Barcelona is now well and truly on the culinary world map with a wide selection of sumptuous cuisine and excellent restaurants and chefs.
Catalan cuisine is the traditional cuisine of the region, and there are a whole host of tasty dishes to try in a number of first-class restaurants. So go ahead and indulge yourself on the traditional delicacies that are on offer in the city.
What is Catalan Cuisine?
Catalan cuisine is based primarily on Mediterranean ingredients, including fresh vegetables, olive oil, cheese, pork, fish and many others. The three most fundamental ingredients, however, are oil, wine and bread, which were initially introduced by the Romans and have been a staple ever since.
There are a number of traditional Catalan dishes that you should try during your stay in Barcelona if you get the chance. Escalivada is a delicious dish made up of grilled vegetables, escudella is a stew made from sausages, beans, potatoes and various other ingredients, and ollada is a tasty casserole of vegetables and meat.
A firm favourite is pa amb tomaquet, which is simply a slice of bread with tomato, garlic and olive oil spread over it. This is usually served before a meal to wet the appetite for what’s coming next.
Sauces for meat and fish are particularly prevalent in the dishes. The main ones include romesco, a sauce based on tomatoes, garlic and olive oil, and allioli, a more simple sauce based on oil and garlic.
Bacalao is another important ingredient in Catalan cooking, and is a type of salted cod that is used in stews and salads, most notable in the popular and delicious esqueixada salad.
Catalan Restaurants in Barcelona
There are more Catalan restaurants in Barcelona than can possibly be mentioned in this list. So here is a selection of a few of the most popular in the city, any of which will make a great evening out if you want to try out some sumptuous Catalan dishes.
- La Dama
This is a Michellin-starred restaurant that includes on the menu fantastic goat, lamb and shellfish dishes. It is located at Avinguda Diagonal 423
This restaurant has over 80 years of experience and is one of the most popular places for Catalan cuisine. It would be worth booking early as it can get very busy. You’ll find it at Gignàs 16.
- Café de l’Acadèmia
This rustic restaurant serves up a wide range of traditional dishes to a background of calming classical music. It is found at Lledó 1.
- Set Portes
Opened in 1836, this traditional restaurant serves up huge portions of all the Catalan dishes that you could want in a fantastic setting complete with marbled floors and striking mirrors. Its address is Passeig de Isabel II 14.
Photo of Pa Am Tomaquet with Spanish ham by austinevan