This blog post was originally posted on December 1, 2o14 and was updated on September 4, 2017.
Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world for food lovers!
Whether you’re the type to splurge on Michelin stars or simply enjoy a good, home cooked meal, there’s foodie fun for everyone in the Catalan capital. You could easily spend your whole trip exploring Barcelona’s incredible gastronomy! Here are seven things to do in Barcelona for foodies. Every cuisine fiend should have these on their to-do (or rather, to-eat) list!
1. Visit Barcelona’s best markets
Whether you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the beautiful Boqueria Market (La Rambla, 91) or prefer to stay well off the beaten path, Barcelona is home to some of the best food markets in the world. Most Barcelona markets are housed in beautiful structures, from the gorgeous iron sided Mercat Sant Antoni (Calle del Conde de Urgell, 1), to the small but charming Mercat la Concepció (Carrer d’Aragó, 313-317). More modern options include Mercat Santa Caterina (Avenida de Francesc Cambó, 16) and Mercat de la Barceloneta (Plaça Poeta Bosca, 1). These markets each have their own charm and specialties, and visiting them is undoubtedly one of our favorite things to do in Barcelona for foodies. Can’t wait to see inside—take a walk around with our co-founder Lauren Alouise and experience it in all its beauty!
2. Dine at a Michelin star
Barcelona is home to some of the best Michelin star restaurants in the world. Whether or not you trust this famous publication for your dining needs, one thing is for sure: food in Barcelona is taken to the next level at these fine establishments. One of our favorites is the elegant ABaC Restaurant at the ABaC Hotel.
For a full list of the current Michelin star restaurants in Barcelona visit: Barcelona Michelin Guide.
3. Sample Catalan cuisine
If you come to Barcelona looking for tapas and sangria, think again. While both are on offer in our wonderful city, neither are typical foods from the region. Locals have a whole lot more that deserves your attention.
Let’s start with a drink! Cava or vermouth? Are you a fan of cured meats? Try some sweet and delicious fuet, a cured Catalan sausage. If you want a quick bite, try a botifarra sandwich, or a coca topped with sweet or savory delights.
Tired of churros and chocolate? Sample an ensaimada (Mallorcan in origin, but enjoyed in Catalonia) dipped in your chocolate next time. And instead of a big platter of paella (which is also quite delicious when from the right place) try a fideuà, a similar dish made with short noodles called fideos. And ask for the homemade alioli!
4. Fer el vermut
Fer el vermut roughly translates to “do the vermouth” or better yet “go for a vermouth.” But in Barcelona it’s become such a popular phrase that you can use it to simply refer to the act of going out for an aperitif (and pre-lunch or pre-dinner drink and snack) with friends.
Undoubtedly (especially if you keep good company) many will in fact order a vermouth from the tap. Forget the vermouths of your past life and consider this a good moment to move on to better things. Spanish vermouths are incredible and don’t have anything to do with the undrinkable stuff you put into a cocktail. Here you want to look for a respectable brand and order it straight up on the rocks with a twist of orange (the phrase un vermut de grifo will work).
Get ready for an explosion of flavors coming from the different herbs, spices, fruits, and even tree barks that go into aromatizing this lively fortified wine. It’s one of the most authentic things to do in Barcelona for foodies! Before you head out, check out some of our favorite places to fer el vermut and watch the video to see how the locals do it!
5. Pack a park picnic
Amazing cheese, charcuterie, wine, chocolate…you could only be in Barcelona! With all of these fantastic products on offer, one of the best things to do in Barcelona for foodies is pack a picnic and head to your favorite city park for a gourmet meal. We recommend Parc Ciutadella as our top pick (it’s gorgeous!) but Parc Guell or the Barceloneta Beach aren’t bad ideas either!
6. Learn about cava
Another of our favorite Barcelona indulgences is a good glass of crisp cava on a hot day. Luckily, we need not venture far to indulge, as the city is spotted with small cava bars specializing in one of the region’s most known wines. Cava is essentially the Spanish version of champagne (but better and cheaper if you ask us!) and it is made by the same method (though usually with different grapes).
Although there are various regions in Spain that can produce cava, the majority comes from Catalonia. If you have time, visiting a cava producer is a great way to spend the day!
7. Chow down on a Barcelona Food Tour
Last but not least, a food tour in Barcelona is one of the best ways to combine most of the above activities in one intensely food focused experience! One of our top picks is our Gracia Neighborhood Food and Market Tour. Join us and discover the markets, staples of Catalan cuisine and local traditions such as vermouth and cava in a true Barcelona neighborhood. We might be biased, but it’s one of the most delicious things to do in Barcelona for foodies!
Lauren grew up in an Italian-American family where 3-hour meals were the norm. After 10 years in the restaurant industry, she moved to Spain where she launched her popular Spanish food blog, Spanish Sabores, and soon after led groups on the first Devour Madrid food tours.