Where to Eat in Barcelona

restaurant

Caravelle

Barcelona, Spain

An Aussie-owned establishment, Caravelle is the type of place which could exist in East London, the East Village or Newtown in Sydney. It’s modern and minimalist, with light flooding in through the windows. Caravelle is on most locals’ go-to lists for the quality of food and the banging brunch, which includes home-toasted muesli with fresh berries and passionfruit yoghurt, as well as poached eggs with avocado and rocket pesto. At lunch and dinner, Caravelle is still going strong with roasted pumpkin salads, Cuban sandwiches and steak tostadas.

Address

Carrer del Pintor Fortuny Barcelona 08001

restaurant

Il Giardinetto

Barcelona, Spain

You might not get it from the outside, or even the entrance, but head up the stairs at Il Giardinetto and you’ll find a part of Barcelona glamour preserved from days gone by. At night groups of friends and couples devour G&Ts and fresh pasta in a somewhat surreal setting – a garden painted in green with palm-shaped mirrors. The kitchen is open until 1AM and the space stays open until 3AM, so come for a long dinner with friends (with a piano player to serenade you).

Address

Carrer La Granada del Penedes 28 Barcelona 08006

restaurant

Bar Brutal/Can Cisa

Barcelona, Spain

Ask any young foodie for a round-up of their favourite places to eat and drink in Barcelona and Bar Brutal/Can Cisa will be on the list. And for good reason. This taverna-style restaurant and bar has a winning formula, serving serious food and natural wine in an eccentric setting. There are mounted statues of fish heads, a bull head and even a pig head with a halo lining the walls. Pull up a chair at one of the rustic wooden tables and pore over their menu of Mediterranean sharing plates. It’s the kind of place you can put a couple of bottles of wine away without anyone batting an eyelid. Although it’s located on the tourist trail of Calle de la Princesa, you’ll still hear Catalan conversation in the mix.

Address

Calle de la Princesa 14 Address Line 2 Barcelona 08003

restaurant

Xemei

Barcelona, Spain

Dive into Venetian cuisine at this charming restaurant, which has earned a reputation as one of Barcelona’s best. Located in Poble-sec, the place has the feel of an old family-run locale with pine-green walls, a magenta ceiling and wooden furnishings – one feature wall plastered with colourful fish wallpaper introduces a more modern edge. Owned by the twin brothers behind Bar Brutal (Xemei means twins in Venetian), Max and Stefano Colombo have created a laid-back menu that provides the perfect introduction to Venetian cuisine. It’s still relatively tourist free, though Patti Smith and Sean Penn have both visited (Woody Allen’s reservation was apparently cancelled when he turned up late).

Address

Paseo de la Exposition 85 Barcelona 08004

restaurant

Bacoa

Barcelona, Spain

Believe it or not, ye olde hamburguesa has been a staple on Spanish menus for decades. Bacoa have given the classic patty-and-bun approach a local spin, offering a rich variety of Spanish hams and cheeses to complement the organic meat. There are five outlets smattered across the city, all of which have a casual grab-and-go feel. Arrange your visit outside of the local lunch hour (2 to 4PM) to avoid queues.

Address

Marquès de l'Argentera 1 Barcelona 08003

restaurant

Têt And Elephant, Crocodile, Monkey

Barcelona, Spain

Housed inside Hotel Casa Bonay, these two restaurants essentially operate as pop-ups, with TÊT open during lunchtime and Elephant, Crocodile, Monkey for dinner. TÊT serves up fresh Vietnamese barbecue, a welcome break for anyone who has been in the city for a while and can’t face another three-course Catalan menu while Elephant, Monkey Crocodile focus on Mediterranean food with an Asian twist. There is an exposed brick wall and the restaurant’s narrow shape with wood panelling gives it the feel of a vintage train carriage. Hotel owner Inés Miró-Sans says the design was inspired by Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited.

Address

Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes, 700 08010

restaurant

4 Amb 5 Mujades - CLOSED

Barcelona, Spain

Vegetables take centre stage at this restaurant from Toni Romero, the chef at Succulent and business partner Javier Cotorruelo. While it’s not strictly vegetarian (there is some meat and fish present in sauces and broths) this is a restaurant for people who want to eat vegetables cooked in a different way. Think white turnips in a broth of roast quail and grated truffle, white asparagus with chard and Parmesan serum and cauliflower with black butter and pepper sauce. The menu is seasonal and is divided into four categories – root, leaf, flower and fruit.

Address

Rambla del Raval, 45 08001

restaurant

Mont Bar

Barcelona, Spain

If you want the Catalan gastronomical experience but not the stuffy Michelin atmosphere, Mont Bar is the restaurant for you. Located in the upmarket Eixample area, Mont Bar is a tapas restaurant serving inventive and high quality dishes in a relaxed and homey atmosphere – quite literally along a 30m bar and a few scattered tables. Dishes are both modern and traditional with an Asian flair. They range from the simple – homemade burrata with tomato or Ibérico ham croquettes to the more complex – a squid ink crisp filled with smoked sardines, mango pieces and yoghurt, to piglet terrine with Cantonese sauce, grapefruit and pak choi. Choose from the á la carte menu of around 25 dishes or have a tasting menu from the chef.

Address

Carrer de la Diputació 220 Barcelona 08011

restaurant

Els Pescadors

Barcelona, Spain

Set on the edge of an enchanting square in El Poblenou and surrounded by trees so ancient their roots burst through the tarmac, Els Pescadors is a traditional neighbourhood restaurant that attracts patrons from across the city. The building is 100 years old and it looks it – expect dark wood panelling, marble table tops and a sideboard mounted by a leg of serrano ham. At the weekend, families pile in for long lunches of fresh fish and rice dishes washed down with plenty dry white wine – and end up staying all afternoon.

Address

Plaça de Prim 1 Barcelona 08005

restaurant

Bacaro

Barcelona, Spain

If you’re looking for Italian food in Barcelona, the two restaurants everyone will tell you to visit are Xemei and Bacaro. If you don’t feel like making your way out to Poble Sec, Bacaro is in the centre of Barcelona, down a small side street in Raval and around the corner from the famed Boqueria food market. The restaurant is charming, unpretentious (and tiny) with wooden tables scattered on the ground floor and mezzanine. The kitchen serves up delicious home cooked Venetian dishes and they have some of the friendliest staff in all of Barcelona – the chef often comes out himself to give you a first-hand recommendation.

Address

Carrer de Jerusalem 6 Barcelona 08001

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Bar Del Pla

Barcelona, Spain

After your fair share of dodgy patatas bravas in Barceloneta and beyond, Bar del Pla is a breath of fresh air. While the prices are slightly higher than average, you get what you pay for at this tapas and vermouth bar, with high quality dishes that remind you why Spain is famous for its food. Although at first glance Bar El Pla looks like a traditional tapas bar with the wooden barrel out front and an old school bar with high stools, it’s a modern establishment which opened in 2008. Imaginative ingredients, modern touches and international influences breathe new life into old dishes which attract a mix of young trendy locals and older clientele.

Address

Carrer Montcada 2 Barcelona 08003

restaurant

Grasshopper

Barcelona, Spain

A small ramen bar serving quality broth and delicious craft beers. An offshoot of the beloved Asian tapas bar Mosquito famous for its dumplings, Grasshopper serves up rich, meaty ramen on a simple wooden bar with 16 seats facing the kitchen. Come here for comfort food on the day after a night of dancing at Apolo – the menu is simple, the staff are hospitable and the food takes no time at all. Choose from three types of ramen shio, (salt) shoyu (soya) and miso (fermented bean paste). Deep bowls of broth come with all the regular trimmings – pork belly, soft boiled egg, bamboo shoots, nori and a small selection of sides.

Address

Plaça de la Llana 9 Barcelona 08003

restaurant

Flax & Kale

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona didn’t really do fast, healthy food until Flax & Kale came along. Serving up ‘flexitarian cuisine’ – that’s 80 per cent plant-based dishes and 20 per cent fish – it’s the best place in the city to find a healthy, delicious salad come lunchtime and one of the few places they won’t look confused when you ask for gluten free. There’s a huge menu of fresh salads, grilled vegetable dishes, gluten-free pasta, raw starters and cooked flexitarian dishes plus cold-pressed juices, purées, smoothies and nut milks.

Address

Carrer dels Tallers 74 Barcelona 08001

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restaurant

Maians - CLOSED

Barcelona, Spain

Barceloneta is the best area to go for tapas but the majority of bars here can be intimidating – if you’re not willing to shout over others to order, then you can forget about your crispy calamari. Enter Maians – authentic enough to be popular with locals but also calm enough to not require elbowing someone out of the way. This small taverna features dark wooden beams, vintage prints lining the walls and glasses hanging upside down from a well-stocked bar. Take your time over some sharing plates of esqueixada, brandy prawns and patatas bravas.

Address

10A Upper Wilkie Road Singapore 228119

restaurant

Picnic

Barcelona, Spain

Picnic was one of the first places that started doing brunch in Barcelona and has remained a firm favourite with locals and tourists ever since. Taking influence from the classic American brunch and décor, they serve up eggs Benedict, pancakes and breakfast cocktails in mason jars with fresh flowers and vintage furniture. Be prepared to wait, they have a small terrace, but you’re pretty much just eating on the street.

Address

Carrer del Comerç 1 Barcelona 08003

restaurant

Paella On The Beach

Barcelona, Spain

If you find yourself caught on the beach at lunchtime and want to indulge in some quintessential Spanish cuisine, you have two options for seafood paella. The family-run Xiringuito Escribà is renowned for serving the best fish rice in town (it also has delicious desserts made at the family bakery in El Borne. But its reputation means the place is packed every day, and while the huge pans of steaming rice are truly delicious, the experience is lacklustre – the space is looking a little rough around the edges and service is slow. If you care less about food and more about the setting, opt for Pez Vela hidden under the W Hotel instead. It’s a spacious, cool escape where the mojitos are great and the paella is good too.

Address

Escriba Av. del Litoral 62 Barcelona 08005

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Cuines Santa Caterina

Barcelona, Spain

A bustling modern restaurant, housed in a section of the Santa Caterina food market. They serve four types of cuisine from around the world out of their large open-plan kitchen, with menus changing seasonally – the specials of the day run along LED screens. You can sit at the bar for a quick glass of wine and a few tapas or in the main restaurant where there is a selection of private and long communal tables. It’s loud and hectic, but that’s part of the fun.

Address

Av. de Francesc Cambó 16 Barcelona 08003

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Bar Electricitat

Barcelona, Spain

From the outside Electricitat doesn’t look like much and from the inside it looks like even less. Not the most aesthetically pleasing of spots, this legendary bar is popular with locals for its tasty tapas and dynamic character. Rub shoulders with locals patrons and fight for space at the wooden benches before bear-hugging the slightly sweaty owner, who will give you a run-down of the menu.

Address

Carrer de Sant Carles 15 Barcelona 08003

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The Green Spot

Barcelona, Spain

On the border of the beachside Barceloneta barrio, The Green Spot is the esteemed leader of Barcelona’s conscious eating movement, serving unusual vegetarian dishes that include black pizza with pumpkin, pistachios, caramelised onions and velvety goats cheese. Its Scandinavian timber tones, abundance of plants and creative fruit-infused cocktails all say: vegetables can be sexy too.

Address

Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 12

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La Panxa del Bisbe

Barcelona, Spain

La Panxa del Bisbe is an institution in tree-lined Gracia. The local restaurant is popular with everyone from old abuelas to young creatives thanks to its twist on traditional tapas, which sees the classic tuna tartare topped with peas and a cool mustard cream. These experimental dishes are served with a strong political statement: menus are provided in Catalan and English only.

Address

Carrer del Torrent de les Flors, 158

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Pandan

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona’s love affair with bread reigns strong, but you’ll find light relief at Pandan, which specialises in Vietnamese rice rolls packed with fillings such as salmon, fennel and ginger mayonnaise. Its latest outpost in the Sant Gervasi-Galvany neighbourhood marries two of Barcelona’s current food trends – Asian cuisine and healthy eating – and does so in style thanks to its concrete-and-bamboo interior.

Address

Travessera de Gràcia, 8

restaurant

Bohl

Barcelona, Spain

Within walking distance of both Parc de la Ciutadella and the Arc de Triomf is the new Bohl, a serene space that serves all-day brunch in the form of smoothie bowls, juices, teas and healthy toasts. Bohl believes in all things pared-back, from the food it serves to its simple dove-grey concrete interior. Menu standouts include the acai bohl topped with bee pollen and the Macacao latte, a punchy cacao and maca mix.

Address

Carrer de Trafalgar, 47

restaurant

Three Marks Coffee

Barcelona, Spain

You may not be familiar with Fort Pienc but, according to three friends called Mark, you will soon. The unchartered barrio in Eixample district sits next to Plaça de les Glòries, which currently being transformed into a new city hub with a sprawling park. Three Marks Coffee, founded by those three friends called Mark, is the first café to move in and is currently serving a silky Ugandan roast that you can sup surrounded by succulents.

Address

Carrer d'Ausiàs Marc, 151