"Cafe Americano" is standard reference for how we Americans like our coffee - in a regular sized cup, black, sugar on the side if needed, and con leche only if specified.
Paella, the rice dish with various meats/seasonings, is mass-advertised at every kind of eatery on "can't miss" signs out front in a way that made me question if the stuff was prepared like microwavable fast food. Was I wrong! No one should leave without trying a skillet full. There are several varieties; prices comparable everywhere. Paid 1,600 pesetas for a large skillet of paella, bread and a liter of sangria.
Barcelona is known for its Tapas Bars, but budget travelers shouldn't plan on spending much time in these places. Foods are good, but rather expensive and portions are small, appetizer size. You'd rack up quite the bill trying to fill up as a meal.
Local apertif favorites to try are Cuarenta y Tres which is a thick, smooth vanilla liquer. Also locally made is Zoco Pacharan - a heavy liquer flavored with sloe berries and anise packing quite the kick!
The region's house table wines were also quite good though top-shelf bottles of wine aren't that expensive.
Mercat de la Boqueria, centrally located on La Rambla, is definitely worth checkin' out as what I consider one of the best fresh food markets in Europe. The fruits were awesome as were the cheeses and pepperoni/salami...and yes, very inexpensive. Pheasants and King Jack Rabbits are colorfully hanging around waiting to be cleaned. Great photo opportunities here, too!
There's a large supermarket on the south/left side of La Rambla just before you arrive at Placa Catalunya. It carries a bit of everything for cheap prices and is great for stocking up on bottled water, drinks, snacks for back in your room.
Typical American fast food places are everywhere, but did you really come all the way to Spain for a Big Mac?
Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
July 7, 2009
January 6, 2006
We went to so many great places. We were lucky to have a resident expat with us a lot of the time, so we could go to places the locals would go. I especially recommend wandering around the Barri Gotic and El Born. We popped into several places for a beer or for some tapas. We were never disappointed.
There is a place called Taller de Tapas in El Born right off the V. Latania (they actually have two locations). This place is a little pricey and slightly touristy, but the food was great. Get the sauteed duck foie gras.
There are also a bunch of places in which you pick, literally. There are a multitude of platters of small food, mostly on pieces of bread, stuck with a toothpick. You get a drink and a plate, and it is a free-for-all. Save your toothpicks, because that is how you are charged. There is a great place in the same square as Taller de Tapas and several other places all around El Born.
And remember, this is Europe--they take their time eating and drinking. The waiter will not bring you your check unless you ask; the food will come, but not quickly by American standards; coffee is meant to be sipped in the cafe (it is hard to get a to-go coffee, though Starbucks are sprinkled around the city). So be patient and relax. Also, at lunch (usually from 2-4pm), it is well worth it to get the fixed menu. This is generally three courses, and we never paid more than 14 euros per person.
From journal Twelve Grapes at Midnight
November 3, 2005
From journal City Break in Barcelona
July 25, 2003
From journal life in barcelona
February 23, 2003
For under 10 Euros you can expect a three-course meal featuring local cuisine, such as paella, chicken, or pork casserole, tortilla (an extremely filling spanish omelette), fish, or potato based dishes. The meals are not made with the highest quality ingredients, but they are nourishing and generaly well cooked in a traditional way. Desserts are usually a yogurt or individual tub of ice cream. However, included in your price will often come bread, a bottle of local wine, and coffee. This is generally served up in a no-nonsense atmosphere, and often frequented more by locals than tourists as the restauranteurs rarely speak any english (that does not mean that they CANNOT speak any english). We found these to be an authentic way to try local dishes and thouroughly enjoyed everything we tried, feeling we had received excellent value for our money. This then liberated our cash to enjoy extravagant ice creams or melt-in-the-mouth pastries with hot chocolate on cooler days.
From journal culture vultures in Barcelona
by Jose Kevo
July 12, 2001
From journal If I had to live in Europe...