Restaurants in Barcelona
Flanked by the Pyrenees and bathed by the Mediterranean, Barcelona has an unbeatable bounty that makes it one of the prime culinary destinations in the world. Feast on high-end tapas by superstar brothers Ferran and Albert Adrià at Tickets, or seasonal fare at Carles Abellán's Michelin-starred Comerç24. Restaurants in Barcelona also boast touches of Moorish cuisine and, of course, Catalan specialties like mar i muntanya (surf 'n' turf) and crema catalana. In true Spanish style, bares de tapas are also a Barcelona staple, and one of the best ways to explore the city.
You'll want to check out a variety of Barcelona restaurants to fully experience its rich gastronomic landscape; try the legendary wood-oven lechazo asado at El Asador de Aranda, a juicy suckling lamb with a crispy outside. The restaurant has three locations (in Tibidabo, Londres, and Pau Claris) and focuses on specialties from the Castilla region. When strolling around La Barceloneta, stop for lunch at La Gavina, inside the Palau del Mar building. The menu is built around seafood, and their arroz negro (squid ink rice with seafood and vegetables) is one of the best in town.
This L'Eixample tavern is known for its Gallic seafood tapas.
Pastry pioneer Jordi Butrón keeps his cool gray, 30-seat, minimalist atelier packed with fans of his all-dessert three- and five-course tasting menus. Expect inspired sweet-savory flavor combos: pear “crackling” and fennel shoots; or chocolate, smoked-tea, and yogurt ice cream.
The restaurant serves traditional Catalonian seafood dishes at a reasonable price.
Catalan chef Sergi Arola—from Michelin two-starred Sergi Arola Gastro in Madrid—opened this tapas restaurant at the Hotel Arts in Olympic Village, in 2004. Located on the second floor, the terrace has prime views of Frank Gehry's bronze whale sculpture and Barceloneta Beach.
20 kinds of Mediterranean sea creatures—from humble sardines to live langoustines—glisten on ice, awaiting a gentle bath in hot olive oil or a brief stint on the plancha. On busy days Universal does 500 covers, which doesn’t affect the precision of its preparations.
Deeper into the market, Ana Gambeta, of the tourist-friendly Bar Central, hawks her baked dorada (bream), her butifarra sausage with white beans, and her tripe casserole—in five languages. "Israelis and Palestinians eat at my counter, shoulder to shoulder," Gambeta boasts.
Located in the Ohla Hotel, near Avinguda Diagonal, the Michelin-starred Saüc (named after the elderberry plant) offers a short menu alongside three tasting menus.
Barcelona’s sophisticated set comes for the classic Catalan fare, such as fluffy buñuelos de bacalao (cod fritters) and Iberian suckling pig, served on a garden terrace.
Order the terrific $17 lunch (a glass of vino included), where the velvety melon gazpacho followed by arroz negro studded with cuttlefish or a perfect seared tuna are served at an industrial-chic space inside the renovated Barceloneta market.
At Carles Abellán's new-wave asador inside the Ricardo Bofill–designed W, steaks from 10 kinds of pedigreed cows (we loved the domestic Rubia Gallega) are grilled to uncanny perfection over freshly made oak coal.
Managed by acclaimed chef Martín Berasategui, this Michelin two-starred restaurant is located in the Hotel Condes de Barcelona, which comprises two 19th-century palaces on Passeig de Gràcia.
Barcelona-born twin chefs Javier and Sergio Torres recently opened Dos Cielos to instant critical raves for their inventive riffs on Catalan food.
Hot cocoa goes haute at this sleek shop and café part-owned by Ferran Adrià’s pastry-chef brother, Albert. Dark and dense, the liquid easily qualifies as an alternative energy source. The chocolate-smeared tostada might be overkill, but have it anyway.