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What to Eat to Get a Real Taste Of Traditional Barcelona Cuisine


Barcelona is a city that draws in foodies from all over the world due to its exquisite cuisine and fantastic wine culture. And while Spain is known for tapas, Catalonia, the region that Barcelona is the capital of, is known for heartier dishes and portion sizes. These 5 plates are shining examples of Barcelona cuisine that highlight the real taste of the city!

Botifarra amb mongetes

Botifarra amb mongetes is one of the most traditional dishes in Barcelona cuisine!

Photo by su-lin on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

The first dish that you need to try to experience Barcelona cuisine is botifarra amb mongetesBotifarra is a pork sausage with spices that can be thrown in the grill or pan-seared. While there are many varieties of botifarra, the one used in this dish is a raw sausage that must be cooked. Other varieties can be cooked or cured. Once the sausage is grilled to perfection, it makes for the perfect accompaniment to tender white beans. While beans and sausage may seem like a strange combination, it’s one that Catalans can’t get enough of.

Mandonguilles amb sípia

Mandonguilles amb sípia is a dish that will please those who love both meat and seafood equally. This dish combines small pork meatballs, mandonguilles, with tender cuttlefish, sípia, in a savory sauce with peas. Another strange pairing, meatballs and cuttlefish feature the best of Catalonia, both the sea and land. The simple sauce is nice and garlicky, which complements both proteins perfectly.


Fideua is at the heart of Barcelona cuisine!

Photo by Jorge Franganillo on VisualHunt / CC BY

We just can’t get enough of fideuà! This dish is quite similar to paella but swaps out the rice for noodles. Most commonly you’ll find thin vermicelli noodles in your fideuà, but sometimes macaroni elbows are used, too. Fruits of the sea are the star players in this dish, like mussels, squid, prawns, clams, and cuttlefish. The locals love to add a dollop of garlic alioli sauce on top and stir it into the fideuà just before eating. It really adds a punch of flavor that goes deliciously well with the noodles and seafood. You can find this dish all over town, but each restaurant puts their own special touch on their recipe. If there’s one dish in Barcelona cuisine that you need to try, this is it.

See more: Where to Get the Best Fideuà in Barcelona, Paella’s Catalan Cousin


Catalan cuisine tends to be quite heavy on meat, and fricandó is no exception. Consisting of mushrooms and beef, this stew takes a couple of hours to prepare but results in tender, tasty meat. Every family has their own recipe for fricandó, some being more wet, others dry, but they all have a few things in common. Thin beef fillets are lightly fried, then mixed in with mushrooms, onions, carrots, garlic, almonds, tomato paste, and more. Left to stew for a couple of hours, the meat becomes super soft and loaded with flavor from the veggies. The sauce is incredible, so have plenty of bread on hand for dipping!


You need to try canelons to get a taste of Barcelona cuisine!

Photo by niudesol on / CC BY

Canelons come in many varieties, so they are perfect for all tastes. Traditionally, canelons are prepared the day after a big meal, like the holidays, since you can use the leftover meat or veggies as the filling. The leftovers are wrapped up in pasta, smothered in bechamel and cheese, and baked until crisp and bubbly. The most common canelons are filled with meat, cod, mushrooms, or sometimes even cheese. No matter what your preference, you’re sure to love this indulgent dish!

Bonus: pa amb tomàquet

We’ve talked about it before, but we just can’t get enough pa amb tomàquet, or tomato bread. It’s a special part of Barcelona cuisine and can be eaten any time of day for any meal!

Want to go where the locals go in Barcelona? Join Food Lover Tour and discover all the best food in the city!