The best thing about eating out in Barcelona, is the abundance of seafood. As a Muslim traveller, it means there is always a decent variety of food on offer wherever you go in the city. You’ll find a few sneaky halal places dotted around as well.
Here are some of the local dishes we managed to devour, as well as a few Spanish favourites:
For our first meal in the city, Mo and I propped up one of the seafood bars at La Boqueria and indulged in a feast of fish. Best dish by far was the Bacalao, a salted cod, which was fried with a tomato seasoning and served with home-made chips. A meaty fish with plenty of flavour and not at all dry. Amazing!
Pescaditos Fritos is basically what it says on the tin, fried fish. Normally served with a nice slice of lemon, its the kind of thing you just munch on in between dinner chat. Like chips (but not).
They’re everywhere. They’re all slightly different. Always have a yummy topping so they’re not dry. Simply order and enjoy.
After falling in love with Bacalao, I was excited to try Esqueixada when we stopped for a late dinner at Tantarantana near our apartment. Esqueixada (pronounced es-kay-jada) is a cold dish, a salad if you will, usually made with pepper, tomatoes and onions served on top of shredded cod. The vinegar mixed with the saltiness of the fish gives a nice tangy, refreshing taste, kind of like cevische actually. Perhaps more of a lunch dish.
Pa Amb Tomaquet
When I originally saw this on the menu I really didn’t think much of it. And why would I? I mean it’s basically a slice of bread rubbed with fresh tomatoes and finished off with a drizzle of oil and salt. A simple Catalan staple. But this dish must be rubbed with magical tomatoes because this dish it is super moreish and a perfect accompaniment to any main meal you’ve ordered.
A popular Spanish dish, you’ll see this everywhere. A rice dish prepared over an open fire with a variety of veg, meat or fish added. I was advised by locals that many restaurants serve ready made frozen paella (usually restaurants that have photos of their food on boards outside) . Word on the street is that Thursdays are the best time to eat it as this is when its cooked fresh. I’ve tried both a seafood and vegetarian paella at the Salamanca restaurant, right by the beach. Both tasted perfectly fresh, the seafood one was fantastic and the squid within it is probably the best I have ever tasted.
Not your typical Mexican fajita type tortilla, this one’s an omelette. We tried a Tortilla de Patatas ‘Ocana style’ at the Ocana café. A thick indulgent potato omelette which we devoured in minutes. A regular on tapas menus, tortilla omelettes are sometimes served in a sandwich, perfect for those long sight-seeing days.
We saw a lot of these in Brazil, understandably, as the roots for this dish can be traced back to both Portugal and the North West of Spain. A folded bread or pastry filled with meat usually and fried, empanadas are a great snack food or mini-meal. We were lucky enough to walk past Annur Halal café and sample a lamb empanada (delicious) and we also squeezed in a taste of a croquetas de pollo (chicken croquette) whilst we were there, making the most of the halal options available!
Don’t forget to try the sauces too!
And by sauces I mean the aioli, of course. I recently wrote about our trip to Figueres where I consumed a gravy boat portion of this garlic-infused dip. You’ll find aioli a staple on most menus, usually served alongside the patatas. Somehow, it just tastes sooo much better here than it does back home. So, give it a go! Unless you don’t like garlic. Then it’s a bad idea. A really bad idea.
Are there any other must try foods when in Barcelona?
Head Chick at Jet Set Chick
Keen interest in art and design, discovering new cultures and learning from my experiences. Oh and cats. I love anything to do with cats.