Catalan cuisine is amongst the best in the world and it’s no surprise that Barcelona is renowned for its dishes. Whether you’re looking for small plates to have with a rich glass of red wine or a filling dinner with friends, there’s a number of fantastic traditional dishes worth trying below.
Bocadillos are essentially baguette-style sandwiches, filled with all manner of goodness. An easy grab and go meal for when you have a busy sightseeing schedule, they can be filled with anything from thick slices of Iberico ham to aubergines.
This seafood dish is akin to a paella, however it substitutes in short noodles for rice. Cooked all in one big pot and usually for a massive group of people, it’s traditionally cooked with squid, tomatoes and prawns.
As one of the most iconic Catalan dishes, a great Barcelona cannelloni is a must-try on every tourist’s list. Inspired by the Italian dish of a similar name, these thick pasta tubes are usually filled with stewed meat such as duck or chicken and drizzled with a creamy bechamel sauce.
These small plates are essentially tapas, however in Barcelona they come served on bread and speared through with a stick (which is where they get their name from, pintxos means ‘to pierce’). While they hail from the Basque country, they’ve been popularised in Barcelona and there’s a number of bars that specialise in both cold and hot versions.
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Served as a side dish or a simple breakfast, these slices of toasted bread are slathered in olive oil, garlic and tomato. Though they might not seem like much, they’re absolutely delicious and you’ll find yourself reaching for more.
This mix of grilled, smoky vegetables is a Catalan staple and is served both hot and cold. Drizzled in olive oil and vinegar, it usually consists of aubergines and bell peppers though variations also include tomatoes, anchovies, onions and garlic. It’s normally served at tapas bars, as a side dish or as a salad.
Calcots are similar to oversized spring onions and are native to Barcelona, making them a popular vegetable in Catalan cuisine. They’re at their best when they’re charred until the outer leaves turn black, peeled to reveal their soft core and dipped in tangy romesco sauce.
This hearty dish is made up of juicy grilled sausages, served on beds of fried white haricot beans. It’s not a huge departure from a British breakfast, but occasionally it will be served with alioli – a sauce made of garlic and olive oil.
The heritage of this Catalan dessert is all in its name. At a glance, it can be easily mistaken for a creme caramel and is made of sugar, egg yolks, cream, orange peels and cinnamon. To round it all off, the sugar crust is burnt to add a layer of complexity to its taste.