Spain is a top contender in the culinary world. Every city boasts its own specialties, especially the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona. There is so much to appreciate in this cosmopolitan city – the beaches, famous art, unique architecture, vibrant nightlife, and delicious food. Many will agree that Barcelona is one of the best food cities around! Be sure to order a variety of tapas – appetizers or small plates – when eating your way through this incredible city. Here are some of the tastiest tapas in Barcelona:
Bikini Sandwich (Ham & Cheese Sandwich)
The classic ham and cheese sandwich is taken to the next level with this gourmet version made with quality Serrano ham, tasty Manchego cheese, and flavorful bits of black truffle. The bread is generously spread with butter then pressed until the cheese is perfectly melted. Stop by Tapas 24 (Carrer de la Diputació, 269, 08007) to try one of the best in the city.
Navajas (Razor Clams)
Barcelona offers some of the freshest seafood around. You don’t want to miss these unique looking clams hiding inside long, razor-like shells. They’re grilled and simply dressed with white wine and chives. They go perfectly with a glass of wine. Grab a seat at El Quim, a popular counter located inside La Boquieria (La Rambla, 91, 08001).
Jamón (Spanish Ham)
You can’t leave Spain without eating jamón! The dry-cured Spanish ham can be found everywhere in the city. The most legendary and famous variety is the coveted Jamón Ibérico. It comes from the Black Iberian pig which is distinguished in stores by their black hoof that accompanies each ham. The finely marbled slices practically melt in your mouth. Order up a plate, or enjoy it in a sandwich. There are numerous stores and even a museum dedicated to this mouthwatering specialty.
Montaditos (Open-Faced Sandwiches)
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These open-faced sandwiches make a perfect meal. They can be topped with a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and seafood. There are a few montadito restaurants, but be sure to arrive early and claim a spot at Quimet & Quimet (Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, 08004) where they offer around 30 varieties of these delightful sandwiches. Try the salmon with yogurt and truffle honey, or the tuna belly with sea urchin. Wash it all down with their house beer.
La Bomba (Potato and Meat Ball)
Bombas consist of mashed potatoes and meat that are shaped into perfectly round balls and fried. They are topped with garlic aioli and a spicy tomato sauce. These crispy morsels are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike during any time of day. Head over to La Bombeta (Calle de la Maquinista, 3, 08003) where they specialize in these savory bites.
I don’t know what it is about this city, but the simplest foods are transformed into the tastiest meals. Chickpeas are sautéed and mixed with a variety of meats, herbs, and spices. Seriously, you don’t want to miss these. A plate of delectable chickpeas is served up at Bar Pinotxo inside La Boqueria (La Rambla, 91, 08002). The owner, Juanito Bayen, is always behind the counter and makes sure every customer is well taken care of. His smile is contagious!
Tortilla Española (Spanish Omelet)
The Tortilla Española is a thick egg omelet filled with chunks or slices of potatoes and pan-fried in oil. The Spanish omelet has become one of many iconic foods of Spain. It’s great for breakfast and can be enjoyed everywhere throughout Barcelona. Enjoy it standing next to locals at a market or sitting with a group of friends at a restaurant. Don’t be surprised if you want a second slice – it’s that good.
Gambas a la Plancha (Grilled Shrimp)
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Here’s another dish for all you seafood lovers. The sizeable shrimp are perfectly grilled and seasoned with garlic, sea salt, and lemon. Enjoy them with your favorite drink – maybe a glass of sangria or a chilled beer. You can order up a plate of these savory shrimp along with other tasty tapas at Cervecería Catalana (Carrer de Mallorca, 236, 08008). Don’t forget to suck those flavor-packed heads.
Xipirons (Fried Baby Squid)
We’re all familiar with fried calamari. Well, fried baby squid is so much better! The tender little morsels are battered, fried, and served piping hot. The crunchy snack is offered at various places throughout the city and pairs perfectly with a cold beer. All it needs is a squeeze of fresh lemon. Bon profit!
Crema Catalana (Spanish Crème Brûlée)
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How about something on the sweeter side? Egg yolks, milk, cinnamon, and lemon are combined to make a rich custard that is sprinkled with sugar and then caramelized. This heavenly dessert is the Spanish version of a crème brûlée. Or perhaps, crème brûlée is the French version of Crema Catalana! Either way, it’s creamy and delicious. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a signature version at Cal Pep (Plaça de les Olles, 80, 8003).
There was a time when Spain was home to one of the best restaurants in the world, El Bulli. Spanish chef, Ferran Adrià, was the mastermind behind the modern techniques used to produce some of the most unique tapas ever served. El Bulli closed back in 2011, but one of his most famous creations can still be enjoyed today thanks to Tickets (Avenida del Paral·lel, 164, 08015) which was opened with brother, Albert Adrià. The Olive-S is not your ordinary olive. It is a liquid sphere of intense olive flavor that bursts in your mouth. You’ll want to make a reservation well in advanced to enjoy this one-of-a-kind tapa.
Pa amb Tomàquet (Tomato Bread)
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A meal wouldn’t be complete without Pa amb Tomàquet or Pan con Tomate. The tomato bread can be found on almost every menu in the city. It’s enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack, or alongside any meal. Rustic crusty bread is toasted then rubbed with ripe tomatoes and garlic, drizzled with olive oil, and seasoned with a pinch of sea salt. For a perfect rendition of this classic, check out Alta Taberna Paco Meralgo (Carrer de Muntaner, 171, 08036). So simple, yet so good.
What are your Favorite Tapas? Reply below!