La Boqueria in Barcelona
Barcelona Food Guide
For years, Charles has been wanting to go to Barcelona for the food and for our recent Europe trip, I knew we needed to stop by Barcelona for him. A lot of trips are revolved around my interests (minus Japan because we both LOVE Japan) so I wanted to give him something to look forward to. We had very high expectations for the food but came out underwhelmed due to Charles’ dietary restrictions (he can’t eat seafood – like hello, PAELLA?! RAZOR CLAMS?! COD?! He couldn’t eat any of that). He pretty much ate the same thing day in and day out. But of course, we enjoyed ourselves and found some dishes that fits his dietary needs! As always, this food guide will be updated through the years if there are plans to go back.
Cerveseria Catalana || Yelp
One of several tapas restaurants Charles and I dined at while in Barcelona. When we first arrived in Barcelona, we tried to stop by here for dinner but the line was about an hour so we went elsewhere. We finally got to dine here on a Sunday morning. We left a little disappointed as they only served sandwiches. We ended up ordering iberico ham and steak sandwich as well as cafe con leche (coffee with milk).
Iberico ham (jamón ibérico in Spain) is one thing Charles wanted to eat while in Barcelona. They are expensive per pound (about $100+/pound) and not easily accessible in the United States. They were actually once prohibited in the United States! They can now be found in certain locations (I’ve seen in New York and in Hawaii) and Charles and I have had it in Tokyo. That said, I highly recommend trying it while in Spain as it’s one of the most expensive delicacies there!
Ciudad Condal/Ciutat Comtal || Yelp
Ciudad Condal (Ciutat Comtal in Catalan) is probably one of the popular restaurants in Barcelona. If you’re going for dinner, good luck, the wait is long. Our tip? Go when it opens when all of Barcelona is asleep (they start their day pretty late). We were able to sit outside as one does in Europe. And for the most part, we were able to order what we would have ordered during dinner so win-win!
From all the restaurants that we’ve tried in Barcelona, this one would be our favorite and we ended up going twice! We enjoyed their cafe con leche and their orange juice (highly recommend getting both!).
We also ordered patatas bravas which are potatoes topped with a white sauce and comes with a side of spicy red sauce. I’m assuming the white sauce is aioli and the red sauce has a very tomato-y taste to it. Charles ordered croquettes but he has had better elsewhere. I’m a huge shrimp fan so I ordered two of their shrimp dishes: shrimp skewers and shrimp al ajillo. The shrimp al ajillo was my favorite as it was cooked in oil, garlic, and chilies! As per usual, Charles ordered iberico ham sandwich but he was fond of the beef tenderloin with foie! Overall, I’d definitely back to Ciudad Condal!
Gata Mala || Yelp
After a trip to see Gaudi’s Park Güell, Charles and I were in search for a place to dine near the area (we were staying in La Rambla which was a bus ride away from Park Güell). We came across Gata Mala which was a short walk from the bus stop we got off to go to Park Güell.
First off, the people who work there were lovely and gave us a free tapa to try! This place was small and definitely had a dive bar vibe going on. But onto the food:
Of course, I ordered patatas bravas (it’s a dish that just never fails for me) and this one was different than the others since it wasn’t fried. I loved the aioli though. We ordered a potato salad dish but this one I would probably skipped. It was a huge portion though but because it had fish in it, Charles couldn’t eat it. We also ordered a steak dish that was cooked perfectly well! Lastly, Charles ordered a foie gras dish that was on a sweeter side and a little too sweet for my liking. He liked it though!
Horchatería Verdú || Yelp
After walking all around Barcelona and then spending some time at La Sagrada Familia, Charles and I walked back to our AirBnb. We decided to stop by Horchatería Verdú to try out Spanish horchata. If you’re used to the Mexican horchata, this is a bit different than what we’re used to. It’s still pretty good and such a good value! We got a really large cup and it took us awhile to finish it!
La Boqueria || Yelp
If you go to Barcelona and you didn’t go to La Boqueria, did you even go to Barcelona? La Boqueria is a foodie heaven, with stalls on stalls full of juices, cured meats, and fruits among other things. You can also find tapas bars inside such as Pinotxo. Charles could spend forever there trying all that the market could offer!
My favorite stall for mango juice is next to an empanada place (that was also good!). Wasn’t sure the name but I’ll make sure to get it the next time I’m in Barcelona!
La Poma || Yelp
On our first night in Barcelona, Charles and I were desperate to find a restaurant to have dinner at given that every restaurant we’ve tried was full. We ended up at La Poma since there wasn’t a line. After we sat down, we noticed why there wasn’t a line: the very poor reviews on Yelp. So Charles and I sat there trying to figure out if we should just stick around or bounce. We decided on the former since we figured we are going to be looking FOREVER for a place to eat and it was already late. But despite the very poor reviews, we actually enjoyed the place. Charles’ thought the croquettes here were the best he’s had the entire trip. This was the first place I tried patatas bravas and it tasted pretty okay; not mad about it.
But the real stunner at this dinner was the cheesecake, oddly enough. It was so good, I wanted more but Charles quickly turned down my request for seconds as we still had an entire trip to go on!
Xurreria || Yelp
After visiting the Barcelona Cathedral, Charles and I found Xurreria while going through the alleys in the Gothic Quarter. We got the churro with the chocolate inside and churros where you dip it in a paper cup full of chocolate! Pretty good! A good spot to go if you want a quick snack while touring the Gothic Quarter!
Zenzoo || Yelp
While dining at La Poma, Charles spotted a boba spot right outside so he knew he wanted to grab boba after dinner. The spot was super cute and kind of reminded me of Japan! We ordered a strawberry with boba. The strawberry drink itself had a very yogurt flavor to it which wasn’t bad at all but it might be too tart for some! I’d get it again though!
Foodie Spots to Visit Next Time:
Bar Mut || Yelp – I really wanted to try out Bar Mut but let me tell you, EUROPE IS EXPENSIVE. So we didn’t want to overspend in Barcelona since it was our first stop during our trip (we still had three more cities to go!). I’ll probably do a much detailed budget for Europe the next time we’re around and include a budget for each restaurant I want to dine at!
Disfrutar || Yelp – This restaurants seems to have stellar reviews on Yelp! 5 stars in fact! Also, can we talk about the interior? The decor is spectacular, modern, contemporary and seriously interior goals. But, as for the food, it seems to lean towards gastronomy and have always found that to be exciting when it comes to dinner. Such a treat! But as with Bar Mut, it seems to be on the pricier side so maybe next time!
El Nacional || Yelp – We discovered this place while we were in Barcelona looking for a place to dine at the first day. I wish we had a chance to go back! It looks a little bit like a food hall with various restaurants inside. As with all of Barcelona, the wait was long for most of the restaurants and we were impatient that day (we had just flew in!).
Pinotxo || Yelp – Located inside La Boqueria, we walked by it a few times but seats were always taken. We may have to go soon as it opens to land seats!
Have you been to any of these restaurants? Let me know if you have or leave a comment on what your favorite places to eat are in Barcelona!