Hungry for street food in Barcelona? Barcelona street food isn’t particularly famous, at least not as much as in cities where there are food stalls on every corner – like the amazing taco stands in Mexico City! However, if you want to grab something tasty while you’re sightseeing, then there are plenty of options for street food in Barcelona that you can buy and eat on the go. Here are my picks for the best Barcelona street food and where to find it!
Does Barcelona have Street Food?
I was surprised when someone asked me about Barcelona’s street food options. I hadn’t really thought of Barcelona as having any street food, as there aren’t usually many stalls on the street selling food in Barcelona. However, once I got thinking about what street food is – food that you can eat on the street while standing up – I realised that actually there is street food everywhere in Barcelona!
The Best Barcelona Street Food
You can find all kinds of food in Barcelona, from tapas to empanadas, dumplings to bratwurst, so here is my pick of the best street food in Barcelona:
Catalan and Spanish Street Food in Barcelona
These are sandwiches made with crusty bread and filled with a variety of ingredients such as cured meats, cheeses, or tortilla de patata (potato omelette). You can pick up a tasty bocadillo at every bakery in Barcelona. Instead of butter, they are usually spread with tomato before the filling is added.
Yes, a bikini, but not the swimsuit kind. A Bikini is like a grilled cheese and ham sandwich, similar to a croque monsieur in France. It got its name from Sala Bikini, a Barcelona nightclub which decided to start selling the toasted cheese and ham sandwich during the 1950s. Now you can find this tasty street food in Barcelona cafes and bakeries.
Coca is a type of savoury flatbread topped with various ingredients like vegetables, meat, fish, or cheese. It is common street food in Barcelona, especially during festivals and celebrations.
One street food Barcelona is known for is empanadas. Empanadas are a kind of pie or pastry filled with meat, seafood, cheese or vegetables. The name empanada comes from the Spanish word empanar which means to cover something with bread – so the filling is covered with pastry.
Barcelona has two kinds of empanadas – Galician empanadas and Argentinean empanadas, both of which are delicious! Galician empanadas are usually large, shallow pies square that are cut into pieces, or baked as individual pies.
The most common filling is tuna, often with olives, or other fillings include meat, seafood and spinach with cheese. Argentinean empanadas are fatter, individual pasties that come with a huge variety of fillings.
I nearly didn’t include paella as a Barcelona street food, as there aren’t any shops I know of where you can walk in and take a portion of paella to go and eat on the street. However, if you are attending a festival or street food market, there is often a paella stand with a huge pan of paella bubbling away.
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This famous Spanish dish originated in Valencia and traditionally has chicken and rabbit mixed with rice. However, seafood paella is more common in Barcelona, as is the Catalan version fideuà which is cooked with thin vermicelli noodles instead of rice.
You can also find Arros Negre (Black Rice), which is coloured and flavoured with squid ink and is usually made with squid, cuttlefish and mussels. A bowl of arros negre with a dollop of garlic aioli is hard to beat!
Tapas are small plates of various appetizers and snacks, including dishes like patatas bravas (fried potatoes with spicy sauce), croquettes, and albondigas (meatballs).
The name tapa comes from the Spanish verb tapar which means “to cover”, and comes from when people in bars would cover their drink with a slice of bread to keep the flies out. These days, tapas have evolved into much more delicious dishes than simple pieces of bread!
While you can eat some tapas on the go as street food, it’s easier to sit down at a bar and enjoy it. Most bars and restaurants in Barcelona have an outdoor terrace where you can sit on the street to eat if you prefer to be outside – although there is often a 10% supplement to eat on the terrace.
Buñuelos de Bacalao
These tasty little balls of codfish are deep-fried and are one of my favourite Barcelona street foods. You can order them as a tapa in many places, but at markets and street stalls, you can also find freshly fried buñuelos de bacalao.
Bacalao is salted cod, which is a popular way to preserve the fish, and you can find bacalao in a variety of dishes – but in my opinion, none are quite as tasty as the buñuelos, or bunyols in Catalan.
Thinly sliced cured ham from the Iberian pig, Spanish ham is delicious and a must-try in Barcelona. You will see the legs of ham hanging from hooks in bars, restaurants, markets and Xarcuterias.
Once sliced, street food ham is typically served in a paper cone as a snack (often with Manchego cheese) or in a bocadillo sandwich. If you have time to sit and enjoy it, order a plate of ham and a tapa of bread with tomato so you can savour every mouthful!
Bombas are a popular tapas and Barcelona street food snack. Bombas are large, ball-shaped potato croquettes that are filled with seasoned ground meat and served with a spicy garlic sauce.
These are small snacks typically served on a skewer or slice of bread with a cocktail stick stuck in it to hold the toppings in place. Pintxos are a speciality of the Basque region but are a popular Barcelona street food as well.
They come with a variety of toppings, such as cured meats, cheeses, seafood, and vegetables like padron peppers. Keep the cocktail sticks as counters to show how many pintxos you’ve eaten.
You can find pintxo bars all around Barcelona, but my favourite place to go is Carrer Blai, which has several excellent pintxo bars on the same street so you can have a pintxo bar crawl.
Similar to pintxos, montaditos are small sandwiches typically made with a slice of baguette or bread roll and filled with various ingredients like cured meats, cheeses, and spreads.
100 Montaditos is a popular chain of casual restaurants which specialises in montaditos. The quality isn’t amazing but it is cheap at around €1 per montadito!
While calçots aren’t strictly speaking a street food, they are best enjoyed outdoors at a barbecue. Calçots are long, green onions that are grilled until tender and charred. They are always served with romesco sauce for dipping.
If you visit Barcelona during the calçot season (usually from January to April), you’ll have the opportunity to try this traditional Catalan delicacy.
Boniato (Sweet Potato)
If you visit Barcelona in winter, chances are that you will come across street food stalls selling roasted sweet potatoes and chestnuts. It’s a great way to warm up on a cold day, and a healthy street food snack too!
International Street Food in Barcelona
No matter what kind of street food you are hungry for, you can find it in Barcelona. There are lots of restaurants and takeaways serving up tasty meals and snacks to enjoy on the go well into the night.
A tasty Barcelona street food that is recognisable all over the world, pizza is easy to eat on the go. There are lots of places to grab a slice of pizza while you’re out exploring.
Similarly, kebabs are another popular street food in Barcelona. You can order durum kebabs which are more like burrito-style kebabs, with the filling wrapped inside a flat round tortilla-style bread, or you can also find Turkish and Greek kebabs served in thicker pita-style breads.
One of my favourite street food spots in Barcelona is Moaz which serves up delicious falafel and salad in pita bread.
Bo de B in El Born takes sandwich making to the next level. Far beyond the usual bocadillos you’ll get from most bakeries, the sandwiches here are worth the wait!
Noodles & Rice
Wok and Walk is a great chain of takeaway restaurants if you fancy some Asian street food in Barcelona. It’s cooked to order while you wait, so you can watch the chefs toss everything into the wok and then tipped into a cardboard box when it’s ready.
While I love nothing better than dining at a nice Italian restaurant, sometimes it is great to grab and go with some street food. There are low-key pasta takeaway places where you can get a tasty box of spag bol or various other pasta dishes for under €10.
Sweet Barcelona Street Foods
Churros or Xurros are one of those Barcelona street foods you have to try! Churros are similar to donuts, but are long and thin and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. While you could eat them on their own, they are best served with a cup of thick hot chocolate for dipping. YUM!
Xuixos are a popular Catalan pastry from the city of Girona, about an hour north of Barcelona. They are made by deep-frying dough filled with ingredients like cream, chocolate, or other sweet fillings. Xuixos are often dusted with powdered sugar and can be found at bakeries and street stalls most often in Girona, but sometimes in Barcelona too.
Cakes and Pastries
I love the bakeries in Barcelona! You can find all sorts of tasty treats at a bakery to take out and eat on the street. One of my personal favourites is the chocolate-coated palmera, as it is easy to eat without dripping cream and fillings over my clothes! They are called palmeras because the shape resembles a palm fan, and they are made with sweet flaky pastry.
Gelato and Ice Cream
Barcelona has many gelato and ice cream shops offering a variety of flavours. I am still working my way around the gelato shops in Barcelona to find my favourite!
Crepes and Waffles
You’ll find crepe stands in many areas of Barcelona, in particular around Port Vell, offering both sweet and savoury options. Sweet crepes can be filled with Nutella, fruits like banana or strawberry, or caramel, while savoury crepes often include ingredients like ham, cheese, and mushrooms. Waffles are often served at the same stalls.
Fresh Fruit and Juices
Barcelona has fruit stands and juice bars in the markets which offer fresh fruit cups, sliced fruits, and refreshing smoothies and juices made with a variety of tropical fruits. La Boqueria Market is famous for the rows of colourful juice drinks, which are very refreshing on a hot day!
In the winter months, you’ll find street vendors selling roasted chestnuts, a warm and comforting treat to enjoy while exploring the city.
Where to Find Street Food in Barcelona
Shops and Kiosks
The main difference between a place like Barcelona and Mexico City for example is that you usually go into a shop or to a kiosk to buy street food in Barcelona, there aren’t many street food stalls out on the pavement here. These shops or kiosks sell a variety of Catalan and Spanish street food, as well as international dishes to munch on. Sometimes you can sit down to eat on a few simple tables inside or on the street outside or take your food to go and eat it as you wander or find a bench to sit on.
The food markets in Barcelona are legendary, and the best place to find fresh food in the city. Many people prefer to shop at markets over supermarkets as the price and quality are much better – and you get to know the stall owners. As well as buying produce to prepare at home, you can also find some amazing street food in the markets in Barcelona. La Boqueria on Las Ramblas is the most famous Barcelona market, but visit the less-touristy markets like Sant Antoni and Santa Caterina close to the Gothic Cathedral for a more authentic experience.
Outdoor Markets & Events
One place where you will find street food stalls is at the outdoor markets, events and festivals. It is hard to keep track of all the events in Barcelona
Street Food Stalls & Trucks
As I mentioned earlier, there aren’t many street food stalls in Barcelona unless there is a specific event or an outdoor market where you will find a street food section with tasty stalls and food trucks selling all kinds of street food.
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