Where can you get the best paella in Barcelona? This is a really common question for visitors coming over to visit this beautiful city. Discover the best place for paella in Barcelona right here in this article.
It’s the one following questions,“What should I see?” and of course, “Where should I stay in Barcelona?”
Luckily for you, we’ve already covered those two questions!
Smart tips to know before eating paella in Barcelona
Spanish people have dinner starting from 9 p.m. and going until as late as midnight. This may be very late for you, but no worries, most restaurants open around 6-7 p.m. If you have dietary restrictions, many restaurants in Barcelona offer gluten free paella options.
You won’t starve!
When you pick one of our recommended paella spots, we recommend making a reservation. Just to be safe (and to avoid disappointments and skip waiting in line)
The price for a paella is usually shown per person. The minimum for a good paella is two people.
There are different types of paella
Rabbit and seafood – this is the traditional paella
Seafood paella, often enriched with various seafood including shrimp, mussels, and baby squid
Black rice paella, which is made with squid ink for a unique and flavorful twist.
(Note: We haven’t seen any vegan paellas…yet!)
Additionally, if you’re specifically in the mood for the best chicken paella in Barcelona, or perhaps the finest seafood paella in Barcelona, you’re in for a treat.
Many restaurants in the city offer mouthwatering options that will satisfy your taste buds, whether you’re craving chicken, seafood, or even the best vegetarian paella in Barcelona.
While enjoying these culinary delights, don’t forget to explore iconic landmarks like the Sagrada Familia.
Paella, the iconic rice dish originally from Valencia, has found its way to Barcelona as well, and we’re here to guide you on where to eat paella in Barcelona.
From traditional seafood to innovative vegetarian options, Barcelona’s paella scene is as diverse as it is delicious.
Let us prove this to you with our recommended places to enjoy paella and other rice dishes in the Catalan capital.
This big restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Barcelona. It is located in the Olympic harbour. Offering not only mouthwatering cuisine but also captivating views of the mar salada (salted sea). It’s also near many other restaurants, but don’t walk in any of the other places here.
We love to order a great, homemade paella here along with sangria to drink. You can’t go wrong with this combination!
Fun fact: Many football players and celebrities choose this restaurant, too. We’ve met basketball players as well as players from FC Barcelona here.
In fact, it’s the fanciest one of them all. It’s a classy place with piano music in the background – that really says it all. Personally, we think this is a great restaurant for couples and for first dates, if it suits your style.
It’s located between Barcelona and El Born, not far away from the lower end of the Gothic Quarter.
Often referred to as “the place to eat paella in Barcelona,” Can Majó is a can’t-miss.
It’s a really popular place, so if you’re planning on coming here for dinner (especially on the weekends), give them a call beforehand and make a reservation. You can avoid a long wait, which can be as much as more than 1 hour without a reservation. There are definitely better ways to spend your time in Barcelona.
Paella starts here from €13.90, so it’s great if you’re on a budget.
And it’s another reason it’s so popular.
The waiters here are really friendly and love to give suggestions to both locals and tourists alike. Not all of them speak great English, but once they realize you want to order in English, they’ll send over the English-speaking waiters.
We mentioned before in our tips about eating paella that the price shown is usually the price person.
And the minimum is two people for one paella.
You can also order a paella for three, four, or even more people.
A paella usually costs between €15 and €25 per person.
If you are looking for the best cheap paella in Barcelona, you might want to consider Restaurante Arume Barcelona. You can get one here for under €15.
You can find places that sell paella for around €10.
Our best advice: Stay away from these places.
At these places, the paella is most likely previously frozen. It is NOT tasty at all, and you could spend your €10 in a better way.
How do you spot a bad paella restaurant?
1. Paella for one
When a restaurant offers paellas for one person, this is not a good sign.
This is really uncommon, and most likely only offered for tourists.
If you find a paella for one in Barcelona, it is probably a “precoocked frozen paella”. Meaning, the restaurant gets them from a frozen foods company and they do only heat them for you.
Exception: when the paella is on a daily menu, it is normally cooked on the day by the cook. In this case, the restaurant cooks a big amount of paella so single people can also enjoy it. Traditionally in Spain, restaurants offer paella on the menu each Thursday.
2. More than 6 languages on the menu
When the menu comes in 17 different languages and especially includes photos, it’s a red flag.
We would skip a place like this. That being said, it’s only a clue, not a fixed rule.
All the restaurants on this list have at least an English menu in addition to the two main menus in Catalan and Spanish.
3. Another important thing to know:
Make sure you get the wine you ordered!
We were once sitting in a restaurant where the British tourists next to us kept complaining.
What was it all about?
They had ordered a wine that cost €10€, but got given one that cost €30. The waiter insisted they had to pay since they drank it. Not fair.
Keep an eye out for this!
But then again, the places for the best paella in Barcelona we recommend here, are great ones. We have never had an issue at these places, and we’ve sent quite a lot of our friends there. All came back with a happy smile and a full stomach.
Where do locals eat paella in Barcelona?
This is the second question after “Where to eat the best paella in Barcelona” is
“Where do LOCALS eat paella in Barcelona?”.
Well, we’ll share this secret with you, too!
Personally, I eat the best paella in my life always with my father in law. He enjoys cooking paella, and every other Sunday the family gets together and eats a home-cooked paella. It’s incredible, so yummy, every single time. We also had an incredible arroz ciego (blind paella) in Menorca. But that’s a story for a different day…
Okay, anyway, that’s not to say locals in Barcelona don’t eat paella in restaurants.
Now that you know we love to enjoy a homemade paella, we have something for you. Since we want to give you ALL the best options out there, we did a bit of research.
We found the best cooking class in Barcelona to eat homemade paella. In fact, you will learn how to cook paella on your own, as well as tapas dishes. You’ll cook while enjoying a homemade sangria. Sounds good, right?
The guys from Stoke Travel offer a paella cooking class and market visit right in the heart of the city.
Prices start from 55€. Bon profit and bon appetit!=)
making sure you add good rice – the best rice type for paella is Arroz Bomba
Ingredients for the “Paella de Marisco”:
80 gr. Rice person
Optional: 8 norway lobster
1 medium size cuttlefish
200 gr. of clams
a little bit of saffron (for the yellow colour)
Fish or seafood broth – preferably handmade. If you do not have homemade broth, you can always use a concentrated broth pill or even simply water. It will not provide as much flavor but the rice will be equally rich.
Ingredients for the “Sofrito” (base of all paellas)
The sofrito consist on a stir-fry vegetables with liquefied tomato.
You will need the following ingredients to elaborate it:
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 cloves of garlic
2 tomatoes – 400 gr. of liquefied tomato: peel them and grate them or chop them very finite.
1 tablespoon of pepper
1 bay leaf
Extra virgin olive oil
How to calculate rice and broth quantities?
Usually add twice the amount of rice.
If the paella is for 6 people we use 480 grams of rice. Broth will be almost 1 liter, and if you prefer a little mellow, then 1.2 liters.
How to cook the paella:
We start preparing the vegetables for the “Sofrito”.
1 .Wash the peppers and remove the peduncle, peel the onion and garlic, and chop everything very finite.
2. Put the iron paella pan over medium heat with olive oil. (The bottom should be covered with oil).
3. When hot, add the vegetables and a little salt.
4. Let it cook all together for 15 or 20 minutes, until they begin to brown slightly.
5. Meanwhile, let’s prepare the seafood:
wash the prawns and let them drain
clean the mussels well with the help of a knife on the outside
wash the cuttlefish, drain it and cut it into pieces, including the legs
put the clams in a container with water and a little salt, so you will get them to open a little and expel the sand they might have before putting them in the rice.
6. Add to the vegetables in the iron pan the liquefied tomato.
7. Stir it all together and let it cook 3 minutes more. This is the mentioned Sofrito.
8. Put the fish broth to heat in a separate saucepan, so that it is almost boiling at the time of use.
9. Add the pieces of cuttlefish to the paella pan with the vegetables and tomato and stir all 5 minutes.
10. Add the rice and stir for about 2 minutes so that the rice is soaked in the flavors before adding the broth.
11. Add the broth into the paella pan. Also add the saffron or food coloring, the bay leaf and the clams.
12. When it starts to boil, place the mussels and prawns on the surface, lower the heat to a minimum and let it cook for 18-20 minutes. ( Check also the indications of the rice you are using).
13. Cook the paella until it is ready.
Secret: How to have the rice at the exact point?
If after about 18-20 minutes you try the rice and you see that it is practically ready but there is still a lot of broth, raise the temperature of the fire so that the liquid evaporates quickly.
On the other hand, if there is no more liquid and the rice is still a little raw, you have no choice but to add water (or more broth if you have it), and always add it hot or almost boiling.
Remember: If you add broth it must be already hot.
Tip for the perfect paella:
Let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes, covering it with a kitchen towel, before serving.
All Paella Restaurants put on a map
Okay, okay, let’s make it simple.
Here are all places to eat put on a map.
Printed Guides & Map
These guides are best for the ones looking for a printed version.
Once you come to Barna, you will also receive a paper map of the city.
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