Barcelona is among four favourite cities of mine, and no wonder I like to come back here. My first trip to Barcelona was a business one. I was lucky to get acquainted and work with the best chefs of this great city.

They revealed culinary secrets of Catalonia capital for me. The secrets that are sometimes hidden from ordinary tourists, but are collected with great care by real foodies and enjoyed by them during every new visit.

I was looking forward to the culinary delight the city was going to open for me: from street food to Michelin-starred restaurants. A great choice of products at markets, the best Spanish chefs and fantastic diversity of the city won my heart as early as the planning of my trip.

Please welcome my list of Barcelona culinary adventures.

Parillada De Mariscos

01. Parillada De Mariscos – seafood assortment

There is a small bar counter in the depth of La Boqueria Market, where one can get fantastic Parillada De Mariscos – seafood assortment – which is cooked right on the spot from today’s catch. Everything is quick, relatively cheap and delicious.

I had my breakfasts and lunches all over La Boqueria Market, but that was the place that won my heart with price/service/taste ratio. Try Parillada De Mariscos, and you will be definitely satisfied.

– Plaza de la Boqueria | Ramblas, 08001, Barcelona, Spain

CA L’ISIDRE Restaurant

02. CA L’ISIDRE Restaurant – favourite restaurant of the Spanish king

This cosy family restaurant has nothing to do with glitz or extravagant interior. It is simple and refined. The restaurant is famous for its mushroom dishes, that’s what cheerful chef Jordi Joan told me.

This restaurant is also famous for the fact that the Spanish king never misses an opportunity to have lunch here. It really tells a lot, isn’t it?

– Carrer de les Flors, 12, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Recipe: Porcini in Papillote by CA L’ISIDRE
Suquet De Pescado

03. Suquet De Pescado – thick seafood soup

This Valencian dish is extremely popular in Barcelona. Oriol Ivern – a chef of Hisop with 2 Michelin stars – shared its recipe with me.

Suquet De Pescado – Catalan Seafood Stew
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 6
  • 1 kg fish (sea scorpion, monkfish, dorado...)
  • 8 shrimps
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 500 ml of fish stock or water
  • 500 g potato
  • For the sauce:
  • 500 g roasted almond
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Olive oil
  1. Warm up the olive oil an a big saucepan at a medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and roast until golden brown.
  3. Put the garlic in a mortar, add almond and parlsey, and pound to smooth paste.
  4. Add finely chopped onion to the oil used for the paste.
  5. When the onion becomes golden brown and soft, add peeled and thinly sliced tomatoes and saffron. Roast for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add fish stock or water and cook for 10 minutes, keep stirring.
  7. Add potato, peeled and chopped in 0,5x0,5 dices.
  8. When potato is half-cooked, add cut fish.
  9. When dish is almost ready, add shrimps.
  10. Put the ready dish in a bowl and add garlic paste.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Barceloneta Morning

04. Breakfast on a Barcelona beach – the most romantic morning

Barcelona wakes up late and somewhat chaotic. Therefore, if you are an early bird, I would recommend to get ready for beach breakfast in advance: to buy sets of washed and chopped fruits, jamon and fresh bakery at La Boqueria Market in the evening and to go to La Barceloneta early in the morning, when the whole city is still asleep.

Here, at the beach, one can watch rare passers-by, enjoy sea sunrise and listen to increasing roar of awakening city mixed with the wash of waves.

–Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain

Pa Amb Tomaquet

05. Pa Amb Tomaquet

Slices of crispy white bread, rubbed with tomatoes and sprinkled with olive oil are the symbol of Catalonia. This type of tapas, Spanish snacks, one can found in every Barcelona outlet.

La Caseta del Migdia

06. La Caseta del Migdia – the most beautiful Barcelona terrace

If you use Transbordador Aeri del Port cable car service to get from La Barseloneta to Montjuïc and to walk around picturesque Costa i Llobera garden, then just behind Montjuïc Castle you’ll find the most romantic Barcelona café with splendid seascape.

Drinking wine, while sitting on a cliff and watching unsteady sea and never resting seaport, and having a leisure conversation can be the most remarkable experience in Barcelona.

– Mirador del Migdia, s/n, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

barcelona food market

07. Barcelona markets – enjoyment for those who love cook at home

La Boqueria in Barcelona is one of the most popular European markets. A true gourmet can find everything needed there: fresh seafood, a great number of farmer products, as well as chees and jamon. This market can satisfy anyone, whether a person wants to have a snack or to choose ingredients for a Mediterranean dish.

However, this market is more tourist-oriented, and if you prefer to see the real variety of Catalan products, then I would recommend taking a walk to Sant Antoni Market. It is much bigger and offers a broader selection. Moreover, they cook the most delicious paella here.

– Carrer Comte d’Urgell, 1bis 08011 Barcelona, Spain

Butifarra Amb Mongets

08. Butifarra Amb Mongets

Fired pork sausages with beans or barbecued pork or young lamb ribs as well as great variety of sausage with pepper, garlic and parsley are one more traditional Catalan dish.

Cal Pep Restaurant

09. Cal Pep – a place where the owner decides what you will eat

It is rather difficult to get to Cal Pep. Firstly, as many other popular restaurants it has no regular opening hours: only a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening. Secondly, there is always a line of locals who want to get there. That’s why if you decide to get here line up a half hour before opening.

But it will be well worth the wait. They have no menu here. The owner who is also a chef in a very poor English decides what you will eat. Usually, this is a catch of the day.

– Plaça de les Olles, 8, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Paella Arroz a banda

10. Paella

Any list of Spanish cuisine will be incomplete without paella. This a delicious dish, which a good friend of mine and the author of the book about Spanish cuisine Jorge de Angel Moliner can tell a lot about. This was Jorge who recommended me the best Barcelona restaurants, where the tastiest paella of the city could be found.

Recipe: Arroz a Banda Paella by Jorge de Angel Moliner

The best Paella of Barcelona:

Arrosseria Xàtiva

Arrosseria Xàtiva

Carrer del Torrent d’En Vidalet, 26, 08012 Barcelona, Spain

Can Solé

Can Solé

Carrer de Sant Carles, 4, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

La Mar Salada

La Mar Salada

Passeig Joan Borbó, 59, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Parmesan Gnocchi with Truffle, Sautéed and Raw Mushrooms

11. Parmesan Gnocchi with Truffle – new Spanish cuisine from the best chef of Barcelona

Jordi Cruz Mas is one of the youngest and most talented Spanish chefs. He works in Michelin-starred ABaC. Jordi shared with me the recipe of his most popular dish. This is a new wave, the dish that is very likely to become classics of Spanish cuisine in a decade.

Recipe: Parmesan Gnocchi with Truffle

12. Tapeo – national Spanish pastime

Tapeo is degustation of tapas – national Spanish snacks. They are traditionally served with alcoholic beverages. I would recommend dropping by the best tapas bars of Barcelona in the evening, testing beer or wine and tapas they are served with. This is a really good way to have a great time with a purpose :)

Three best tapas-bars of Barcelona:

Quimet i Quimet

Quimet i Quimet

Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, 08004 Barcelona, Spain

La Cova Fumada

La Cova Fumada

Carrer del Baluart, 56, 08003 Barcelona, Spain



Carrer de Luis Antúnez, 7, 08006 Barcelona, Spain

13. Сalsots

This is onion roasted over the fire and served with salsa romesco sauce, cooked of tomatoes, red pepper, ground nuts and dried fruits. Catalans think that this onion shall and must be roasted on a dry vine, which is stocked up for winter especially for this purpose after harvesting.

Mar I Muntanya

14. Mar I Muntanya – a traditional Catalan dish, a combination of fish and meat

The Catalan cuisine traditionally combines meat and fish, naming it mar i muntanya that means mountain and sea. I highly recommend tasting this unusual combination and the best place for this is Michelin-starred Hisop, where a wonderful chef took the best of squids and added several new ingredients to find a balance with a taste of boudin noir and fennel.

– Passatge Marimon 9, 08021 Barcelona, Spain


15. Panellet-crawl – one more way to have a great time

Apart from tapeo, residents of Barcelona like to drop by various confectionaries and coffee houses and taste panellets and marzipan cookies, traditionally cooked for St. Valentine’s Day.

Traditional panellets are cooked of egg white, sugar and almond, but today every dissent confectionary produces this dessert with more complicated tastes.

Where to try the most delicious panellets:

Patisseria La Colmena

Patisseria La Colmena

Plaça de l’Àngel, 12, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Patisseria Baixas

Patisseria Baixas

Carrer de Muntaner, 331, 08021 Barcelona, Spain
Crema Catalana

16. Candy lovers heaven

Crema Catalana and Brazo De Gitano, Natillas and Turron are some of traditional Catalan desserts. These desserts deserve a separate post, and I would recommend dropping by the best Barcelona confectionaries to taste them.

I started every morning with bakery and a cup of aromatic coffee in Barcelona.

By the way, the best Spanish croissants can be found here:

Granja Dulcinea

Granja Dulcinea

Carrer de Petritxol, 2, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Baluard Barceloneta

Baluard Barceloneta

Carrer del Baluart, 38, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Pastisseria La Colmena

Pastisseria La Colmena

Plaça de l’Àngel, 12, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

By the way, the best croissants of Spain are here:

Hofmann Pastisseria

Hofmann Pastisseria

Carrer dels Flassaders, 44, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Bar Nostalgic BCN

17. Bar Nostalgic BCN – the best selection of Catalon wines

I love wine and prefer it to other beverages. And, of course, I taste local wines in each country I visit. The best way to taste the best wine, apart from travelling around wineries, is to visit local popular bars.

I think, Bar Nostalgic BCN is one of the best in the centre of Barcelona, offering great selection of Catalan wines.

– Carrer de Viladomat, 38, 08015 Barcelona, Spain