Our guide to What to eat in Barcelona
No discussion about eating in Barcelona can do justice to the city without discussing tapas. Tapas are small dishes served primarily to boost your appetite for drinking. Yes, Barcelona is that kind of town. After all, the typical Spanish siesta schedule ensures that people are out and about late into the night. When trying to figure out what to eat in Barcelona, you have to hit tapa bars. These are bars that serve alcoholic drinks and tapas in the thousands, and no combination is better than some smooth Barcelonan cava drink and a wide range of tapas. You have to immerse yourself in tapa culture in Barcelona or you will truly miss out.
What to eat in Barcelona: Veggie-based tapas
Tapas, by definition, are small, compact meals that pack a lot of taste without filling you up so much you don’t want any more tapas or, heaven forbid, you stop drinking. The essence of any good tapa dish is its ability to tease your taste buds so a little alcoholic backsplash is in order. After all, the whole chain of tapa bars in Barcelona’s famed Las Ramblas district is laid out to give travelers a culinary tour of each tapa bar’s specialty tapas. In fact, many bars serve distinctive tapas that are the product of family culinary secrets that have been passed on for generations.
This is where ‘tapa hopping’ from one tapa bar to the next truly pays off. You just don’t know what you’ll uncover. Some tapa bars offer tapas that tend to lean more heavily on vegetables. In this category, make sure you look for fried potato balls or fried flour balls with a creamy cheese filling. Eggplant, in different small sized servings are also quite popular tapa offerings. Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are transformed by many tapa bars into small spherical flavor nuggets that combine great flavor with an interesting texture. Different bars have different renditions of garbanzo tapas but you should definitely sample as many of these as possible. The slight flavor differences make all the difference.
What to eat in Barcelona: Meat-based tapas
Spain is famous for its Iberian hams and it is only natural that many tapa bars in Barcelona feature this porcine delight. Of course, each tapa bar has its own particular palate and preference which you’ll definitely enjoy as you try different versions of the classic pork and salt formula for Spanish ham.
Besides pork, there are also tapas with boar, beef cuts, and, of course, fish and seafood. Squid tapas are particularly appetizing especially if seasoned with the interesting Catalonian array of spices. Other meat tapa candidates include frog’s legs and octopus. After a night of drinking and tapa bar hopping, you might feel worn out but once you’re fully rested, chances are you’ll join the legions of past, present, and future Barcelona travelers by heading out again to a whole new set of tapa bars.
If you’re looking to try out somthing else, then don’t miss the Botifarra, a plate of sausage and beans, the Escudella stew and the deliciously fresh Salt Cod served with olives and tomatoes, locally known as Esqueixada