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If you’re looking for a unique and delicious culinary experience, look no further than traditional Catalan food. From seafood dishes to hearty stews, the cuisine of Catalonia offers something for everyone.  Catalonia is a region located in the northeast of Spain, bordering France and the Mediterranean Sea. Its capital, Barcelona, has a rich culture in history, football and of course food and drink.

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Sample the Very Best in Traditional Catalan Food

Traditional Catalan food is known for its fresh ingredients, vibrant flavours, and diverse dishes that reflect the region's landscape, climate, and cultural heritage.

Pa amb tomàquet 

One of the most iconic dishes from Catalonia is pa amb tomàquet, which translates to bread with tomato. It's a simple dish made with rustic bread, fresh tomato, and extra virgin olive oil. The bread is rubbed with garlic, then tomatoes, and drizzled with olive oil. It's often served as an appetizer or alongside traditional meals.


Another signature dish from Catalonia is escalivada, which is a roasted vegetable dish. The vegetables used in the dish vary but typically include bell peppers, eggplant, onions, and tomatoes. The vegetables are roasted until they are charred and tender, then peeled and sliced. They are then drizzled with olive oil and served at room temperature.


Canelons are a popular dish in Catalonia, especially during the holiday season. The dish is similar to lasagna, with layers of pasta filled with meat, usually leftover roast beef or pork, and topped with béchamel sauce. Canelons are traditionally served on December 26th, known as "Sant Esteve" in Catalonia, as a way to use up leftovers from Christmas dinner.

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Botifarra is a type of fresh sausage made from ground pork and flavored with garlic and black pepper. It can be served grilled, fried, or simmered in stews and soups. Botifarra is a staple ingredient in many traditional Catalan dishes, such as escudella i carn d'olla, a hearty stew made with beans, vegetables, and various cuts of meat.

Xató Salad

Xató is a traditional salad from the coastal town of Sitges, near Barcelona. The salad is made with escarole, salt cod, anchovies, and olives, then dressed with a sauce made from almonds, hazelnuts, bread, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. Xató is typically served as a starter or side dish and is a perfect example of the region's love for combining fresh ingredients with bold flavours.


Another classic dish from Catalonia is fideuà, which is similar to paella but made with short, thin noodles instead of rice. The noodles are cooked in a broth flavored with seafood such as squid, shrimp, and mussels, along with garlic, tomatoes, and saffron. Fideuà is typically served with allioli, a garlic mayonnaise, and is a staple at many seaside restaurants.

Crema Catalana

Crema catalana is a traditional dessert that is similar to crème brûlée. It's a creamy custard flavored with cinnamon and lemon zest and topped with a layer of caramelized sugar. Crema catalana is often served as a dessert after a big meal, and it's considered to be one of the most iconic desserts in Catalan cuisine.

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Coca de recapte

Coca de recapte is a savory pastry that can be found all over Catalonia. It's a flatbread topped with a variety of ingredients, such as roasted peppers, onions, anchovies, or sausage. Coca de recapte is often served as a snack or appetizer and is a perfect example of the region's love for simple, fresh ingredients.


Finally, a visit to Catalonia wouldn't be complete without trying the region's famous cava. Cava is a sparkling wine that is made using the traditional method, just like Champagne. Cava is produced throughout Catalonia, and there are several different varieties to try. It's the perfect accompaniment to any traditional Catalan meal, and many wineries offer tastings and tours.

Traditional Catalan food reflects the region's rich culture, history, and landscape. From simple dishes like pa amb tomàquet to more complex meals like fideuà, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The use of fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and traditional techniques make Catalan cuisine an essential part of any culinary journey. 

Book Traditional Catalan Food Tours with tabl.

If you have the chance to visit Catalonia, be sure to indulge in its delicious food and wine whilst trying out one of our Barcelona Food and Drink Experiences - From casual street food to high-end dining, Barcelona offers a diverse range of food and drink experiences that showcase the unique flavours and culture of Catalonia.

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