The Best Barcelona Street Food
Food in Barcelona
Tourists flock to Barcelona for its Guadi architecture and proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, but foodies and gourmands come for the food! And although the beautiful city of Barcelona has an abundance of world-class restaurants, the Barcelona street food trend is taking the city by storm.
Culinarily speaking, Catalan, Spain, and particularly Barcelona, has great influences from its Mediterranean neighbors. In fact, Spanish cuisine is usually considered part of Mediterranean Cuisine. Where other Mediterranean countries have mezzes or meze, Spain is best known for its tasty tapas (small plates).
Traditional Spanish tapas include everything from stuffed dates, to garlic shrimp, to potatoes of every kind, and Barcelona tapas are no different. And some of the most popular Spanish tapas double as Barcelona street food.
Eating in Barcelona can be a little overwhelming, so I recommend starting at the Barcelona food market, Mercat La Boqueria. The La Boqueria Market (entrance on La Rambla), dates back to 1217 and is a MUST for any foodie in Barcelona! If you didn’t have this list, it could be your Barcelona food guide!
Strolling along you will find the popular foods in Barcelona, amazing Catalan food, and local Spanish ingredients. The Mercat La Boqueria is sure to be one of your best culinary experiences in Barcelona. You will see colorful seasonal produce, meats and seafood, and plenty of stands selling all sorts of Barcelona street food! Come hungry—this Barcelona food market is one of the best places to eat in Barcelona!
Barcelona Street Food Culture
For foodies in Barcelona, checking out the street food scene is a great way to immerse in the local food culture and taste the traditional Barcelona food. Even if you’re more tourist than food lover, with all that sight-seeing comes the need to grab a bite on the go. And in Spain, street food tends to be more “on the go” than actually “on the street.”
The image of street food that we have in our minds is usually food sold in renovated mail trucks or hot dog stands where you simply grab your food and eat on the go. Or, what used to be regarded as street food in Barcelona, were pastries, popcorn, and other baked goods carried in baskets and hawked by people moving up and down the streets. However, Spanish street food has evolved.
In recent years, the Barcelona street food trend has taken a new form. In the current culture, the Catalans like to sit even when they are having what you may call street food. The good news is these places actually have addresses! And the good news for vegans is that there are many good vegan options in Barcelona!
Barcelona has so many traditional Spanish dishes and delicious places to eat that many visiting foodies find don’t want to leave! If you need more time, Spain’s long-term visa will allow you to stay and really eat your way through the city. So, take your time and enjoy all of the foods in Barcelona one bite at a time!
The Best Street Food in Barcelona
1. Entrepá and Bocadillo—Best Sandwiches Barcelona
Entrepá in Catalan means between bread, so Entrepá are sandwiches between any kind of bread—slices, rolls, or baguette. Bocadillo are sandwiches specifically made from a loaf. To me, the kind of bread doesn’t matter as much as the ingredients between them.
Entrepás can be made from a wide variety of ingredients, ranging from ham, to smoked salmon, to rice and black beans. There are also a wide variety of sauces for additional flavor. If you want to get one of the local favorites, try the Iberico Jamon, a truly famous food in barcelona.
For the best sandwiches Barcelona has to offer try the very affordable Bo de B, don’t let the lines deter you! It may be the best street food Barcelona has to offer!
2. Tortilla de Patatas—Best Barcelona Breakfast
Tortilla de Patatas is one of the most famous foods in Spain, and it is pretty much obligatory to try a tortilla if you are in the country. If you take a road trip through Spain, you are bound to have an opportunity at every stop.
This simple but flavorful Barcelona street food is made with nothing more than eggs, potatoes, salt, oil, and sometimes onions. Basically a potato omelet or frittata, the tortilla can be served in triangles or in a sandwich--the perfect snack to grab for a quick bite as you tour the city.
Since the tortilla is primarily egg, many American and English eat Spanish Tortilla as a breakfast in Barcelona. And that is fine, however, this famous Spanish dish is eaten all day long and it is a traditional tapas dish as well.
This famous street food in Spain can be found literally everywhere in Barcelona, but El Xampanyet is my favorite place for Tortillas.
3. Bikini—French Influenced Barcelona Cuisine
Do not let the name deceive you; you eat this bikini, not wear it to the beach. In other words, it’s Bikini food, not Bikini clothes.
This extra delicious Barcelona sandwich gets its name from a night club called Sala Bikini. Sala bikini was not only a hotspot for music and dancing in the 50s but they also served their own version of French Croque Monsieur, which later simply became known as “The Bikini.”
The bikini grew in popularity, and transcended the club to become one of the most sought-out street foods in Barcelona. The Bikini is definitely one of the must-try foods to eat in Barcelona as you will not see it outside of Catalonia!
Try a Bikini sandwich at Tapas 24, a popular Tapas bar in Barcelona.
4. Patatas Bravas—Famous Spanish Dish
Patatas Bravas, also known as bold potatoes, originated in Madrid, but can be found on almost every menu in Barcelona.
The crispy fried potatoes of this Barcelona street food are topped with a savory tomato-based sauce which can be spicy. So, if you are spice-sensitive, ask about the heat. The potatoes may then be topped with an additional garlic aioli.
To fully enjoy this meal, make sure you get the real deal, and that means you must ask about the sauce not only for heat, but for authenticity. Unfortunately, some places have taken shortcuts and use straight mayonnaise and ketchup. You do not want these.
Visit Rekons, in the Sant Antoni neighborhood for Patatas Bravas, and try their empanadas too!
5. Croquetas—Addictive Barcelona Snack
This street snack is perfectly crunchy on the outside but filled with a creamy bechamel-based sauce on the inside. So, It may not be a surprise that this famous Barcelona food has French cuisine roots.
When croquetas are well made, you will definitely make room for one, or maybe two more, no matter how much you’ve already had. They are an addictive Barcelona snack!
If you are looking for classic croqueta flavors, you may want to stick to Jamon (ham) or ceps (mushroom) which are both typical Barcelona tapas dishes. If, on the other hand, you want to push the boundaries a little further, then you should try sepia (squid ink).
Other popular flavors include spicy chili with beans, ox meat, portobello mushroom with smoked scamorza cheese, shitake mushroom, and shrimp and crab.
Croq and Roll boasts the best Croquetas in Barcelona, let me know what you think!
Popular Barcelona Drinks
Where there’s food, there’s also drink! Especially when it’s hot during the summer months, knowing where and what to drink becomes extremely important!
1. Cerveza—Beer in Barcelona
Cerveza is beer, and like in many other countries, beer is an extremely popular drink in Barcelona. The most popular beers in Barcelona include; Estrella Damm, Estrella Galicia, Cruzcampo, and Mortiz, which happens to be the most famous beer in Barcelona.
2. Vermut—Traditional Barcelona Drink
Vermut is so special to Barcelonans that sipping it has become a well-established Catalan tradition.
This tradition known as ‘La hora del vermut’ or the time for vermouth has grown in popularity in recent years.
Sipping on vermouth served on the rocks or with soda while enjoying some tapas in Barcelona is seen as extremely fashionable. Stop into La Pineda in el Barrio Grótico for a glass with some of their local meats and cheeses.
3. Orxata—Horchata in Barcelona
Orxata, known as horchata in other parts of Spain, is a very refreshing soft drink made from a blend of tigernut, water, and sugar served over ice.
The orxata is inexpensive and can be found in many cafés. It is also ideal for vegans and lactose intolerant when they crave dairy. It is packed with antioxidants and is ideal for a hot summer day. Try one at El Tio Che
4. Cava—Spanish Sparkling Wine
Although sangria is usually associated with Spain, Cava is arguably the most popular drink in Barcelona.
Cava, produced in the Penadás region of Catalonia, is an exquisite sparkling wine enjoyed by locals at a bar or restaurant. Even though this Barcelona drink feels and tastes like luxury, it isn’t reserved for celebrations and can be drunk casually at any time of the day.
You can enjoy a glass of cava for just a little over a Euro. You can also buy bottles of the sparkling wine for two Euros. Do not let the cheap prices fool you; they are of exceptional quality.
Top Trendy Barcelona Street Food Eateries
After you’ve tried the more traditional Barcelona street food and made a run through the Mercat La Boqueria, you may consider the establishments below for a more contemporary take on Barcelona street food.
1. Chivuo’s for Slow Street Food in Barcelona
This hip eatery has the catchy tagline “slow street food.” This tagline doesn’t in any way imply that the service at Chivuo’s is slow or tardy. They chose this tagline because typical street food has built a reputation for being unhealthy and industrially prepared owing to the fast pace at which they are made. At Chivuo’s, they always take their time to prepare their meal.
Their modern approach includes Barcelona craft beers and some American specialties. Their most significant dish is their pulled pork. The slow cooking process employed at this street food establishment gives the meat a deep flavor without losing any of its moisture.
2. Maoz Vegetarian —Vegetarian Food in Barcelona
Vegetarians and vegans in Barcelona should visit Maoz for their falafel wraps or falafel salads. They offer a wide range of filling to choose from for both vegans and vegetarians. Although Maoz is most often regarded as a vegetarian restaurant, they also cater to meat eaters. And afterwards, check out this list for vegan desserts in Barcelona.
3. The Bacoa Kiosko— Best Burger in Barcelona
This is Barcelona’s first proper burger joint. The Bacoa was opened by an Australian couple, Brad and Paula and has the best burger in Barcelona.
Their homemade burgers and simple approach to hospitality made the locals go crazy. While you will always find new specials on the menu at Bacoa, the classic bacoa burger remains an all-time favorite. If you’ve had your fill of traditional Spanish dishes give this Barcelona burger a try.
4. Wok to Walk—Asian Food in Barcelona
Wok to Walk is always packed for good reasons. With multiple locations, Wok to Walk is undeniably a great take out choice for Asian food in Barcelona. They use fresh ingredients with a choice of rice, noodles, or vegetables. The quality is consistently high, and the service top-notch.
They also offer vegetarian options and have a food market where you can purchase ingredients for your own cooking.
Final Thoughts on Barcelona Street Food
The Barcelona street food trend has continued to gain more traction as tourists continue to increase in their numbers year after year both during the summer and winter (COVID excluded) months. Sometimes this can make finding true authentic Catalan dishes or good food of any kind harder to come by.
But now you know what to eat in Barcelona, what to drink, and where to do it. I truly hope this Barcelona food guide will help you have amazing food experiences in Barcelona!
Please let us know in the comments if you’ve visited Barcelona or want to visit? What are your thoughts on Barcelona cuisine?
About the Author
Theodore Romeo is an RV lover who enjoys camping and traveling with his family while sharing his travel experiences and different camping and RV trailer tips in his blog Camper Front.