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Barcelona is by far one of my favorite cities in Europe to visit again and again because of its food scene. Whether you’re eating local Catalan food or international cuisine here, you won’t have a shortage of good eats as long as you go to the best of the best restaurants in Barcelona, Spain.
Over our two trips to this fantastic foodie city, we asked both locals and culinary travelers alike for help on where to eat, and boy did we eat! No joke/don’t judge us, one night we food-hopped to three places because we couldn’t decide where to eat.
With very happy souls and bellies to show for it, we were able to come up with this complete list of delicious places to eat in Barcelona. It’s a got a little bit of everything from tapas to dessert and even places you should avoid eating at too!
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Our Absolute Favorite Restaurants in Barcelona, Spain
Bar del Pla
I’ve been to Bar del Pla three times over two trips: twice with this food tour in Barcelona and once with my husband not knowing that I’d be going back there on my second food tour. This was by far his favorite restaurant in Barcelona because of its amazing taste and price combined.
If you love restaurants that are a great value because of the price quality ratio and want to try some of the best tapas in Barcelona, then this is the spot for you. Here’s what to get:
I never thought that patatas bravas could be anything special because after all it’s potatoes with this sauce on top, but Bar del Pla does this tapas right. The outer layer is light and crispy while the inside has a nice give and texture. The sauce is tasty as well.
I also highly recommend the crispy oxtail with foie gras, a rich and succulent dish. I savored each bite with its deep flavors. This would pair well with red wine.
The ham and chicken croquettes on the left felt like traditional must-try tapas with good flavor and texture. The dish on the right was some type of stew recommended by the bartender after my husband requested something that felt like comfort food. Ask the server or bartender for recommendations based on how you’re feeling. They’ll get it right!
The tacos and squid ink croquette were probably our least favorite dishes that we tried here, but they were still quite delicious, which goes to show that you can’t get wrong with any of the tapas here!
Out of China
Chinese food is probably something you wouldn’t think of getting while in Barcelona, but if you’re in the mood for it, Out of China is out of this world! Their authentic food has complex flavors and is made from local ingredients, which will still keep you rooted to a Catalan food experience. Here’s what to get:
We absolutely loved the stir fried aubergine (eggplant) with aromatic vegetables and steamed wonton with iberico pork with soy sauce. The aubergine, seemingly so simple, had a ton of flavor and paired well with rice while the iberico pork wontons were straight up DELICIOUS.
We enjoyed that it also had a local ingredient, iberico pork, which made us feel more or less ok about not sticking to Catalan food in Barcelona.
Because everything foie gras is amazing, we thought we’d like the grilled dumplings with duck and foie, but man was it extremely, extremely, extremely rich. We recommend getting this if you have a table of four because frankly, these five dumplings between two people were a bit much with its overpowering flavor.
I would 100% go back to this restaurant and try a ton of other dishes. The quality of everything was superb.
Admittedly, after we ate at Out of China, Mike and I hopped on over to Cerveseria Catalana because why not. With only a few days in Barcelona, we wanted to try as much as possible.
Considering that we were full from Out of China and the food still tasted great at Cerverseria Catalana meant that the food was really great. Here’s what we recommend.
I have a soft spot for padron peppers so I ordered those while Mike, who has a soft spot for prawns, got those. Both were delicious.
The prawns were tender with good flavoring while the padron peppers were fresh and grilled to perfection. So simple, but some of the best tapas in Barcelona!
There is so much more to try it so I definitely wouldn’t shy away from any of their dishes.
For dessert, Mike saw a local next to him eating a very chocolately dessert. He commented on it, and the guy responded that it was a must-eat. So that’s what Mike got while I ordered this Catalan flan/coconut dessert.
Wish I knew what it’s name was! All I know is that both were really great desserts, but Mike’s chocolate dessert takes the cake on this one!
Barcelona has some great seafood so we just assumed that they’d be great at sushi too. We were right, or at least, that’s how Robata made us feel– that sushi is good in Barcelona.
Now compared to some sushi restaurants in New York City that I’ve eaten at, Robata’s sushi wasn’t the best but it was definitely well-priced and fresh.
If I were to go back, I’d opt for the sashimi over the rolls… but I think that’s because I’m a purist when it comes to sushi. Both were great though, but ok, if I really were to go back, I’d opt for the grilled items. Keep reading why.
If you can believe it, the real star of our meal here was the asparagus. Yes, the sushi was quite tasty, but this stole the show because it was unexpected– asparagus that is extra good?
The charring from the grill added so much depth to the asparagus while the inside was juicy and al-dente. It was the best asparagus I ever had.
If the asparagus was that good from the grill, I’d imagine that their other grill items would be just as fantastic so if I were to go back, I’d order more from the grill!
I never would’ve thought to seek cheesecake out at a Japanese restaurant in Barcelona, but wow, as a self-proclaimed cheesecake connoisseur, this one was one to write home about– smooth and tangy with a touch of sweetness from the berry topping.
While Bar del Pla (mentioned above) is more of a traditional tapas restaurant in Barcelona, La Pepita has tapas with a modern twist. Some of their dishes have flavors that I would’ve never thought to combine, and everything is fresh and tasty.
Their tapas prices are a bit above average, but come with the quality, taste and local trendiness of this restaurant. Here’s what we had.
The sea bass with strawberries salad and octopus over potatoes are two dishes I’d definitely order again. The fish salad was unique and refreshing while the octopus was tender and comforting.
Mike enjoyed the calamari more than me although it was quite tender, light and flaky. We both thought the croquette with ham was nothing special so if you were deciding between these dishes and others, I’d possibly try the others (unless you absolutely love calamari because it was still good; just not exactly how I like it.)
Can you tell that I love cheesecake, and apparently so does Barcelona? There is practically cheesecake everywhere you go.
Bar del Pla’s cheesecake was a bit different than the norm. Maybe it was the type of milk they used but it was a bit more grainy and savory. Nonetheless, because of how unique it was, I LOVED it and would order this again. (Mike was not as big of a fan… but then again, he’s not the biggest fan of cheesecake to begin with.)
Koku Kitchen Ramen
Surprisingly, Barcelona has many Japanese ramen restaurants, and they all have great reviews! We went to Koku Kitchen Ramen since Mike loves ramen and really enjoyed this trendy establishment.
The ramen itself had flavorful broth, the perfect yolky egg and properly cooked noodles!
Note: They have vegetarian options!
Best Tapas in Barcelona
There are some many delicious places to try tapas in Barcelona. It can almost be overwhelming with the number of choices. Here’s three places to make your decision on where to eat the best tapas in Barcelona simple and enjoyable.
- Bar del Pla is by far the place to go for the best tapas in Barcelona. Over my two trips to Barcelona, I’ve gone twice to this restaurant with a local food guide and once on my own with my husband. Yet, I still wish I could go again to try everything on the menu. Everything has been absolutely delicious.
- Cerverseria Catalana has a full array of classic tapas so you can a big variety.
- La Pepita has tapas with a modern twist, which are served in a trendy, local setting.
For photos, head back up to section Absolute Favorite Restaurants in Barcelona, Spain.
Other Barcelona Food Options
Lasarte is Barcelona’s only three-star Michelin restaurant in Barcelona and worth a try if you have the money to spend. At the very least, it’s a good place to experience a three-star Michelin without relatively breaking the bank since the tasting menu is “only” €245 whereas other three-star Michelin restaurants around the world easily start at €500 and up.
Everything we ate was basically art on a plate and tasted even better than it looked. Check out the menu.
Compared to all the places we ate at, Sol Soler was probably our least favorite one, but I still added it in here because (1) this neighborhood is a fantastic local one to walk around so if you’re hungry, you could stop in here, (2) the tapas are cheap compared to everything else we had been paying and (3) there’s a strong local vibe going on here if you want to experience that.
Overall, this is a good spot to go after having a few drinks or if you’re on a budget.
Mercado de La Boqueria
Mercado de La Boqueria is a really fun place to walk around for foodies or for anyone wanting to see a place where both locals and tourists shop and eat. There are tons of little restaurants and places to snack at and also stands to buy meats, cheeses, and veggies to cook back at your Airbnb or aparthotel.
Best Dessert in Barcelona
Barcelona restaurants are not only amazing at tapas, local and international food, but they are also fantastic at making desserts.
Practically every restaurant we went to had cheesecake, which is in my top three favorite desserts, but my favorite cheesecake by far had to be at Robata. It’s an excellent place to go for both dinner and dessert if you like sushi and cheesecake!
For an excellent donut, I recommend getting one at La Roseta. I found this place the first time I went to Barcelona by accident. My friend and I got a simple donut for 1,15 euros and were quite surprised with how delicious, soft, and flaky it was!
While Mike and I were in the Barceloneta neighborhood, we wandered the streets so I could by chance find this cute little cafe again and validate how good their pastries were. Welp, we found it, and I enjoyed yet another soft and flaky donut.
For excellent cakes and cookies, check out Sil’s Cakes American Pastry in the Gracia neighborhood, which is worth carving out time to walk around at night. It’s a less touristy, local neighborhood!
Places to Drink Tea at in Barcelona
Although these aren’t places to eat in Barcelona, we had such a nice time drinking tea at these places so thought they were worth a mention!
La Ikas is a cozy, neighborhood cafe in Gracia, which is a great neighborhood to walk around. While walking around at night, we passed by this place and decided to hop in because we liked its vibe.
I’m generally not a nightlife person anymore, don’t like crowded places, and don’t drink too often while Mike likes a good craft beer so this spot was perfect for the both of us.
Cotton House Hotel
Cotton House Hotel is a gorgeous Autograph Collection hotel in Barcelona. They have a beautiful outdoor space with plants all-around so we stopped here in the afternoon for a pot of tea.
It was nice to sit outside while it was sunny out, but the indoor cafe is absolutely gorgeous too. You can’t go wrong with either space.
Avoid These Restaurants in Barcelona, Spain
After going to so many restaurants in Barcelona, Spain, we were bound to come across a few we didn’t like. Luckily, there was only one terrible one and an OK one, which I still might recommend under certain circumstances. Read on to see which one to absolutely avoid!
Arume restaurant in Barcelona was a personal recommendation from a friend. It had great reviews online, and even a line out the door since we didn’t have a reservation. Of course, with all three factors combined, we were excited to eat here, but sadly, Arume was the most mediocre meal we had in Barcelona.
The octopus, one of their most famous dishes, was good but a bit tough and not flavorful. The piece of grilled meat we got with cous cous simply tasted something like we could make at home aka it was nothing special.
Lastly, the paella was wet, and again tasted like something we could make at home. It felt like amateur hour in kitchen.
When we told our food guide in Barcelona about Arume, she was surprised because she had gone there two to three years and liked it. But at the same time, she said she hasn’t recommended it to anyone since she hasn’t been that long. She never recommends restaurants that she hasn’t been to in a year!
Considering that this meal cost about 70 euros for two people and there are so many amazing restaurants in Barcelona, this is one worth skipping!
Chok donut shop is a dessert shop that’s bigger than its hype. Again, it had great views, and with multiple locations, notable success, but none of their donuts were recommendation-worthy.
If you LOVE donuts and/or sweets, then it might be worth trying, but if you’re trying to save calories or money for a dessert that’s completely mouth-watering and worth every sweet bite, then this is not the donut shop for you.
Head back up to dessert recommendations to see where you can get delicious donuts, cakes, cookies, and cheesecakes.
Where to Stay in Barcelona
A lot of the restaurants I named above such as Out of China, Robata and Cerverseria Catalana were only a five minute walk from our hotel. Others like La Pepita and Sil’s Cakes were only a 15 minutes walk.
The reviews proved to be true. The bed was comfortable, the room was soundproof and very clean, and the bathroom was modern with great amenities.
Furthermore, there was a sauna that we used nightly, and the staff was super friendly. I highly recommend the this hotel because of its great value. The quality and comfort surpassed the price, which was about $500 for four nights when I went in December 2018.
I hope you found this Barcelona food guide to be quite helpful for planning out your restaurants in Barcelona, Spain. Make sure to Pin or bookmark it for later, and since you made it all the way down to the end of the post, I’d love for you to say hi and let me know!
Come say hi to me my Instagram @sarchetrit, especially if you found any part of this post to be helpful.
Till then, thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!
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