Restaurants in Barcelona: 15 must-see addresses

I attend assiduously Barcelona for at least 15 years, I know it so well that it never occurred to me to write anything about this city that I live like a second home. Maybe I considered it a foregone article who knows, but I had to give in because it is one of the cities you ask me about most often. In fact Barcelona is really a must, one of those cities that everyone goes to sooner or later. It is wonderful and welcoming, it has an enviable climate (even for us southerners), we have fun and, last but not least, we eat well. 

Like all big cities, you can find any type of restaurant and any type of cuisine in Barcelona. In this article, however, I have decided to restrict the field to restaurants and at typical taverns of Spanish cuisine. Far from being an exhaustive guide (I guess the comments already), it's simply a list of my favorite restaurants in town, the ones I've been returning to for years. They are listed randomly (it is not a ranking) and I do not doubt that there are many others, equally valid.

But let's get to us:

Catalan Brewery (Eixample) 

This Catalan “brewery” is one of my favorite tapas restaurants! It is perfect especially for a rich savory breakfast in the late morning or for lunch. The assortment of tapas and montaditos (small sandwiches) is huge, you will really be spoiled for choice! The classic ingredients are always the same: cheese (queso), anchovies (boquerones), olives (aceitunas) and ham (jamon). But also sausages, potatoes and squid are some of the products that make up the traditional tapas usually served with beer. You cannot book, the only thing to do is to queue! 

Caller de Mallorca 236

Condal City (Catalonia)

This restaurant / tapas bar is under the same ownership as the Cerveceria Catalana, and is located on Rambla de Catalunya, very close to the square of the same name. You eat as well as in Cerveceria and the only difference is that here there are tables outside and you can eat outside. 

Rambla de Catalunya 18

Bar Lobo (Catalonia - Raval)

This modern and hipster bistro is very nice, located in a small square in the Raval, not very far from Placa de Catalunya. It has both indoor and outdoor tables and offers many different types of tapas, salads, hamburgers and desserts. Bookable and perfect for Sunday brunch.

Fortuny Painter 3

Restaurants in Barcelona: 15 must-see addresses

Can Paixano - La Xampanyeria (Barceloneta) 

In this place I got the worst hangover of my life but I keep coming back for 15 years because I love it. In Barcelona it is a real institution! It is located in an alley of the Barceloneta (a few meters from the metro stop) and has no sign, but you will recognize it from the thousands of people in the street and in the room you will have to fight against to win your place on the counter. Here at the Champagneria (as it is called by everyone) you stand up, there are no chairs, and you jostle relentlessly. When you finally reach the counter, order a cup (or bottle directly) of cava rosé and some accompanying tapas or montaditos and you will never feel better. The quarry goes down which is a pleasure and after 10 'you will have already met 2/3 Australians, Chinese, Spaniards, whoever is within range. Absolutely not to be missed!

If you like the genre, there is also another very similar one in Bornes called El Xampanyet. 

Queen's Carreer Christina 7 

Arenal (Barceloneta) 

This restaurant is another of my must-haves in Barcelona, ​​I usually book a nice table on the beach a few days before leaving to make sure I get a seat. Here you eat paella and, in my humble opinion, it is one of the best in town. Obviously there is not only this, you will find all the classic dishes of Spanish cuisine and lots of fish. The fact that it is directly on the beach is priceless for me (even more so in a city where you can eat out even on sunny winter days). Reservation is essential, especially if you want an outside table. 

Paseo Marítimo La Barceloneta 

Restaurants in Barcelona: 15 must-see addresses

Centfocs (Catalonia)

This retro restaurant is located next to Placa de Catalunya and is a great option if you want to eat well and spend the right amount. The menu ranges from tapas as an appetizer, to fish and meat dishes; nostalgics of Italian cuisine will also find pasta. It is also suitable for tables, but remember to book. 

Balmes, 16 

Escriba - El Xiringuito (Bogattel)

This restaurant, with an adjoining sandpit, is located on Bogattel beach, not far from the Olympic Port. It is a historic restaurant, very nice and good. As for the Arenal, here too the highlight is the paella: you can find both the classic Valencian one and the different variants, vegetarian, with black rice, etc. They also offer some gourmet recipes such as ceviche. Reservation recommended.

62 Littoral Avenue

Casa Alfonso (Catalonia) 

Another historic (in existence since 1934!) And typical restaurant, very popular with locals rather than tourists. Upon entering you will immediately notice the simple furnishings with the paintings hanging on the wooden walls, but above all the dozens of hams hanging on the counter. The menu is really wide and it's all good, I just don't know how to choose! Here too you will find tapas, paella, many types of sausages of course, cheeses, meat and fish dishes, not to mention desserts (above all, an excellent Catalan cream). Good value for money.

Roger de Lluria, 6 

Restaurants in Barcelona: 15 must-see addresses

Paradeta (Born)

This chain that opened in 2011 (now there are 6 in Barcelona) is a "self-service marisquerias", a fish restaurant where you choose the fish, crustaceans or molluscs from the counter and they cook them for you. there in front, on the spot. The environment is simple, but the seafood is of excellent quality and at more than affordable prices. Unfortunately you cannot book so you just have to arrive early or queue.

C / Comercial 7

Ocana (Gothic Quarter)

This restaurant / club (it has a dance hall downstairs) is located in one of my favorite squares in Barcelona, ​​Placa Real, in the Barrio Gotico. This square has a portico on all sides where there are several restaurants and clubs, and it is a very lively square especially in the evening. L'Ocana is the most beautiful restaurant, it has several tables outside (perfect for people watching) and a large internal room with a very long counter. The service is very attentive and the tapas are really good. It is perfect for an aperitif or dinner, especially when you intend to continue the evening in the area. 

Royal Plate 15

Restaurants in Barcelona: 15 must-see addresses

Restaurant Set (7) Portes (Barceloneta)

Opened in 1836 as a café and converted into a restaurant in 1929, it is a well-known traditional restaurant in Barcelona. It is located near the Barceloneta metro station, just behind La Xampanyeria. It is a restaurant with an atmosphere of other times, just think that the likes of Orson Welles came here! It has always been run by the Parellada family who own several other restaurants in town, all up to par, I must say, such as La Fonda and Senyor Parellada. The restaurant's must is paella, but the raw fish are also spectacular. It also has tables outside, under the arcade with the lights which is very Parisian. Recommended for a romantic dinner.

Paseo de Isabel II 14 

Sailfish (Barceloneta)

This restaurant is part of the same group that also owns Bar Lobo and the atmosphere is similar, with the advantage that the Pez Vela is located right in front of the beach of the W Hotel, one of the most exclusive in Barcelona, ​​at the right end of the Barceloneta. It is a restaurant that I would define as a bit cool, but I always go back willingly both because I usually go to swim nearby, and because the food is actually very good and there is a nice atmosphere. The cuisine is classic Spanish (paella included) with some gourmet variations. The sea view is priceless! Reservation recommended, especially in summer.

Paseo del Mare Nostrum 19-21

Restaurants in Barcelona: 15 must-see addresses

Cal Pep (Bornes)

Cal Pep is a Bornes institution where you can eat either at the counter or seated at one of the very few tables in the room: in both cases, eating here is a challenge! There is a queue at all hours, but the very fresh fish tapas are really worth the wait. Another sore point is the price, a little higher than the average for the neighborhood, but those extra euros are happy to spend in the end. Recommended if you are in the area and you are not starving. 

Pot Plate 8

Boqueria Market (Catalunya)

The fashion of street food and markets has long since arrived in Barcelona (to be honest, perhaps it arrived earlier in Spain than in Spain!). If you want to eat something on the fly, without too many frills, you can opt for one of the street food stalls inside the beautiful Bouqueria market on the Rambla (which must be seen anyway!). The choice is definitely wide. 

La Rambla 

The Chalet of Montjiuic (Montjiuic)

I have to admit that this is the only restaurant of the 15 that I haven't been to yet, but I decided to put it on this list because it has been on my wish list for a while, having spoken to me about it several friends who live in Barcelona. They say the cuisine is average (good anyway), but the strong point of this restaurant is its location, high up on the Montjiuic hill, from which you can enjoy spectacular views of the sea and all of Barcelona. Here, if you can try it before me, then you will tell me how it is!

Avinguida Miramar, 31

Restaurants in Barcelona: 15 must-see addresses

Small dictionary:

  • Olives: olives
  • Albondigas: meatballs
  • Alioli: mayonnaise with a lot of garlic
  • Squid: fried mini squid
  • Croquettes: fried croquettes with bechamel and tuna / chicken / ham 
  • Cheese: cheese (one of the most famous and common is manchego)
  • Ham: ham (the most famous the Serrano or the Hiberico)
  • Bread with tomato: bread with tomato, a must in Barcelona
  • Patatas bravas: Potatoes cut into large cubes, fried, served with a spicy tomato sauce
  • Fried fish: small fried fish, similar to our fried fish
  • Padron peppers: what we call friggitelli, small green peppers fried in a pan
  • Pinchito moruno: a skewer of meat cut into small pieces
  • Tortilla: potato omelette
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