Barcelona is a vibrant city with colourful mosaic and interesting architecture. However, there are also part of Barcelona that we should go on to discover, like food and culture.
Many people who want to visit Barcelona, will think about going to taste the local food. The first thing that comes to mind is Paella. However, Paella is actually from Valencia. The traditional Paella is made of rice, rabbit, chicken, snail, green beans and some seasoning. Not the seafood Paella we eat in our countries.
So when I was in Barcelona, I would inevitably ordered seafood Paella, thinking I had to try the Spanish most famous dish. However, to my surprise, there was a Valencia Paella on the menu. Then after listening to our local guide about the food in Barcelona, so the most authentic Paella would be in Valencia. Anyway, this did not stop me from ordering Paella in Barcelona.
But I did discover that, there is another version of Paella that I was not aware of until I heard from the local guide. It is called Fideua. Like Paella, Fideua is cooked on the big flat frying pan but the rice is replaced with noodle. The Fideua is most commonly accompanied with seafood. After tasting Fideua, I would say this is comparable to Paella and to me, it is not as filling as Paella but still give your stomach the satisfaction.
Try Fideua when you are in Spain to give yourself a taste of different side of the Spanish dish.
Another special in Barcelona is the lunch. The culture is that people in Barcelona like to enjoy their food, and often than not their meal timings are different from most of what we used to in our countries. For example, Barcelona lunch time starts from 1.30pm local time.
During lunch, restaurants will roll out Menu Del Dia, which is the lunch special that comes with a beverage, a starter, a main course and a dessert. Menu Del Dia can cost as little as Euro 8, which is a very good deal. Usually they will give you two choices for the starter, main course and dessert. So you have to decide first what you want to eat before you order. The photos below show the Menu Del Dia I had tried during my trip to Barcelona.
Before this trip to Barcelona, I had never tried tapas. So when the free walking tour guide recommended a tapas restaurant in El Born, I decided to give it a try. The restaurant is El Xampanyet. During day time, it was full of locals and tourists. Inside the restaurant there are lots of colourful wall tiles, bottles, antics. The vibe of the restaurant is good and lots of people chattering, eating and drinking.
The service is excellent and fast. Because I did not know how to order, the waitress had helped to recommend a few popular dishes for me to try and her recommendations were very good.
- Address : Carrer de Montcada, 22, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
- Open : 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm, 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm (Tues – Friday), 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm Sat, 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm Mon
- Close on Sundays
My favourite food in Barcelona is churro. This is a snack and it is made of deep-fried dough that extruded through a star shape die. Churro is long and thick with sugar coating or other flavour on the outer layer. There are also other variations with fillings. It is usually accompanied with a cup of thick hot chocolate.
The one I had tasted was Xurreria Sagrada Familia, which is a small family shop near the Sagrada Familia. I had a stopover at this small shop before going for a Sagrada Familia guided tour. There are a few variety of churros and the price is reasonable. I had tried the cream churro. Best churro for me!
- Address : Plaça de la Sagrada Família, 26, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
- Open 9:00 am – 9:00 pm daily
When order food in Barcelona, you can feel a bit intimidated because the waiters/waitresses do not speak English or communication break down due to language barrier. So be patient and be nice. Another way around this is to use translation apps for help. Cheers!