Where to find real Catalan food
Catalan food has inherited flavors from a rich variety of landscapes and the cultures that we’ve been in contact with during our history. A taste range of vegetables, meats, fish and seafood, eggs, pasta, rice… with a Mediterranean flavor but a local touch.
But how can you tell where you are served real local food? Would any Spanish restaurant serve Catalan recipes? Not really, as every region in Spain has developed a different way of understanding food.
Here are our 5 suggested Catalan restaurants in Barcelona:
Ca l’Isidre. Top of the tops, probably the best Catalan restaurant in Barcelona, even the King of Spain has been here (the only time that he officially announced his visit to a restaurant!). A family-owned business where they pay special attention to the products of the season, that they get in the nearby Boqueria Market. Fine cuisine for a special up-skilled evening.
Can Cortada. A Masia is a Catalan farm-house, and nothing better than one of them to house a traditional Catalan restaurant. You’ll need to take a cab to the uptown, but the ride is totally worth. The venue is beautiful, and the menu features some of the most representative Catalan dishes: roasted veggies, codfish specialties, sweet&sour’s such as the Empordà duck with pears, sea&mountain’s such as our Chicken with scampi…
Can Culleretes. If you like old-fashioned venues, then make sure to check out this one: it’s the 2nd oldest restaurant in Spain, and they specialize in old-school traditional Catalan food. I love it’s authenticity, however it is true that sometimes when they are full, they get overwhelmed and you might need to wait more than expected to be served. So just relax, and enjoy the conversation with your travelmates in the meantime: as locals would do!
La Llavor dels Origens. If you are looking for something a bit less fancy, this small chain owns 4 venues in town, and strive to present Catalan recipes with affordable prices. Their “tapas” menu is actually a selection of 10 plates that make part of any local’s childhood memories. And they also have a vegetarian version of it.
Mussol. And yet another chain for a less elaborated farm-house style cooking based in grilled meats and vegetables, cold-cuts and cheeses with Catalan tomato bread. By the way, it’s a good place to find calçots in the winter without having to travel to a masia out of town!
AND BONUS! An off-the-beaten-path restaurant we love:
Pa i Trago. Probably one of the most traditional Catalan restaurants in town, Tue to Sun here you can enjoy their “esmorzars de forquilla”, the Catalan version of brunch way before brunch was invented. Earthy recipes such as tripe or snails, but also less adventurous options such as codfish, sausages or veal with mushrooms. The best way to get to try the real Catalan cuisine.
Come discovering the secrets of Catalan food in our Barcelona food tour.
What about you? Head to the comments and share with us: What’s your favorite Catalan restaurant in Barcelona?