Traveller’s Guide to Barcelona and its Food

by Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala


Aug 1, 2014


Barcelona | Photo: Juan Manuel Monleón Antón

The city of Barcelona is located in the north-eastern region of Catalonia, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. The city is mostly known for its architectural landmarks and its night-life, and there are many other attractions in the city.

There are many reasons why one would travel to Barcelona. Gaudí’s architecture, represented by the yet unfinished Sagrada Familia cathedral and the colourful façade of Casa Batlló, is one of the main reasons to hop on the first flight to Barcelona. Another reason is its history, from the medieval streets of El Raval neighbourhood to the cathedral of the famous Gothic Quarter. The city’s gastronomical culture is another reason to visit the city.



Sant Antoni Market | Photo: Barcelona Tourism

Check out the city’s gastronomical scene. There are many markets, including the Sant Antoni and Boquería markets, where you will be able to purchase local food for a fraction of the price. Sant Antoni is a much more traditional market, with stalls selling fresh fish, cured ham and local fruit and vegetables.

The more famous Boquería market is located just off Las Ramblas, a set of main streets that cross the city from the centre to the coast. In this market you will find colourful stalls selling local products and fruity iced drinks. There are several tapas bars inside the market, including the popular El Quim tapas bar, one of the most authentic ones in the area.

Tapas bars

There are many tapas bars and restaurants in this city. Tapas bars offer a mouth-watering selection of appetizers made using local ingredients and a variety of local drinks. These appetizers range from pimientos de padrón spicy green peppers to hearty potato-based dishes. Visit Dos Palillos bar de tapas, a restaurant where the traditional appetizers are made using ingredients from South East Asia.

Barcelona Tapas

Barcelona Tapas | Photo: José Porras

Trendy Restaurants

If you are more into design, the city offers many trendy restaurants where you will be able to taste local dishes made with a twist. Check out Arola, a centric restaurant located on a terrace overlooking the city centre. The designer interior and the delectable  menu make this place the ideal spot for a fashionable night out. The menu was created by the renown chef Sergi Arola.

If tradition is more suitable for your taste, then check out El Pasadís del Pep. Located in the historical city centre, this gem of a restaurant has narrow passageways and wooden tables.

Typical Dishes

In most similar traditional restaurants you will be able to enjoy surf and turf dishes, here called mar y muntanya. These dishes are made using ingredients from the nearby mountains and the sea. Some of the most typical dishes include fried green asparagus served with thick salt, calçot baby leeks, beef stews, rabbit stews and a variety of fried local vegetables. A traditional breakfast can be found in almost any bar, and consists of a slice of bread drizzled with olive oil and covered in freshly ground tomato. If you are more of a dessert person, then you must try the crema catalana dish, a custard-based dessert covered with caramelized sugar.

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About the Author

Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala

Karthik has been traveling around solo since he completed his M.B.A in 2012. He is passionate about photography, trying out new food and exploring places alone. He writes his experiences on two blogs Romancing The Planet and The Travelling Indian.

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