Whether you’re after classic tapas and paella or genre-twisting molecular cuisine, here’s the ultimate dining itinerary.


Cacao Sampaka

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. breakfast for two $15.


Set at the entrance to the Boqueria market, Pinotxo has been here “forever,” says Juan Bayen, the perennially vest-clad owner. In-the-know Barcelonians line up for croissants and shots of cortado (espresso topped with foamed milk). breakfast for two $20.

Tapaç 24

Dashing chef Carles Abellan is Barcelona’s top egg guy—a good reason to start the day at his hip tapas bar with fried duck huevos served over french fries. breakfast for two $35.



At this Michelin-starred mecca, alchemist Jordi Vilà balances comforting and cutting-edge with dishes like “The Sea Inside”: a still-life of seafood in purple kombu algae water and snail stock that turns a deep blue when mixed. lunch for two $73.

Cal Pep

Though the dining bar is more mobbed than Ibiza in August, those who wait by the entrance before 1 p.m. might snag a counter seat. The reward?Shellfish singed a la plancha, or a white bean–and-sausage stew with a port-wine reduction—plus the satisfaction of watching hungry hordes ogle your seat. lunch for two $88.

Can Majó

This beloved stalwart delivers traditional mariner’s fare at waterfront tables in Barceloneta. Follow the old-timers and order the fideuá (pasta paella) with fresh seafood. lunch for two $88.

La Mifanera

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. lunch for two $94.


Espai Sucre

Pastry pioneer Jordi Butrón keeps his atelier packed with fans of his all-dessert tasting menus. Expect inspired sweet-savory flavor combos: pear “crackling” and fennel shoots; or chocolate, smoked-tea, and yogurt ice cream. dinner for two $148.


Ever since its launch over a year ago, this narrow storefront has been one of the toughest reservations in town. Dishes like a carpaccio of octopus, Catalán blood sausage, and potato blend Spanish creativity with French voluptuousness. dinner for two $124.


The quiet dining room in L’Eixample experiments with a cuisine at the intersection of Vietnam, New Orleans, and Catalonia. The result: lamb carpaccio topped with caramelized ginger and green-apple relish, and dorado steamed in a banana leaf with coconut milk. dinner for two $96.


Manned by the famed Roca brothers, this has been Barcelona’s fashionista central since its opening in 2003. The dishes (a red-chard, truffle, and yucca-root salad; sea bass seasoned with rosemary and pear) combine traditional flavors with a deconstructionist flair. dinner for two $120.

By Anya von Bremzen and Sarah Wildman