Tasting Spain: My Favorite Dishes in Barcelona

Katie Romanovich is a student at California Lutheran University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Barcelona, Spain

When I came to Barcelona, I really had no clue on what kind of food was popular or well-liked in the city. As a picky eater, I wondered and worried that I was going to have a hard time finding food I really liked. However, during my abroad experience I’ve pushed myself to be more adventurous and have been absolutely delighted by the dishes here!

1. Paella

Paella is my favorite dish here in Barcelona. My favorite restaurant to go to is just around the corner from my residencia. I go there 1-2 times a week and the store owner has my order memorized– it’s amazing. Although you’re typically supposed to have seafood in your paella, I always go for the chicken, rice, and spicy red peppers. The way the chicken, rice, and peppers cook together give the rice the perfect flavor. Since paella is generally meant for two people to share, I always end up bringing a little home to eat for lunch the next day. I will miss this one for sure when I’m back in the U.S.

2. Jamon Iberico Bocadillo

Jamon Iberico can be found on every block of Barcelona. As someone who’s not much of a sandwich fan, I was amazed by the delicious, strong taste the jamon bocadillo had. The savory taste mixed with the Spanish bread makes this the perfect lunch, or even a quick snack. Bocadillos with salami here are also wonderful!

3. Pan con Tomate

Although it may not seem like much, this is a famous appetizer that you can get as a tapa, or before a meal. It consists of tomato spread on top of bread with salt and olive oil, creating a light but tasty snack. I was nervous to try it at first, but I was shocked to see how delicious it was and how well it went with my main course.

4. Spanish Tortilla

At first I was apprehensive to try this dish, but when my Spanish friend recommended it and ordered it for us for lunch, I was so surprised! Spanish tortillas consist of potatoes, eggs, and onions and are absolutely delicious. Although it’s not composed of many ingredients, they blend perfectly together to create a delicious taste. This is one of the most famous Spanish dishes, and it’s easy to cook yourself as well!

While in Spain, I’ve broadened my horizons in so many ways, but the food in Barcelona has probably been the thing I’ve most ventured out on. It’s such an interesting experience trying food that is so special to a country, and there will be so many meals I will miss when I return to the U.S. During my final month in Spain, it is very likely I will be eating paella every other day, and I’m absolutely okay with that (although my wallet is not). The next time you’re in Spain, I highly recommend trying these dishes which well help you appreciate the country’s uniqueness.


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