International travel allows people to gain a new appreciation for other cultures, and a big part of any culture is the food. The food of a region is a reflection of their history, their geographical location and the resources that they have available to them.
Barcelona is a city on the northeastern coast of Spain on the Balearic Sea. The food there is reflective of the colorful history of Barcelona and its’ centralized location (to northern Africa and all of the Mediterranean).
Here are some of the great foods (and a couple of drinks) that everyone (and foodies) need to indulge in when visiting Barcelona.
Let’s kick this list off with a couple of great beverages that anyone traveling to Barcelona needs to try.
Sangria - Everyone knows that you have to try a great glass of Sangria. This is a great refreshment on a hot day.
The great thing about Sangria is that every restaurant and Sangria maker has a different take on it. Some places will even offer up to 6 different varieties on their menu.
Cava - This is the sparkling wine of Spain. It is usually a drink that is sweeter , but there is a variation. Brut Cava is a cava that is drier, and it tends to taste more like traditional champagne.
A couple of meats are traditional to Spain should be on everyone’s list of foods to try.
Iberico Ham - Iberico ham is to Spain what prosciutto is to Italy. This ham has become a famous ingredient known well to world-class chefs as one of the best hams in the world.
This ham can be served on its’ own or as an ingredient in a dish. It is cut thicker than prosciutto, so it is not as delicate and a little meatier.
Chorizo - Chorizo is a spicy sausage that is eaten in many different ways including sliced up like salami or used as an ingredient in many dishes.
Manchego - This sheep’s milk cheese pairs excellent with wonderful Iberico ham.
It has a salty, earthy flavor to it and it originated in the La Mancha region of Spain (hence the name). It is eaten all throughout Spain with great popularity.
Dishes And Other Fares
Gazpacho - This is a chilled tomato soup that is really satisfying on a hot Spanish summer day. It sometimes comes served with Pa amb tomaquet or with sides of croutons, red peppers, and onion. No matter how it is served, it’s delicious.
Bocadillos - This is the Spanish version of a sandwich. They are made on baguettes that are soft and crusty all at the same time. You can choose the meat you want on it, and then they are topped with multiple sauces and toppings that can include lentils, lettuce, corn, or cucumbers.
Seafood - Barcelona is located right on the Balearic Sea and just a stone's throw from the Mediterranean. This makes Barcelona a central place for fantastic seafood. One of the great dishes to try is the calamari and squid, which you can get fried or grilled.
Bombas - Bombas are a combination of mashed potatoes and meat rolled in bread crumbs in the shape of a ball and fried. They usually come in two different sizes (like snack and meal size) and they are usually served with one aioli on top and another on the bottom.
Spanish Omelet - This is not the breakfast omelet that is probably coming to your mind right now. This omelet is eaten all day and can come in an individual size or larger and served in slices. It is filled with chunks of potatoes and onions and served with some type of aioli.
Pa Amb Tomaquet - This bread is served with many dishes in Barcelona. It is so popular that if you don’t order it specifically, many servers with ask you if you want it. It is a slice of bread topped with a rub of olive oil and tomato, and a dash of salt.
Everyone puts their twist on the dish. Some will toast the bread, and others will serve it with more chunks of tomato.
Croquettas - This is a dish that is a lot like the Bombas. Croquettas are filled with meat (usually chicken or Iberico ham) and cheese. They are a long oval shape.
Spain can be a food lover's dream. Some fantastic restaurants and cafes line the streets, and all of the best Spanish fares are at your fingertips. They love to serve their food in the small-plate style, so the portions are ideal for eating all day. One thing that you need to be aware of is that there will be different serving size options. A pintxo serving is a portion that is like a two-bite snack, perfect for on-the-go. A tapas menu is going to be a bigger serving size that is meant for sharing amongst a couple of people.
If you're ready to eat your way through Spain, let's chat!