RESTAURANTS IN BARCELONA
Ask anyone Spaniard (or Catalan) to list what their 5 favourite things to do are, and most certainly “eating” (or “a comer”) will be on top of their list!
While Tapas, Paella, and Sangria are the most common examples of Spanish cuisine, there is really so much more to it. Barcelona offers a huge variety of different kinds of fusions with Spanish cuisine, and that of other countries. And then of course the Catalans have a whole other cuisine on their own!
Recently we heard somewhere that Spain is the country with the most bars per capita. If it is true or not we are not sure, but there are definitely many bars and restaurants in Spain and Barcelona, probably more than the average. They offer local food and meals from all around the world, and everyone can find something for themselves, even those with the most refined taste buds. Lately, vegetarian and vegan restaurants have become more and more popular, offering very healthy and tasty dishes and fruit or vegetable smoothies.
We don’t pretend to offer you the full list of the culinary diversity in Barcelona (it would be impossible), but we will try to give you some good suggestions (of places tried and proved to be of good quality). Then you need to go and experiment, and never be afraid to try something new. This is also a great way to know different cultures by trying their food. A lot can be said about a culture by the food they enjoy, and the way in which they present it. Barcelona is great place to do that, without the need of buying a plane ticket!
Thai Garden Barcelona (Carrer de la Diputació, 273) is a fine example of a perfect place to experience thе unique Тhai cuisine. With subtle lighting, incense aroma filling the air, bamboo and palm trees as decoration, and relaxing traditional Thai music in the background, one might be tricked into thinking that you have literally been transported to the real Thailand.
Thai Thai is another excellent option is (Carrer de la Diputació, 91). Perfect for the more budget-aware diners, Thai-Thai is a lot smaller and simpler than some of the other Thai places, but this in no way means that the food is any less exceptional. Owned and run by a Thai family, the attention to service and attention is one of the main attributes of Thai Thai.
Mayura Lounge is our favorite, simply because of the perfect combination of perfectly prepared meals, enchanting ambience and superb service. With an impressive waterfall cascading from the bar, and the special “VIP” section in the back of the restaurant, this place is perfect for a romantic evening, or even an intimate dinner with friends. Offering very mild dishes for both meat-lovers and vegetarians, it caters for every taste and preference. Dishes are served spicy only upon request. Make sure to try their Mojito, one of the best we´ve tried!
Rangoli in Barceloneta is the sister-restaurant of Bembi, both of which offer a very unique Indian dining experience. Although a little more expensive perhaps than some of the other Indian restaurants in Barcelona, they definitely stand out when it comes to service and attention to detail. Speaking perfect English, the waiters will make any newcomer to Barcelona feel welcome and will gladly explain the menu and make suggestions. Being located on the port of Barceloneta, dining outside in the summer means magnificent views of the beach and sea.
MIU (Carrer Valencia 249) is labeled as a Japanese Tavern. Situated in a former underground parking garage, it offers the typical sushi, maki, sashimi and hand-rolls, but also foie makis, banana tempura, and Philadelphia rolls with avocado, salmon and cream cheese. Their daily lunch menu includes a starter, first plate, second plate, desert and drink for less than 11 Euros. Miu is actually part of the famous Andilana Group, who own about 15 restaurants all over Barcelona, including La Rita.
Dao Kaitensushi has two restaurants: One on Passeig do Colon near the old Correos building, and the other on Pau Claris near Plaza Urquinaona. Expect this place to get packed with guests very quickly after opening, since they offer the conveyor-belt buffet with a seemingly endless supply of sushi, roasted duck, sweet-and-sour beef, oysters, lemon chicken, fried (and grilled) prawns, and even chocolate brownies and watermelon! Lunch buffet is usually around 10 Euros including a drink, but a little bit less variety than in the evenings when the buffet is around 14 Euros. You have the possibility to order a la carte, but we would recommend the buffet instead!
La Tagliatella: Even though they are a franchise chain, they never fail to impress regardless of the dishes we have ordered. Stunning décor, friendly and fast service, and extremely generous portions are what has made La Tagliatella so successful. Thin crust pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven, fresh pasta of all sorts with delicious sauces, risotto, steaks and huge salads are all on the menu. They are located all over Catalunya and even as far north as Figueres. See their site to find the one nearest to you by clicking here
N.A.P (Neopolitan Authentic Pizza) has been around for a few years and have secured for themselves a very good reputation for having some of the best pizza in Barcelona! Expat Italians and bloggers alike have praised this pizzeria for its authentice Neoplitan pizza and with good reason. The pizza bakes in under one minute in their special oven and they use the freshest ingredients to ensure that your pizza lives up to their reputation. The prices are also very appetizing and a meal for 2 including drinks will cost you just over €20.
ROSA del RAVAL / ROSA NEGRA
Famous for their €3,50 Mojito (either original mint or strawberry) and Margharitas, Rosa has become one of the most popular Mexican eateries in Barcelona. They have two locations : Rosa del Raval is (as the name suggests) located in Raval. (Carrer dels Àngels). The other restaurant is located on Via Laietana near metro Jaume 1. They offer all the typical dishes, available either as spicy or regular, but one of our favorites is the Vegetarian burrito, filled with wild rice, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and cheese! Have a look at their website here and here
Located on Carrer de Arago 236, close to Rambla Catalunya, this restaurant specializes in tacos and is one of the most authentic places to enjoy real Mexican tacos in Barcelona. They offer a good variety of different fillings for your tacos as well as delicious desserts and a good selection of specially prepared water, such as Tamarind, Jamaican, Lemonade and many more. They offer a menu of the day which includes a starter, 3 tacos of your choice, a drink and dessert for around €10. The place doesn´t look like much from the outside, but the food, service and location are excellent. Check out their Facebook page here
VEGETARIAN and VEGAN RESTAURANTS
Veggie Garden is well-known and very established restaurant in Barcelona. They have 2 locations, Raval at Carrer dels Àngels 3 and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 602 – both offer only vegan food. They have a daily menu, which costs around 8-9 euros per person, and the food is more than enough to keep you full for the next 5-6 hours. The menu also includes salads, Indian and Nepalese dishes, and burgers. A must try in the Veggie garden is their freshly made juices – fruit, vegetable or a combination of fruit and vegetable. In our opinion, one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona.
Green Spot is a relatively new establishment in Barcelona and, in spite of being a little bit heavier on the wallet, is definitely one of the best vegan/vegetarian places we have tried in Barcelona! With very modern and spacious ambiance, they offer an extensive menu that includes a wide variety of dishes. From tasty Lebanese muhamarra dip as a starter, to black (carbon activated) pizzas, Thai curry, quesadillas, macrobiotic bowl and our favorite: sweet potato tagliatelle with macadamia and truffle sauce! It´s located close to Barceloneta and definitely a nice place to have an early dinner before going for a walk on the beach. You can reserve a table on their website.
Veg World India located on Bruniquer 26 was reviewed a while back (read article here). The restaurant is quite small and fills up very quickly during lunch and dinner, but the experience is very unique since their menu is 90% vegan and the food is extremely well prepared and very tasty. The service is exceptionally good and the owner frequently visits the dining guests at their table. They have a buffet lunch menu which is very good value for money and other items on the a la carte menu are very well priced.
Teresa Carles is a very successful lady who has re-invented vegetarian cuisine and thereby established not one, but 3 different eateries in Barcelona! The first being Teresa Carles, right in the city center (Carrer de Jovellanos 2), where you can enjoy a menu of that day which changes every week, as well as the full a-la-carte menu that includes everything from vegan lasagne to Quorn nuggets, delicious salads, tapas, typical Spanish dishes, delicious deserts and fresh smoothies. The chefs pay a lot of attention to detail and the servers are very courteous and fast. For an incredible brunch experience, try Flax & Kale – one of Teresa Carles´ other restaurants.
MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANTS
Iakni is located just next to Plaza España and is definitely worth a visit. Situated on Carrer de Vilamarí, 3. They offer authentic Lebanese food, the falalel is made of Fava beans and it is one of the best ones that we have tried. Their baba ganoush and hummus, as well as freshly made pita breads are also very tasty and made with a lot of care. One look at their great reviews will convince you to visit them, if you haven’t made your mind yet. The owner is also the manager and is almost always at the restaurant to ensure quality and satisfied diners. On their website you can see the menu.
The name says it all. Here you can try a variety of hummuses – classical, with mushrooms, with Shawarma and more. They offer a daily menu which is very reasonably priced and they also offer take-away and delivery. All the meals and freshly prepared and the service is very good. They are located on Carrer de Valencia 227 and are open both for lunch and dinner.
Situated on Calle Aragó 279 (Close to Passeig de Gracia), La Rita is extremely popular among locals as well as tourists to whom this place is generally recommended by the hotels in the vicinity. They offer a typical Spanish/Catalan menu with an excellent variety at very affordable prices. Upon entering, you immediately get the feeling that it is an expensive restaurant, but nothing could be further from the truth. La Rita is part of the Andilana Group, who own 14 other fine restaurants in Barcelona. Make sure you arrive before they open, since they don’t take reservations and it fills up very quickly!
Located on Rambla de Catalunya 18, this is regarded by many as the best place to have Tapas in Barcelona. They serve only tapas though so don’t go there expecting a typical menu. Reservations are recommended for the evenings, since this place is quite popular with the tourists. They have a very nice terrace on the Rambla, which is ideal for a beer and some tapas after work in the summer time. Their staff are mainly from the Philippines, and therefore speak very good English.
Owned and managed by 3 friends from Galicia, Cera 23 opened its doors and already ranks as #4 out of 4000 restaurants on Tripadvisor. Located on Calle Cera number 23 (hence their name), it is located in Raval, and appears quite basic or standard from the ouside. However upon entering, you immediately feel the hospitable atmosphere, typically Galician. In fact it feels almost like entering your favorite pub, but once you walk past the pub into the room at the back, you will find the restaurant section where delicious meals are prepared with Galician influence. They also have a big screen that show all the football games.