If you’re heading to Barcelona
and are the kind of person who has an insatiable sweet tooth then you’re in luck – it’s not just paella
which make the city’s gastronomic scene one of the finest in Europe. The Catalan capital is a great place to seek out a number of sweet treats
, from traditional nougat known as turron
, to fresh doughnuts topped with the wildest flavours you can think of. Here’s our guide to where to find the finest sugary delights in the city.
Horchata at Sirvent
Ice Cream Parlour, Candy Store, Spanish, $$$
Horchata at Sirvent
On any given Sunday the queue outside Sirvent should give you a good indication of just how well-regarded the establishment is among locals. And while the ice cream and turron at this Sant Antoni institution are definitely worth mentioning in their own right, it’s the horchata at Sirvent that really steals the show. This starchy, sweet drink is made using tiger nut and is a staple of the local diet come the warmer months. Don’t get caught out upon arrival and be sure to grab a ticket from the dispenser at the entrance or you’ll be waiting for hours.
Sirvent, Carrer del Parlament de Catalunya, 56, Barcelona, Spain
Ice Cream at Rocambolesc
Any self-respecting foodie will have heard of El Celler de Can Roca – the Catalan restaurant frequently named as one of the top three restaurants in the world. What they might not have heard is that the founders recently opened up an ice cream parlour on La Rambla. Rocambolesc serves three or four freshly churned ice creams at any one time but with a multitude of different toppings for you to choose, from fresh blueberries to gold-coloured popping candy. As was to be expected, the ice cream is some of the best you’ll ever try and will redefine your expectations when it comes to what chocolate or vanilla ice cream tastes like.
Rocambolesc, La Rambla, 51-59, Barcelona, Spain
Doughnuts at La Donutería
If the thought of fresh, fluffy doughnuts smothered with naughty icings and toppings has got you watering at the mouth then you’ll be pleased to know that La Donutería in Sant Antoni is home to just this sort of sweet treat. This independently-owned doughnut bakery produces fresh doughnuts every day that you can watch in the making from the store windows. The choice of topping changes on a regular basis and defies all expectations –matcha tea with mango, apricot and pistachio, pumpkin and pecan nut to name just a few. These bad boys are so fresh and light that they would nearly you make you forget they were naughty…
La Donutería, Carrer del Parlament, 20, Barcelona
Courtesy of La Donutería
Churros con Chocolate at Churrería San Roman
One of the most classic Spanish sweet treats of all times, churros con chocolate are a mouthful of warm chocolatey goodness – the food equivalent to a hug. While churros are available at cafés and corner stalls across the city, only a few places qualify for serving them as they should: freshly fried churros with a cup of pure melted chocolate. Churreria San Roman (a churrería being a place that makes churros) has been delighting its customers since the 1960s and has a reputation for some of the finest churros in town. You’ll also find a wide selection of other fried delights, both sweet and savoury, from cream filled doughnuts to homemade potato chips.
Churreria San Roman, Carrer del Consell de Cent, 211, Barcelona
Patisserie at Pastelería Escribà
If you’re a sucker for a good, old-fashioned French-style pâtisserie, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the Pastelería Escribà on the Gran Vía has been making some of the finest pâtisserie in Barcelona. The shop opened in 1906 when a former coal-miner tried his hand at baking and later his grandson would experiment with chocolate work that he learned in Paris. Today, Escribà has a reputation for creating some of the most original and avant-garde cakes in the city and the queue outside the store at Easter, Christmas and every other major celebration is a testimony to the shop’s well-earned success. Even those that don’t have a sweet tooth will appreciate staring through the window at this sophisticated creations.
Pastelería Escribà, Gran Via Corts Catalanes, 546, Barcelona
Turrón at Casa Colomina
If you’re not familiar with turrón, you may well have heard of it under a different name, nougat. All you really need to know is that it’s a delicious mixture of honey, eggs, sugar and toasted almonds, which people love here in Spain. There are roughly two varieties: a hard, brittle turrón and a soft, chewy turrón – both of which are equally delicious and it’s merely a question of personal preference (or state of your teeth) as to which you choose. Located in Barcelona’s Old Town, Casa Colomina is an institution in the world of turrón here in Barcelona and has been manufacturing the treat since the early 1900s. They have a wide selection of both hard and soft turrón to choose from, as well as varied hampers and mixed boxes ideal for presents.
Casa Colomina, Carrer de la Cucurulla, 2, Barcelona
Turrón soft and hard | © Jonathan Pincas