I was recently in Barcelona, a city with a hugely thriving restaurant culture. At all times of day, people flock to cafes, bars, and restaurants to eat pastries and coffee, or guzzle beers and snacks, or linger over three-course lunches. Who am I to argue? And so I ate. A lot.
Barcelona is in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, and locals take great pride in the indigenous food of the region, a wonderful, ingredient-driven cuisine that makes use of game (often with fruit), fish, pork, and vegetables. Classic dishes include duck with pears, roast lamb or pork, canelons stuffed with meat or salt cod mousse, monkfish with garlic, seafood casseroles, bread rubbed with tomato, and salt cod all sorts of ways. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, of course. To find out more, check out Coleman Andrews’ Catalan Cuisine–it’s incredibly informative and a great read.
Although eating tapas isn’t strictly traditional in Catalonia–the structure of a big Catalan meal is more French in style, with main plates and several courses–Barcelona is now full of tapas spots, many serving pintxos from neighboring Basque country. The city has also adopted some Valencian dishes, like paella and fidua (many paella places, though not all, are strictly for tourists).
Click through to eat in Barcelona.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 6, 2009