Local Dining: Eating in Barcelona With Food Lovers Company
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Riding the bus from Barcelona airport to city center, I thought, “I’m technically only here for 2.5 days. There’s no way I’m going to be able to try all the food I want!” By Monday afternoon, it was confirmed. My flight was leaving early Tuesday morning, and I hadn’t even eaten any of the local charcuterie! Luckily, my foodie woes were saved by Food Lovers Company.
True Local Insight
Despite the fact that the Food Lovers tour is noted in Rick Steves Spain 2017 book, it is truly a homegrown and local company. Unlike other food tours in the city run by American expats, this one is born and bred by two Barcelonians who have each been living in Barcelona for at least 30 years. They know the city like the back of their hands and have seen it evolve from the days when the Gothic Area was affordable and still had a neighborhood feel to when Barcelona started becoming overrun with tourists and overtaken by commercial shops.
Despite all the changes they’ve seen in Barcelona, there are some things that never change like the heart of the food scene. Nuria and Margherita know all the best spots to go to such as places they’ve grown up with and people they’ve had years of relations with. So you not only get delicious Catalonian food, but you get the stories and history behind the neighborhood you’re in, the restaurant you’re sitting in, and of course, the dishes you’re eating.
Dining in True Barcelonian Style
Restaurant #1 – Eating traditional meats, learning about this restaurant’s history, and trying a very distinct white wine. I’ve never had anything like it!
Barcelonians love to drink and eat for hours. It’s a time to relax and unwind with friends and savor each bite, sip and story with friends. You’ll get the same feel as you dine with Nuria or Margherita over four restaurants for four hours! Seriously, it’s not a non-stop foodventure, and each place is a foodie’s dream. From an almost century year old butcher shop in the Gothic Area for charcuterie to a rustic restaurant with a warm environment for local dishes, you’ll try everything you could ever want and more.
Restaurant #2 – Drinking Vermouth like you’re supposed to, asking Nuria question after question about the Barcelona lifestyle, and eating anchovies, sausages, and more.
What I loved about my food tour with Nuria is all the foods we tried that I wouldn’t have thought to order myself. No amount of research online or even recommendations from friends who visited Barcelona would’ve told me which dishes are commonly eaten when, which wines are from the local area, or which drinks are meant for social drinks, not for dinner. These were things only someone who’s lived and eaten in Barcelona for so long could know. On the flip side, no amount of setting expectations would’ve prepped Nuria for the amount of questions I would have about Barcelonian dining etiquette, norms, and restaurant recommendations.
Surprise Hidden Gem
After two restaurants, Nuria brought us to a local’s only hidden gem! We climbed up these tiny spiral staircases, which had no lights and barely fit our feet, up to a beautiful view of the city. From here, we could see Barcelona from one end to the other light up like the night sky. She said many tourists don’t know about this and that even only a few locals do. It was like our little secret for the night!
Please excuse my sad iPhone photos throughout this post. My husband dropped and broke my Sony A6000 the day before… GRRR. It’s fixed now though!
Overstuffed With Joy
Believe it or not, even though we already ate a ton, we had two more restaurants to go, and it seemed like the amount of food at each place seems to get bigger and bigger. One of my favorite dishes at the third restaurant was this squid ink croquette. I also had this dried tuna, which is similar to how they dry their pork. Again, this is something I wouldn’t have thought to order!
I was pretty full by the time we got to the last restaurant, but I couldn’t resist local wine, mussels, rice and chicken stew, and these two desserts. As we were all slowing down from eating, Nuria gave us recommendations for where to eat during our time in Barcelona. She even gave me recommendations specific to scallop sushi and the best paella.
After this food tour, I was more than satisfied about my trip to Barcelona. Not only did I get to try a billion local dishes and drinks (ok, that’s a bit exaggerated…) but I also got to learn about the history and context of the food and eating culture as well as get a glimpse into a local’s lifestyle in Barcelona over 30 years.
To get a taste of where I ate and go to that secret viewpoint of the city, book a tour with Food Lovers Company now! For the food, number of hours eating, and the experience, you won’t find a more authentic local food tour in Barcelona than theirs.
Thanks for stopping by! xo.
If you liked this post on the Food Lovers Company, you may want to check out this total city guide to Barcelona where you can find out everything from how to get to city centre from the airport to what to do and where else to eat.
Most Commonly Used Travel Items in Europe
If you liked my suggestion on taking this food tour in Barcelona to get all your delicious local eats, then you may like these items I travel to every country in Europe with!
Reusable, Foldable Bag (See 8 Reasons Why Here)