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.
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!
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.
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 Cortes, Carretera de la Arrabassada, km 6.5
- Can Portell, Carretera de Molins de Rei a Vallvidrera, km 6
- El Vinyet, Carretera de Santa Creus, km 2.5
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.
- L’Antic Forn, Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 28
- Restaurant Carmen, Carrer de Valladolid, 44
- El Jardi de l’Apat, Carrer del Albert Llanas, 2
- El Glop, Carrer del Sant Lluis, 24
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