Barcelona as one of the friendliest destinations for tourists in terms of culture, sightseeing, leisure and climate is a perfect place for enjoying great food, but the problem is just knowing where to look, what to order and when to do that. For a first time visitor it might not be as straight forward cause of crowded streets or delusive looks of the place.
It took some time to find the places where you can get into without a long line, hard to get reservations or wearing at least smart casual clothes (cause who explores city in blazer?) in the same time getting delicious food and not spending fortune on eating, but the reward of search was astonishing.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Time. If you have wandered streets for a too long, there’s slight chance that every food place will be closed. With “every” I mean local spots. So if you’re up for a lunch or early dinner from 16:00 till 19:30 (or bit later), you must look for some international chain (McDonalds, Burger King, KFC etc.) or enjoy some tapas. Also on Sunday many popular places are closed.
Menú del Día. Fixed price lunch special with three course meal in average 9-14 EUR. Those prices can be found also in more prestigious restaurants, but note that some of them need to have reservations. Easy way to do that is to visit Barcelona restaurants.
- Understand. Many of best tapas places are in small bars, and as they are more like a small snack to enjoy, those places got easily crowded. So don’t be afraid to push yourself into some crowded place and take the dirty floor as a sign of a well-balanced hungry people trafficking.
Tapas, burgers and sandwiches
Quimet & Quimet
Place you’ll get suggested by any local. Not the cheapest tapas and the place are crowded any time of the day, but have wide tapas menu and the ones you get are like small artworks.
Price category: €€
Another popular place amongst tourists, serving not only tapas, but also some seafood and salads. As in case with every guidebook featured place, easily gets crowded and have higher than average price range. But if you manage to get a table, you’ll experience tapas in style and with their own Cava.
Old school tapas place at the nice Placa del Sol. Simplified menu serves simple tapas or any other popular fried food. And the waiters are experienced, suggesting food that best suits your taste.
Perfect option for a snack before or after visiting Barceloneta beach. Tapas, shrimp, salads, vermouth and sangria are the keywords of this place.
While some customers have left place with bad reviews, this is the place to go after visit of Museu Blau/Forum. Fresh burgers served with more than a classic fries.
If you’re up for testing your limits – this is THE PLACE. Such huge burgers I haven’t seen and in terms of price/performance you’ll enjoy your burger.
Patchwork Concept Bar
Grab a breakfast here before going up to explore Montjuic. You won’t be disappointed by tasty sandwiches, bagels, croissants and hot coffee.
Place to start your relationship with paella. You won’t get burnt paella (which may happen in some other places), so you’ll know what to look for next time. Splendid seafood and calmness near Barceloneta are the things you’ll experience here.
Choose from various types of fresh pasta, add sauce and toppings. Pasta with shrimps and gorgonzola sauce was delicious. Have a chat with nice waiters!
El Racó del Port
Have a reservation and get off the crowded streets to enjoy clean and quiet atmosphere with a view to port from this hotel restaurant. A la carte menu is reasonably priced and offers you chance to try calmar, squids, some more casual foods and Crema Catalana.
Price: € / €€
Place to delight your inner gourmet from starters till desert. Spanish food and nice bar. Black mojito is a signature drink!
One of many restaurants owned by Andilana group. Offers quiet isle in the middle of Barcelona’s heartbeat – right off the famous La Rambla. As the restaurant is attractive, food is good, location perfect and prices low, you’ve to be prepared to lose some nerves – no reservations means queue on the entrance (15-30 min) and if you’re unlucky you’ll have to get waiters attention yourself. So think yourself is that a good tradeoff.
Price: € / €€
Churrería Manuel San Román
Fresh and delicious local desert served by nice old lady. Take one for you and wander around nice streets at evening. If you’re not right before closing time, get one with chocolate cream.
Friendly service with nice ambience. Homemade gelato, all kind of natural and gluten free cakes. If you’re up for breakfast, some stylish pancakes are available.
Go for an out of this world ice cream experience. Freshly made mojito, mango or any other taste will be good for a hot day or warm evening walk around the block.
Price: € / €€
Even if you’re not a heavy drinker, go out to Bar Marsella – oldest bar in Barcelona (1820). Have been opened all the time since then and closed only for a short period in 2013. Antique interior and dust on royal chandelier are a norm. Grab an absinthe and have an experience of bar like Hemingway, Dali and Picasso used to do in old days.
Note: be careful cause bar is surrounded by red lights district and pickpocketers. Choose a round route, not the straight way from La Rambla.
Ohh, this crowded place. One can fall in love with it. Grab a glass or two, or more of their own Cava, rosato or few other sparkling wines, find a place to sit (or stand) and get to know other people around you, cause there’s no room to walk around, but it’s easily to get comfortable with atmosphere. On your way home, grab some bottles of the same drinks for as low as 2,4-4 EUR/per bottle.
- Get fresh fruits right from the market (not tourist crowder Boqueria) or wander small fruit shops along every small street.
- Experience small shops in quiet districts of Barcelona. It’s ok that there’s no price labels – greet owner upon entering shop and be nice in communication. He’ll remember you and will give better price.
- For the beer lovers there’s nice Estrella Damm, Mahou and Moritz brands.