Top 5 Menus in Barcelona

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Visitors to Barcelona often fall in love with its cuisine, seamlessly switching between vermouth bars and paella specialists without missing a beat. But without proper knowledge, their dining experiences could end up disappointing. Learn the best info about todos los restaurantes en Barcelona.

Look for restaurants offering media menus during lunch hours (typically 12:00 p.m.—3:00 p.m.). These menus provide set three-course meals at an attractive price point.

Gazpacho

Gazpacho is the perfect dish to quell Spain’s scorching summer heat when all is scorched, and you need something refreshingly cool and comforting. Packed full of sweet tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, tart red bell peppers, and garlic, this classic soup combines raw vegetables with olive oil’s decadence for an exquisite combination.

Chilled gazpacho soup is one of the signature Spanish dishes and an embodiment of Mediterranean diet principles. Crafted using only fresh, mostly raw ingredients, this chilled soup dish can serve as an enticing appetizer or starter course during Spain’s hot Summer months.

Gazpacho requires high-quality tomatoes ripened on vines that are full of flavor, such as organic, locally grown varieties if possible. You will also want a high-grade olive oil with a great aroma that really brings out all its qualities; traditionally, sherry vinegar should also be added, though plain white or red wine vinegar works just as well if that option is unavailable.

To prepare the soup, combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor until coarsely chopped. Cover and chill for at least a couple of hours. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary after chilling, as flavors will evolve during that process.

Surf and Turf

Barcelona’s seaside location has had an enormous influence on its cuisine, which features dishes combining land and sea in unique combinations. One classic dish is escudella i carn d’olla: a hearty stew containing vegetables and meat such as pilota (oblong meatball) and botifarra white sausage served over either rice or pasta. It is traditionally enjoyed at Christmas time, when unique escudella de Nadal versions with galet (stuffed shells) may also be served!

Another must-try seafood dish in Catalonia is suquet de peix, an aromatic seafood stew consisting of clams, prawns, monkfish, or cuttlefish with other vegetables and a rich saffron sauce. It is not just found at high-end restaurants—many grandmothers prepare it at home as well!

Elche offers excellent examples of this, with traditional and experimental paella dishes such as wild mushroom & and cod, chicken & and lobster, and paprika-spiced shrimp & and crayfish varieties available for sampling.

Chef Rafa Pena’s casual approach and fine dining accolades make Gresca a must for nose-to-tail eaters. His specialty dishes include roast chicken with fines herbes, calf’s brain with butter and lemon sauce, and pan-roasted sweetbreads. His rustic fare—complemented by photos of old Spanish actors on the walls and white-jacketed waiters in white jackets—provides the ideal atmosphere.

Baguettes

Spaniards respond to English statements like, “Bring home the bacon,” by asking their guests to bring home bread instead. Catalonians take bread seriously as an integral component of the Mediterranean diet, from crusty rustic traditional bread to flaky sweet pastries; Barcelona forms de pa, leagues, and patisseries offer delicious baked goods for sale.

Catalan bread differs significantly from American supermarket baguettes in that it contains olive oil, salt, and yeast to provide extra nutrition and easy digestion compared to standard European bakery fare. This makes authentic Catalan bread soft, nutritious, and easy to digest compared to its counterparts.

As it’s easy to find classic ham, cheese, and tomato baguettes in most bakeries and restaurants in Barcelona, we suggest seeking out those that specialize in coca – the city’s other signature sandwich. This round family bread – often served with tapas or meals as tapas–comes plain or with toppings such as artichokes with ham or escalivada (roasted red pepper, eggplant, and onion)–made famous by Dali’s Theatre-Museum in Figueres, which features replicas as part of its facade.

La Farine in Gracia offers delicious artisanal bread that pairs beautifully with your morning cup of coffee, such as their fresh-from-the-oven baguette. Additionally, La Farine provides breakfast sandwiches and lunch items like toasted pistachio croissants, rosemary scones, and cardamon babka, not to mention its famous sesame flatbread crackers, perfect accompaniments for soups or salads!

Potato Bombas

Bombas are an iconic street food of Barcelona’s Barceloneta neighborhood, made of deep-fried mixtures of potatoes and minced meat that are beloved local specialties and must-try when visiting this vibrant city.

Try them dipped in garlicky aioli and drizzled with spicy sauce, or enjoy them as-is; either way, they’ll be an unforgettable taste of this city.

Though these stuffed potato croquettes may seem like ordinary tapas today, they were actually created during a turbulent period in Catalonia’s history by an esteemed local restaurateur as a clever weapon mimicking that used by early 20th-century terrorists to target civilians. Now considered part of Barcelona culture, they can be found in virtually any bar.

For an alternative take on these bombas, visit Bar La Plata on Carrer de la Merce. There are only four dishes on their menu, but each provides an unforgettable taste of Barcelona. Feast on Pescadero frito (fried fish bites), anchovies, and botifarra—a local sausage made using ancient recipes—before ordering dessert at this ultraminimalist spot.

Your favorite bars offer an impressive variety of Spanish cheeses, such as Manchego from La Mancha, Idiazabal from the Basque Country, and Mahon from the Balearic Islands. Each cheese pairs beautifully with divine romesco sauce, an addictive tomato-based dip that features toasted almonds, smoked paprika, and roasted peppers for a taste sensation!