With more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in Europe, it’s easy to spend every moment in the city eating and drinking. There is no way to narrow a food list down to five things, so here’s a roundup of just the best sweets to sample in Barcelona. Thanks to my mom, who trekked across the city with me so we could sample as many desserts as possible in a few days.
Spain’s version of crème brûlée, spiced with citrus and cinnamon, is more flavorful than the French standard (don’t worry, France, you still win for best croissant). It’s also a quick and easy dessert to make ahead at home. I was able to try out this recipe at our our day-long class at Cook & Taste kitchens.
Eaten alone or dipped in thick, hot chocolate, this was my go-to mid afternoon snack while walking around the city. Here are a few choices:
- Xurreria – Carrer dels Banys Nous, 8
- Comaxurros – Carrer de Muntaner 562
- Xurreria Trebol – Carrer de Còrsega 341
There’s a centuries-old tradition in Spain of cloistered nuns baking and selling dulces to the public as a means to support the convent. Caelum (Calle de la Palla, 8), is a one-stop-shop to find tasty treasures that are shipped in from convents and monasteries all across Spain. You’ll find traditional varieties ranging from polvorons to almond biscuits, Iberian lard mantecadas, orange flavored naranjines and shortbread galletas.
These little marzipan confections are traditionally eaten on All Saints Day (November 1), but can now be widely found throughout Catalonia during October and November. Like many European delicacies, the traditional method of production has been around for centuries, and the treats are made simply with almond, egg and sugar. Some are flavored with citrus, cinnamon, pistachio or hazelnut, while others are coated in pine nuts. La Colmena (Plaça de l’Àngel, 12) is one of the oldest Pastisserías in Barcelona, and offers a large selection of panellets during the season.
There is an abundance of everything chocolate in Barcelona, milk to dark and everything in between — large bars, small bites, inventive bon bons, and cups of the hot, thick drinking chocolate.
- Cacao Sampaka – Consell de Cent 292 – Inventive flavor combinations, traditional bars, single origin varieties, and everything else chocolate from cocoa powder to baking chips.
- Escriba – Les Rambles, 83 – A century old institution specializing in fine cakes, pastries and chocolates with impressive chocolate window displays for holidays.
- Fargas – Carrer del Pi, 16 – Homemade chocolates made in store, but the shop may be closing this year as rising rents are pushing out small businesses from the city center.
- Granja La Pallaresa – Calle Petritxol, 11 – Hot chocolate and churros