In Barcelona, choosing a great place to sit down for a heaping plate of paella can be difficult. Paella, a Spanish rice dish can be served yellow, black or orange; with meats, shellfish or fish; with chopped vegetables or a fine sofrito…everyone seems to have their own style of preparing and presenting this staple dish.
While paella originated from the south of Spain, Barcelona is full of restaurants and cafés offering this iconic rice. Just walk down La Rambla and you will be offered the dish along with a cup of sangria by 20 different waiters trying to get you to sit down for a plate. However, as is usual with famous dishes, many places offer reheated, low-quality paellas at hefty prices. There are many ways to avoid these tourist traps (ask the locals, check out TripAdvisor, expect to wait 30 minutes for a fresh cooked batch) but the best way to know you are receiving the best of the best is to put on the chef’s hat for yourself.
There are several small kitchens in Barcelona that offer public and private classes that offer intimate settings and authentic ingredients. I have taken two paella classes in Barcelona, both of which have been the highlight of my time in the city.
The photos below are from “The Spanish Cooking Experience” put on by TravelBar in Barcelona. This class is great for younger people and those on a budget. The class includes a trip to La Boqueria market to select fresh products, an introduction to the art of Spanish tapas and lessons in making a seafood paella and red-wine sangria. Check out the photos/video below and consider taking a class for yourself to taste true paella in Barcelona.