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Barcelona has an excellent selection of restaurants. Barcelona restaurants range from 3-Michelin starred haute-cuisine restaurants to local corner bars, proudly serving their Patatas Bravas with decades of experience. Catalonian kitchen is world-famous, thanks to celebrity chefs like Ferran Adrià and Carles Abellán, who have disrupted the world of cooking. They have inspired new generations of chefs to open paths for new styles of Barcelonian cooking.

Some of the best restaurants in Barcelona have been established by people whose roots are far from Spain, people who've brought their traditional cooking recipes with them. Pretty much all kitchens of the world are represented in the city - Argentinian, Brazilian and Uruguayan steak houses serving delicious cuts of meat sizzling on the parrilla. Moreover, Peruvian restaurants honor their traditional courses, such as ceviche, and many other delicious courses.

Restaurant in Barcelona

Spanish and Catalonian kitchen

Spanish and Catalonian kitchens are very close to each other. Traditional recipes include ingredients from the land and the sea, often combined in one dish. Mar i Muntanya, translated as the Sea and the Mountain, is a true classic dish of the Catalonian kitchen.

Tapas at its simplest form consists of a piece of bread or olives. Many of the traditional tapas courses come from Andalucia, and when the wave of Andalucians migrated to Catalonia in search of labor, they brought their traditional recipes from their region. You'll find tapas, or tapes in Catalan, restaurants everywhere in Barcelona.

Tomato bread and Pimientos de Padrón
Tomato bread ( Pan con tomate or Pa amb tomàquet in Catalan) and Pimientos de Padrón are typical example of tapas.

Estimated dinner prices per one person:

  • € =  10-15 euros
  • €€ = 15-25 euros
  • €€€ = Over 25 euros
Tapas Tips
  • Tapas dishes are to be shared within the whole party.
  • Before ordering, ask your waiter if the portions are big or small - you can always order more!
  • When you order tomato bread (pan amb tomaquet), you might get a whole clove of garlic and a whole tomato, which you are supposed to rub against the toasted bread. It's easy to get confused!

Best Tapas Restaurants in Barcelona

  1. La Pepita (Gracia) - Price level: €€
    The relatively new tapas restaurant near Gracia has become very popular among locals and tourists, thanks to its delicious and creative portions of tapas. The vast menu includes old tapas classics and new fusion dishes. La Pepita doesn't take any table reservations - early birds will get a table, so be sure to be around at the opening time.
    Website: La Pepita
  2. Bar Calders (Sant Antoni) - Price level: €
    Cheap tapas, cheap drinks and quality food - Bar Calders is maybe the favorite tapas restaurant in the whole Barcelona, with regards to price quality ratio. Sometimes, it might take a moment before you get the attention of a busy waiter, but it's worth it. You'll find traditional and less traditional tapas on the menu. Fried potatoes drowned in Provolone cheese is a sin, but you only live once. The patio outside creates a nice setting for a memorable dinner. Be sure to make a reservation or else be ready to queue for a table for some time.
    Website: Bar Calders
  3. La Taverna del Clinic (Eixample Left) - Price level: €€€
    In a very residential area, next to Hospital Clinic, you’ll find the Taverna del Clinic serving modern tapas dishes in a sophisticated environment - sommelier, white tablecloth and symmetrically placed cutlery. The food is exquisite and the service excellent. Their wine collection is one of the biggest in Barcelona.
    Website: La Taverna del Clinic
Paella Tips
  • Paella dishes are often served for a minimum 2 persons, which is indicated on the menu.
  • Prawns and clams come in shells in paella dishes - if you don't like to get your hands messy, look for dishes called "al senyoret" or "pelats/pelados", where seafood comes peeled.

Best Paella Restaurants in Barcelona

  1. 7 Portes (Barceloneta) - Price level: €€
    The restaurant 7 Portes is one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona, operating as a restaurant since 1929 and as a cafe since 1836. Its decor and personnel inside radiate old-world charm - wood on the ceiling, large mirrors on the walls and waiters dressed in white coats.
    Website: 7 Portes
  2. La Barca del Salamanca (Vila Olimpica) - Price level: €€
    The restaurant La Barca del Salamanca is one of the most famous seafood restaurants in Barcelona, serving quality seafood and quality meat down in the Olympic port. The atmosphere in the restaurant is vibrant – you’ll hear constant jabber from the countless tables and the clatter of cutlery on plates, as the waiters collect tables for new customers to start their feast. The surroundings at Olympic harbor are very charming, especially, when the weather allows sitting on the outside terrace.
    Website: La Barca del Salamanca
  3. La Mar Salada (Barceloneta) - Price level: €€
    La Mar Salada, a great seafood restaurant, is situated on the Passeig Joan de Borbó street in Barceloneta. In La Mar Salada, thanks to their head chef Marc Singla, whose background is in the famous elBulli restaurant, classic dishes are prepared in a more creative way compared to more traditional paella restaurants.
    Website: La Mar Salada
  4. Pez Vela (Barceloneta) - Price level: €€-€€€
    Right in front the beach line, next to W Hotel in Barceloneta, Pez Vela Chiringuito has a compact menu but with great quality. Pez Vela is better suited for a laid-back lunch at the beach rather than a long dinner. Sipping great cocktails in the relaxed atmosphere of Pez Vela by the sea is guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit.
    Website: Pez Vela
Vegetarian tips
  • Make sure you're actually getting a veggie dish, since in some restaurants in Barcelona, a dish where the main part consists of something non-meat, it qualifies as vegetarian.

Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Barcelona

  1. Teresa Carles (Raval) - Price level: €€
    The restaurant carries its founder's name, Teresa Carles, who is a pioneer in Spanish Vegetarian cooking. She started her business already in 1979. The carefully elaborated recipes that have been refined over 30 years, are exquisite. They also serve great daily set menus for a good bargain.
    Website: Teresa Carles
  2. Flax & Kale (Raval & Born) - Price level: €€
    The Flax & Kale became a success right after the opening. The restaurant is also owned by Teresa Carles and follows the recipes of organic vegetarian food concept. Flax & Kale is also a popular breakfast & brunch place.
    Website: Flax & Kale
  3. Biocenter (Raval) - Price level: €€
    Biocenter has been serving vegetarian dishes from 1980's, being one of the first veggie restaurants in town. They have very reasonable prices and delicious dishes. They also offer daily set menus from Monday to Friday.
    Website: Biocenter
Breakfast & Brunch Tips
  • The heavier brunch has become a big hit in Barcelona during recent years, while the traditional local breakfast is very light and consists of a muffin, a donut or a toasted bread.
  • Instead of using butter, sandwiches are more often filled with squashed tomato "con tomate".
  • Useful vocabulary for ordering breakfast in Spanish in Barcelona:
    Bikini = Toast with ham and cheese
    Flauta = "Flute" slim baguette shaped sandwich with ham, cheese or any other topping
    Bocata = Sandwich, baguette with toppings
    Magdalena = Muffin
    Queso = Cheese
    Jamón = Cured ham
    Jamón York = Ham

Best Breakfast & Brunch Restaurants in Barcelona

  1. Brunch & Cake (Raval, Eixample Left & Barceloneta) - Price level: €€
    The first Brunch & Cake was opened on Enric Granados, where it soon became a success, along with the brunch boom in Barcelona. Their fresh look, hand-made, mainly healthy and fresh products, guarantee that they're fully booked by mid-day. So, it's better to be at the spot close to the opening time. They have a nice a variety of sweet and savory dishes and a versatile smoothie menu.
    Website: Brunch & Cake
  2. Milk (Gòtic) - Price level: €€
    Milk, in the Gothic Quarter, is a great place for a steady breakfast or a brunch after a long night out. It was one of the first places to create the brunch culture in Barcelona, which today is stronger than ever. They serve hearty dishes such as Eggs Benedict, Fry Up and Huevos Rancheros, which is a heavy breakfast made for Mexican farmers. They serve also brunch designated cocktails like Kir Royal and Bloody Mary. Milk gets filled up quickly, so you might need to queue for a while to get a table.
    Website: Milk
  3. The Benedict (Gòtic) - Price level: €€
    It's located right next to Milk, so it's a great alternative if Milk is full. You can reserve a table in The Benedict, which is recommendable on weekends. Their menu is very similar to Milk's - The Eggs Benedict here are to die for!
    Website: The Benedict
  4. Copasetic (Eixample Left) - Price level: €€
    Copasetic is located in a pretty quiet area between Sant Antoni and Eixample Left. They serve hearty breakfast options, which you can combine with smoothies or cocktails. Their breakfast combos include a choice of English, Greek or French style breakfast, which makes your decision a bit easier.
    Website: Copasetic

Text: Ville Ryynänen. Photos: Jussi Ryynänen

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