Spring in Barcelona: eat like a Catalan

Springtime is one of the best times to visit Barcelona. The weather is getting warmer but it’s still at a comfortable heat, and there are typically less people in the city as the tourist buzz hasn’t quite hit yet and many locals leave Barcelona for the Easter break. Better still; springtime is also a great period of culinary excellence, the season boasting not just great food but unique gastronomic experiences.


One of the most renowned traditions of Catalonia is the Calçotada, most easily compared to a huge neighbourhood BBQ. It is during a Calçotada where calçots– similar to spring onions, leeks, or scallions- are eaten, along with a salvitxada or romesco sauce.

Los calçots grow from January to March and were first discovered near Tarragona, a small city roughly an hour south of Barcelona. The traditional way of cooking this delicious delicacy is by char-grilling them over an open fire until the outside is blackened and the inside is soft. The black exterior is then peeled off, revealing the tasty vegetable underneath.

calcotada barcelona

As well as a traditional way of cooking los calçots, there is also a typical way of eating them. They must be swallowed almost whole, the diner leaning their head back to drop the calçot in.

But a Calçotada is much more than just a BBQ, it is a local feast; these culinary delights are usually served with meats, bread, and other vegetables, and of course lots of wine!

To fully make the most of the Calçotada experience, we recommend heading to the countryside as in Catalonia, calçots grow in the forests and national parks. Why not set up your own Calçotada at Torrent de Can Collserola in the Collserola Natural Park, just a 30-minute drive from Barcelona? Or if you’re not sure where to begin, why not try Cal Ganxo, a restaurant in Masmolets which offers an authentic Calçotada inspired by the original recipe from Grandma Cisqueta de Cal Ganxo. Want to stay in Barcelona? We recommend Restaurant Balmes/Rosselló located in the city’s Eixample district which offers a Calçotada set menu for just €27.

calcotada barcelona


Another typical Catalan cuisine is Botifarra, a type of sausage and one of the most important dishes of Catalonia. Botifarra sausage is based on ancient recipes, and can take many forms. It is often served alone, or as a side dish along with other typical regional foods.

One way to serve Botifarra for example is grilled with white beans, but also combined with rice dishes or cooked with an egg mixture.



It wouldn’t be spring without Easter! And apart from some of Spain’s best Semana Santa parades, Barcelona is also home to the sweetest Easter treat: chocolate. Indeed one of the most renowned chocolate museums in the whole of Europe is situated in the Catalan capital: El Museu de la Xocolata.

At the museum, chocoholics have the chance to see how chocolate is made, where it originated from, and of course, try their fair share of it!

After hearing the story of the cocoa plant, head to Cacao Sampaka to try some of our favourite chocolate treats: los bombones. With over 70 different flavours of chocolate, we guarantee that you’ll be picking up some (or lots) of these mouth-watering masterpieces for the plane journey home…

museu de la xocolata barcelona

Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona. AB Apartment Barcelona is an apartment rental agency offering over one thousand short and long term apartments across Barcelona.

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Comments (18)

  1. Ted says:

    Spring is a good time to visit Barcelona. Is there ever a bad time to visit? Every season has its charms, even the sweltering summer. Barcelona is one of my favourite cities on this earth – whatever the season.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Ted, we’ll have to agree with you on that! There really is no place quite like Barcelona…

  2. Kate says:

    I’ve been to paella festivals in Spanish villages where they have huge paella pans about the size of my spare bedroom and it is a brilliant atmosphere, a real fiesta. Next I’d like to be in on a Calçotada. What a vegetarian fest that is. I expect it is the romesco sauce which is the star providing distinctive flavours.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Kate, well of course you’ll have to try a Calçotada as well! Romesco sauce is of course an essential…

  3. Steve says:

    I’ve visited Barcelona a few times but I had never even heard about Museu de la Xocolata. I’ll have to visit it next time I go to Barcelona.

    I just wonder though how much chocolate sales are hit during Lent. Spain has a great Catholic tradition and I bet chocolate is one of the key things that people sacrifice for Lent.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Steve, great thought, we never considered Lent as harming chocolate sales here… guess we’ll have to go out and buy some to make up for it!;)

  4. John Talbot says:

    A nice guide to some regional specialities. I just hope that some of these tasty treats are finding their way back onto the menus. For too long the World was becoming homogenised, reduced down to bland international featureless cuisine. It’s great to see people celebrating their food heritage.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi John, thanks for your comment! They certainly are coming back onto the menus… at least here in Barcelona! You just need to know where to go.

  5. Mr Mr says:

    good, i really appreciate. I just wonder though how much chocolate sales are hit during Lent. Spain has a great Catholic tradition and I bet chocolate is one of the key things that people sacrifice for Lent.

  6. Johanes says:

    Los bombones seems like a yummy dessert to try! Thanks for the interesting information. It makes me curious about what more Barcelona has to offer.

  7. Rachel says:

    Twenty-three years in Spain and I still haven’t tried calçots! Very bad indeed. It’s obviously time to head up north from Andalucia to Barcelona again. I may have missed the Calçotada this year, but there’s always next year!

  8. Martha Middleton says:

    Barcelona is maybe my favourite place in Spain! It is just amazing and indeed the food is a major part of visiting the city. Wonderful post!

  9. Ashley Casey says:

    Best thing to do in Barcelona -Bunquers del Carmel. It’s a hill in the middle-ish of the city with 360 degree views. It’s an old abandoned bunker from the civil war and it’s a very chill atmosphere up there with all sorts of locals and tourists coming up to watch the sunset. Bring some beer or wine with you, and your friends if that’s when you go and I promise you won’t regret it.

  10. Kenny Ralph says:

    Even though spring still seems a long way off in chilly Britain it’s cheering to think that it will be arriving a bit earlier in Barcelona. I’ve visited before in late February or early March and it’s so good to be out and about in just a T shirt and jeans, even go for a walk along the beach without shivering.

    I’m a big Barcelona fan and have visited a couple of times before. This time I want to venture beyond the tourist menus and try some of these great local specialities to get an even more authentic flavour of the city which I’d why I dug out this piece again to get some inspiration.

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