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Where to eat fully Catalan in Barcelona? The Quppy top places
What does a a delicious foodie adventure in Barcelona look like? For locals, food is best served with family and friends. Whether at home, at a nearby restaurant, during happy hour munching on tapas, or at the grocery market, often sharing food or drinks with others, it’s common. Catalans are very fond of their family local customs, they are attached to their neighborhood, to the bars and cafes next doors where their parents and grandparents used to go and that they continue to visit quiet every day.
Barcelona shines as a good example of how food is an integral part of their culture, offering plenty of opportunities to eat like a local, from bustling food markets and delicious tapas bars to sandy beach bars and atmospheric restaurants.
Exploring the districts and main attractions of the Old Town, visiting Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia or the beaches of Barcelona, an exciting gastronomic adventure awaits and you will learn where to eat like a Barcelona local, whether it’s paella on the beach or snacking on patatas bravas between museums while sipping a sparkling cava on the Ramblas or grabbing tapas in the Old Town.
Food Markets to taste
Popular with locals, Barcelona’s lively food markets don’t just offer fantastic food – they also gather places for friends and family to shop and then meet up for a bite to eat and a drink at the market when they’re done. Indeed, the buzzing food markets are one of the best places to learn how to eat like a Barcelona local because you are surrounded by many temptations of mouth-watering dishes, immersed in a colorful atmosphere, and interacting with the locals at the tapas bar. At the market, you can also learn about the types of food on display from proud vendors who, in many cases, carry on family traditions and heritage.
Mercat de la Boqueria
On the Ramblas, Barcelona’s pedestrian boulevard, in the very heart of the city, opposite to El Gotic, is the city’s famous Boquería food market. Although the market has become a popular tourist destination, locals continue to go there for the freshest food (especially seafood) and the lively atmosphere, not only to shop but also to stop for a bite to eat or drink. In addition, you can conveniently look into Boqueria at any time to take a break from walking through the cobbled streets of the Old Town and the surrounding attractions.
Mercat de Santa Caterina
When exploring the popular El Born area, it’s hard not to notice the multi-colored undulating roof of the Mercat de Santa Caterina shopping center off Placa Nova. Designed by the Catalan architect Enric Miralles, bright colors represent the abundance of fruit, cheese and vegetables to be found on the rows of the market. Known for delicious traditional Catalan regional delicacies, locals and tourists can peek behind the counter or into the bar to taste regional food and wines.
Mercat de la Llibertat
Just beyond the tourist areas of the Old City is the Mercat de la Llibertat. Built in 1888 and located in the Gràcia district, known for its rustic atmosphere, it is one of Barcelona’s most attractive markets. Unlike other food markets crowded under one roof, here you can find not only fresh stalls with fresh fish, produce, meats and cheeses, but also a Bon Preu supermarket with packaged and canned foods. Inside, there are eateries like Joan Noi specializing in the freshest seafood and daily fish menus.
Mercat de Sants
The Mercat de Sants, opened in 1913, became the center of social life in the Sants-Montjuic area. The charm of this market is partly related to the modernist rectangular metal roof and façade, decorated with ceramics and exposed brickwork. An almost perfect example of the early 20th century, the architecture of this market offers a modern ambience with vaulted ceilings and plenty of flood light. Rows of food stalls are crammed with fresh produce, meat, and seafood, as well as tasting stalls offering ready meals, tapas and small plates.
The tapas scene of Barcelona
Tapas can serve as a main course and are a fun and tasty way to sample creative tapas, especially with friends as you can try them as well. As in all of Spain, tapas have become a culinary trend. You can find tidbits in establishments as casual as a beach bar (xiringuito) or elegant as a 5-star gourmet restaurant. Some of the best tapas can be found in full-service restaurants as well as in small tapas bars.
There are many reasons to visit the El Born area, such as discovering iconic churches, the Picasso Museum, artisan shops, chocolatiers, flamenco shows and… delicious tapas at Sagardi’s. About 5-minute walk from Santa Maria del Mar Church, you will find Sagardi, a restaurant and tapas bar, in Placa Jacint Reventos. Specializing in the Basque cuisine of Northeast Spain, the small plates and tapas are deliciously and beautifully presented.
While visiting the beach of Barceloneta, you can enjoy some tapas at L’Ostia, a traditional tapas bar with authentic cuisine like squid, oxtail, fried fish and other top-notch treats and small meals. Even though this is a seaside location, it is close to the central attractions and worth it to enjoy the coastline views and seaside atmosphere to pass the time in a relaxed atmosphere.
Strolling through the narrow-cobbled streets of El Born, you’ll find El Champanet, one of the most fun, energetic and friendly tapas taverns in Barcelona, right around the corner from the Picasso Museum. Locals often visit the bar enjoying their tapas and bubbly cava. No pre-reservations required.
El Quim de la Boqueria
Situated right on the Ramblas (famous pedestrian boulevard) opposite the El Gotic area, El Quim de la Boqueria has the most privileged location of all tapas bars. Tucked away in the middle of the famous Mercat de la Boqueria food market, the bar stools at their large counter quickly fill up with market shoppers and “regulars” who simply come to enjoy the market’s freshest tapas. Surrounded by the market’s energetic buzz, colorful food stalls, fragrant aromas, and exotic seafood dishes, the dining atmosphere is created by the market itself.
This tapas bar is located in the El Raval area being very popular with locals. Always full, the Canete Bar is prized for its bustling atmosphere and the freshest ingredients found anywhere. The famous traditional specialties include burrata with pesto and tomato, young scallops and calamari, Iberian pork loin, spicy clams and oysters.
Lunch in Spain is late, and if you get up a decent hour before work, you will definitely not last until 14:00! Thus locals are used to have breakfast twice! Many Catalans eat something light when they wake up, like toast or fruit, and later in the morning they eat a croissant, a sandwich, or something similar to keep them going until lunchtime. In fact, many bars and cafes have special offers for breakfast ranging from 2.50 to 4 euros, which also include coffee or tea.
Barcelona is all about great seasonal treats and there are several different foods, pastries and drinks that the locals are obsessed with, depending on the time of year.
Calçots: don’t miss this Catalan green onion between December and April. Gazpacho: deliciously refreshing cold tomato soup is to be tasted throughout the summer period.
One of the most beautiful things about eating in Barcelona is the speed at which the locals do it. There is no rush here and there is always time to sit down and enjoy even a cup of coffee. The waiters are never in a hurry (in fact, it can be quite difficult to get them to bring the check!), and the locals tend to stay at the table long after they’ve finished—a cultural phenomenon known as sobremes that you will definitely adore!