Barcelona Eat Local: My Experience!
Barcelona Eat Local tours encompass a culinary and cultural experience in an active and engaging way….a walking tour! With a 5-star TripAdvisor rating and a slew of good reviews, I knew I had to sign up. Barcelona Eat Local offers two different kinds of group tours: Beer & Tapas and Sant Antoni & Poblesec. Both last roughly three hours and allow participants to explore the food scene with a unique twist. Beyond filling up on the Spanish classics, you get the opportunity to walk through different neighborhoods with a guide, learning about the local history and culture.
My mom and I signed up for the “Sant Antoni and Poblesec” with Barcelona Eat Local one as one our final activities before leaving Barcelona, and were so glad we did!
- Barcelona Beer & Tapas Tour // Sant Antoni and Poble Sec Tour
- Phone: +34 662 435 273 or +1 800 656 0713
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Price: 70 euros (adult), 50 euros (age 13-16), 30 euros (age 5-12)
- Recommend booking tickets in advance
- Goes on rain or shine!
FTC Disclosure: Thank you to Barcelona Eat Local for welcoming me as a blogger on this tour. As always, all opinions are completely honest and my own!
Our tour started outside the Sant Antoni Market around 11:20am. (To get there via metro, take the L2 to the Sant Antoni stop.) Since we got there a few minutes early, we chatted a bit with our lovely tour guide Jessica, and met others in the group as well.
Sant Antoni Market
Although when everyone hears “market” in Barcelona, they think of La Boqueria, Barcelona Eat Local takes you to the less tourist-y, characteristic Sant Antoni market. First, Jessica took us around the winding market, pointing out different vendors, and the like. As you can see, the market is colorful and lively in the very Catalan fashion. You definitely get a more authentic local vibe here.
After stopping and purchasing at a few of the stalls, Jessica brought us outside to try our first sampling– croquettes, olives, and desalinated cod. The croquettes were a crispy perfection on the outside with a delicious filling. Next we tried olives (a Spanish staple), along with fresh fish. The cod had been preserved through drying and salting. I enjoy seafood, but am a bit hesitant when it’s not fully cooked but this tasted delicious! It wasn’t overly salty and tasted incredibly tasty.
While we munched, Jessica explained some of the history of the Sant Antoni market. I’ll save some of the secret tidbits for you (take the tour 😉 ) but the building used now is not the actual market. The actual one is across the street but under construction. Why? Because the site is actually on ancient ruins!
Jovani & Vins
Second on our food stops…Jovani & Vins for cava! Jovani & Vins is a family owned wine store producing a range of drinks from red to white wine to cava, all from their farm in the Catalan region. I loved the quirky, yet homey, vibe here. Just look how cute! While we sipped the famous Spanish cava, Jessica explained about the family business and the range of flavors cava can have, depending on how much sugar there is. The one we tried was not too to dry, not too sweet, a perfect middle ground for my wine tastes. Additionally, as an added touch, while we sat with our cava and cheese, Jovani & Vins displays on a screen photos and videos from the family farm.
While Jessica took us to the Poble Sec neighborhood, we stopped different points to share unique facts about the area. For example, the architect here prioritized green spaces and an open concept area. Beyond the food, a highlight of Barcelona Eat Local is the stories told along the way. Whether about a park, the layout of an intersection, or certain markings in the street, Jessica gave us interesting information along the way making the walk lots of fun. Although my mom and I had spent three days in Barcelona prior, we hadn’t explored the Poble Sec neighborhood.
(However, please note these photos are not entirely in sequential order. We stopped quite a few places between each restaurant/establishment but for blogging, it makes sense to give it its own category!).
On our next stop, we delved into a hearty tasting of tapas at El Sortidor. A traditional, authentic Spanish restaurant, its decor is very 20th century including an old-school wooden fridge for show. And let me tell you, the people cooking know what they’re doing! (While we came here in a group, I can definitely recommend coming back for a regular meal.)
Everyone sat down around a long table, and the server was quick to take of getting drinks we wanted. First up to try? Catalan tomato bread! This easy to make staple is often paired with ham, as we did, or on its own as a snack. Our group had fun rubbing the garlic onto the bread, squeezing out the fresh tomato, and topping it off with a drizzle of olive oil. Finishing off this tapas, we shared some thinly sliced Iberian ham.
Although considered a walking food tour, I enjoyed the balance Barcelona Eat Local’s tour gives with sitting down and getting to know the group. One of my favorite parts of traveling is getting to know new people and what better way than over tapas? Our group of was a mix of American and Australian, and it was interesting to exchange stories. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to learn more about Jessica and her story and experiences living in Barcelona!
Next on our tapas exploration came “patatas bravas.” These tenderized potatoes are boiled, then fried, and topped with a tomato-based sauce and aioli. This was my first time trying this and they were delicious! I loved the combination of both the red sauce with the garlic aioli over the salted potatoes. (My mouth is watering just writing and thinking back to this!)
After winding through more of this charming neighborhood, it was time to finish off with Cream Catalana. This delicious dessert is a rich, creamy, and with hints of cinnamon and lemon. And don’t forget the sugar blowtorch-ed into a crisp, crackly topping!
Barcelona Eat Local Tour…Worth It?
In a word: absolutely. I found the three-hour tour a great way to spend an afternoon exploring the gastronomic scene is a less tourist-y way. Barcelona Eat Local takes you to authentic establishments and is an informative, yet fun way, to sample all the delicacies from tapas to croquettes, and more. There’s a reason it’s so highly rated. I think this is a great way for a traveler, whether solo or a family (like my mom and I!) to gain a sense of the city guided by someone who knows their stuff. Plus, count on this to fill you up on a full meal’s worth of food…and then some. If you are in Barcelona and want to spend time learning from a local, trying new dishes, and more definitely check them out 🙂