth it. With plenty of flavours to choose from, this home-made gelato is a perfect cool down for those hot summer days in beautiful Barcelona.

I hope you have a chance to check out our top picks of food in Barcelona, in this short food guide. If you love food but don’t like making choices you can also check out this long list of Barcelona food tours, so you don’t have to make any decisions on your own. Check them out here.

Like to read and gawk over food? You are not alone! Check out our food pages, from The Food of Colombia to Eating at Michelin Starred Restaurants and everything in between. We also have an ever growing recipe page from dishes we have tried all over the world. Time to get your drool on!

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Kylee Hayes

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Chris
Guest

Incredible selection of restaurants and ideas for food! I’ve just had a massive dinner and I’m already hungry again. I’d definitely love to try the Tapas, sounds a little daunting though.

Anca
Guest

Our collaborator provided me with a Barcelona itinerary that was packed with recommendations for places to eat! And now I understand why! I think there’s just so many great options to eat in that city, that any guide should seriously concern itself with covering them! Thanks for the inspiration! Now we do have to see it for ourselves!

Elisa
Guest

OMG All of these look and sound so amazing! I’m all about visiting different markets when we travel, so many interesting things to be found and sweet vendors to meet.

wendy white
Guest

Such a great post. It’s making me hungry 😋

Katy Gilroy
Guest

loved this – heading to Barcelona in September so this is really helpful xx #GLTlove

Paradigm
Guest

Barcelona has a lot of dining options that magnifies the effect of multi-cultural influences on food and flavors.