Everything You Need to Know About Calçots

This blog post was originally posted on January 8, 2015 and was updated on November 19, 2017.

Of the wide variety of Catalan cuisine, who would have thought that an onion could be so cherished?

The calçot, a cross between a spring onion and leek, is by and large one of the most beloved products of this region in Spain. Native of Valls, Tarragona (about 100 kilometers southwest of Barcelona), they say a Catalan farmer supposedly began growing them over a century ago. Sweet, tender and absolutely delicious when dipped in romesco sauce, calçots in Barcelona are wildly popular, as well as the tradition that comes with them.

If you find yourself near Barcelona during the winter, you cannot miss the chance to enjoy calçots! Enjoy the full experience on our Taste of the Catalan Countryside Day Trip with Winery Visit and read on for our suggestions of where to find calçots in Barcelona!

Calçots are a delicious kind of onion, ubiquitous in Catalonia during the winter. If you're going to be in Barcelona between December and April, you have got to try them! Read on for more information on where to find calçots in Barcelona.

The Calçotada

Roughly between the months of December and March, when the calçot is in season, locals enjoy the calçotada. A calçotada is a winter barbecue where the calçots are packed tight on a grill, charred and then dipped in that rich and nutty romesco sauce (be sure to remove the charred layer first!). But the feast doesn’t end there! After piles upon piles of these guys come all types of grilled meats, which pair perfectly with romesco sauce as well.

If you’re looking to try calçots in Barcelona, you can’t miss an authentic calçotada. So come with a good appetite, tie a bib around your neck and go to town with the calçots. They only come once a year, after all!

If you're wondering where to eat calçots in Barcelona, the answer is at a traditional calçotada like this one!`
A beautiful winter’s day is the perfect setting for a calçotada!

Get a Taste of the Catalan Countryside

Want to experience a calçotada like a true local? Let us take care of the logistics and join our day trip to a charming village outside of Barcelona on the Mediterranean coast! 

Our private transportation makes the 30 minute ride from the center of Barcelona a breeze. In no time at all we’re at our first stop: the village bodega for a traditional aperitif! Here we taste local vermouth straight from the barrel and nibble on tapas. After a stroll around the picturesque village and a visit to the local market, we head to one of the region’s top-producing wineries for a private walk through the vineyards and a tasting of their organic wines.

The best calçots in Barcelona can be found 30 minutes outside of the center in the village of Alella. That's where this traditional wine emporium is located, and you can drink straight from a porró like this one!
There’s no better place to try your hand at drinking out of a porró than at a traditional wine emporium

Finally, the main event: the calçotada! During this authentic Catalan winter celebration, we feast on the delicious spring onions at a rustic 17th century restaurant that harvests its very own calçots. There’s no doubt about it—these are some of the best calçots in Barcelona. Then it’s time for a lunch of grilled meats and delicious Catalan favorites, all paired with local wines. Don’t forget to save room for dessert!

Sound like fun? It’s an amazing, one-of-a-kind Barcelona experience! On our six-hour day trip from Barcelona, you’ll feel like a local by experiencing a truly memorable taste of rustic Catalan village culture.

Where else can I find calçots?

If you want to try calçots in Barcelona, you have two options: city center or countryside. Many would argue that in order to authentically experience the calçot, you have to go outside Barcelona. Masias, or Catalan countryside houses or farms, are where you will find the rustic atmosphere associated with calçots. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Can CortesCarretera de la Arrabassada, km 6.5
  • Can PortellCarretera de Molins de Rei a Vallvidrera, km 6
  • El Vinyet, Carretera de Santa Creus, km 2.5
One of the best parts of eating calçots in Barcelona is the amazing plate of Catalan favorites that comes next!
Don’t fill up on calçots, because the main course is yet to come!

Don’t have a whole morning to spare? There are plenty of options for great calçots in Barcelona, and you don’t even have to leave the city center. Barcelona is home to a number of restaurants that specialize in calçots, so if you can’t make it out to the countryside, let them bring it to you.

Calçots in Barcelona pair wonderfully with nutty romesco sauce and Catalan red wine from a porró
If you get the chance to participate in a traditional calçotada like this one—don’t miss it!

Escape the city and go local on our Taste of the Catalan Countryside Day Trip with Winery Visit! A truly unique experience, you’ll love the authentic calçotada, farm-fresh lunch and vineyard wine tasting! Don’t miss out on the essential experience of eating calçots in Barcelona this winter.

2 Comment

  1. Suzy says
    January 14, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I love these informative posts that you are doing lately.

    Meanwhile…the prices! 37 Euros for the Calcotadas outside Barcelona and one place even has a menu infantil for 16.90. All the more reason to take advantage of our bbq and put it together ourselves I think.

    Reply
    1. Renée Christensen says
      January 19, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks Suzy! No, calçotadas are not cheap. And the best I’ve been to have been at friends’ houses in the countryside anyway. So if you have a barbecue and the space, you should definitely do one! A delicious romesco sauce is the perfect challenge for someone like yourself!

      Reply

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