In Barcelona food is taken very seriously. People in Barcelona plan supper while eating lunch, when planning a day trip their most important concern is where they are going to eat. Just grabbing a bite to eat is just not an option.
In Barcelona food and eating comes first, when you taste the food you will discover why.
Spanish food is very good and one of the healthiest diets in the world.
In Barcelona you will find all the Spanish food options and varieties.
Catalan cuisine is an ancient Mediterranean style of cooking, characterized by the aromas of the herbs that can be found on the mountains, the animals that are bred locally and the seafood harvested from the Mediterranean.
Spanish food at its best!
If you visit the Barcelona food markets, like La Boqueria you will see all this delicious food on display.
Where I come from people eat to live but here in Barcelona people live to eat!!!
Typically a Barcelona food day starts with something light like a café con leche (large cup of coffee with milk) with a piece of toast or biscuits.
At about 11h it is time for real breakfast, normally a sandwich or croissant, something to keep you going for a few hours.
Lunch is then at around 14h – 15h and normally consists of a starter, main course and desert.
Supper time is normally between 21h and 22h but at times can be even later.
But don't worry in Barcelona you can almost always eat any of these meals at the times you usually do at home.... but if you do you will be eating with other tourists.
A good piece of advice, to make the wait between lunch and dinner easier, do what the locals do....
Grab a bite to eat at around 17h30 and then at 19h30 have a few tapas in one of the many bars.
Tapas, famous throughout the world and everyone's favorite.
Go to this page for more details on tapas: Barcelona Tapas
Look out for the “Menú del día” (Menu of the day), these are usually great value for money. For about 10-12€ you get 3 courses (first course, main course and desert) with bread and a drink (wine or beer or water or a soft drink), but remember coffee is not included.
So what should you order? It depends if you are in the center or in the “barrios” (the districts outside the center)
If you are in the center you will find mainly international cuisine mixed with some typical dishes.
But if you go to the “barrios” : Think easy, don't get too fancy, try the following Catalan classics and you won't be disappointed.
Get ready for some real Spanish food!
A special mention goes to “Paella” - This is a rice dish, I am sure you know what it is! By the way, you'll always find it on Thursdays..
Paella is very popular in Barcelona (even though it comes from Valencia) and if you are looking for a good paella go to the restaurants in the Barceloneta area.
Wow!! Coffee here is excellent...
You can then go on and develop your own preferred mix of these like... “un cortado largo de cafe con la leche fria, descafeinado” which is a decaf espresso with a little more coffee and cold milk.
There are some amazing combinations.... but the standard coffees are great.
Wine is present in almost all meals and there are many great Spanish wines to choose from. One of the closest wine producing regions to Barcelona is just to the south and is called Penedés, especially well known for its Cava, a sparkling wine that is very similar, if not better, than champagne.
Cava goes down really well with seafood and most tapas.
There are also excellent red and white wines produced in the Penedes and if you travel a little further south you will find the Priorat region that also produces some of the best wines in the country.
In Barcelona the standard beer is “Estrella” made by Damm, a company that was established by Alsatian immigrants in the 19th century and now produces 15% of all Spain's beer. They also produce “Voll Damm”, a flavorsome malt beer which is my favorite, it is a little stronger, so take it easy. It must be one of the finest beers ever made.
Other Damm beers are the dark Bock Damm, the smooth AK Damm, the strong Keler and the shandy called Damm Lemon. They also produce an alcohol free beer called Free Damm which is surprisingly good.
The second most popular is “San Miguel” form Lleida which is owned by Mahou.
There are also beers from smaller local breweries.
One of the most famous local breweries is Moritz, they make a lager that was once Barcelona's most popular beer. Since 2004 it has been making a strong comeback. The former subterranean Moritz Brewery, Ronda Sant Antoni 39-43, has been converted into a leisure and cultural center where you can go and taste this crisp lager.
Beer (cerveza) is usually ordered by the “canya”, which is a small draught beer, or in a larger straight glass called a “tubo”.
If you prefer shandy order a “clara” sometimes also known as a "shampoo". Claras are usually made with lemonade or lemon Fanta.
Pints will only be found in the Irish/English pubs.
If you prefer your beer in a bottle order a 200ml “quinto” or a 330ml “mediana”.
Bottled beer is normally a little more expensive than a “canya”.
Barcelona has a lot and I mean A LOT of restaurants serving magnificent food.
Be sure to make the food and drink in Barcelona part of your holiday!
Take your time sampling, tasting and experiencing the food in Barcelona.
I am sure you will want to have a Barcelona food related dinner party when you get back home.
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