Barcelona for Foodies

 Make way, Rome. Barcelona is the new foodie’s paradise. Beyond Spanish kitchen classics like paella and potato omelet, there’s a wealth of traditional dishes to try in the Catalan capital. A multitude of eateries scattered throughout the city plate up regional Spanish, World, and interesting modern and fusion cuisine. Then there are the city’s gourmet specialty shops and massive open markets. With so much on tap around town, foodies may appreciate a few tips on how to make the most of Barcelona food. Here goes:

Barcelona Food: 5 Easy Tips for making the most of local eats

1.     Stay in a fully-equipped holiday apartment. Think GowithOhAirBnb, Housetrip, or Flipkey. If you’ve got access to a kitchen, you can buy locally sourced raw ingredients and prepare your own gourmet meals. Even if you’re not much on cooking, a nice bottle of wine paired with freshly baked bread, cheese and charcuterie makes for a lovely spread. It’s also much cheaper to prep eats in your holiday rental than order them at a bar. Save splurges on Barcelona food for complicated traditional or fusion cuisine that you don’t want to mess with preparing on vacation.
Barcelona food

Spring Onions, clams in tomato sauce, and a bakery window

2.     Shop at open markets and neighborhood shops for the best possible groceries.  Open markets like La BoqueriaSanta Caterina, and El Ninot are the place to buy the city’s best edible offerings. Markets are a one-stop shop for fresh seafood, high quality fruits and vegetables from Spain and abroad, as well as artisanal cheeses and charcuterie. Small neighborhood shops like bakeries, fruit stands and butcher-shops are also a great option.

3.     Have a drink and a snack at one of Barcelona’s bars de sempre. Bars de sempre are hole-in-the-wall restaurants. The general consensus among locals is they’ve been around forever. The thick coat of dust on the liquor bottles doesn’t usually lie. While they’re not the prettiest places, they’re a truly local experience. They’re a cheap choice for strong drinks and deep-fried tapas, too.

Barcelona food

Cured pigs head, Catalan cheese plate with roasted vegetable plate, and green salad with hearts of palm, artichokes and roasted red peppers.

4.     Enjoy traditional dishes in historic restaurants. Where better to try seasonal favorites like snails, botifarra sausage, or spring onions with romesco sauce than at Barcelona’s oldest restaurants? Fill up on the hearty but inexpensive lunch menu at Can Culleretes, Barcelona’s oldest eatery. Up for spending more?  Savor pricier a la carte dishes at Los Caracoles or 7 Portes.

Barcelona food

Seafood stew with white beans, lamb and potatoes, and seafood paella

5.    Try something new and different. Elsewhere this could be difficult, but in Barcelona, exciting proposals by up-and-coming, as well as world-famous chefs abound. Whether you prefer unique tapas by the Adrià Brothers at Tickets Bar (reservation required) or creative Catalan cuisine at Michelin-star-rated restaurants like Cinc Sentits and Moments, Barcelona’s “new” cuisine is sure to surprise.

This post by Chris Ciolli originally appeared in SweetLemonMag.

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