eat calcots in Barcelona

The history of the calçots and where to eat them in Barcelona

If you live in Barcelona, ​​you probably already know what calçots and calçotada are. It is a elongated white onion With a sweet taste that is consumed from November to mid-April, February being its high season. Although to eat these onions many go to the countryside or the mountains, in this post we want to tell you that In Barcelona there are many places to eat calçots so that you are encouraged to enjoy this popular Catalan tradition.

What are calçots?

It is a white onion (Allium Cepa L.) what It is grown in a special way To make it elongated. As we advance, this vegetable is one of the typical dishes par excellence of Catalan cuisine, typical of the city of Valls in the province of Tarragona, although it is currently cultivated in practically all of Catalonia, and even in other provinces of Spain and abroad. Its consumption is associated with the “Feast of the Calçotada”, A popular party in the Valls region where competitions, dances and calçots are eaten for two days in a row on the last weekend of January.

We want to highlight that the calçot de Valls is protected by a geographical indication, a European quality badge that is granted to certain products based on their origin and quality.

What is the origin of the calçots

The history of the calçots it's still an unknownto. The best known story about its origin dates back to the end of the XNUMXth century. It is said that a farmer from the city of Valls nicknamed Xat of BenaigesHe unintentionally burned several onions in the fire he was going to eat. Instead of throwing them away, the farmer peeled them and tested them by discoveringl sweet taste of the vegetable and its tender texture.

the calçots in Barcelona wrapped in newspaper
Calçots wrapped in newspaper when leaving the coals

In turn, calçot owes its name to the special way of growing onion. To lengthen it, it is necessary to "fit" ("calçar" in Catalan) with more land. That is, earth is added to its base so that the onion has to "stretch" in search of light. This process is repeated two or three times during cultivation, to achieve a white part long enough to eat. The length of this vegetable should be approximately 15 to 25 centimeters.

How to peel the calçots to eat them

The calçots are normally roasted and when they are well made they are wrapped in newspaper until they are consumed. They are served on a plate or a tile next to the romesco sauce, a delicious dressing based on high quality tomatoes, almonds and other nuts. In turn, the restaurants that normally serve calçots menu also include grilled meat, lamb ribs, the typical Catalan sausage, drink and dessert.

calçots with romesco sauce
The calçots soak in romesco sauce before eating them

The first thing to do when you are ready to eat a calçotada is put on the bib and prepare to get your hands dirty. To eat them you must take a calçot and peel it by gently pressing its tip and pulling over the green leaf that it still has. Once peeled, you should spread it in the romesco sauce and eat it. An important tip is to use a bib because it is very easy to get stained with the sauce. Remember that calçots are served immediately from the coals, so eating them will make your hands very dirty. Nevertheless, It is worth enjoying this experience and Catalan tradition.

Restaurants with calçots menu in Barcelona

Without leaving the city, you can find very complete menus dedicated to this vegetable. Here are some coordinates.

L'Antic Forn

Villarroel Street, 182 or Pintor Fortuny Street, 28.

This restaurant has been working the coals with mastery for almost thirty years to prepare the calçots they bring from El Prat del Llobregat during the season, and in turn, veal or lamb meats. For € 35 you can enjoy its menu of calçots in Barcelona, ​​which in addition to onions, includes options for vegetarians or carnivores and sweets prepared by the house.

Can Vador

Carrer de Déu i Mata, 69 and Carrer de la Diputació, 367 

It has two addresses in two different neighborhoods. One is very close to the Plaza Tetuán and the other in the L'Illa Diagonal shopping center. Both restaurants do not deviate a bit from what a good calçots menu should be. First they serve the calçots with romesco sauce, second lamb meat or beefsteak. They also serve traditional desserts such as Catalan cream and honey with mató cheese. For 35 euros you can taste this menu with quite generous portions. In turn, if you only want to eat calçots you can order them for 12,50 euros.


Carrer del Montseny, 14

For approximately 28 euros you can enjoy the calçotada menu of this typical Catalan tavern located in the heart of the Gràcia neighborhood. The menu includes fifteen calçots per person (from organic farming and brought from Villafranca del Penedés. They are accompanied by a classic barbecue, meat cod or grilled vegetables. They also serve classic desserts and other options such as lemon sorbet.

wine porrón
The calçots are always accompanied with a porron of wine @mussolrestaurantes

Carmen Restaurant

Carrer de Valladolid, 44

For 30,90 euros you can eat a very complete calçotada menu in Barcelona, ​​in this restaurant located very close to Sants station and which has 18 years in the city. In addition to the calçots tile with romesco sauce, toast and allioli, they serve a barbecue of grilled meats with caliu potatoes, french fries and beans. This menu also includes classic homemade desserts, wine and coffee.


Carrer d'Aragó, 261

The calçots at this restaurant in Barcelona are grown less than a kilometer from the sea, which makes them sweeter, more tender and less fibrous. For 28 euros they serve a tile with 15 calçots per person, three sauces (the traditional romesco, hummus and pesto), and main dishes of chicken with potatoes and Montseny sausage. This inclusive menu also offers vegetarian options such as calçot croquettes and vegetable dishes. In addition, for four more euros you can choose to have unlimited calçots during your lunch. The five restaurants of the Mussol Group distributed in different neighborhoods of Barcelona will serve this menu until April 5.

Do you want to discover more restaurants in Barcelona? We leave you a list with the best Eixample neighborhood recommendations. Learn more by downloading easyPick by clicking on the image below.


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