Barcelona is best for...
La Boqueria Food Market: Located on the Ramblas, this must-visit food market's stalls and bars are always bustling with activity
Good cafe: Start your morning the way the locals do with a coffee from a small street cafe or bar
Traditional tapas: For some of the best tapas, head to the Gothic Quarter where many restaurants line the squares
Language: The language spoken in Barcelona is Spanish
Currency: The currency used in Barcelona is the Euro (€)
Local time: Barcelona is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time
Fly to: Barcelona's main airport is Barcelona–El Prat Airport
The Barcelona food scene is booming and you’ll discover all the classic Spanish dishes you know and love, along with local Catalan specialities, around every corner. You’ll find that the cuisine in Barcelona stands shoulder to shoulder with the very best in Europe. If you’re keen to sampling high-end Spanish cuisine on your trip to Barcelona then this city won’t disappoint.
As the food culture in Barcelona is centred around seafood, you’ll find some great dishes here that really make the most of the country’s fishing industry. With mussels from Galicia in north-western Spain and fish fresh from the Atlantic and Mediterranean, seafood lovers will be in heaven. Paella is still a staple of course, and some fantastic dishes can be found in street cafés as well as luxury restaurants. You can pick up fried calamari wherever you go, this is the perfect snack to enjoy when you fancy a beer in the afternoon. Octopus, mussels and razor clams are other popular snacks, and are often served in oil and garlic with a side of fresh bread. Some of the best restaurants in Barcelona are Michelin star rated like El Cercle or Dos Palillos. In fact, there are around 20 Michelin starred restaurants in the city.
Meal times are usually a lot later here and the Spanish might not set out for dinner until 9pm. Apart from a coffee and croissant when they first wake up, locals don’t have breakfast until about 11am. Lunch is from 2pm to 3pm but as tapas can be enjoyed throughout the day, you’ll always find something to keep you going.
Barcelona is a food-based city like much of Spain, and there are street cafés every hundred yards. Sitting outside to enjoy tapas, raciones (larger plates) or a menu del dia (menu of the day) is a great way to get into the spirit of the country.
When it’s time for tapas, you’ll be truly spoilt for choice because it’s everywhere. No city break to Barcelona can be finished without stuffing yourself with tapas. Head to El Raval district where you’ll find Suculent on the Rambla de Raval and can enjoy their twist on traditional tapas. Some of the best tapas you’ll try are in small local bars where it doesn’t get much more authentic. For more substantial plates of croquetas, sardines and batatas bravas (fried potato chunks with seasoning), head to any lively looking bar and order a raciones of your favourite dish.
Speaking of bars, the best bars in Barcelona are spread around the city and usually serve a little tapas with every drink order. Above the Gothic quarter on Carrer dels Flassaders you’ll find Marmalade, a great bar with exceptional cocktails and an Art Deco interior. If you’re the kind of person who likes to see over every city you visit, head up to the 360 Terrace at the top of the Barcelo Hotel. On Rambla de Raval, not far from Suculent tapas bar, you’ll be able to enjoy views across the entire city while you relax with a cool drink.
Whether you’re in the mood for a day of people-watching, tapas and beer, or a classy evening dining out in a Michelin starred restaurant followed by speakeasy cocktails, city breaks here are bound to delight your taste buds, and inspire you to create your own authentic Barcelona food when you get home. This open and friendly city appeals to everyone thanks to its affordable prices, sunny weather and addiction to excellent dining.