Barcelona Food Guide
Greetings, travelers! My name is Julie B. Christensen, a hungry Norwegian food blogger and Instagrammer.
Today I want to share my top food and beverage experiences from my week in Barcelona as a «first timer» in this jaw dropping city. Joining me for part of the trip is the Norwegian Masterchef contestant Chris Hansen, who knows a thing or two about flavor.
By combining our powers of food knowledge, we have found some excellent spots we think you should stop by the next time you are around; Tapas, gelato, coffee, pizza, natural wine, vegetarian food, pastry and some nice parks you can walk around in to build that apetite.
Keep reading to find out more!
When in Spain, tapas is of course a necessity. The word itself actually comes from the Spanish verb tapar, that means «to cover». According to the book The Joy of Cooking, the original tapas dish was a thin slice of bread, used to cover the sherry drinkers glass between sips – to protect them from flies.
We went to three very different tapas restaurants during our stay, that we think is worth mentioning here:
1. TAPEO in the Born Area
Tapeo is a loud and busy tapas bar, offering tradtitional tapas dishes. The vibe is fun, and the space is tight, so prepare to sit shoulder by shoulder with the guy next to you at the counter. Perfect for the social kind! Our top dishes: Cod croquetas and the truffle pecorino with shrimps and black truffle. Yep, that is indeed truffle on truffle.
2. CASA LOLEA
Casa Lolea is a much calmer tapas restaurant, with small tables and cute interior. For the solo traveller, this is the perfect space to bring a laptop and enjoy a nice and relaxed lunch. Our top dishes: The patatas bravas, the burrata salad and the avocado montadito. I also heard a rumour (a little too late) saying the truffle risotto is amazing – so give that a try and tell me what you think!
3. PACO MERALGO
This tapas place is a bit more fancy than the other two, but still super busy and lively. They have a huge menu that varies from the traditional to the more modern dishes. This is also a perfect dinner spot for solo travellers, as they have seats by their counter as well as tables for two and more. On the second floor they can even host private events for up to 20 people. Top dishes: The tuna tataki and the grilled baby scallops.
Coffee lovers unite! I tried two specialty coffee shops during this week. The first is called Hidden, and they have 3 venues across town. The second is called Syra, and they have a whooping 15 venues – so you probably will run into one at some point. The thing I loved about Syra was the passion the coffee maker clearly have for this craft – and even when the line got longer and longer, he still made every cup slowly and right to make sure they are all equally perfect. Bonus tip at Syra: Try the chocolate babka!
THE SWEET STUFF
For ice cream we tried a few spots, but the very best is definitely found at Paralello Gelato. Paralello is run by three italian guys named Matteo, Marco and Francesco. They have a big passion for gelato and brought it here to Barcelona straight from Italy. They describe their gelato as contemporary, and it is competely artisinal. Check out their website to read more about the background, the passion and the gelatos. And most importantly; pay them a visit and taste it!
Demasie is a cookie shop that specializes in cookies, and cinnamon buns. Visit one of their Born venues, and bring a bun (or three) to the beautiful Ciutedella Park. Sit on a bench, eat buns and enjoy life.
Camelia Art Cafe is a very cute cafe not far from the Sagrada Familia. They offer breakfast and brunch too, but the cakes and coffees are just divine. The vibe is french boutique, with lots of details in the interior.
Need vegan or gluten free cakes or dessert? No problem! Veg & The Gang offers excactly that – and its really good.
LUNCH AND BRUNCH
If you crave a classic brunch, you should check out Picnic. It is not far from Arc the Triomf, and they have the perfect brunch plates. My avocado sandwich was made with a fresh sourdough bread, pickled red onions, feta cheese and a perfectly poached egg. Some days, this is just what you need to fuel your body. Book in advance – or prepare to stand in line outside.
The Green Spot is a very good all vegetarian restaurant with a great menu, perfect for both lunch and dinner. Perfect for sharing, and a beautiful venue. Actually, they have 2 venues. We went to the one in Diagonal and we tried the dumplings and the onion tarte tatin.
Natural wine is really popular nowadays, and I am super into it myself. I went to 4 natural wine bars before Chris arrived, that I think is worth a visit: Bar Brutal, Salvatge, Garage, and La violeta. They are all great spots for natural wine, and they also offer a variety of food and snacks. La Violeta is more cozy and sweet, while the other three are all more rough around the edges. Bar Brutal is said to be the birth place of the Brutal wines, so it is a must for every natural wine lovers.
I am not the biggest cocktail lover but I can PROMISE you a trip to Paradiso bar is a must. This bar was ranked no 3 in The Worlds Best Bar 2021. Prepare to stand in line for a while - but it is totally worth it. Try the Volcano, The Cryptonite or The Cloud - or anything else. All the drinks looks and taste amazing. The bartenders are also giving you a good show now and then.
When in Rome.. No, wait - where are we again? We are still in Barcelona, but Italian is one of my absoute favourite cuisines and I always check out pizza and pasta wherever I go. We found two amazing restaurants here that we just have to recommend to you guys. Parking Pizza is one of the best pizza places both Chris and I have ever been to. The venue is really cool as well: the main entrance is not easy to see at first sight. Inside it looks like an old factory, and the tables are shared with other people. The chairs are actually hollow boxes where you can store your purse and jacket. Smart right? We had one pizza with burrata and rosemary, and one with talleggio and egg yolk. Perfect crust, perfect cheese. We were two happy foodies at this point.
Benzina is another interesting italian restaurant, doing a modern twist on the typical italian dishes. This place also has a cool vibe, and the service is really good. I imagine Benzina is a good place to go before a night out.
We went to two cute parks, Parc de la Ciutedella and Parc Guell. Ciutedella is open to everyone, while in Parc Guell is privatized and you need to buy a ticket to enter (around 10 euros). Parc Guell is full of architectural elements and is on the UNESCO world heritage list as a part of Antoni Gaudis work. In Ciutedella you can find great spots for picnics, small lakes and fountains, big lawns, trees and birds all around.
If you ever find yourself in need of a rubber duck – The Duck Store got a great selection.
MY BEST TIP for eating in Barcelona: Do your research and book your tables in advance! This is a busy city and trying to find a good spot when you are getting to hungry is never a good idea. Happy eating!
For more food stories from us, follow julie.b.christensen and dommerkokkensverden on Instagram