Whether you're studying abroad in Barcelona now, making your bucket list and traveling there soon, or just back in the United States and reminiscing about the food in Spain, here are 10 resources you'll appreciate.
1. Barcelona Food Tours
The small dishes that characterize Spain’s tapas culture makes Barcelona the perfect place to join a food tour. You’ll be able to sample lots of local dishes and plenty of flavors at different restaurants. Food tours have the added bonus of exploring part of the city and taking some time to walk it all off in between stops, so they are well worth doing. You may even make some new friends along the way.
Some favorites (and there are a lot to choose from even beyond this small list) include:
- Devour Barcelona (try the “Tastes and Traditions of Barcelona Food Tour” or “Tapas Like a Local”)
- Barcelona Taste (choose your favorite neighborhood to explore)
- Tapas Evening Walking Tour (with the inside scoop on Catalan tapas culture)
- Secret Food Tours (small,intimate, and personalized)
- Food Lover Tour (with one specifically for market lovers)
- Zucker & Spice Tour (by a Bostonian in Barcelona, an edible history of the city)
- Barcelona Eat Local (with a focus on locally sourced ingredients)
2. Barcelona Cookbooks
The "Barcelona Cult Recipes" cookbook by Stephan Mitsch, released in May 2018.
If you’ve already gone home and you’re craving those Barcelona flavors you loved so much while you were abroad, why not try to introduce them into your own kitchen and cook a Spanish meal for friends? Some of the most recently published include "Boqueria" (from the NYC restaurant that brought Barcelona’s best dishes to the Big Apple) and the beautifully colorful "Barcelona Cult Recipes", both released in May 2018. Last year’s best release was famous chef José Pizarro’s "Catalonia: Spanish Recipes from Barcelona and Beyond". Other notable titles include “Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen” (which takes classic Spanish recipes and adapts them to work in American seasonal ingredients) and “The Barcelona Cookbook”, a long-standing favorite.
3. Barcelona Food Blogs
Some Seeds is a food blog that can serve as a starting point for your Barcelona foodie adventures!
If you’re a foodie exploring Barcelona, one of your first ports of call should be Bobby Nicole’s blog, Some Seeds, a fantastic compilation of everything from restaurant reviews to info on food tours, food festivals and cooking classes. Swedish expat Sara writes another excellent blog called Appetite and Other Stories where you can find reviews of local restaurants and cafes, specialist food stores, and even takeaways. Foodie in Barcelona shares blogger Suzy’s take on the city’s eateries, mixing it up with high end and budget reviews. Barcelona Food Experience has some beautiful photography that you shouldn’t look at when you’re hungry if you’re notable to eat immediately! Lastly, if you’re game to give your Spanish language skills a workout, O Lo Comes, O Lo Dejas is definitely worth a read.
4. Special Diets in Barcelona
Some special dietary restrictions may be more difficult to adhere to than others in Barcelona, but there are always resources out there to help you find your way.
A few that may be useful, depending on your individual situation include:
- The highly rated Vegan Food Tour Experience
- This extensive guide to vegan Barcelona from The Vegan World
- Devour Barcelona's Complete Vegan and Vegetarian Guide to Barcelona
- And Devour Barcelona's other guide on Eating Gluten-Free in Barcelona
- My Gluten-Free Guide to Barcelona has additional suggestions
- Another one worth a read for anyone eating gluten-free is this guide from Barcelona Food Experience
- The same blog has a post about healthy restaurants generally in Barcelona
- TripAdvisor is a great place to start if you follow a halal or kosher diet
CAPA staff members are always happy to help you find ways to meet dietary restrictions in your host city too, so don’t be afraid to ask them to share their local knowledge.
5. Barcelona Food Festival
A self-proclaimed “street food playground”, Eat Street is a favorite when it comes to food festivals in Barcelona. It takes place on the second Saturday every month, where you’ll find “street food in all its splendor” with a different theme each time. You’ll learn about local food, smell and taste plenty of it and perhaps even meet a chef or two. Palo Alto Market in Poublenou is another well-attended space that brings together some of the city’s creative culinary talent in one place. It’s not just food here either. You’ll also be treated to live music, galleries, art and design and some vintage clothes. Buy tickets online. Find a few more websites to help you keep track of all of the food festivals in Barcelona here, here, and here.
6. Barcelona Food Markets
The most famous market, and of course a must-visit when you’re studying abroad in Barcelona, is tourist favorite La Boquería. Get there early to avoid the crowds, which is when the locals go. Pick up a xuxo (a delicious cream-filled croissant-like pastry) and a cortado (frothy, creamy coffee with a bit of milk served in a shot glass) from Pinotxo before carrying on with your day. The Santa Caterina Market will draw your attention with its bright wavy roof. This one has been going since 1845, so lots of history here. Pick up some cheese from Martí Jordi. Another oldie but goodie is Mercat del Ninot which opened in 1894 but is actually one of the most modern in the city having undergone renovations recently. It’s a bit more upmarket, so you’ll find high quality produce and fewer tourists here but you’ll spend more money too. Barcelona Eat Local has a rundown of some of the others worth a visit in this market-filled city.
7. Barcelona Supper Clubs and Food Experiences
In Spain, there’s a culture of seeing food as an experience, of taking time to enjoy meals with others, ideally over the course of several hours, slowly and with good conversation flowing. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy, have a look at Eat With, which shares information about exclusive culinary events hosted by passion ate chefs at homes, rooftops, artist studios, garden terraces, and even on sailboats. You can choose from events like “Rooftop Pilates and Brunch”, “The Best of Catalan Gastronomy on a Sailing Boat” and “Creative Dinner in a Sculptor’s Studio”. If there’s nothing there that interests you, Epicure & Culture has a list of 7 Unique Dining Experiences You Can Have in Barcelona and Culture Trip raves about some of the best supper clubs in the city. For something different, a Barcelona startup has created an app called Sharood which allows you to meet with friends and neighbors for home-cooked meals, paid for with the app’s virtual currency called Sharood Cookies, which you earn when you host a dinner of your own.
8. Barcelona Food Delivery Services
Resto In is one of several food delivery services you can choose from in Barcelona.
We all have evenings when nothing but delivery will do for dinner. Some favorite delivery services among locals include Glovo (a Barcelona startup company that deliver pretty much anything you need, food and beyond, in 60 minutes or less), Just Eat, Resto In, and Deliverum. There’s also a long list of Barcelona restaurants on TripAdvisor that offer delivery. If all else fails, your local CAPA staff members are sure to have some failsafe delivery recommendations of their own that they’d be happy to share with you. Feel free to stop by and ask!
9. Barcelona Foodies on Instagram
Get a head start on all your Barcelona eats by checking out these foodie faves on Instagram!
The ‘Gram is one of the best places to connect with fellow foodies in your host city and to find restaurant and cafe inspiration (including ‘Gram worthy interiors). We have plenty of Barcelona faves, but a few to start with are @inandoutbarcelona (top food, events, and places in the city), @foodyingbcn (the good life, eaten), @barcelonafoodexperience (a mix of high end and budget eats), @barcelonaeatlocal (from the food tour pros), @bcngourmet (partner of @foodyingbcn, so you’ll see similar content, but worth a follow in its own right), @eatinbcn (various food-related experiences in Barcelona), and @bobbiesomeseeds (by the blogger behind Some Seeds, mentioned above, full of stunning photography).
10. Barcelona Restaurant Bookings
The Fork is a worth a try if you're looking to book a nice meal out.
If you want to treat yourself to a nice meal out (no doubt well-deserved after all of that hard studying and internship work you’ve been doing), check out one of the city’s favorite restaurant booking sites. Try The Fork, where restaurant choices are organized by best tables, best deals and most often booked. Open Table is also a good option, which puts an emphasis on searching by neighborhood and even lets you see what’s nearby various landmarks, train stations, tourist attractions, shopping centers, etc...so you can plan ahead or on the run instead of just stopping into a random place to eat and trying your luck.
Get a first-hand experience of the Barcelona food scene while you study and intern abroad in this global city!