Spain is a top country for foodies. The cuisine varies from one region to another, offering you plenty of options. The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona, too, has a happening culinary scene. The city is best known for its famous restaurants, but the Barcelona street food scene is also very exciting. Paella, Falafel, Bombas, Churros, Bocadillos, and a lot more… there is a lot for you to try.
The popular restaurants of Barcelona are refined and sophisticated, but it is the city’s street food, where you can get the local touch at its best. The backstreets, street markets, kiosks, and food on wheels offer fantastic options. You will find street food available almost throughout the city.
The neighborhood markets are very colorful and traditional, the best place to experience the local Barcelona of its citizens. Boqueria is often the most famous, but there are so many other exciting places to visit. Every neighborhood has its own supply of fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and cheese. In recent times, it has become more centralized with supplies coming from Merca Barna. However, you will still find the diversity and quality.
In many places, you will find tables laid out at street corners. They are close to each other, so it can be hard to differentiate, which table belongs to which stall.
Top 9 Street Foods of Barcelona
1. Paella – Seafood and rice preparation. Originally from Valencia, it used to be served with meat and beans traditionally. But now, Paella is more of a shellfish than fish. It is so popular that Paella is even served on family occasions and important celebrations.
2. Falafel – Try these deep-fried patties made from chickpeas and served with a dash of tahini and pickled vegetables. Extremely popular, they are available throughout Barcelona. Try Falafel with flat bread or a sandwich.
3. Bombas – A potato croquette in the size of a tennis ball. Bombas is served with 2 different sauces – spicy and rich red sauce, and white garlic allioli. It’s like a small bomb, inspired by the dark days of the city during the Spanish Civil War. It is the work of a food artist. This unique work was first produced in the backstreet eatery La Cova Fumada.
4. Churros – Satiate your hunger with these fried choux pastry sticks dunked in hot chocolate sauce. This is the quintessential early morning snack of the working class in Barcelona.
5. Bocadillos – A meal of baguettes with either ham, feta cheese, guacamole, or potato patty stuffed in between.
6. Esqueixada – It is made with bacalhau, which is salter or dried codfish, and served with tomatoes, Romesco sauce, onions, and black olives. You must try this authentic Catalan salad. It is zesty and fresh. Try this with your glass of Catalan Cava.
7. Escalivada – This is an iconic food of Spain. And it is so simple that you can even prepare at home easily. Escalivada is prepared by grilling an eggplant and including red peppers in a wood fire pan. It is served with toasted bread with salt, garlic, and olive oil. Sometimes, with anchovies too. This is a yummy food you will surely love.
8. Crema Catalana – Many say it’s the finest authentic dessert of Barcelona. A creamy vanilla custard that is blow torched till you have a glassy crust! Use your spoon to crack the crunchy top layer open.
9. Granizado and Horchata – Barcelona can be hot in the summer. Cool down with this – a cross between slush and a snowball. Granizoda is a crushed ice and fruit juice drink. Horchata is a sweet drink made of tiger nuts, water, and sugar.
Other notable mentions include the Bacoa, Pastrami Sandwich, Pulled Pork Sandwich, and Falafel Pita that you must try.
Important Things to Know – Barcelona Street Food
|Palo Alto is the biggest market in Barcelona. You will find music and entertainment here. There are many vendors selling street food.||You can gorge on beer and popcorn late into the night from the road side stalls. There are probably thousands of them.|
|You will find shawarma at any roadside eatery, open till 2 in the night.||Most street food joints close by 2 AM. But some vendors keep selling their stock till the sun comes up.|
|Food junctions that sell cheap street food are Frankfurt and Bo de B.||Maoz sells the best vegetarian street food in Barcelona.|
There are street food festivals in the city. They are usually held in the winter and spring.
Popular Street Food Markets
Eat Street – At Nau Bostik in late winter and spring. This is always an interesting market where you will find everything that the city’s street food has to offer. The focus is often on a topic, and the entire experience is created around it. Master cooking classes are also held here.
L’Abaceria Central Market – Popular with the residents of Gracia, this authentic Barcelona market hasn’t changed much over the years. Go behind the market walls to visit the produce area. Go to Bar Cal Mingo I Loli and try the Cod a la llauna or an omelet.
Sant Galvany – In a posher neighborhood of the city. But the stalls are very basic offering some of the city’s best foods. Go for the market classics like the Bar el Rincón or Café Galvany.
Van Van Market – One of the top markets of Barcelona. You will find it under the Clock Tower of the port. Local fishermen bring daily fresh fish. But only those in the food business can attend the fish auction. The Fishermen’s Association however allows a guided tasting tour of some of the native fish species. It’s a caravan market that you cannot miss.
Palo Alto Market – A trendy market best visited during the weekend. It combines the basic ‘street’ experience with a touch of sophistication. There are fast and organic food and live music. Shops sell jewelry, vintage stuff, clothing, and art. The experience is worth it, even though it can get crowded.
Boqueria Market – A top choice in the city. There are dozens of stalls here offering fruits and all kinds of authentic Catalan foods. Pick El Quim de la Boqueria if you can visit just one place. Reach early for a hearty local breakfast. It gets packed during lunchtime.
Sants – An impressive brick market only a few minutes’ walking from Plaza de España. It has been remodeled recently. It is buzzing at lunchtime with the locals having their food. There are many stalls selling homemade food.
Santa Caterina Market – You will both tourists and locals here. Located in the touristy El Born neighborhood, it is also called the 2nd Market. It is close to the Gothic Quarter and the Barcelona Cathedral. The locals come here for fresh fish. Visit Bar Joan for its fresh grilled fish.
All Those Food Market – The place for true street food of Barcelona with plenty of options. Try the various types of beers and wines. There are coffee workshops too. You will also find designer samples and food tools here.