Overview of Barcelona Food, Drink and Nightlife

Melting pot of cuisines

Melting pot of cuisines

Barcelona is a melting pot of cuisines, from traditional Catalan to internationally acclaimed gastronomy at Michelin starred restaurants.

Along with a lively Tapas scene and a vibrant nightlife, there is no shortage of choices.

Catalan Cuisine – May Y Montagna

Catalan Cuisine – May Y Montagna

Barcelona has fish and meat side by side on the same table; this is an underlying trait of Catalan Cuisine - May Y Montagna - sea and mountains.

Seafood meets mushrooms, herbs, peppers and artichokes, along with pigs and sheep from the hills.

Typical dishes are Escudella, a Catalan stew eaten in 3 courses - broth, meat and vegetable; and Esqueixada, a salad of peppers, tomatoes, onions and shredded 'bacalao' (cod)

Of course, Tapas is popular in Barcelona

Of course, Tapas is popular in Barcelona

Tapas originated in Andalucia, but tapas bars are popular in Barcelona, where “tapear” or going from bar to bar for drinks and tapas, is an essential part of the social culture.

Popular Tapas influenced by the Catalan region are Whitebait, Botifarra - Sausage, tomato, onion and olive salad cover; and Pan con Tomate, white bread rubbed with tomato, drizzled in oil and salt.

And so is Paella (or Fideua)

And so is Paella (or Fideua)

Paella is originally from Valencia but you do get freshly made, authentic Paellas in Barcelona.

Or you could try the fideuà, which is a Barcelona variant of paella made with thin noodles instead of rice.

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

No trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to Mercat de la Boqueria. You can get your fix of fresh juice for breakfast or a full meal.

La Boqueria is authentic, not watered down for tourists. It is where the locals go too, for fresh produce that comes in daily.

Barcelona drinks Vermut (Dry Vermouth)

Barcelona drinks Vermut (Dry Vermouth)

Vermut is a popular local aperitif, served standalone in varieties like red, white and rose; and flavoured with local herbs and spices.

Traditionally drunk by the older generation at bodegues (Catalan taverns) from barrels on tap, it is now back in vogue with the young crowd at cocktail bars.

Barcelona Nightlife – Awake, all night

Barcelona Nightlife – Awake, all night

The action starts past midnight and you can find yourself partying till 7am. Cover charges range from 10 – 25 Euro though you can get discount flyers on the streets. The legal age of entry at discos is 18, carry your ID.

Casual wear is fine but you need to dress well. Hats, sneakers, or jeans are not allowed at most of the nicer places. Drinks can be expensive but are strong at most places.

Popular Areas for Nightlife

  • Las Ramblas is good for street performances but is full of tourists while the nearby Gothic Quarter has hidden-away authentic clubs.
  • El Born is sophisticated and trendy with an upscale local crowd.
  • Raval has a laidback immigrant vibe with a younger edgier crowd.
  • Eixample is a residential area and has a more international crowd.
  • Gracia is arty, immigrant, and off the tourist track.
  • Port Olimpic has upscale bars except for the area near the harbour.

  • You can also look up the chiringuitos (beach bars) or boat tours that take the party out on the waters.

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