Barcelona is a culinary paradise, with a rich history and diverse cultural influences that have shaped its cuisine into a unique blend of traditional and modern flavors. The best in Barcelona for foodies is hard to narrow down. Why? Because with so many options, how do you know where to find the best food?
Whether you’re a foodie looking for authentic local eats or a curious traveler wanting to experience the flavors of Barcelona, the food in this city is sure to leave you satisfied and inspired.
Food tours are a fantastic way to maximize your time in a city when you are there for a visit of any length.
You gain insight into the history and culture and get to taste some amazing dishes as well. It can kick off your trip and get you oriented or give you a round of highlights when time is short.
If you’re a cruise passenger with limited time in Barcelona, you’ll want to make the most of your visit and try some of the best local food experiences that are nearby or even within walking distance of the cruise port.
We’ve put together a list of local food experiences and hidden culinary gems that you won’t want to miss. We have selected a few tours while others are ways to explore on your own if you prefer.
Here are some of our favorite picks.
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Short on time? No problem! We brought our favorite straight to the top.
Learn about the best things to eat in Barcelona while sipping some cava or vermouth. This tour is top-notch and consistently highly rated among visitors.
Unique Food Experiences in Barcelona
Food tours are a great way to learn about the culture and taste some authentic local cuisine. If you are someone who especially enjoys a novel culinary experience, then these tours are not to be missed.
Spain might seem all about tapas but it is also all about paella as well.
What you get: Hands-on paella cooking lesson, 5-course dinner with wine
Why it’s special: Guided by a Michelin-starred chef!
Perfect for: The foodie, the cook, the wine lover.
What you get: 3-hour tour covering several local neighborhoods
Why it’s special: Super personal, only 6 people per tour. Run by a professional sommelier.
Things to note: includes lunch and alcohol
Perfect for: Wine enthusiasts, cruisers who need a mid-day tour while in port.
What you get: Visit a family-run vineyard for a guided tour and wine tasting. Complimentary snacks and drinks throughout the 4-hour tour.
Return to Barcelona in a private van after your morning tour.
Why it’s special: You will travel along the coast of Barcelona on board a luxury sailing boat.
Perfect for: Anyone who loves the sea or wants to see Barcelona from a new perspective.
Best in Barcelona Markets for Foodies
If you’re looking for a place to eat in Barcelona steeped in history, there’s no better place to start than La Boqueria Market which has been operating in the city for centuries. Located on La Rambla you are very likely to walk past it on any trip to Barcelona.
Not only is the market a great place to eat but also a great place to pick up some edible souvenirs to bring home with you.
This bustling market is a feast for the senses, with vendors selling fresh produce, meats, and seafood.
Stop at one of the bars or restaurants to try the famous Jamón ibérico, a type of cured ham that’s a staple in Spanish cuisine, as well as the fried seafood sold by many of the vendors.
Breakfast is a great time to visit before it gets too crowded. It will also give you a great excuse to try a melt-in-your-mouth pastry and coffee.
As you enter from Las Ramblas, make a right to eat at the famous Pinotxos Bar. Order a Cortado de Juanito and a choux pastry from Juanito himself. You will never forget it.
If La Boqueria feels a bit too crowded for you, there are other markets to explore in Barcelona that are a bit away from the heavily touristed area of La Rambla.
Mercat de Santa Caterina
If you trying to avoid large groups of people it will be much less crowded at Mercat de Santa Caterina. It is a 5-minute walk from La Boqueria. It is more modern and newly renovated and therefore will have a different feel.
Mercat San Antoni
Mercat San Antoni is in a hip neighborhood if you are seeking more of the everyday local life of Barcelona residents.
In addition to the food stalls, on Sunday an outdoor flea market opens up selling vintage books, magazines, stamps, toys, videogames, and all kinds of cool stuff.
The neighborhood of Sant Antoni is known for its vintage shops and street art along Carrer del Parlament. It’s a great place to explore on foot, with many hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Along with the Sant Antoni Market be sure to visit Joan Miró Park.
If you are interested in exploring the markets you may like this private food tour which includes two of the markets mentioned here.
Best in Barcelona Food Tour for Cruisers
Let someone else do all the planning and don’t worry about getting lost. A guided food tour will give you a great overview of and history of food in Barcelona. You will meet other like-minded travelers and enjoy Barcelona’s best food at the same time!
Authentic tapas are on the menu: patatas bravas, Iberian jamon, paella, and churros.
If you have enough time just to wander around the Gothic Quarter eating tapas then do it. Most guides are happy to give you recommendations to keep on going.
The Gothic Quarter is the heart of old Barcelona, with narrow streets, historic buildings, and charming squares. It’s a great place to wander and explore, with plenty of cafes and bars everywhere to continue with your tapa-tasting adventure.
Give yourself at least an hour to take a nice stroll along the waterfront as you make your way back to the ship.
Need a place to stay before or after your cruise?
Check out these Barcelona accommodations.
Where to Eat Near the Barcelona Cruise Port
These walk times are estimates and depend on which terminal at the port your ship is docked at. You can easily take the cruise bus or a taxi to the Columbus Monument if you prefer not to walk quite as far.
While there are plenty of places to eat some authentic Catalan food, these are two memorable spots to try.
You can easily reach La Boqueria Market by taking a short 20-minute walk from the port. There are several places to grab something to eat inside the market.
If you make a right when you enter you’ll find Bar Pinotxos as mentioned in the section about markets. This stand has been serving up delicious and authentic dishes for over 100 years. Be sure to try the garbanzos con sepia (chickpeas with cuttlefish), the artichokes with clams, and any of the daily specials.
For a true taste of Barcelona’s beer and tapas culture, head to Cerveseria Vaso de Oro. This bustling bar has been serving up delicious pintxos (Basque-style tapas) and refreshing beers since 1903 and has become a favorite spot among locals and tourists alike. Be sure to try the montaditos (small sandwiches) and the grilled octopus.
Cerveseria Vaso de Oro is located just a 15-minute walk from the cruise port area and is located in the trendy Barceloneta neighborhood.
Barceloneta is a vibrant and bustling neighborhood located on the beach. It’s known for its seafood restaurants and lively bars. It is one of Barcelona’s oldest neighborhoods with a long maritime history of fishing.
Be sure to check out the Barceloneta Market, the Museum of Catalan History, and the stunning Parc de la Ciutadella.
Best from Barcelona Day Trips With Food and Wine Tasting
Barcelona is also known for its excellent wine and cava (Spanish sparkling wine). When dining out ask for bottles from the region of Penedès, which is local to the region.
If you are looking for a day trip to a winery, pair it with a tour of beautiful Monserrat and the nearby monastery. You can get in a little hiking, listen to the charming boy’s choir, and even view the famous Black Madonna on these tours.
Monserrat is only about an hour’s drive outside the city so it makes a perfect day trip. There are local vendors just outside of the monastery where you can taste and purchase local homemade cheese. They will even vacuum seal the cheese for you to make it easy to travel with.
- 7 hours – Tour limited to 20 people
- Comfortable air-conditioned bus
- Guided visit to Montserrat Monastery with one-hour free time at Montserrat
- Guided visit to a boutique winery
- Three wine tastings and cold tapas lunch with dessert
- 9 hours- Tour limited to 20 people
- Choose between a 3-course lunch at a local restaurant or a delicious tapas brunch
- Ride the cogwheel train to the mountaintop at Montserrat Monastery
- Taste organic wines at a boutique winery
- 10 hours- air-conditioned bus
- Learn about the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey on a guided tour
- Explore the cellar and vineyards of the Oller del Mas winery
- Enjoy a multi-course, Catalan meal at the winery’s restaurant, including wine.
Barcelona is a city that truly satisfies the foodie within. Its eclectic mix of traditional Catalan and modern Spanish cuisine combined with its location by the Mediterranean Sea makes it a culinary paradise.
We hope this list of experiences will keep you from missing out on the best of Barcelona for foodies.
Still looking for a place to stay?
Check out these Barcelona accommodations.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about Barcelona Food
Paella is a rice dish that has its roots in Valencia but has become a common dish in many parts of Spain, including Barcelona. This dish is made with saffron, which gives it its distinct yellow color and is often prepared with seafood, chicken, and vegetables.
Fideua is a seafood dish that’s similar to paella but made with noodles instead of rice. The rice is briefly fried and adds a crunchy texture. It usually includes a variety of seafood such as shrimp, cuttlefish, and mussels.
Patatas bravas are a popular tapas dish in Barcelona. These are fried potatoes that are typically served with a spicy tomato sauce.
Canelons are stuffed pasta tubes. They are traditionally eaten the day after Christmas. The filling usually includes meat from the previous day’s Christmas meal.
Churros are a fried dough pastry that is often served for breakfast or as a snack in Spain. They are typically sprinkled with sugar and served with a cup of hot chocolate for dipping.
Xato is a salad made with endive, salt cod, and a sauce made with almonds, hazelnuts, garlic, olive oil, and red pepper.
Crema Catalana is a creamy dessert that is similar to crème brûlée. It is made with milk, sugar, and egg yolks, and is flavored with cinnamon. The dessert is served cold and has a caramelized sugar topping. Crema Catalana is believed to have originated in Catalonia and is a popular dessert in Barcelona.
Botifarra is a traditional Catalan sausage made with pork and served with white beans. This white sausage is based on ancient roman recipes.
Pan con tomate, or bread with tomato, is a simple but delicious dish that is eaten daily in Barcelona. It consists of bread rubbed with garlic and fresh tomato, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt. This dish originated in Catalonia where it has been a popular breakfast food for hundreds of years.
Escalivada is a traditional Catalan dish that is made with roasted vegetables, such as peppers, eggplant, and onions. The vegetables are roasted over an open flame and are chopped and served with olive oil and salt. Escalivada has been a traditional dish in Catalonia for centuries and is served as a side dish or as part of a salad.
Cava is a sparkling wine that is produced in Catalonia, making it a must-try drink in Barcelona. It is made using the same method as champagne, but it has a unique flavor and character.
Never traveled abroad before? Read this helpful guide if you are a first-time international traveler.
“Meet Barcelona – A Space for Everyone Keen to Discover Barcelona.” Meet Barcelona, 27 Feb. 2023, https://meet.barcelona/en/.
Visit Barcelona Turisme de Barcelona Official. https://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/. Accessed 2 Mar. 2023.