A taste of Barcelona: The most famous dishes from Barcelona

Barcelona is a city which is packed with incredible architecture, art and culture, as well as beautiful beaches overlooking the Mediterranean. The one thing you must make sure not to miss out in Barcelona, is their mouth-watering gastronomy. It is true that they boast some of the best restaurants you will ever come across, but the real beauty lies within the famous dishes of Barcelona.

The fresh food markets in the city offer you some of the best produce, all locally sourced and used to create the delicious dishes you will find around Barcelona. So, which dishes in particular should you be looking out for? Or perhaps even try to cook for yourself? Here’s everything you need to know about the best dishes that are famous in Barcelona.


If you find yourself along the port, by the beach, or at any traditionally Spanish restaurant in Barcelona, it’s impossible to not find paella on the menu. Although these fragrant rice-based dishes are actually from Valencia, they are still an important factor in Barcelona.


Paella is created in a large flat pan, with rice, peas, stock, garlic, tomatoes and sherry or white wine. The aromas of a paella come from paprika and saffron, delicious flavours which will delight your taste buds! Paellas in Barcelona are often topped with fresh seafood, including shrimp, squid, mussels and more! You can also find meat paellas, rabbit paellas, veggie paellas and mixtures! This is a great dish to create at home to impress your guests.

Top tip: top off your paella with some lemon wedges for special Spanish finish.


Croquetas are tapas in Spain, and found among most restaurants in Barcelona. If you have never tried a croquette, you are seriously missing out. Croquettes are a smooth blend of bechamel sauce and potato, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. You will often find croquetas de jamón on your menu in Barcelona, these are iberican ham croquettes, and among the most popular.


Mushroom, crab, lobster and spinach croquettes are also common. Croquettes will differentiate depending on the restaurant, in shape, size, texture and taste. These savoury bites are wonderful for a quick pick me up alongside a cervecita (small beer) on a sunny afternoon. We can recommend Mimos in El Born for croquettes, for a great mixture of different flavours, order the croquetas caseras!


Gazpacho is a bit of an acquired taste, it is a cold garlic tomato soup which originated in southern Spain. This is very popular in Barcelona as an appetiser, there are many different ways of serving Gazpacho, you might receive it in a shot glass or a large bowl depending on where you are.


Patatas bravas

Bravas in Barcelona are hard to miss. No matter where you go, bravas are never too far. These are a potato- based tapas, in which the potatoes are shaped into cubes, fried and served with a spicy tomato bravas sauce and aioli.


The best bravas are soft and fluffy in the middle with a crunchy crispy edge. Similar to croquettes, these vary depending on where you go, so you can pick your favourite depending on your preference! Our top pick for bravas in Barcelona would have to be El Tomás in Sarria. Although visually underwhelming, they will surprise you with their incredible flavours!

Jamon Iberico

Very commonly found on menus in Barcelona is Jamon Iberico. This is literally thin slithers of Iberian ham, sometimes served with slices of Manchego cheese. This is a delicacy in Spain and a great idea for gifts to bring back to friends and family or to give at celebrations.

A taste of Barcelona: The most famous dishes from Barcelona

Tortilla de patatas

No matter what time of the day, a tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette) is the perfect comfort food. This is an omelette type dish created with eggs, potatoes and onion. You can eat tortilla de patatas hot or cold, and you will find this at any Spanish restaurant. This ones easy to make at home, why not give it a go?

tortilla de patatas


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Padrón peppers

These salty delicious peppers can be found in the majority of restaurants throughout Barcelona. Padrón peppers are a delicious tapas dish which is great for sharing, they are sprinkled with salt for extra flavour. The peppers are very mild in taste, but often on a plate of a dozen you might find one spicy pepper!

A taste of Barcelona: The most famous dishes from Barcelona

Crema Catalana

This sweet treat is a speciality in Barcelona, very similar to a french crème brûlée. Crema Catalana consists of eggs, milk- based custard and a sugar top. The difference between your classic crème brûlée and a crema catalana is that the crema catalana is made with milk instead of cream, and the flavours are orange, lemon and cinnamon rather than vanilla. You will find crema catalana on many dessert menus throughout Barcelona, and even as flavours of ice creams in heladería’s such as Baboia in El Born!

crema catalana

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 (12)

  1. Roger says:

    Gazpacho is without doubt an acquired taste. Once you’ve got that taste, Gazpacho becomes very addictive. When I’m in Spain on a hot day around about lunchtime I feel myself longing for a chilled bowl of gazpacho.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      There’s just nothing quite like it on a hot day! Some crunchy croutons on top really seal the deal.

  2. Lynne Gardner says:

    We haven’t been to Barcelona for many a year. On recent trips to Spain we have enjoyed superb meals in Córdoba and Madrid. There’s no doubt in our minds that Spanish culinary skills are on an upward trajectory. We hope to get to Barcelona in the next couple of years. From reading this post it looks as if Barcelona be up there too.

    PS we also had a fantastic meal in Toledo.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Lynne,

      I agree, Spanish culinary skills certainly are on the up. Barcelona in particular has it all when it comes to dining options. Some fantastic light lunch options alongside Michelin star restaurants… foodie heaven!

  3. Steve says:

    When I’m putting a tapas table together the patatas bravas are non-negotiable. You’ve got to have them.

    • Fiona says:

      The crunchy, crusty layer is known as the socarrat. When I order a paella in Spain I always ask for a good socarrat as it keeps the waiters on their toes. It makes them think that they are dealing with a real paella expert. It’s a tactic that usually produces a good meal.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Great tip, thanks Fiona! I will be sure to try this next time.

  4. Neil Russell says:

    A Spanish friend told me that the mark of a great paella is that the bottom is a little burnt and crusty. Ever since then I’ve become obsessed with looking out for that perfect paella. I’ve never dared go for that when I cook a paella myself. I’d love to have an authentic paella in Barcelona.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Neil,

      Thanks for the tip! Hopefully you can find the perfect paella in beautiful Barcelona- there are certainly some great options out there.

  5. Grace says:

    It seemed to me when I was in Barcelona that it is almost compulsory to finish a meal with Crema Catalana. Which is fair enough as it is a perfect light dessert after a big paella or too many tapas.

  6. Cole says:

    I’m a great fan of Barcelona (the soccer club), but never had the opportunity to watch them live. Hope I can manage to go go to Barcelona on a football match and enjoy the game and food and drinks in some pub or so

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