When you come to Barcelona, it is easy to get lured into the tourist traps in search of the perfect paella or sangria. Unfortunately, this generally means you get low-quality, overpriced food and drinks, and you will leave feeling disappointed rather than satisfied. There are plenty of amazing restaurants in Barcelona, you just need to know how to find them.
When looking for a restaurant, my basic rules are as follows:
- If there are pictures of the food outside, don’t go in.
- If there is an employee waiting outside to greet you, don’t go in.
- Look at the menu first.
- If there are a ton of pictures on the menu, don’t go in.
- If the menu is translated into a million languages, don’t go in. I even prefer to go to restaurants that only have their menu in Spanish or Catalan, because then you know it isn’t catering to tourists. You can always use google translate on your phone (download Spanish-English on your phone so you can use it offline!).
- If you’re in a touristy area, try to walk a few blocks away before looking for restaurants. The restaurants in front of tourist attractions are almost always overpriced and low-quality.
- If you have internet access, check ratings on Google Maps. Look at the comments. Are there only comments in English, or also many in Spanish/Catalan? The latter is better, because that means that locals also go there. Google Maps is one of my most-used apps when searching for a restaurant.
- If the place looks like a dingy hole in the wall, or is a bit disorganized and plain on the inside, but there are a lot of people, GO IN. Often, local and authentic places don’t bother to put up fancy decorations or draw in your attention because they have locals who come in all the time due to the incredible food. The other night, we saw the restaurant pictured above (stuffed to the brim with random items and boxes in every possible corner) and were a little hesitant to enter, but the place was absolutely packed – and there wasn’t a single tourist there (besides me). The food was quite good!
When you’ve been living in Barcelona for awhile, you generally get the hang of this and it becomes second nature. You end up finding the local hot-spots and secrets, places that tourists don’t generally find. Luckily for you, I’ve gathered some of the best spots throughout Barcelona, as chosen by expats and locals (see the comments and discussion on Reddit, here). I’ve separated each restaurant/bar by category, and included the price range and rating on Google maps (rating as of March 2018). As I discover new places, I will update the list.
If you’re visiting Barcelona, check out my Ultimate Guide which includes must-sees and traveling tips!
€ – cheap, less than 10€ per person
€€ – mid range prices, between 10-20€ per person
€€€ – pricey, between 20-40€ per person
€€€€ – expensive, over 40€ per person
Interactive Google Map with all of the locations, separated by category:
- Semproniana, €€€, 4.1 ☆ (C/ Rosselló, 148)
- I was very impressed with the quality and creativity in the dishes here! My husband’s family gifted us a dinner here, and it was one of the best meals I’ve had in a very long time! It was a Saturday night and the place was absolutely PACKED with locals. The menu is a bit on the pricey side, but the quality of the food is well worth it. If you look on their website, they have a lunch special on weekdays for only 16.70€, so I’d recommend checking it out then! I know I’m dying to go back.
- Atapa-It, €€€, 4.4 ☆ (C/ Muntaner, 146)
- Specializes in gourmet and creative tapas. Depending on whether you come with a full appetite, or just want to share a few tapas, your price will vary a lot. They offer tapas in price range from 2.50€ to 13.50€, so if you order a few and share between a couple people, your bill won’t be that high. But they also have various menus that look fantastic, starting at 23€ per person.
- Topik, €€€, 4.2 ☆ (C/ Valencia, 199)
- Lovely Catalan dishes, some with a Japanese twist! Great Menu del Dia (lunch) for around 14€ on weekdays.
- Flash Flash, €€, 4.1 ☆ (C/ Granada del Penedès, 25)
- Nice variety of food, but the Spanish omelette comes highly recommended!
- Elsa y Fred, €€, 4.4 ☆ (C/ Rec Comtal, 11)
- Delicious brunch, breakfast, and tapas options. Super popular with locals, and great atmosphere. Reservation recommended.
- Toto, €€€, 4.1 ☆ (C/ València, 246)
- Lovely ambiance and delicious food and cocktails! A bit pricy, but great quality.
- Cera 23, €€, 4.5 ☆ (C/ Cera, 23)
- Amazing and authentic Catalan/Spanish dishes, with beautiful presentation and great service. Can get packed and it is a small venue, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation.
- La Alcoba Azul, €€, 4.6 ☆ (C/ Sant Domènec del Call, 14)
- Some people complain it is a little touristy, but the tapas are definitely worth the visit!
- Restaurant la Cassola, €€, 4.5 ☆ (C/ Sant Sever, 3)
- Cozy and authentic Catalan restaurant with fresh ingredients and absolutely delicious dishes.
- La Platilleria, €€, 4.7 ☆ (C/ Roser, 82)
- Great bar with authentic and creatively presented tapas! Not to mention a great wine selection.
- Bouquet Experience, €€€, 4.5 ☆ (C/ Roger de Llúria, 35)
- If you’re a wine lover, you have to check this restaurant out! They have a special pairing menu, where you can choose your wine based off of your specific plate of choice. Lovely decor and friendly staff.
- Restaurant El Gran Cafè, €€€, 4.0 ☆ (C/Avinyó, 9)
- Gorgeous restaurant with traditional Catalan food! It is a little pricey for dinner, but they have an amazing Menu del Dia at an affordable price for lunch during the week. They have someone playing piano sometimes, too!
- Euskal Etxea, €€, 4.2 ☆ (Placeta de Montcada, 1)
- Get a taste of Basque (region in the north of Spain) country! They offer tons of different pintxos (slices of bread topped with various meats, seafood, and cheeses) along with other typical Basque dishes.
- Can Culleretes, €€, 4.0 ☆ (C/ Quintana, 5)
- The oldest restaurant in Barcelona! They serve typical Catalan dishes.
- Bodega Biarritz 1881, €€, 4.5 ☆ (C/ Vidre, 8)
- Fantastic tapas, but generally quite busy and they only accept cash.
- Quimet & Quimet, €€, 4.5 ☆ (C/ Poeta Cabanyes, 25)
- Delicious, authentic tapas. Be aware, you will probably have to stand and it gets extremely crowded, but it’s worth it!
- El Sortidor, €€, 4.1 ☆ (Plaça del Sortidor, 5)
- Lovely ambiance, reasonable prices, and delicious, authentic Catalan food.
- Kappo, €€, 4.5 ☆ (Passatge de Lluís Pellicer, 24)
- An interesting range of ethnic fusions, from middle eastern to asian!
- La Fianna, €€ 4.3 ☆ (C/ Manresa, 4)
- Funky style, comfortable lounging areas and yummy food from all over the world. Also, great cocktails and everything at affordable prices! What more can you ask for?
- Usagui, €€ 4.7 ☆ (C/ Santjoanistes, 28)
- Authentic Japanese food, also with great desserts.
- Macchina Pasta Bar, €€ 4.4 ☆ (4 locations)
- Italian restaurant with freshly made pasta, you get to choose the type of pasta, sauce, and all of the ingredients! Completely personalized.
- Parking Pizza, €€ 4.3 ☆ (C/ Londres, 98)
- Authentic and delicious pizzas! The desserts also come highly recommended. This place gets crowded, so be prepared to wait. You can also do takeaway.
- El Rabipelao, €€ 4.2 ☆ (3 locations)
- Delicious Venezuelan food, great cocktails, and cute decor.
- Cantina Comida Mexicana La Hacienda, €€ 4.2 ☆ (C/ Princesa, 23)
- As a native Californian, I regularly crave Mexican food, and it can be quite hard to find good options in Barcelona. Satisfy your hankering here! Fantastic Mexican dishes.
- Costa Pacífico, €€ 4.4 ☆ (Plaça de Sant Agustí Vell, 13)
- Modern Mexican food, with a smaller menu than most restaurants, but everything on it is delicious! Tacos and ceviche highly recommended.
- Mextizo, €€€ 4.3 ☆ (C/ Diputació, 239,)
- Beautiful decor and fantastically presented Mexican food on a gourmet scale. Definitely not cheap, but people rave about the quality and service.
- La Taqueria, €€ 4.3 ☆ (Passatge de Font, 5)
- Great Mexican food just a couple minutes’ walk from Sagrada Familia! Always packed, definitely reserve a table because it the restaurant is super small. They also have a small Mexican market right across the street, I always stock up on salsas because they’re hard to come by in Barcelona!
- La Pizza del Sortidor, €€ 4.6 ☆ (C/ Blasco de Garay, 46)
- Fantastic pizzas in a wood-fired oven, with great deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays!
- Dans Le Noir, €€€, 3.7 ☆ (Passeig de Picasso, 10)
- Looking for a unique experience? Dine in complete darkness, and give your taste buds a challenge! The waiters are legally blind, and they help you get to your table and sit down without problems. When I say complete darkness, I’m not exaggerating – you can’t even see your hand in front of your face! Before entering, you have a choice between various menu and drink options. They ask if you have any allergies or if there’s any food you don’t like, because you don’t actually get to choose your food – they choose for you, and you have to guess what you’re eating! If you’re a super picky eater, this probably isn’t for you, but the food we had was delicious! We also opted for the drink flight, where they poured us 3 different wines and we had to decide if they were white, rose, or red wines. I highly recommend the experience!
- Bendita Helena, €€, 4.4 ☆ (C/ Galileu, 261)
- Offers fantastic brunch options, and they serve breakfast all day! They also have a very reasonably priced Menu del Dia for lunch. Usually crowded, so it’s a good idea to reserve your table.
- Caravelle, €€, 4.5 ☆ (C/ Pintor Fortuny, 31)
- Gourmet brunches, lunches and dinners with international flair and fresh ingredients! They have something for everyone’s taste buds. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, they also make their own craft beers!
- Big Al’s, €€, 4.3 ☆ (C/ Còrsega, 178)
- If you’re craving good ol’ American food, this is the place for you! They have amazing burgers (with creative names like Widowmaker and Fat Elvis), pulled pork nachos, and refreshing craft beers to wash it all down with.
- La Catrina, €€, 4.3 ☆ (C/ Sardenya, 196)
- Mexican restaurant with authentic, flavorful dishes!
- Oval, €€, 4.2 ☆ (C/ València, 199)
- Fantastic gourmet burgers, with a build-your-own burger option!
- Grill Room, €€, 4.2 ☆ (C/ Escudellers, 8)
- Just a short walk from La Rambla, this restaurant is located in a gorgeous building dating back to 1902. They have delicious food, including typical Catalan dishes and fusions from Asia. We loved this place so much, we had our wedding dinner here! During lunch they have a special menu that is very affordable and tasty!
- Armonía, €€, 4.5 ☆ (C/ València, 240)
- Vegetarian, and having difficulties finding veggie options? Don’t fret, head on over to Armonia! The food is delicious and they offer a nice fusion of cuisines, from Asian to Mediterranean.
- Pim Pam Burger, €, 4.3 ☆ (C/ Sabateret, 4, & C/Bigal, 1)
- People rave that this is the best burger place in all of Barcelona!
- Chivuo’s, €€, 4.5 ☆ (3 locations, 1 in Raval, Gracia, & Eixample)
- Fantastic burgers and craft beer!
- Bicioci Bike Cafe, €€, 4.6 ☆ (C/ Venus, 1-3 local)
- Casual and affordable cafe with tasty salads and pizzas.
- Tras Paso, €€, 4.2 ☆ (C/ Fluvià, 24)
- Affordable bar and restaurant with a variety of food and drink, and funky artwork.
- Xanc i Meli, €€, 4.5 ☆ (C/ Francoli, 53)
- Casual, authentic Catalan bar with great tapas!
- TACOS TACOS, €€ 4.4 ☆ (2 locations)
- Super casual restaurant with a delicious Mexican-Spanish-Catalan fusion! Get tacos with butifarra (Catalan sausage) or some of the more traditional Mexican choices. They have a good selection of salsas, and also hilariously named tacos (like “Pinche pendejo” or “Malparit”).
- L’Antic Theatre, €, 4.4 ☆ (C/ Verdaguer i Callís, 12)
- Popular local’s bar with good beer and an adorable garden terrace where you can enjoy the sun. They also have shows and other events here.
- Ale&Hop, €, 4.4 ☆ (C/ Basses de Sant Pere, 10)
- Great craft beer from all over the world, with 10 taps that change every week. If you’re hungry, they also serve various vegetarian and vegan dishes.
- Paspartú, €, 4.5 ☆ (C/ Basses de Sant Pere, 12)
- A relaxed bar with delicious cocktails and great music, very popular and crowded on weekends.
- Kælderkold, €, 4.6 ☆ (C/ Cardenal Casañas, 7)
- Fantastic selection of craft beers, order a flight so you can try out a bunch!
- Biercab, €€, 4.5 ☆ (C/ Muntaner, 55)
- If you like craft beer, this is the place for you! They have 30 different beers on tap that change all the time. And, if you want some food to soak it all up, they have a great selection of tapas, sandwiches and burgers.
- Garage Beer Co, €, 4.4 ☆ (C/ Consell de Cent, 261)
- Delicious craft beers, industrial and hip vibe. They also serve food.
- The Lime House, €, 4.2 ☆ (C/ Carders, 31)
- Strong and cheap mojitos in the center of El Born. Gets pretty busy.
- Ginger, €, 4.7 ☆ (C/ Palma de Sant Just, 1)
- Great cocktail and wine selection, cozy atmosphere.
- Negroni Cocktail Bar, €, 4.5 ☆ (C/ Joaquín Costa, 46)
- Fantastic cocktails and atmosphere, where the bartenders make you drinks specially tailored to your tastes.
- Restaurant Rosa Negra, €, 4.1 ☆ (Via Laietana, 46)
- Delicious and cheap margaritas and mojitos. I’ve never tried it, but the food seems to be quite tasty as well.