In addition to being a cultural and seaside city, Barcelona offers interesting culinary suggestions ranging from the tasty Spanish cuisine to the most exotic and alternative ones from all over the world. In this article we’re going to suggest a few places where to eat in Barcelona.
All you have to do is walking along its carrers to realize the limitless variety offered. Its tourist vivacity could also represent a trap in which it’s easy to fall: the restaurants where the locals hang out are mostly hidden from the main streets. It’s often easier to choose a comfortable dehors on the rambla where, after the dessert, the waiter will present an out of this world check for an extremely ordinary meal.
First of all, we would like to unmask one of the many stereotypical myths about Spain: unless you have reliable recommendations, if you’re looking for a “typical” dinner with paella and sangria you have already lost. Since they’re both considered the emblematic Spanish food, many restaurants make money from it. The paella has a very complicated and long preparation, and it’s usually cooked at home for special family occasions.
So BE AWARE when you choose a restaurant if you want to taste paella: you will mostly find restaurants that will try to dump a cheap imitation of paella on you at high prices.
After this premise, in our opinion it’s still impossible to rank the best resturants in Barcelona since the offer is too wide. Anyway in this article we give you our recommendations for a few places we tried and loved for the quality of the food, the vibe and the price/quality ratio. They are all usually apart from the most tourist areas and mainly visited by locals, which is very important if you’re looking for an authentic experience.
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Toyo Japones, 10 Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla (5min walking from Diagonal metro station)
It may seem weird suggesting a Japanese resturant in Spain, but Barcelona is such a cosmopolitan city that it’s a pity not enjoy it. If you decide to choose this place, get ready to wait in a line to get in (like in any other good restaurant in Barcelona). The most crowded time is between 9 and 10pm, so we suggest you to go there earlier. At the entrance you’ll be welcomed by a comic Japanese woman that will write your name on a piece of paper to call you when the table is ready. If the wait will be more than half an hour, we recommend you a Vermut of the house at the opposite bar, Lo Pyniol.
This place is famous for the all-you-can-eat formula at 10 and 15€. At the beginning you’ll be served with every dish is on the menu, and then you’ll be able to ask what you prefer. We love the maki of the house!
Tacos Tacos Taquerías, C/ St. Fructuos 13, C/ Tamarit 85, C/ Tapioles 9
There are several of these in Barcelona and they represent a good place if you want to plunge into tacos of all kinds. We recommend the tacos locuras, whose base consist in a double layer of taco with melt cheese betweeen, and the nachos marranos (chili, cheddar cheese and jalapenos) to share. To drink you’ll find Mexican beers, unique margaritas and clearly tequila and mezcal, but also interesting soft drinks such as agua de jamaica and agua de tamarindo.
La Tasqueta de Blai, Carrer de Blai 17
This is the heaven of Pintxos! If you never heard of them, we’re talking about small bites of bread with on top any kind of ingredient: tortilla, meat, sausage, ham, vegetables, cheese, croquetas, fish, and so on depending on the creativity of the chef. The origin of the name is Basque, because it’s a dish coming from the northern region of Spain, and it refers to the stick that pierces the pintxo.
At La Tasqueta de Blai every pintxo costs 1€ and the most particular ones 1,80€. To pay, the waiter will count the sticks you have in your plate.
Even though you can find Basque restaurants all over the city, this is our favourite because the offer is wide and continually stocked, the flavors and the matches are original, including sweet pintxos for dessert (Catalan cream too!).
It’s always pretty busy in the rush-hour, it has a dehors which calls for a 10% extra charge. The menu also offer tapas.
La Mestressa, Plaça d’Osca 7
A tiny restaurant visited mostly by local people. It overlooks a nice small square where the many restaurants facing it set up their dehors. The interior is very pleasant too, the atmosphere is cozy and intimate.
The portions are rich and the food very well-cooked. The dishes represent the perfect match of Spanish tradition and modern originality.
We recommend the Catalan cold cuts and cheeses platter to share. Terrific the filet with foie!
La Bombeta, Calle de la Maquinista 3
This is certainly a not polished but highly recommended restaurant! You’ll probably have to wait in line outside for a bit, but you won’t be disappointed. It’s situated in Barceloneta area, close if you’re coming home from the beach or if you want to have a walk in the old harbor area.
To try: the bombas, croquette of potatoes and brava sauce…delicious! You’ll be served by very funny waiters.
There are many restaurant of this company in several neighborhoods of Barcelona: Sants station area (C/ Riego 27), Borne area (C/ Comercial 7), Meridiana area (C/ Pacific 74), Sagrada Familia area (Passatge Simò 18), Passeig de Gracia area (Consell de Cent 318).
It’s an authentic fish shop, where the fish is shown on the counter. You will choose the fish and shellfish you prefer among the ones offered that day; the fish will be weighed and cooked the way you like. When it’s ready they’ll call you with the given number.
Great quality and price.
La Cova Fumada, Calle Baluard 56
This is one of that places that could look not impressive, but where the food is great and the atmosphere pleasant. It’s situated in Barceloneta area and we recommend it for lunch, considering the weird opening times: it’s usually closed at night, unless a few weekly evenings until 8,30pm.
Here you’ll find typical Spanish food, simple and tasty. The place may look a bit austere, but it’s part of the experience too! Absolutely recommended!
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