Uncovering Europe's best budget hotels since 2001.
Whether you’re seeing the sights or out late experiencing Barcelona’s “fiesta” offerings, street food can come in handy. Street food in Barcelona is not so much stalls or food wagons as it is minute restaurants selling take-away, the idea being that you grab your slice of pizza and head to the nearest bench.
Real street grub
There are a few people who sell food in the street, albeit mostly illegally. For example, it’s impossible to wander the Gothic Quarter after 1 a.m. and not get offered a steaming hot samosa.
Are they good? You betcha. They are also cheap and made in some guy’s kitchen which may or may not be sparkly-clean. I’ve sampled these samosas and didn’t suffer any kind of stomach cramping, but then again I lived in Guatemala for three years so perhaps I am immune. (Or did all the liquor in my system kill off anything that could have been unfriendly in the samosa? Hard to say.) Many people eat these samosas.
Along with samosas you’ll be offered beer. You’ll here the call, “Cerveza beer, amigo?” and a man will proffer a six-pack of chilled beer which will run you €1.50 to €2. This is also illegal, but so common I could never imagine Barcelona without the “cerveza-beer” dudes. You’ve now got a samosa and a beer for under €5 at 1 a.m., and life is good.
**Important note on street beer: Where do the “cerveza-beer” dudes keep their street beer stash when they’re not lugging it around? In the sewer, among other places you’d not want to put your lips. Clean off the can before guzzling!
Pseudo street grub
Looking for a meal that is safer for your stomach and in a legal establishment? Apart from bakeries, which are excellent when it comes for inexpensive take-away sandwiches, pizza slingers and kebabs are the street grub kings. Here are a few I like:
c/ La Cera 33 – El Raval ‘hood
They’ve got all sorts of goodness to take away, including tiramisu, but their pizza is probably the easiest to eat in the street. A slice of pie will cost you €3.50 and there are many flavors to choose from including “Tropical” (pineapple and ham), “Tramontana” (anchovies, sweet pepper, olives, tuna, mozzarella and tomato), and the classic Margarita (tomato and mozzarella).
This is a focaccia place, not a pizza place, but in the end focaccia and pizza are second cousins. Hit up the Buenas Migas right on the sea in La Barceloneta and then take your meal to the many benches that overlook the waves. You can get a slice of focaccia and a drink for about €6 here.
The last time I got a focaccia at Buenas Migas it was smoked salmon with mascarpone – and it was deliciously rich. I actually ate it for breakfast. They have a few standard focaccia and then new featured focaccia every now and then (like the salmon one). They also do sweet focaccia and a few hearty quiches. There are Buenas Migas shops cafes all over the city.
I am a big far of Woki, but my significant other is not. I’m always trying to convince him to give Woki another shot and try a different sauce or noodle in belief that if he just found the right combo, he’d be as keen on Woki as I.
You’ve got choices at Woki: a base for €4.90 of egg or rice noodles or white rice or just veggies. On top of this base your can add ingredients that range between €1.30 and €1.80 each and include shrimp, tofu, beef, cod, etc. Then you get to choose a sauce, which might be “Thai,” “Chinese,” “Japanese” or a variety of other options. The meal costs about €6, depending on how many ingredients you go for, and maybe €8 total with a drink.
Woki also sells beer, wine, cava, fresh fruit juice and many organic, specialty foods. There are several Wokis throughout the city, though the one at the beach is my favorite.
**Note: “Walk to Wok” is a similar Woki street food option in Barcelona.
Ice Cream and Gelato
Does ice cream count as street food? Not sure, but it’s what I see folks eating in the street most often. You’ll find ice cream shops everywhere in the city. Some are better than others. For instance, I’d go for Vioko any day over Dinos. Farga, on Plaça Catalunya, also has a good reputation for their sweets.
The most common street food in Barcelona is the kebab or falafel. Kebab shops are many in the city, with a concentrated number of them in El Raval serving late-night nosh. Some kebab shops are better than others and most Barcelona locals have their preferred vendor. One that is popular in downtown is Narim (c/ Tallers, 80 – El Raval), near Plaça Universitat.
**Note: If you’re a vegetarian you can always get falafel in kebab joints. Also, Maoz is a sort of veggie pita/falafel place in the center that is famous for its all-you-can-pile toppings bar.
Also in our guide: If you’re hunting down a cheap place to call home for the night to go with that samosa, take a look at our Barcelona guide, which includes reviews of cheap Barcelona hotels, all inspected and approved by our editors.