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Barcelona restaurant guide: the best places to eat and drink

Asher and I spent two weeks eating our way through Spain, and I’m proud to present our Barcelona restaurant guide, complete with locals’ suggestions.

Barcelona is rich in food culture, focusing on traditional Catalan cuisine, exquisite tapas, paella, local wines and of course, sangria. Here are our favorite Barcelona restaurant finds.

And don’t forget to check out our Barcelona travel guide, including the best things to do and see in the city.

Our restaurant recommendations

Hotel Colón for drinks with a view

The panoramic terrace at Hotel Colón made my Barcelona dreams come true. We took in the view of the Barcelona Cathedral and the surrounding plaza while sipping on Spanish rosé. The view was spectacular! Reservations aren’t accepted, so get there early so you can get the best seat in the house.

Gats for tapas in an upbeat atmosphere

Gats was the first place we visited in Barcelona. We nursed our jetlag with patatas bravas (my favorite tapa ever) and tinto de veranos, the Spanish drink of the summer. We loved Gats so much, we went back later on in our trip for sangria (a must in Spain).

Ca L’Estevet for traditional Catalonian cuisine

Ca L’Estevet has been serving traditional Catalan dishes since 1890. We opted for the beef entrecôte and grilled sausage with beans (safe choices since pig trotters were also on the menu). We reserved our table before our trip here.

Arcano for a nice dinner (and GF bread!)

Arcano might be my favorite restaurant in Barcelona and not just because they have the best gluten-free bread I’ve ever put in my mouth. Imagine stone arches, a cozy atmosphere and delectable dinner entrées — that’s Arcano. Shoutout to Edward, a local working at Hotel Bagués, who recommended this restaurant.

7 Portes for traditional paella

We grabbed dinner on our way back from the beach at 7 Portes, a traditional Catalonian establishment that’s been in operation since 1836. The restaurant (also recommended by Edward) is known for its paella, so we opted for the traditional parellada paella with lobster, and it might be my favorite paella we had in Spain.

Mercat de la Boqueria

Mercat de la Boqueria was right next to Hotel Bagués in the La Rambla area of Barcelona. The market is full of food vendors. Asher and I walked through for snacks during the day.

Da Nanni for pizza on the go

Asher never misses a pizza opportunity in Europe, so when we saw multiple people carrying Da Nanni pizza boxes, we had to check it out. Four euros later, Asher was the happiest person in the Gothic Quarter.

Trópico for a smoothie break

We visited Trópico for a smoothie break, even though they serve all sorts of healthy food. Their smoothies are works of art. We recommend the ave del paraíso (bird of paradise), a coconut and mango smoothie, or the crazy monkey.

Barcelona restaurant tips

  • Restaurants open later in the morning and sometimes close for a mid-day siesta. It’s normal to eat dinner at or after 8 p.m.
  • Reservations aren’t necessary at most establishments but can guarantee you a spot in the restaurant. We recommend making reservations when you can.
  • Tinto de verano is the drink of the summer, but we also recommend indulging in a glass of sangria, a Spanish staple.
  • Tipping isn’t expected.
  • The best places aren’t the most expensive. And if the tapas seem cheap, sometimes the portions are small.
  • You pay for water.
  • Wine and cocktails are less expensive than in the U.S. A glass of wine or cocktail can cost around three euros depending on where you go. Locals drink throughout the day, but the wine portions aren’t as large as they are in the States.

Like our Barcelona restaurant guide? Check out our Barcelona travel guide, including the best things to do and see in the city.



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