Learn from our mistake, don’t plan your first-ever trip to Barcelona during Holy Week. Why? Because half the city’s restaurants will be closed during that time so all the effort you put into planning and creating the most bad-ass food itinerary will go to waste. Aarghhh!!
We visited Barcelona for the first time ever in 2019 and learned that the hard way. To make matters worse, we were there to celebrate Mrs. Traveleater’s 50th birthday. While we did make it to some of the restaurants on our list, most were closed which led to too many shuttered dead ends and moments of hangry frustration.
Barcelona has been unfinished business ever since so we’ve been dying to go back and finish what we started. When we finally got the opportunity, we scoured the city for its best restaurants and came up with a Barcelona food guide that we could finally be proud of.
If you’re visiting Barcelona, then check out these twenty restaurants and tapas bars for some of the most delicious food in the city.
Just be sure that it isn’t during Holy Week!
BARCELONA RESTAURANTS QUICK LINKS
To help you make the most of your time in Barcelona, we’ve put together links to top-rated hotels, tours, and other travel-related services here.
Recommended hotels around Placa Catalunya, one of the most convenient areas to stay for first-time visitors to Barcelona.
- Sightseeing Tour: Sagrada Familia Tour
- Food Tour: Tipsy Tapas Food Crawl
- Day Trip: Montserrat Tour, Monastery & Optional Wine/Lunch
- Cooking Classes: Cooking Classes in Barcelona
Save This on Pinterest!
No time to read this guide on the best restaurants in Barcelona? Click on the save button and pin it for later!
WHERE TO EAT IN BARCELONA
To help organize this list, I’ve categorized them by type of restaurant. Click on a link to jump to any section of the guide.
SPANISH RESTAURANTS / TAPAS BARS
1. Quimet i Quimet
Of all the restaurants in Barcelona we missed on that first trip, this one hurt the most. Open since 1914, this standing-room-only tapas bar is a Barcelona institution and was once featured on an episode of No Reservations with the late great Anthony Bourdain.
Quimet i Quimet is an iconic bar that serves montaditos (small open-faced sandwiches) and classic tapas dishes like fresh anchovies in vinegar, pan con tomate (tomato bread), and razor clams in olive oil. They don’t have a kitchen so all the taps on the menu are served cold.
Topped with caviar, the mouthwatering dish pictured below is the smoked oyster and red pepper montadito.
Razor clams doused in extra virgin olive oil are among my favorite tapas dishes to order in Spain.
If one type of clam isn’t enough for you, then you may want to try these berberechos or cockles as well.
If pork is more your thing, then you need to try this delicious Iberian pork cheek served with red peppers, sweet potato chips, and huevo hilado (fios de ovos in Portuguese). Huevo hilado refers to thin strands of mostly egg yolk boiled in sugar syrup.
No list of the best Barcelona tapas bars can ever be complete without Quimet i Quimet.
My brother and his wife visited Barcelona a few months after we did in 2019, and of all the places they went to on my food itinerary, Quimet i Quimet is one of two places that really stood out for them. The other was La Plata (#2).
Here’s a look at Quimet i Quimet’s tight but cozy standing-room-only interior. Being one of Barcelona’s best tapas bars, queues can get pretty long so each group of diners is limited to just one hour. I suggest arriving early so you don’t have to wait for a table.
Quimet i Quimet
Address: Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, Sants-Montjuïc, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 12NN-4PM, 6-10:30PM, Mon-Fri (closed Sat-Sun)
What They Offer: Cold tapas, montaditos
2. La Plata
Like Quimet i Quimet, La Plata is one of Barcelona’s most iconic tapas bars. It’s a tiny bar with a hyper-focused menu offering just a handful of dishes, the most popular being this plate of pescaditos.
Pescaditos fritos literally means “little fried fish” and refers to small whole fish that are coated in flour and then deep-fried in olive oil. Seasoned with just a sprinkling of salt, it’s a simle dish that when done well, may just be one of the tastiest things you try in Barcelona.
We’ve tried this dish at other restaurants in Spain and the pescaditos at La Plata are by far the best. They’re so light and airy that they practically crumble the moment they hit your tongue.
Nearly every local at the bar was enjoying their pescaditos with this ensalada. It’s a simple salad made with fresh tomatoes, Arbequina olives, onions, and olive oil.
We haven’t tried them but rounding out La Plata’s focused menu are pinchos made with botifarra (Catalan sausage) and anchoas (anchovies).
La Plata is one of the many many restaurants and tapas bars located in the Gothic Quarter. I love restaurants that do one or two things exceptionally well and La Plata is one of those places. Don’t miss it!
Address: Carrer de la Mercè, 28, Ciutat Vella, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 11:30M-3PM, 6-11PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What They Offer: Pescaditos
3. Bar Jai-Ca
La Barceloneta is a great place to do a tapas crawl in Barcelona. This seaside neighborhood next to San Sebastia Beach consists of a network of alleyways that’s home to dozens of small tapas restaurants, one of the most popular being Bar Jai-Ca.
Open since 1955, Bar Jai-Ca is an emblematic tapas bar that specializes in vermut, fried fish, and dozens of tapas dishes like anchovies, artichokes, and patatas bravas. What you’re looking at here is their version of the “bomba” – an iconic dish in Catalan cuisine that has its roots in the Barceloneta neighborhood.
The bomba tapa is a fried potato croquette filled with ground beef and then topped with the same sauces used for patatas bravas – alioli and salsa brava. It’s a little flavor bomb – bomba literally means “bomb” in Spanish – that croqueta lovers need to try in Barcelona.
Another iconic dish that you need to try in Bareclona is calcots. In season from December till March, calcot refers to a type of green onion that’s typically roasted over a wood fire and then served with salvitxada or romesco sauce.
We love the roasted version (see Can Cargolet, #12) but these deep-fried tempura calcots are damn delicious as well.
Like virtually every tapas bar in the Barceloneta neighborhood, timing is key at Bar Jai-Ca. It’s important to arrive early, especially over the weekend, if you’d rather not wait too long for a table.
Address: Carrer de Ginebra, 13, C/ de Ginebra, 7-9, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 8AM-11:30PM, Mon-Fri / 9AM-11:30PM, Sat-Sun
What They Offer: Tapas
4. Cal Chusco
Cal Chusco is another highly-rated tapas restaurant in the Barceloneta neighborhood. They offer dozens of tapas dishes and sandwiches on their menu but like many of the bars in this area, one of their specialties is the bomba.
The bombas are a little smaller at Cal Chusco but they may be our favorite version to date. About the size of meatballs, they have great texture and are seasoned very well.
Here’s an inside look at Cal Chusco’s tasty bombas. Just looking at this picture is making me want to fly to Barcelona right now!
Before setting down this heaping plate of polbo a feira, Cal Chusco’s owner boldly declared that his version of this popular Galician-style octopus dish was the best in Barcelona. I’m in no position to agree or disagree but I can understand why he’s so proud of this dish. It’s delicious!
Cal Chusco is a small bar with just a few tables but we got there early on a weekday so the only other people at the restaurant was a big table of animated regulars. I can imagine this place getting packed at peak meal times so as always, it’s best to arrive early.
Address: C/ d’Emília Llorca Martín, 5, Ciutat Vella, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 8:30AM-4PM, 5-8:30PM, Mon-Wed / 8:30AM-4PM, 6-8:30PM, Fri-Sun (closed Thursdays)
What They Offer: Tapas, sandwiches, torradas
5. La Bombeta
La Bombeta is another restaurant in the Barceloneta neighborhood that you may want to visit on your tapas crawl. It’s a super popular tapas bar that always has a long line of locals waiting to sink their teeth into their tasty tapas.
La Bombeta offers dozens of tapas dishes on their menu. We started with one of our favorite vegetable tapas dishes in Spain – pimientos de padron. They consist of Spanish padron peppers that are roasted till blistered and then seasoned simply with salt.
Nothing to see here, just a simple but delicious plate of almejas a la plancha or grilled clams to enjoy with your glass of wine or vermut. ¡Salud!
If sausages are your thing, then you may want to try La Bombeta’s chistorra. It’s a type of fast-cured sausage made with minced pork seasoned with garlic, paprika, and salt. Pair it with some tortilla de patata (Spanish omelet) and you’ll be all set!
I’ve walked by La Bombeta on more than one occasion and there was always a small army of locals waiting outside for a table. It’s a decent-sized restaurant too which says a lot about the quality of its food.
As the restaurant’s name suggests, La Bombeta specializes in bombas so you may want to try them here as well.
Address: Carrer de la Maquinista, 3, Ciutat Vella, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 12NN-12AM, Thurs-Tue (closed Wednesdays)
What They Offer: Tapas, bombas
6. Guell Tapas
Guell Tapas is another great restaurant in Barcelona that serves a plethora of tasty tapas dishes and other Spanish favorites like paella and fideua. It’s located in the Raval neighborhood, just off La Rambla.
We started our feast at Guell Tapas with one of the simplest but most iconic dishes in Catalan cuisine – pa amb tomaquet (tomato bread). It consists of crusty bread that’s been rubbed over with tomato and seasoned simply with just olive oil and salt.
I love all things squid and octopus so Spanish tapas like chipirones fritos (deep-fried baby squid) and this well-seasoned pan of calamares salteados (sauteed calamari) are among my favorite dishes to order in Spain.
Speaking of well-seasoned, if you appreciate Asian flavors, then you may want to try these dados de atun (tuna cubes) marinated in soy sauce, garlic, chili, and other spices. These were so tasty I was almost tempted to ask for a bowl of steamed jasmine rice. Ha!
Nothing like a big pot of steamed mussels to punctuate a delicious, seafood-heavy lunch in Barcelona.
Address: C/ Nou de la Rambla, 20, Ciutat Vella, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 7:30AM-12:30AM, Mon-Thurs / 7:30AM-1AM, Fri-Sun
What They Offer: Tapas, seafood, paella, salad
7. Sagradas Tapas
Speaking of emblematic Gaudi creations, no building is more famous (or mind-blowing) than La Sagrada Familia. As the name of this restaurant suggests, it’s a great place to enjoy a few plates of tapas not too far from Barcelona’s most famous Gaudi attraction.
Sagradas Tapas offers a good range of seafood, meat, and vegetable tapas. What you’re looking at here is everyone’s favorite prawn tapas – gambas al ajillo. It’s a classic tapas dish featuring prawns cooked in garlic and olive oil.
If the previous dish looked good to you, then you may want to try these champiñones al ajillo as well. They feature fresh button mushrooms cooked in the same way.
Sagradas Tapas offers several squid dishes on their menu. Tonight, we enjoyed this pan of habas con chipirones or broad beans cooked with baby squid.
Spanish cuisine is known for its rice dishes like paella valenciana and paella de marisco, but have you ever tried fideua? It’s similar to paella except it’s made with thin pasta noodles instead of rice.
Like paella, the best restaurants in Spain typically require at least a two-person order for fideua but at Sagradas Tapas, you can try this tapa-sized version of fiduea de marisco (fiduea with seafood) for just a few Euros.
The most popular tourist attractions usually attract overpriced restaurants and as expected, such was the case here at Sagrada Familia. The area immediately surrounding the church is filled with tourist trap after tourist trap so it was nice to find Sagradas Tapas about a 10-minute walk away.
To be honest, I wouldn’t describe Sagradas Tapas as a local favorite (most customers were Asian at the time) but their food was good and fairly priced. On top of that, the restaurant gets mostly 5-star reviews from Spanish-speaking reviewers on TripAdvisor.
Address: Av. de Gaudí, 48, L’Eixample, 08025 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 11AM-12MN, Sun-Thurs / 11AM-1AM, Fri-Sat
What They Offer: Typical tapas dishes
8. Ramblero de la Boqueria
When it comes to food-centric Barcelona attractions, few places come to mind faster than La Boqueria Market. This historic market along La Rambla is home to dozens of food vendors and restaurant stalls offering a wide range of Spanish food.
La Boqueria is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Barcelona so it was important for us to find the right stalls to visit. Based on what I’ve read, Ramblero de la Boqueria was one of those stalls.
As described, few dishes get me more excited about Spanish food than fried or grilled squid. We started our meal here at Ramblero with this basket of our favorite chipirones fritos. ¡Que rico!
On our most recent trip to Spain, we ate our way through Barcelona, Seville, Malaga, and Valencia. Most of the restaurants we visited only offered zamburiñas (variegated scallops) but only Ramblero had these beautiful vieiras or giant sea scallops.
Served on a bed of sauteed mushrooms and vegetables, these succulent scallops were unbelievably delicious and perhaps one of the best things I ate on this trip to Barcelona.
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, then you’ll be pleased to find a handful of vegetable dishes on Ramblero’s menu, including this tasty platter of grilled vegetables seasoned with just olive oil and salt.
Ramblero is one of the more popular stalls at La Boqueria so it’s a good idea to arrive early to secure your spot.
Ramblero de la Boqueria
Address: Pl. de Sant Josep, 16, Ciutat Vella, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 10AM-8:30PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What They Offer: Seafood tapas, vegetable tapas
9. Bar Pinotxo
If you enjoy visiting restaurants with a long history of serving good food, then look no further than Pinotxo – a legendary tapas stall that’s been open since 1940. They were a fixture at La Boqueria for decades before moving to their new home in Mercat de Sant Antoni in 2023.
A family-run restaurant, Bar Pinotxo offers a menu of traditional recipes from Catalan cuisine. At the time of our visit in December 2023, their menu was handwritten which suggested to me that they offer dishes based on what’s available at the market that week (or day).
Pictured below is one of Bar Pinotxo’s signature dishes – garbanzos con morcilla or chickpeas with blood sausage. Famed Spanish chef Jose Andres has been eating at Bar Pinotxo since childhood and this is one of his favorite dishes at the restaurant.
If you could have just one dish at Bar Pinotxo, then it should definitely be this one. If not this, then cap i pota – a rustic Catalan beef stew made with meat from the calf’s head and leg.
This was our third tapas restaurant today so we were feeling pretty full at this point. For our second dish, we went with this much lighter plate of berberechos or Galician cockles dressed in olive oil.
Bar Pinotxo was once headed by Juanito Bayén – the legendary bow-tie-wearing octogenarian who had been the face of the restaurant for decades. Sadly, he passed away in early 2023 which prompted the restaurant’s move to Mercat de Sant Antoni.
Bar Pinotxo may have moved to a new home but based on the long queue of locals waiting for a seat at the bar, their reputation for serving some of the best Catalan cuisine in Barcelona remains intact.
Address: Carrer del Compte d’Urgell 1 Mercat de Sant Antoni 18-19-20-21, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 8AM-4:30PM, Tue-Sat (closed Sun-Mon)
What They Offer: Catalan cuisine
10. Bodega Joan
We try to find the most local places when we travel so it’s always exciting when a restaurant we go to gets a local’s seal of approval. However, that excitement reaches new heights when that local also happens to be a guide for one of the most respected food tour companies in the world. That’s exactly what happened here at Bodega Joan, a historic restaurant in the Eixample district of Barcelona.
We went on this excellent food tour in Barcelona and when we told our guide that we were celebrating Mrs. Traveleater’s 50th birthday at Bodega Joan, she said “Oh! You know about Bodega Joan?” Clearly, she was impressed. Ha!
A local favorite that’s been open since 1942, her reaction told us that we had indeed found one of the best restaurants in Barcelona and the perfect place to celebrate this milestone.
We started Mrs. Traveleater’s birthday feast at Bodega Joan with one of the best starters in Catalan cuisine – pa amb tomaquet.
We paired our pa amb tomaquet with gambas al ajillo because nothing goes better with crusty tomato bread than a pot of shrimpy, garlicky olive oil to dip the bread into.
We’re originally from the Philippines so for us, few dishes scream celebration more than paella. Today, we celebrated Mrs. Traveleater’s birthday with a trio of Spanish rice dishes, starting with this beautiful paella de marisco.
Paella valenciana and paella de marisco are fantastic but my favorite Spanish rice dish has always been arroz negro. It’s an exceedingly delicious dish that gets its color and umami-rich flavor from cuttlefish ink.
For our third and final celebration dish, we enjoyed this fideua de marisco, which as you already know, is a paella-like dish made with thin pasta noodles instead of rice. Mrs. Traveleater prefers fideua over paella so it was fitting to punctuate today’s celebratory meal with this.
If you like the flavors of paella but find the rice too filling, then fideua is the perfect alternative. It’s much lighter than paella but every bit as delicious.
¡Que tengas un cumpleaños fabuloso mi amor!
Address: C/ del Rosselló, 164, L’Eixample, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 7AM-1AM, Mon-Fri / 8AM-1AM, Sat-Sun
What They Offer: Tapas, tostadas, paella
Fideua de marisco is great, but do you know what’s even more delicious? Fideua negra. In the same way that I prefer arroz negro over paella, I think fideua cooked with cuttlefish ink makes it even better.
A few days before Mrs. Traveleater’s birthday lunch at Bodega Joan, I visited highly-rated Tapeo in the Born neighborhood of Barcelona to enjoy this beautiful pan of fideua negra by myself. The earthy, umami-rich flavors of cuttlefish or squid ink makes everything taste that much better. So good!
Address: C/ de Montcada, 29, Ciutat Vella, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 12NN-12MN, daily
What They Offer: Fideua, tapas, Catalan dishes
12. Can Cargolet (Traditional Catalan Cuisine)
This meal at Can Cargolet was a real treat. As previously described, if you visit Barcelona in winter, then one dish that you absolutely need to try is calcot. It refers to a type of green onion that’s milder in flavor and less bulbous than regular onions.
Earlier in this food guide, I showed you a deep-fried tempura version at Bar Jai-Ca (#3) but this is how it’s more commonly served and eaten. The calcots are blackened over a wood fire and then served with salvitxada or romesco sauce.
To eat, you strip the charred outer layer to reveal the clean layers of onion underneath.
You then dip the calcot in a red sauce made from tomatoes, garlic, toasted almonds, pine nuts, olive oil, and peppers. Smokey, sweet, and a little spicy from the sauce, it’s a simple but exceedingly delicious dish that we’ll look for on every winter trip to Barcelona.
We visited Can Cargolet in winter for their calcots but what this restaurant is really known for are their snails (cargols in Catalan, hence the restaurant’s name).
Can Cargolet offers about half a dozen snail preparations. To appreciate the flavor of the snails, we ordered this sauceless version sauteed with just toasted garlic and olive oil. If I remember correctly, it’s called caracoles a la gormanda.
The calcots were fantastic but they were even more enjoyable when paired with a pan of these delicious, garlicky snails.
This meal at Can Cargolet may have been simple, but it was one of the most memorable we’ve enjoyed thus far in Barcelona. As is often the case, simple food is often the best.
Address: Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 17, L’Eixample, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 1-4PM, 8PM-12MN, Tue-Sun / 1-4PM, 8-11PM, Mon
What They Offer: Snails, Catalan specialties
13. La Alcoba Azul
La Alcoba Azul is another popular restaurant you can visit in the Gothic Quarter. They offer an interesting menu of flavorful and well-put-together tapas, open-faced sandwiches, salads, and charcuterie.
What you’re looking at here is the verde toast. It’s basically a tostada or open-faced sandwich made with toasted bread topped with fresh spinach, goat cheese, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and cumin.
I don’t think they have too many vegan dishes but vegetarians will have lots to choose from at La Alcoba Azul, including this grigora salad made with quinoa and bulgur topped with feta cheese, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, green peppers, black olives, herbs, and olive oil.
If you’ve had your fill of the usual tapas dishes like gambas, chipirones, and patatas bravas, then make your way to La Alcoba Azul. Just be sure to arrive early. The place is small and super popular so you’ll likely have to wait at peak times of the day.
La Alcoba Azul
Address: C/ de Salomó ben Adret, 14, Ciutat Vella, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 12NN-1AM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What They Offer: Tapas, tostadas, salads
14. La Mundana (Bib Gourmand Fusion Tapas Bar)
This restaurant is interesting. We walked by it everyday on our way to and from the metro station and their menu of Asian-Spanish fusion tapas dishes grabbed our attention. We hopped on Google and lo and behold, La Mundana is actually a Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee. Cool!
Mundana in Spanish can mean either “mundane” or “worldly”. As you’ll soon see, the food at La Mundana is hardly mundane. Instead, the restaurant gets its name from its interesting mix of dishes combining ingredients and techniques from Spanish, French, Korean, and Japanese cuisine.
To start, I enjoyed this pair of oysters that can be prepared in a few ways – smoked, with kimchi juice, or gratinated with shiso leaves. Personally, I think oysters are best when left as is so that’s what I got.
La Mundana has a section on their menu called “The Untouchables” which showcases their very best dishes. That’s where you’ll find this fantastic red shrimp carpaccio. It’s made with prized carabineros shrimp topped with dollops of tarragon mayonnaise, lime, and bloody mary jelly.
To eat, you top the slices of whole wheat toast with slivers of shrimp, mayonnaise, and bloody mary jelly.
Naturally sweeter than other types of shrimp, carabineros are a delicacy and something food travelers need to try in Spain. We had it in a paella in Valencia as well and it was the best paella we’ve had thus far.
Aside from the permanent dishes on their menu, La Mundana offers a few specials as well. This beautifully plated daily special featured foie gras served with beetroot and figs.
If you like paella, then you need to try this fantastic rice dish. Listed on the menu as cap i pota rice with eel, it’s a Spanish-Japanese-French fusion rice dish made with eel, teriyaki sauce, rouille, and meat from the calf’s head and feet.
Located in the Sants neighborhood, we enjoyed one of our most interesting meals in Barcelona at La Mundana. It isn’t fine dining or haute cuisine but it definitely isn’t like your typical tapas restaurant in Barcelona either.
We haven’t tried them but other interesting-looking dishes include the katsu sando with jamon iberico and mole poblano. According to the Michelin Guide, their version of patatas bravas and Asian calamares are standout dishes as well.
Here’s a look inside the restaurant. Notice the sifon? La Mundana started out as a vermuteria so they offer a good selection of vermut and wine as well.
Nothing like a refreshing glass of vermut to pair with La Mundana’s creative tapas in Barcelona!
Address: Carrer del Vallespir, 93, Sants-Montjuïc, 08014 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 1-3:30PM, 8-10:30PM, daily
What They Offer: Fusion tapas
15. Dos Pebrots (Michelin-Recommended Casual Fine Dining)
Do you remember El Bulli? The legendary restaurant that was once described as “the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet”?
We were never lucky enough to dine at El Bulli before they closed in 2011 but we at least got to enjoy the tasting menu of its former head chef here at Dos Pebrots. Helmed by Albert Raurich, former head chef at El Bulli, we had dinner at Dos Pebrots five years ago and it was nice to see the restaurant still going strong today.
Dos Pebrots is known for its intriguing menu of tapas that narrates the evolution of Mediterranean cuisine. They do have an ala carte menu but for the full experience, we suggest going for one of their three tasting menus.
Here’s a chopping board of salted and cured fish from the tasting menu we enjoyed five years ago.
We also enjoyed a seafood platter on our tasting menu that featured these curious-looking crustaceans called percebes. Popular in Spain and Portugal, percebes refer to these boiled gooseneck barnacles that are curiously referred to as “Lucifer’s fingers”. Click on the link to find out why!
If you thought the percebes looked weird, then what do you think about this next dish?
I don’t know if they still serve them but at the time, these confit pig udders were one of Dos Pebrots’ signature dishes. Served on the underside of an upturned ceramic pig, they’re paired with jamon broth in champagne flutes which you’re meant to sip while chewing on the udder. A unique experience indeed!
As advised, our tasting menu was from five years ago but you can read my article on Dos Pebrots for more pictures and information. They probably offer completely different tasting menus today but you’ll at least get a sense of what to expect at this quirky restaurant.
Address: C. del Doctor Dou, 19, Ciutat Vella, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 1-3:30PM, 8-10:30PM, daily
What They Offer: Tasting menus, Mediterranean cuisine
As much as we love tapas and traditional Spanish food, we’re also middle-aged and more conscious of our health than we were in our youth. Healthier eating has become increasingly important to us so here are a few restaurants you can visit for less cholesterol and more chlorophyll in your food.
MAAI is a great restaurant to visit if you’re planning on visiting Casa Vicens, Gaudi’s first major project. It features a menu of gluten-free dishes like keto burgers, macrobiotic bowls, poke bowls, and chickpea waffles.
I went with the lunch set menu which included this jar of vegan soup, an entree of my choice, and a half-liter of filtered Kangen water. The soup was tasty and if I remember correctly, made with squash and zucchini.
For my entree, I went with this bright and delicious salmon poke bowl made with quinoa, endives, baked sweet potato, avocado, red onion, edamame, corn, microgreens, and curry mayonnaise.
If a low-carb, high-fat diet is your jam, then you can also create DIY keto plates with your choice of protein, toppings, and dressing over a base of sauteed vegetables.
MAAI is located about a 10-minute walk from Casa Vicens. It’s a convenient place to enjoy a healthy meal before or after visiting the house museum.
Address: Carrer de Regàs, 30, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, 08006 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 9AM-12NN, 1-3:30PM, Mon-Fri (closed Sat-Sun)
What They Offer: Gluten-free meals, keto diet food
17. All You Eat is Love
The name of this restaurant says it all. All You Eat is Love isn’t a plant-based restaurant but they do offer many heart-healthy options like salads, poke bowls, stews, wraps, and veggie specialties.
Pictured below is the Japanese-style poke bowl made with a base of brown rice and mesclun topped with avocado, mango, goji berries, cherry tomatoes, sprouts, peanuts, and pesto.
All You Eat is Love doesn’t have too many vegan options but they do offer a few vegetarian dishes like veggie burgers, hummus wraps, meatless stews, and this delicious eggplant parmigiana.
All You Eat is Love is located along Carrer de la Marina, about a 15-minute walk from Somorrostro Beach. It’s a great place to enjoy a healthy meal outdoors on a bright and sunny day in Barcelona.
All You Eat is Love
Address: Carrer de la Marina, 52, Sant Martí, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 12NN-12MN, Wed-Sat / 12NN-4PM, Sun-Tue
What They Offer: Salads, wraps, poke bowls, vegetarian options
18. Verde Amore
Nothing gets me more excited to get out of bed in the morning than a beautifully put-together acai bowl. At Verde Amore, a lovely neighborhood cafe in the Les Corts area, you can get acai bowls topped with seasonal fruit, homemade granola, and poppy seeds in three different sizes (100-250g).
I loved the acai bowl at Verde Amore but that isn’t all you can get there. They also offer vegan pastries, buddha bowls, vegan and vegetarian tapas, and what one local reviewer called “La mejor hamburguesa vegana de Barcelona” (the best vegan hamburger in Barcelona).
I haven’t tried their lunch options but after this acai bowl and that glowing review, I’ll definitely be back.
Verde Amore is located on the cusp between the Les Corts and Sants neighborhoods. It’s a charming neighborhood cafe, the kind that probably sees the same locals coming in to enjoy heart-healthy brunches every weekend.
Address: C/ de Galileu, 261, Les Corts, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-5PM, Wed-Fri / 10AM-4PM, Sat-Sun (closed Mon-Tue)
What They Offer: Vegan/vegetarian tapas, acai bowls, buddha bowls, vegan burgers, vegan pastries
PASTRIES / DESSERTS
Most of the time, we find the best food through a lot of research and walking. But sometimes, like today, we stumble upon it through sheer stupid luck.
After a day of exploring the city center, we wanted to rest our feet and sit down for some tea and pastries. We couldn’t be bothered to find the best croissants in Barcelona so we walked into the first place we could find – Brunells.
As it turns out, Brunnels is an historic pastry shop that’s been open since 1852 and is known for serving some of the best croissants in Barcelona. Their pastries are so good that their butter croissant was declared the very best in Spain in 2020. How lucky were we?!
Buttery, beautiful, and supremely flaky, if you’re like most people and love croissants, then you need to try this at Brunells. They offer many other cakes and pastries as well but what they’re really known for are their croissants.
Located in El Born, Brunells is home to some of the best croissants in Barcelona. Being in such a popular area, it’s often crowded so you may have to wait a bit for a table.
According to this TimeOut article, Brunells closed down in 2018 much to the sadness of many locals. Its breads and pastries had become such an important part of Barcelona food culture that big-name specialty shops fought to reopen this landmark bakery in 2020. ¡Viva Brunells!
Address: Carrer de la Princesa, 22, Ciutat Vella, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 9AM-8PM, daily
What They Offer: Croissants, cakes, pastries, bread
20. Pastisseria Hofmann
If one award-winning croissant isn’t enough for you, then perhaps you may want to try the offerings at Pastisseria Hoffman as well. Like Brunells, they’re known for their croissants and pastries and have been named the best pastry shop in Barcelona for four years running!
Unlike Brunells which we stumbled upon by chance, I actually meant to go to Pastisseria Hoffman. I had read about their famous croissants so I tried several versions – the plain and a few stuffed versions made with incredibly delicious fillings like raspberry jam, chocolate, and mascarpone cream.
Coincidentally, the Born branch of Pastisseria Hoffman is just a 3-minute walk from Brunells. You can visit both on the same day to see which Barcelona croissant truly reigns supreme.
Address: C/ dels Flassaders, 44, Ciutat Vella, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Operating Hours: 9AM-7PM, Mon-Sat / 9AM-2PM, Sun
What They Offer: Croissants, pastries, cakes
To help you navigate to these restaurants in Barcelona, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. Click on the link for a live version of the map.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN BARCELONA
Some people who’ve been to Barcelona may raise their eyebrows because of the famous omissions from this list. Noticeably absent are institutions like La Cova Fumada (inventor of the bomba tapa), Bar Cañete, El Xampanyet, and the most popular eatery at the Boqueria – El Quim de la Boqueria.
We couldn’t go for one reason or another – closure, too many people, etc. – but we’ll definitely get to them at some point. For churros, I read that Xurreria Laietana makes some of the best in Barcelona.
For fine dining and haute cuisine, there’s no better resource than the Barcelona Michelin Guide. There are currently twenty-eight restaurants with at least one Michelin Star in Barcelona so you’ll have plenty to choose from to get your caviar and foie gras fix.
This Barcelona food guide has gone long enough so I’ll end it here. Like New York City or Tokyo, there’s so much good food in Barcelona that no restaurant guide can ever do it justice. But I hope that we’ve at least narrowed down your choices.
Thanks for reading and have an amazing time eating your way through one of our favorite cities in the world – Barcelona! ¡Provecho!
This article on the best Barcelona restaurants includes affiliate links. What that means is that we’ll make a small commission if you make a booking at no additional cost to you. We appreciate your support as it helps us make more of these free travel and food guides. ¡Muchisimas gracias!