Barcelona Food Tasting Walking Tour, Barcelona

Barcelona Food Tasting Walking Tour (Self Guided), Barcelona

No one should visit Barcelona without making an attempt to get acquainted with some of Spain’s best food – Catalan food. An abundance of fresh fish and superb meat, a plethora of great vegetables, plus local inventiveness, have produced a very diverse, distinctive and delicious cuisine, including the famous (and trendy) tapas dishes.

Follow this self-guided walk to treat your taste buds in the Catalan capital – starting with the city’s very own Chocolate Museum, which tells visitors all about this delicious treat: from its origins and arrival in Europe to its medicinal properties and nutritional value.

If you’re looking for an exceptional local haunt with house sparking white wine and amazing tapas, plus wonderful service and energy, El Xampanyet is another must-try. While you’re at it, pop into the nearby Casa Gispert to buy some saffron or a box of carquinyoli biscuits for friends back home.

A place Picasso used to visit, 4 Gats (pronounced Els Quatre Gats) opened in 1897 and is a landmark of Catalan modernism. Everything there tastes grand, and the pictures on the walls of famous people who ate inside is really neat as well. Meanwhile, the equally picturesque Granja Dulcinea has the best Spanish hot chocolate and churros that you’ll find.

Round out your foodie journey with short trips to the strategically placed markets (Santa Caterina / La Boqueria) so you can safely say you’ve tried a little bit of everything.

If you have an adventurous palate and are keen to soak in some fabulous scenery, follow this self-guided walking tour to check out some of the best eating places around Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter!
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Barcelona Food Tasting Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Barcelona Food Tasting Walking Tour
Guide Location: Spain » Barcelona (See other walking tours in Barcelona)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: clare
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Museu de la Xocolata (Chocolate Museum)
  • El Xampanyet
  • Casa Gispert
  • Mercat de Santa Caterina (St. Catherine's Market)
  • 4 Gats (Els Quatre Gats)
  • Granja Dulcinea / Carrer de Petritxol
  • Mercat de la Boqueria (La Boqueria Market)
Museu de la Xocolata (Chocolate Museum)

1) Museu de la Xocolata (Chocolate Museum)

As its name suggests, the Chocolate Museum is a place that delves into the rich history of chocolate in Europe. Within its walls, visitors can explore the origins of chocolate, its legends and realities, and its diverse uses in food, beverages, and medicine. One can take a comprehensive journey through the entire chocolate-making process, from cocoa beans to the final packaging.

Exhibits of impressive chocolate sculptures, informative panels that detail the fascinating history of chocolate, and displays of the machinery used in the chocolate-making process, are all here to be seen. As a delightful touch, the ticket itself is a charming small bar of dark chocolate. If you pre-register, you can also participate in interactive workshops, which are particularly enjoyable for children (and apparently free with registration).

At the museum shop, one can purchase delectable chocolates to take home, and upon exiting, it is highly recommended to visit the cozy café. There, you simply must indulge in a cup of heavenly hot chocolate or try the "mocha", which is that same hot chocolate mixed with an equal amount of espresso. Both options are truly divine and not to be missed!
El Xampanyet

2) El Xampanyet

When it comes to experiencing truly authentic tapas, El Xampanyet is a top choice. Stepping into this haven of marble and tiles, you'll often find it bustling with patrons at any given time. Despite the crowds, the staff remains friendly, genuine, and committed to ensuring you feel right at home and utterly satisfied.

Their tapas are refreshingly straightforward and unpretentious. From olives stuffed with anchovies to a flavorful chickpea and spinach stew, and not forgetting the iconic jamón ibérico, the focus here is on the impeccable quality of the ingredients. To complement these flavors, indulge in their namesake Xampanyet, a lightly sparkling white wine with a subtle sweetness that beautifully accompanies the rich components of their tapas. If that's not your preference, fear not, as they offer an array of other excellent cavas and wines to suit your taste.

To secure a table, your best bet is to arrive shortly before the afternoon closing or right as they reopen for evening service (reservations are not accepted). Otherwise, embrace the lively atmosphere and make your way to the bar, where you can immerse yourself in the action. Just remember to bring a hearty appetite along for the journey!
Casa Gispert

3) Casa Gispert

This establishment is truly deserving of UNESCO World Heritage Site status to safeguard humanity from the monotony of finding all the same stores around the world. Since its inception in 1851, this unique family-owned business has remained true to its origins, standing much as it did when it first opened its doors. If you have trouble locating it behind the Santa María del Mar church, simply follow the enticing aromas that blend together to stimulate the sense, creating a symphony of roasted coffee, nuts, and spices.

Stepping into the store is akin to passing through a time warp into another age, so take your time to explore every nook and cranny, drinking in the atmosphere. And don't hesitate to indulge in a purchase, as this establishment is an excellent source of distinctive food items that can't be found elsewhere. For instance, you'll discover that a substantial amount of saffron costs only a fraction of its price in the US. From dried fruits to coffees, teas, wines, oils, vinegars, and jams, there is an array of irresistible delicacies to tempt your taste buds. And when it comes to their freshly roasted nuts, you can't go wrong; however, the lightly salted Marcona almonds scooped out of a bin into a paper sack are a standout. Prices are reasonable and the staff is exceptionally friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to assist.

Go ahead and ask about the wood-fired roaster used to roast the almonds. You might get lucky and receive a tour of this century-old marvel, the last of its kind in all of Europe.
Mercat de Santa Caterina (St. Catherine's Market)

4) Mercat de Santa Caterina (St. Catherine's Market)

An easy walking distance from the Barcelona Cathedral, Saint Catherine's Market underwent a remarkable transformation in 2005, emerging as a stylish market with a touch of designer elegance. Its inviting facade, complemented by a colorful roof, sets the stage for a clean and relaxing shopping experience.

Within and around the market, you'll find an abundance of eateries that prepare delectable dishes using the freshest ingredients available. A must-visit spot is Bar Joan's, where you can savor some of the finest tapas around while enjoying a couple of drinks. What's more, the prices are surprisingly affordable, as this place is a local favorite.

If you're in the mood for a well-balanced plate of vegetables, head towards the back of the market to La Torna. Here, you can indulge in their marvelous cod (bacallá) dish, prepared with spinach, pine nuts, raisins, and topped with allioli. The magic happens right before your eyes as everything is grilled to perfection.

Another essential stop is Cuines de Santa Caterina, an impressively elegant yet relaxed modern space that offers the best of "fusion food". From breakfast meals to traditional tapas, vegetarian options to a variety of sushi and Asian-inspired dishes, as well as Mediterranean favorites, this place has it all.

Of course, if you prefer to prepare your own meal, the market offers a wide selection of products to choose from – from fresh vegetables, seafood and meats to olives and olive oil, spices and more. The prices here are generally more affordable compared to La Boqueria Market, and the vendors are friendly and accommodating, even if you decide not to make a purchase.
4 Gats (Els Quatre Gats)

5) 4 Gats (Els Quatre Gats)

Els 4 Gats (or, "The Four Cats"), one of Barcelona's most historic bar-restaurants, opened its doors in 1897, originally encompassing a restaurant, pub, cabaret, and even a hostel. During the era of Catalan modernism at the turn of the century, it held the same significance for artists as iconic Parisian cafes like La Rotonde did in the 1920s, serving as a hub for art theories, lively debates over wine, and showcasing the works of emerging artists like Pablo Picasso. In fact, in 1900, this locale hosted Picasso's first solo exhibition, a momentous occasion in his career. The exhibition showcased over 50 portraits of his friends and family and another 60 or so drawings and paintings, at last earning him some critical attention.

Reopened at the same site in 1989, El 4 Gats is nowadays more of a meeting place for tourists than for artists and intellectuals, but still worth a stop to have a quick drink or a meal in downtown Barcelona. The interior décor is straight out of the epoch and you may spot a waiter or two who look as if they belong to that bygone era, too! Treat yourself to a reasonably priced glass of wine, vermouth, or a "licor de hierbas" (pomace brandy) as you soak up the unique and historic ambiance of the bar.

The menu offers a well-cooked lobster paella and some rather sinful desserts such as the tantalizing "textures of chocolate" (a trio of different chocolate desserts in one) or the delicately smooth and not overly sweet "Crema Catalana" (Spain's version of crème brûlée).
Granja Dulcinea / Carrer de Petritxol

6) Granja Dulcinea / Carrer de Petritxol

Carrer de Petritxol, one of Barcelona's most historically charming narrow streets, is the place to head to for a cup of creamy hot chocolate, with Granja Dulcinea (established in 1930) as the traditional choice. Among their other specialties are deep-fried, super-crispy churros that regulars flocking here love to dunk into their cups (it certainly doesn't hurt that the hot chocolate has the right amount of bitterness to balance the churros that reach the table warm with sugar falling off), and also the "Crema Catalana", which is like crème brûlée served cold in a largish dish – but with particularly good flavoring.

This is a bygone-era kind of place, all furnished in traditional old style with a fireplace and memorabilia throughout, and the service is quite attentive. It was and is very popular – even Dalí used to sit down in its chairs and enjoy some of their delicacies. While the café may appear small at first, there is an upstairs seating area that provides more space than you initially anticipate.
Mercat de la Boqueria (La Boqueria Market)

7) Mercat de la Boqueria (La Boqueria Market) (must see)

Located to the north of La Rambla and a couple of blocks south of Catalonia Square, La Boqueria Market is extremely busy no matter what time you go. Despite the constant flow of visitors, the experienced vendors efficiently handle the crowds, and the market's spacious layout helps ensure an enjoyable shopping experience.

With its rich history dating back to 1217, when meat stalls were first set up near the old city gate, La Boqueria offers a fantastic opportunity to explore traditional Catalan cuisine, take yourself on a tapas tour, sample exquisite jamón with cheese, purchase the world's freshest saffron (sold in various-sized small boxes) and seafood (no fish Sundays and Mondays), and discover culinary souvenirs. Don't miss the chance to try the freshly cooked fish at Kiosko Universal (a sit-down counter/bar-like place) or indulge in the wide variety of olives and delicious fresh fruits.

Venture deep into the market to find the best stalls and try a little of everything – you won't be disappointed.

Keep in mind that the area is known for pickpocketing incidents, so whether you're alone or with friends, it's recommended to be vigilant and keep a close eye on your belongings.

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Gothic Quarter Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
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