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Seafood casserole

Cuisine and tradition in the culinary collectives and hotels of Catalonia


Places where you can try local recipes and dishes made with locally sourced ingredients

Catalan cuisine is the landscape of Catalonia on a plate. This is how one of Catalonia’s leading writers, Josep Pla, described it. And he was right: the traditional recipes of Catalonia include fish and seafood, game from the hills, and free-range poultry and vegetables from the market gardens dotted around the countryside - all this is what gives Catalan cuisine its distinctive identity. Several culinary hotels and collectives in the region are known for their fine dining based on locally sourced ingredients.

Culinary hotels

There are about 45 hotels, mainly in Barcelona, on the Costa Brava, the Costa Dorada and in the Catalan Pyrenees. They are distinguished by their dishes based on local recipes, made with ingredients with designation of origin or protected geographical indication. They are also informal, family-style hotels, none of which has more than 60 bedrooms. Their location makes them ideal for exploring some of Catalonia’s attractions. For example, you’ll find some in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, in Palafrugell and Figueres (where you can find out more about the life and work of Salvador Dalí), near Tarragona and its Roman legacy (in Reus, the town where Gaudí was born), surrounded by vineyards in the home of Catalan cava (Vilafranca del Penedés), in the wild nature of the Pyrenees (in Peramola, Ribes de Freser or Prullans, for example), in small inland villages like Pals or La Seu de Urgell, or with views over the Mediterranean sea in Begur or Altafulla.

Haute cuisine

Culinary collectives

These are groups of restaurants, chefs and small food producers offering traditional dishes made with local ingredients. Their dishes are made with locally sourced foods, such as tomatoes from their own market gardens, or the fresh fish which arrives each morning at the nearest wholesale fish market. Fish and shellfish are undoubtedly the star players on the coast. This maritime cuisine features bluefin tuna, Baix Penedés prawns, and tasty dishes like fish suquet. Throughout the region there are local pork sausages, vegetable specialities like haricot beans, artichokes and calçots (grilled spring onions), rice dishes and the delicious xató (a sauce made with toasted almonds and hazelnuts, breadcrumbs with vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt, and red peppers). We recommend trying the olive oil, wines and cavas, and typical sweet treats such as panellets in the restaurants and culinary collectives found throughout the region. There are more than 20 of these collectives, and you’ll find information about them on the Catalan Tourist Office website.

Wine and cava glasses