Not only Paella – Catalonian cuisine

What to eat in Catalonia?

Fish and seafood exposed in the restaurant

Being in Barcelona, we can decide on three types of food (which can be mixed up):

seafood and fish

because of the proximity of the sea, we can expect delicious fish (cod is popular and some other white fish, but try sardines!), fresh seafood (octopus, shrimps, mussels, oysters, etc.). This can also be a tapas (see below).

The most famous dish with seafood and fish (as well as meat) is Paella – rice with a meat insert and a hint of vegetables. Nutritious and filling. Prices range between 12 and 25 euros depending on the place and ingredients.


snacks and sandwiches. In such heat, which often prevails in the city, Catalans learned that it is worth to snack small deli. The same applies to wine grinders. Tapas can mean anything from olives, sandwiches with various ingredients, omelettes, to croquettes or seafood.

From the famous tapas you should try the Spanish omelette or tortilla – eggs with onions and potatoes (often in the form of a cake).

Less need to try, but more popular here, is bread with tomato and oil, spices and garlic, but unlike the Italian bruschetta (where there are pieces of fruit), the Catalans simply spread tomato pulp on a slice (Pa amb tomàquet).
You will surely also find dried sausages and meat (eg chorizo).

typical Catalan food

not forgetting that we are in the region of Catalonia, it is worth trying different specialities also with meat. Most often (according to my observation) beef (or other meat) is served here with sauce or soup (like Escudella).
An interesting composition is a dish “from the sea and mountains” (mar y montaigne), meaning a combination of meat and seafood (eg chicken and shrimps).


For dessert, choose Crema Catalana (something like Creme Brulee) from eggs, cream and roasted sugar, and churros – a deep-fried cake with the shape of a five-pointed star pressed into the shape of a rod or ribbon.


Cava as a drink with orange juice and grenadine

To drink, we have a choice of delicious Spanish wines (Rioja, Txakoli etc. No idea about Spanish wines? See the guide) or Cava (yes, from the cave) – sparkling wine from around Barcelona (white or rose). About 95% of all cava is produced in the Penedès area in Catalonia, with the village of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia (been there, drank that 😉 being home to many of Catalonia’s largest production houses. The first Cava was made around 1850’s.

You also should try Sangria – although it comes from Valencia, it is popular throughout the Iberian peninsula. It is a combination of wine (usually red) with fruit, ice and often an “amplifier” (eg brandy). Can contain sugar.


Where to eat in Barcelona?

Places I’ve been and are good to go:

  • Marina Bay by Moncho’s – great degustation menu (for 20 euros 4 starters, Paella or fish or meat and dessert)
  • El Drac de Sant Jordi – great tapas place (for 10 euros 4 tapas, drink and small dessert)
  • A Angelo Marcelo – good traditional Catalan food (with meat)
  • La Cuina de Laietana – nice Sangria and tapas, good food (some fish, some Paella etc.)
  • Cañete – amazing place. Everything is DELICIOUS! Mostly snacks, tapas and little dishes, but try loads of food

And what’s your favourite dish? Or did I forgot to add anything?

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