Barcelona is one of those cities that’s got it all – great sightseeing, a rich history, and, of course, plenty of mouthwatering stuff to eat. We’ve searched high and low to find the very best places to eat in Barcelona.
The research was tough, but somebody had to do it… And now, you just have the best places to eat in Barcelona, so you can go straight to them!
This article is part of my big guide to One Week In Barcelona.
I love Barcelona, it is my city, and I love to share all my tips and favorite places, as well as handy information such as:
Whether you’re traveling on a backpacker’s budget or you’ve got a little more space to indulge, there’s something for everybody to enjoy here. Are you ready to have a little taste of what makes the Catalan capital such a fantastic city for foodies?
Let’s get going with our list of the best places to eat in Barcelona…
1. Raval district: A Tu Bola
A tu Bola is a tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the heart of the Raval district is the perfect stop for a quick lunch or dinner.
Their specialty is their “bolas” – meat, fish, and veggie balls that are served either with side dishes or in pita bread (think a more creative take on falafel).
Don’t forget to wash it all down with a glass of homemade lemonade or a local craft beer.
2. Hipster: Bar Calders
Sant Antoni is the hipster hotspot in Barcelona, and Bar Calders is combination of excellent food, quirky decor, and an outdoor terrace means that snagging a seat isn’t always easy.
Go for Sunday brunch and enjoy knowing that you’re in one of the coolest spots in the city.
Try the house vermouth with a couple of their tapas, which have a dose of Mexican inspiration in tribute to the poet who gives his name to the street.
A Catalan, Pere Calders was exiled in Mexico for over two decades.
Read: our hipster guide to Barcelona
3. Tapas olé: Bar La Plata
Simple is often better, and that’s certainly the case at Bar La Plata.
Though they only serve four tapas, each one is expertly prepared. The “pescadito frito”, or fried little fish, as particularly good.
Order one of everything along with a porrón of wine to share, which you’ll probably have to eat standing up elbow-to-elbow with plenty of hungry locals.
4. Sandwich Shop: Bo de B
You might be surprised to see long lines outside this sandwich shop, which doesn’t look like anything special to the uninitiated.
However, after a bite of one of their bocadillos (roll sandwich) you’ll probably understand why people are willing to wait in line for one.
There’s not much seating inside, but Bo de B restaurant is just a few steps away from the harbor or a quick walk from the beach.
Why not take your sandwich to go?
5. La Boqueria (a MUST-DO!)
You can’t make a list of where to eat in Barcelona without at least mentioning La Boqueria, the massive market that overlooks the Ramblas.
There are actually a few restaurants that serve up dishes created straight from the fare on sale at the stores.
You’ll probably have to wait to elbow your way in for a coveted seat at the counter at both, but it’s worth it.
6. Cal Pep
One of the most popular tapas restaurants in the city, Cal Pep is a staunch favorite among visitors and locals alike.
The dishes are inspired by the Mediterranean and use lots of fresh seasonal ingredients, and you’ll find a mix of tapas bar staples and innovative new dishes (think clams served with ham and tuna tartare).
Fancy a cooking class, learning how to make Tapas by your own?
Have a look at the Foodie Experience Barcelona.
7. Born area: Catalana II
This restaurant in the charming Plaça Olles in the Born district is an excellent place to try a traditional menú del día – a three-course midday menu that varies daily and is very good bang for your buck.
Catalana II also serve tapas if you’d rather share, as well as salads, fish and meat dishes, rice, pasta, and more.
8. Raval: Cera 23
If you’re tired of tapas bars but want to try something that’s still locally inspired, Cera 23 will do the trick.
This chic restaurant on a decidedly not chic street in the Raval has a menu of top-notch fusion food, including their signature ceviche, a seafood rice “volcano”, and honeyed beef cheeks. Their cocktail menu is equally impressive.
9. Vintage-hearty: Copasetic
Vintage-inspired Copasetic has a focus on using eco-friendly ingredients that are locally sourced.
The food and cocktail menu is packed full of fresh ingredients.
Food is served throughout the day, but their brunch is particularly good.
They offer lots of options that are vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free as well as being ecological. You can also contribute to a “suspended” coffee or sandwich with a 60 cents or a euro, which will then be given to somebody in need.
10. Skip the Ramblas: Elisabets
Finding good food near Las Ramblas can be tricky, but Elisabets, on the street of the same name, is an exception to the rule.
This restaurant serves simple classic Spanish dishes, including lots of tapas to choose from.
The choricitos, fried calamari, and padrón peppers are particularly nice. It’s not glamorous, but it is delicious.
11. Plant-Based Flax & Kale
With a focus on “flexitarian” cuisine and a menu that changes up depending on what’s in the season, there’s nearly always something new to try at Flax & Kale: 80% of the menu is plant-based, so this is the perfect place for vegans and vegetarians, as well as anybody who likes eating healthy food that tastes great, too.
If the weather’s nice (and it probably will be – this is Barcelona, after all), try getting a table at their stylish upstairs terrace.
12. Beach-time: Jai-Ca
Beachside neighborhood Barceloneta is home to a lot of takeaway food places, but it’s also hiding a handful of old-fashioned restaurants where you can try seafood and tapas for reasonable prices.
Jai-Ca is one of those restaurants and has proven so successful that it’s opened up a second location for diners hungry for their seafood tapas.
13. Basque-food: Maitea Taberna
Basque food is regularly hailed as some of the best food in Spain (no small feat in a country brimming with excellent eats).
This restaurant in the Eixample district specializes in Basque pintxos, small slices of bread topped with all sorts of delicious stuff.
You’ll get a plate to pick out the pintxos that look best straight from the bar. If you love trying lots of different stuff, you’ll enjoy a meal out at Maitea Taberna.
14. The latest hipster-hype: Mercat Princesa
Update: Merca Princesa is permanently closed since end of 2018.
Literally meaning “Princess Market”, this building in the heart of the Born district is actually housed in a 14th-century palace.
Today, Mercat Princesa has been reinvented as a very 21st-century tapas market, with different stalls offering plenty of different bites to eat, including tacos and sushi alongside Spanish charcuterie, croquettes, and seafood.
It’s ideal for a group that can’t agree on what to eat – and the charming patio strung with twinkling lights makes the already good food taste even nicer.
15. Grill it: El Nacional
If Jay Gatsby were in charge of putting together an upscale food court, this is the sort of place he’d design!
Housed in a massive glittering structure right off Passeig de Gràcia, El Nacional has 4 “culinary areas” and 4 bars you can choose to indulge at.
Pick one, or hop between a few; they offer everything from light sandwiches to freshly grilled seafood.
16. La Paradeta for the fish-lover
A mix of a seafood market stall and a restaurant, local restaurant chain La Paradeta has seven locations all over the city.
You simply line up at the market-style counter, which has a selection of fish and seafood laid on ice. Pick what you want, how much, and how you’d like it cooked.
You’ll get a number to get your food as soon as it’s cooked.
17. La Pepita (in Gracia area)
La Pepita is a family-run restaurant just on the edge of the bohemian Gràcia neighborhood.
True to its setting, the walls are colorfully scrawled with words and sayings.
Their menu offers a selection of tapas, small plates, and sandwiches, and includes offerings like eggplant fritters topped with honey and goat cheese and their signature “pepita” sandwiches. A few doors down, they have a sister restaurant called La Cava.
A few doors down, they have a sister restaurant called La Cava.
18. Sea-View: La Caseta del migdia
Located in Montjuic, La Caseta del migdia offers not only tasty Catalan food but also stunning scenic views. On their menu, Botifarra (Catalan sausage), chicken, toasts, salads and yummy pancakes. On the sights: panoramic Barcelona. It’s a perfect place to have lunch and do the Spanish ”
On their menu, Botifarra (Catalan sausage), chicken, toasts, salads and yummy pancakes. On the sights: panoramic Barcelona.
It’s a perfect place to have lunch and do the Spanish “sobremesa” (continue hanging out) until sunset.
Note: This restaurant only opens during the weekends in the winter season.
Check their schedule on La caseta del migdia website.
19. Quimet I Quimet
Family-run restaurant Quimet i Quimet is a true foodie experience.
Hidden away in the Poble Sec district, the walls are lined with bottles of wines and liquors from around the world. But the real draw is the counter where their signature montaditos – slices of crunchy bread with all kinds of delicious toppings that get prepared right in front of your eyes.
Try the smoked salmon with truffled honey and yogurt to start.
But the real draw is the counter where their signature montaditos – slices of crunchy bread with all kinds of delicious toppings that get prepared right in front of your eyes.
Try the smoked salmon with truffled honey and yogurt to start.
20. La Singular as a starter, then nightlife
Located on a tranquil side street in Gràcia, La Singular’s menu is filled with elegant new twists on traditional local favorites, like cannelloni with duck confit, squash, and saffron sauce, or roasted chicken in orange marinated with pea hummus.
Though it sounds fancy, you can enjoy a three-course lunch here for just €10.50.
Right after having dinner, walk around Gracia area and mingle with the local artists and students. Gracia? That’s the artsy neighborhood.
21. La Xampanyeria (Can Paixano)
This one, well, I LOVE THIS ONE!!
If you’re looking for an elegant sit-down dinner, this is definitely not the place you want to go. La Xampanyeria is crowded, noisy, cheap…and a whole lot of fun!
It’s best-known for its crazy cheap cava, which is best enjoyed along with one of their meat or cheese sandwiches and a plate of croquettes. You can also buy bottles of cava in the small store at the back.
Smart tip: Come here before 7pm. Afterwards, it will be packed.
Best recommendation: We always come here for a quick cava or two, along with a cheese plate, sandwich or whatever we fancy this day. Then we move on to the lower Gotico area for a drink.
22. Classic Tapas: Viana
Just steps away from Plaça Reial lies a stylish restaurant serving Spanish-inspired food with an international bent.
In Viana there are tapas bar classics like jamón Iberico on local “pa amb tomaquet” sharing menu space right alongside new creations like diced marinated tuna with apple and avocado.
If you’re in the mood for one, order up one of their signature cocktails like a blackberry mojito or a kiwi capisake as a treat.
23. Fancy Paella? Xiringuito Escribà at the beach front
Paella shows up on just about every tourist trap menu in Barcelona, but don’t waste your time on those.
The place to go to get real paella in Barcelona is this beachfront restaurant, Xiringuito Escribà, run by the Escribà family of the famous pastry shop on Las Ramblas.
While the prices here are bit higher than in other locations, you really do get what you pay for here.
Read: 9 best Paellas in Barcelona – an overview with prices and map
Did we mention it’s right on the beach?
Important: Don’t go for a cheap paella offer you find somewhere around the city. Everything cheaper than 10€ is most likely NOT a quality food experience. That is simply impossible as the ingredients are usually expensive e.g. fresh fish.
Summary Best Places to eat in Barcelona
So many food, so little time…we know!
But on the bright side, now you have this list of the best places to eat in Barcelona. Just go straight to the restaurants and skip the long research process of finding good restaurants.
Have a look on all my insider articles about One Week In Barcelona.
Please let me know your thoughts about these places when you try them commenting below.
And, no, I cannot be fully responsible for all the amount of food you will order, enjoy and loooooove.
More restaurants in Barcelona?
Have a nice meal and bon profit!