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.
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.
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.
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.
A classic bodega in every sense of the word, La Cova Fumada is a small, unassuming, family-run eatery serving authentic Spanish cuisine. The restaurant puts on no airs at all — there are no signs denoting its presence, and there is no formal menu.
For more than 80 years, Can Ravell has been selling gourmet food products at its delicatessen and grocery. A seasonal menu brings in patrons looking to dine at the upstairs restaurant, which has marble tables overlooking the retail shop below.
A manairó is defined in Catalan as a Pyrenean elf who might secretly complete a cobbler’s work overnight—and owner-chef Jordi Herrera might well be employing a culinary elf or two in his always surprising kitchen.
A Barcelona institution, Bar Pinotxo is located inside the Mercat de la Boqueria. This small tapas bar is owned and operated by Juanito Bayen. The cuisine is Catalan, and there is no menu; Juan or a server will simply spout off the day’s offerings.
Most Barcelona bars shut down on Sunday nights—which is why Alta Taberna Paco Meralgo is so indispensable. Plus, Paco serves Barcelona’s greatest tomato bread: a flat, split, porous roll grilled to a perfect crunch and slathered with pink, frothy tomato pulp.
El Bulli–trained chef Roger Martínez takes rice on a global adventure at his Eixample spot. Can’t choose between the classic Catalán rabbit rice and a new-wave risotto?Kick off your meal with some terrific tapitas, followed by the well-priced arroz tasting menu.
Chef Francesc Gimeno Manduley’s low-cost, high-concept miniatures are a marvel of ingenuity.