Barcelona has absolutely wonderful food. I know because I ate a lot while I was there. We were in Barcelona for a week, which gave me plenty of time to find some wonderful restaurants. I am very excited to share my recommendations for where to eat in Barcelona with you. For the record, Charles totally made fun of me for carrying around a tiny notebook and taking notes at restaurants.
Americans tend to eat dinner an hour or two earlier than Spaniards, which worked out very nicely when it came to the task of getting a table at a restaurant without a reservation. We had dinner around 7-8pm and were able to get seated at restaurants without reservations. If you want to dine after 8pm, or if it is a Friday or Saturday night, play things safe and make a reservation.
We were staying in the Gothic district which is filled with so many restaurants that we didn’t need to venture far for a meal. Here is a rundown of the best restaurants we discovered during our week in the city.
Bo de B – This tiny sandwich shop serves some of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten. You need to know that the staff is super strict about only letting three people inside at a time to order – if a fourth person walks in the door they are told to wait outside. Bo de B has a small menu. First you pick the main ingredient for your bocadillo, choices include chicken, steak, smoked salmon, omelet, and vegetables. Your choice is added to the bread and then you pick your toppings – feta cheese is a small upcharge, while corn, tomato, lentils, olives, cucumber, cabbage, and lettuce are included. There are four sauces and the traditional thing is to let them put all four on the sandwich. I recommend chicken and feta with corn, lettuce, and cucumber with all four sauces. The patatas bravas were the best I have ever had, and again they come with all four heavenly sauces. Address: 14 Carrer de la Fusteria
Sensi Tapas – Fact, my friend Jordan saw me post a photo from Sensi and immediately recognized the fresh truffle ravioli that I ordered. So yes, it is a spot for a memorable meal. Address: 26 Career Ample – there are 3 sister restaurants too
Jai Ca – This tapas bar was lively and filled with locals even on a weekday afternoon. Charles loved the large portions of grilled squid and meatballs. It’s right by the beach too! Address: 13 Carrer de Ginebra
La Cerveseria in Gracia – We stopped here for beer and tapas when we went on our bike tour. The guide wanted to take us to Gracia, a neighborhood towards the north of the city where we were the only tourists in sight. We happened to be there when a massive street festival had taken over, so we got to enjoy live music and get a glimpse into the local’s life in Barcelona. Address: 3 Placa de la Revolucio
Bar Mut – The waiter immediately explained there is no menu. Tell me what you like and I will tell you what we have. The waiter was both helpful and stern. At one point I asked if they had cheese and he said, “No lady, we don’t have cheese” as if the mere thought of cheese was offensive. But then he cheerfully said, “But we have mushrooms!”. (Charles has since quoted this daily). Charles loved the oysters and I thought that the goat entrée that we shared was the best thing we ate in Barcelona – it was served over potatoes with a thick au jus, and the meat was perfectly cooked. The place is tiny so you might want to make a reservation. Address: 192 Carrer de Pau Claris
Bodega de Puntual – This tapas bar and restaurant looks unassuming from the outside but once you walk through the small tapas bar the space opens up to a large restaurant with high ceilings. Address: 22 Carrer de Montcada
Cecconi’s – It might seem strange that I am recommending an Italian restaurant but we were in Barcelona for a week so we needed a break from Spanish food. Plus, Cecconi’s is a gorgeous restaurant and they have a great happy hour with reduced priced drinks and free snacks. I will admit that I loved their Baked Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce (it is a small appetizer) so much that I ate it three different times during my trip! Cecconi’s also became an important meal option when the city shut down for a day long strike. (The restaurant is owned by Soho House and has also locations in Brooklyn and Miami). Address: 4 Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli
Santagustina – Grab a seat at the bar by the window overlooking the small square the people watch. The sangria was lovely, and the bar is a local hangout that isn’t the least bit touristy. Address: 9 Plaça de Sant Agustí Vell
Bar Rubi – Gin and Tonics are widely popular in Barcelona. Some bars even display their gin list on signs outside. Bar Rubi is a gin and tonic bar where they make their own flavored gins. Address: 6 Carrer dels Banys Vells
Ocaña – This bar/restaurant has great cocktails and is one of Barcelona’s most beautiful and liveliest squares. Address: 13-15 Plaça Reial
ElDiset – This bar and restaurant in the medieval Born district, we loved their wine list, and have been told their food is exceptionally good. Address: 3 Carrer Antic de Sant Joan