Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is a maze of local markets and eateries, offering delicious food at great prices. Whether you’re in the mood for tapas or a full meal, you’re bound to find somewhere to satisfy your appetite. Alternatively, Port Olympic is a hub for some of the finest seafood restaurants by the beach, allowing you to enjoy a fantastic meal with an amazing ocean view.
Although eating out in Barcelona can be very expensive there are many eateries that are more suited to those of us on a tighter budget. Here are a few of the many: Can Paixano is situated close to the harbour and is great value for money selling all kinds of tapas, sausages, and sandwiches, accompanied with a cheap and tasty home-made sparkling wine; The Pasta Bar is an Italian Restaurant in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona where the food is absolutely gorgeous and very reasonable for massive portion sizes.
Also, in the Gothic Quarter is Bo de Bi. a sandwich and salad place that also offers fantastic bocadillos and patatas bravas at amazingly cheap prices; The Malandrina is an unpretentious, hole-in-the-wall steakhouse in Sant Miquel where you can get great steaks and potatoes, served quick, cheap and without frills.
Barcelona is known as one of the most important gastronomic cities in Spain because of its innovative restaurants and chefs and Eixample is one of its most beautiful districts, offering a number of renowned restaurants for you to choose from.
If you want to treat yourselves, why not try the beautifully designed modern Disfrutar restaurant in Eixample, which won its first Michelin star in 2016? Disfrutar means “enjoy” in English and is a perfect word to describe this high-class dining experience.
Alternatively, what about trying the exciting Pakta Nikkei cuisine restaurant opened in 2015 and awarded 1 Michelin star in 2017. Nikkei Cuisine is the cooking style that mixes Peruvian cuisine and Japanese cuisine. With origins in Peru where it has existed for over 120 years, Pakta means “together united” in Peruvian. Please note both restaurants are closed Sundays and Mondays.
A small neighbourhood known simply as El Born, off all the usual tourist tracks, has been transformed almost overnight into the stylish, fashionable heart of the city. Every day the cafes are packed and at night people move along to Passeig de Born, to sample the many bars, which serve up a mean mojito. Also on Passeig de Born, there is claimed to be the best pizza place in Barcelona, and at 1 euro 50 a slice, you can’t complain.
You will find lots of fantastic restaurants in the quiet alleys of El Born, offering a change from the many pizza and tapas bars. They will usually have a set menu with 2 or 3 courses and prices range from 10-20 euros and in addition to being delicious, the food resembles a work of art.
El Nacional is a great way to experience the best that Spain has to offer. It’s located on Passeig de Gràcia, just a short walk up from Plaça Catalunya and is a lovely building in which to spend time eating and drinking with friends. It is the first restaurant in Barcelona with different areas where you can try traditional recipes, prepared with top quality produce and served in unique surroundings.
Originally an old plant, now a restaurant complex, you have 4 culinary areas to choose from: La Braseria, specialising in meat-based dishes, La Llotja is renowned for its quality fish, La Tapería offering a great variety of tapas and paella fideuá and La Paradeta is a fast deli restaurant. You will also find specialised bars serving wine, cocktails, oysters, and Cava and last but not least, beer. So there’s something for everyone.
El Raval is Barcelona’s most colourful district and possibly the most happening. With some of Barcelona’s best bars, top restaurants, and excellent things to see and do, you’ll find much to explore in this tourist centre of the city. La Boqueria Market on La Rambla avenue sells seafood, wine, and tapas, while laid-back cafes line Rambla del Raval. Whatever your taste in food you will find a restaurant or bar to suit.
The Güell Tapas Restaurant serves delicious late-night food and great cocktails or if you are a vegetarian why not try the Sesamo Restaurant. It offers a fantastic vegetarian cuisine prepared with organic seasonal products and has a warm and charming atmosphere. There is a whimsical mural of a dragon in the back dining room and the servers frequently display a chalkboard with the day’s specials for use when ordering.
Las Ramblas is now quite a touristy area but was once the centre of Barcelona for the locals and didn’t cater so much to its visitors. Today, you can still find some charming places to try authentic Spanish cuisine without spending a fortune.
The Bacaro is an Italian restaurant, providing a warm and cozy setting and is a lovely place to come for a relaxing lunch or fancy dinner. It is a perfect choice for couples wishing to enjoy a romantic evening.
The Pla Restaurant also offers a romantic dining experience. Although located on a hidden side street in the Gothic Quarter of Las Ramblas, it is well known and easy to find. The Mediterranean dishes on offer are all delicious, the desserts are delectable and there is also a good selection of wines to accompany your meal.
Overlooking Barceloneta beach, Pacha Barcelona Restaurant is a club late at night and a restaurant in the daytime. It has a pleasant, spacious terrace (closed and open) right in front of the sea, an ideal place for lunch or dinner. You can choose whether to sit at regular tables or relaxed sofas.
This restaurant run by Grupo Costa Este offers an extensive menu that combines the best of Asian and Mediterranean cuisines executed by head chef Emilio Gutierrez. You can choose the set menu or à la carte, both are excellent value for money.
Desserts are homemade or if you prefer you can just have fruit. It is also the perfect place to have a coffee, glass of wine or even a cocktail while relaxing, listening to the music and watching the world go by.
Poble Sec (dry village) is tucked away in the shadow of Montjuïc and is said to have Barcelona’s city’s cheapest bars. It’s a compact attractive district with shady squares and elegant 19th-century architecture and combines the peacefulness of Montjuïc’s large green spaces with the closeness of Barcelona’s lively centre in less than 15 minutes between the two.
As small as it is, many of Barcelona’s best restaurants, tapas bars and cafes with terraces are situated here. The choice of where to eat is overwhelming but the Plaça del Sortidor and the pedestrianised Carrer de Blai are two of the most popular zones with the locals.
An inexpensive place to eat is Quimet i Quimet which is a family run bar where you can eat delicious tapas washed down with a Belgian beer exclusively made for Quimet i Quimet.
Located in an industrial part of El Poblenou, Razzmatazz is five clubs in one: downstairs there’s indie rock at the Razz Club, upstairs there’s techno at the Loft and Lolita. The Pop Room and the Rex Room are more relaxed spaces with pop, electro and disco acts. The club is spacious, the sound system is good, the prices at the bars are reasonable but you will probably want to eat before you go to the club.
There are a variety of good restaurants nearby: La Broqueta, specialises in brochette and grilled meat from Gionna. La Biennale is a casual restaurant, that attracts a lot of young people to its large terrace, serving traditional Spanish dishes and tapas along with good cocktails. Yoshinoya-8 offers traditional Japanese cuisine that means more than just sushi. You can also enjoy teppanyaki and traditional rice and soup dishes.
There are quite a number of themed bars in Barcelona – American diners, Hawaiian and 1920’s and 1950’s type bars. However, if Arabian nights, Moroccan lanterns, camels and belly dancers are your thing, visit the Arabian Bar hidden away at the top end of El Born. They have an extensive range of tasty and exotic dishes and offer set menus so that you can try a bit of everything.
If this is not your scene why not try El Bosc de les Fades (The Forest of Fairies) where you can sit amongst the vines and trees, sipping delicious cocktails or eating delicate tapas dishes? The inside has an enchanted setting filled with butterflies, plants, and lanterns which will occaisionally change when the lights fade and are accompanied by the odd clap of thunder and lightning. It certainly gives a unique, mesmerising, and charming experience that is definitely one not to be missed.