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Planning a trip to Barcelona? You'll probably have lots of questions about the thriving food and drink scene. In this article, we'll answer five of the top FAQs to help you prepare for your holiday.

What type of food is popular in Barcelona?

Barcelona is in the region of Catalonia, which is known for combining sea and mountain - fresh fish and seafood from the Mediterranean sea, and high-quality meat, vegetables, fruits and grains from the fertile countryside. The food is rich, hearty and full of flavour. Paella is incredibly popular. It's a famous rice dish flavoured with saffron and with ingredients that vary from one Spanish region to the next. In Barcelona, it usually features prawns, squid and mussels. You'll also find it made with squid ink which turns the rice black and imparts a rich flavour. Fideuà is a popular alternative to paella made with short noodles rather than rice. It has similar flavours of paprika and saffron and tends to be packed full of delicious seafood.

Croquettes are a popular Barcelona dish. They're a blend of mashed potato, béchamel sauce and ham rolled into balls, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. They're the perfect snack to accompany a cold beer and you'll often find them in tapas bars along with other small sharing dishes such as patatas bravas (twice-baked potato cubes with spicy tomato sauce), Jamon Iberico (cured ham), padrón peppers (blistered peppers seasons with sea salt) and esqueixada (shredded salt cod with tomatoes, onion, olives and olive oil).

Top 5 FAQs About Barcelona Food and Drink 1

What drink is Barcelona known for?

Cava is without a doubt the drink that Barcelona is known for. 95% of all Cava production takes place in Catalonia, with 90% of it in the Penedès area which is just south of Barcelona. This sparkling wine is relatively cheap, but that doesn't mean it's lacking in quality. It is made in the 'traditional' way, meaning that secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle rather than in a tank like Prosecco. This is in line with the way that Champagne is made but Cava has a much earthier flavour.

Cava and Prosecco are often compared because of their similar price point, but Cava is not as sweet as Prosecco which makes it a better accompaniment to savoury foods. Its young varieties have light, crisp and citrusy flavours, but aged bottles have creamy, nutty and more complex notes. You'll find cava bars - "xampanyerias" - all over Barcelona. You can drop in for a glass or to share a bottle with friends and enjoy some delicious tapas along the way. Many bars offer Cava tasting events so that you can sample different varieties and find your favourites.

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How much is food and drink in Barcelona?

You can expect to pay between €2 and €8 per person for breakfast in Barcelona, €10 to €20 for lunch, and €20 to $30 for dinner without including drinks. Prices can vary greatly depending on the type of restaurant or cafe you visit. You'll find more affordable prices at eateries that are off the beaten track and popular with locals. Many restaurants offer 3-course set menus ("Menú del Día") for lunch which are popular with Barcelona natives. Lunch is more of an occasion in Spain than in the UK. It's an opportunity to take a long midday break and it's not unusual to have a glass of wine with the meal.

Drink in Barcelona is fairly affordable, particularly if you opt for local beer and wine. You can expect to pay €2.50 to €3.50 for a beer and €1.50 to €3.50 for a glass of wine or Cava. Alcohol is even more affordable when you buy it from a shop or supermarket to drink at your accommodation.

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Does Barcelona have street food?

Eating is very much a social event in Spain. Rather than grabbing a bite to eat on the go, locals prefer to take the time to sit down with friends and family and chat over a meal. Food is not something to be rushed, which is why street food isn't immensely popular in Barcelona. It's rare that you'll see a food truck pulled up on the side of the street.

However, there are a few street markets in Barcelona where you can expect to enjoy live music, stalls with local artists, pop-up bars and some food trucks. Palo Market is a popular one. It takes places on the first weekend of every month and you can buy tickets online. It's a brilliant place to enjoy some fast-food Barcelona style, and there's always a lively atmosphere to enjoy.

What is the famous market in Barcelona?

La Boquería (known formally as the Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boquería) is Barcelona's best known market situated right at the heart of the city in El Raval, with access via La Rambla. Its roots go all the way back to the 1200s when the area became a popular spot for local farmers to sell their produce. What was once an open-air market has since been contained within a glass-sided structure to better protect traders and their produce from exposure to the elements.

You'll find La Boquería open Monday through Saturday between 8am and 8.30pm. There's a huge range of fresh produce on offer, including fish, meat, fruits and vegetables, cheese, olives, baked goods, nuts and seeds. If you're staying in self-catered accommodation this market is the perfect place to pick up fresh ingredients to cook at home, with vendors usually happy to give you some pointers on the best way to prepare their produce. You'll also find stalls selling ready-to-eat food and drink for when you're looking for a light meal or a snack to eat on the go.

Find inspiration for 2022 with our top 5 Barcelona food and drink tours for this summer here.

Discover food and drink experiences in Barcelona

If you have more questions about the food and drink in Barcelona, you can find the answers with a food tour in the city itself. Browse the range of Barcelona food and drink experiences on offer with tabl. and discover more about this incredible city's cuisine.

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