Eating in Barcelona is a ritual. This is not only because eating times are different than elsewhere in Europe, but also because we love the act of eating.
We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But we may also have an aperitivo, a merienda or a late-night snack.
Here are 5 useful tips to enjoy snacking in the city:
- Tapas! These are a legend in Spain… In Barcelona, they are different than those from Madrid, Bilbao and Seville. Here, we love patatas bravas (hot spuds), ensaladilla rusa (Russian salad) and anchoas (anchovies). We eat tapas before lunch and dinner, as an apéritif. A word of caution, however: good tapas are always served in very crowded bars and restaurants. Avoid empty ones.
- You should try jamon ibérico (Spanish cured ham) at least once (The best is black in color, called de bellota). Where? Try Ciudad Condal, La bodegueta, Cerveseria Catalana, 5 jotas, Cañete or Casa Pepe. It’s best to have it with pa amb tomàquet (bread with rubbed tomato).
- Order a caña (draft beer) or a vino tinto (a glass of red wine) while eating jamón. Some Catalan and Spanish wines are very good. Try DO Priorat, Ribera del Duero, and Toro. Jamón also combines with Manzanilla and Jerez Seco, a dry apéritif from Andalusia: Tío Pepe, La Gitana, La Ina.
- Merienda. This curious Catalan habit consists of a sweet snack between lunch and dinner. Hot chocolate with an ensaimada (sweet pastry) at Granja Viader and other granjas on Petritxol street, or a variety of traditional pastries at Caelum, will bring you to the gates of heaven.
- Late at night, for those who hang out after hours, churros is the best choice. Visitors are often astonished to see these small shops open at 4 am to 5 am just to sell churros to eager youngsters that have been dancing all night long. A churro is a pastry resembling a doughnut or cruller, made from deep-fried unsweetened dough and sprinkled with sugar.
À la carte recommendations from a cool, à la carte tour in a convertible in Barcelona.