I love destinations that make me think of food right away. You know, the ones that make you hungry just thinking about visiting. If you can imagine yourself eating Spanish jamón and sipping on Cava…then you know you just HAVE to take a trip to Barcelona!
There are a few food tours in Barcelona, but the Tapas, Taverns and History Tour from Devour Barcelona caught my eye. So, we scored a spot and got ready to enjoy a great tour of the history of the Gothic Quarter and El Borne neighborhoods — and a food tour on top of that! It was the perfect combination of getting our bearings and tasting our way around a few neighborhoods.
You already know we love food tours, and we’ve done them in Amsterdam, London, and Berlin in the past. I think this was the first food tour I’ve booked that I knew would be amazing, even before going.
A great food tour is not just about the food, it’s about a fun and informative guide, interesting tidbits, a good place to start, and a good place to finish. With so much walking, I really enjoy sitting for a bit at each place we stopped to grab a bite to eat.
After meeting at a well-known landmark that’s super easy to find, we headed to our first super cool spot of the night. It was a tiny bodega with plenty of great wine to choose from, and if you’re a regular, you can fill your bottles from barrels lined against the wall and pay by the liter. How freaking cool is that? Really though?!
A glass of bubbles is always a plus and a great way to start the night. But it’s a food tour, right? And food there shall be! It was almost like an appetizer… just enough to whet your appetite. Of course cheese was involved because this part of Europe always likes to show off their cheese (for good reason!). There’s other bites that maybe you’ve heard of — like the chorizo or Manchego in the photo below — and maybe some you haven’t heard of — like the mojama (cured tuna loin!) in the photo below. One thing’s for sure, it was obvious from this first stop just how much pride goes into local products.
Our group was quite chatty and needed a little nudge to pay attention when we got to each stopping point so we could actually learn something instead of just jabbering away! I love these groups because you meet some of the coolest people. This was no exception.
We explored a lot of beautiful and historical streets. One of the coolest spots we stopped was the steps where Christopher Columbus told King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of his discoveries in the New World.
First of all, I can’t imagine traveling by ship (in those days) across the Atlantic. Then getting lost and “discovering” a continent that makes you a historical figure. What a day that must have been for Columbus. He must have been so proud standing on those steps. Of course we know there were already people in what is now the United States, but it is what it is today because of Columbus.
Back to the food. Anchovies get a bad rep sometimes. Some of us think of anchovies as those little fish in tins that smell funny. But our second stop was known for their anchovies…and they don’t look like any I’ve seen before. Apparently, my life has been very sheltered when it comes to fish. These babies are flash-fried fresh and you eat them with the heads on! I’ve eaten what I consider to be weird stuff before, like eating a grasshopper, but a fish head, yikes! The whole group did it and we were all so proud of ourselves. Bonus! It was delicious!
Sean loved popping into one of the many Basilicas in Barcelona, like Santa Maria del Mar (above). We stood there in awe as we craned our necks to look all the way up at the ceiling. After a quick walk around and stopping to light a candle, we headed back out to hear more about this massive and very old structure by the sea.
With lots of stops in between the restaurants, the four hours flew by as we finished off the tour in the El Borne area at a super cool tapas place. What you see above is the famous Patatas Bravas. As an American, I can only describe the potatoes as thicker steak fries topped with aioli and a red sauce made of various traditional ingredients. Yum!
We relaxed and had some of the best food in Barcelona while sipping delicious wine and reviewing what our favorite points were. Do you see how beautiful that dish is? It honestly looked a little too fancy for me, but one bite and I selfishly kept eating even though it was for the group. Everyone got a bite…I’m not that bad!
Food tours really are an awesome way to taste and discover a city, and with the Tapas, Taverns and History Tour from Devour Barcelona, we got so much more than just food! I loved the history and finding out the coolest little quirks of Barcelona. It made me fall in love with the city even more than I already had. Learning about the city gave us context on how people live now, why they eat what they do, and what it is that attracts so many.
This is a place you have to see and eat to believe. I challenge you to not fall in love with Barcelona. You can’t do it. Hilltops, ports, beaches, shopping streets, bodegas, and everything in between created an experience we’ll never forget…and hope to relive again!
Have you fallen for a city as hard as we fell for Barcelona? Or if you’ve been here, what did you think?