5 Must-Try Foods in Barcelona

If you’re traveling to Barcelona, a trip to the beach, checking out the city’s modernista architecture and tasting local cuisine should be at the top of your list. Not sure what makes the food of Barcelona special? No worries, we at The Gates Diagonal Barcelona are here to help.

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Like a Catalan ratatouille, escalivada comes from the Catalan word “escalivar,” meaning to “cook in ashes.” Escalivada is a Catalan vegetable dish made with smoky, grilled eggplants, red peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. That’s it! It’s good served hot or cold, by itself or as a relish, atop bread, or any kind of meat. We recommend the escalivada tapa at Bar Casi at Carrer de Massens, 74, Gràcia, Barcelona.


This delicious concoction of meat, rice, vegetables and spices is originally from the region of Valencia. Here in Barcelona we like our paella served with fresh seafood, usually served in the shell. This is a great way for you to try all the different meats of the sea. Paella is made special with paprika seasoning and the bright color of saffron. For traditional, Valencia family-style paella, try a plate at Restaurant Elche at Carrer de Xila i Vilà, 71, El Poble-Sec, Barcelona.

Cargols a la Llauna

Feeling adventurous? Try “snails roasted in an oven.” Unlike the French take on this slimey protein, the Catalan way of preparing this delicacy is more palatable for some. Cargols a la llauna is a plate of snails, in-shell, cooked and served in a thick tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is flavorful, usually enhanced with onion, parsley, ham, and delicious spices. Our favorite cargola la llauna is served at simple Catalan restaurant La Tomaquera, located at Carrer de Margarit, 58, Gòtic, Barcelona.

Crema Catalana

Crema Catalana is virtually crème brûlée, though Crema Catalana is decidedly Catalan. The Catalan version of this custard treat includes lemon or orange zest. The custard is topped with a hard sugar shell and enjoyed at room temperature. Make sure to stop by the Pastisseria Escrìba pastry shop to try this favorite dessert and whatever else tickles your fancy. Located at La Rambla, 83, Gòtic, Barcelona.

Churros con chocolate

Churros or “Xurros” aren’t strictly Barcelona and can be found throughout Spain and Portugal but this fried, sugary treat paired with hot chocolate is a must! You can eat churros con chocolate any time of day or night, and they can be found along street stands and dedicated cafés. Try the beloved Granja La Pallaresa for the full experience. Located at Petritxol, 11, Gòtic, Barcelona.

Don’t forget to stop by our Beergarden for craft brews and Piano Restaurant for locally-sourced Spanish cuisine, located onsite at The Gates Hotel Diagonal in Barcelona.


Planning a trip to Barcelona? Check out rates at The Gates Hotel Diagonal.

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