You can eat as well in Barcelona as anywhere in Spain, sampling local Catalan dishes, fresh fish and seafood, and specialties
from other parts of Spain and abroad. Since restaurants here cater to foreigners, dinner is served much earlier than elsewhere
Fish and Seafood
Be sure to eat fish during your visit, preferably in one of Little Barcelona's restaurants where it is a specialty. Appetizers often include a selection of shellfish, tiny grilled sardines or giant prawns. Local main fish dishes are often a type of sarsuela, fish stew, or suquet de peix, a soupy fish and potato casserole. Although not the home of paella (that's Valencia), there are wonderful arròs dishes, where rice, subtly flavored with vegetables and spices, is combined with fish and its stock. Try fideuà, cooked like paella but using fine pasta in place of rice. Mar i Muntanya
Mar i muntanya (sea and mountain), or surf 'n' turf, has inspired some of Catalonia's best recipes. Using local ingredients, cooks have created combination dishes featuring rabbit, shrimp, prawns, chicken and meat. Look for mar i cel (sea and sky) on local menus, or try some of the excellent pork products. Main dishes are usually accompanied by intensely flavored vegetables, a saffron sauce, a garlic mayonnaise or a crisp salad. The local bread, baked several times a day, is crisp and light, a reminder of Barcelona's proximity to the French border. Cured ham, spicy sausages and garlic snails are often part of a tapas lunch, a good time to try a variety of tastes. Thirst-quenchers
Bars serve tea, coffee, soda and fruit juice as well as every conceivable form of alcohol. You'll find many familiar drinks, and a range of Spanish beers and wines. Beer comes in bottles or on tap, and you can buy wine by the glass. Local red, white and rosé wines come from the Penedès area; Torres and Masia Bach are reliable labels. Cava makes a great aperitif; a light sparkling dry wine, it's made the same way as champagne.