Eating out in Barcelona

A getaway break on a long weekend is all the time needed to begin sampling the culinary delights of Barcelona. Visitors who are interested in treating their taste buds to some typical Catalonian fare will do well to book a hotel in one of the central districts: restaurants abound in the Born, la Ribera and Gothic quarters. The main train station (Sants Estactio), is only 25 minutes from the airport, commonly known as El Prat, which a large number of airlines fly to, including low-cost flights.

Once travellers have arrived and booked into their hotel, they might want to alter their eating habits (or at least their usual meal times) to immerse themselves fully Barcelona’s dining experience. While the tourist areas, such as La Rambla or Passeig de Gràcia serve food at more or less any time throughout the day, Spaniards will, as a general rule, sit down to meals later than Brits. This means that locals will tend to have lunch from around one thirty onwards and till four in the afternoon, and dinner will be served at half past eight or nine in the evening.

Many dishes on a typical menu will delight. Seafood aficionados – a traditional Catalan meal will consist mainly of fish and fresh ingredients bought at a local market. They might want to look out for bou de mar (crab, either prepared cold on a platter or warm in a stew), cigalas (a small variant of lobster, found locally, with a sweet and juicy flesh), and sarsuela (a seafood or fish-based stew). If you’re feeling brave you might even want to tuck into some rice cooked in cuttlefish ink and accompanied by trunks of cuttlefish and clams (arròs negre), or even cargols (slow-cooked snails in a traditional sauce).Wherever you go, you can expect plenty of oil, and garlic. For larger groups with a wide range of tastes and requests, why not try a tapas restaurant (plenty of tasty morsels to mix and match)?

Restaurants also cater for a variety of budgets – in some small family-run restaurants you can expect to pay five to eight euros for a set lunch menu including starters, a main course, bread, a drink and sometimes desert. Or you could eat à la carte with wine for 20 to 30 Euros a person. For excellent food, albeit higher prices, restaurants along Diagonal and on Ramblas de Catalunya are a good bet.

The incredible variety on offer combined with the chance to try distinctive and authentic Catalonian dishes makes Barcelona a real treasure trove for foodies!

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