Barcelona is a beautiful city in Catalonia that is famous for its unique mix of gothic and Roman architecture. It is also the home of the world-renowned Barcelona football team with star-player Lionel Messi.
A whopping 8 million people stayed in hotels in Barcelona in 2018, proving its position as a powerhouse for tourism. As with many other Spanish regions, Barcelona has some fantastic food and drink to try. There’s no shortage of dining and drinking establishments to visit and unique offerings to sample. Here’s where to eat in Barcelona.
Recommended Food And Drink Tours In Barcelona
Many foreign destinations are well-known for their delicious cuisine and scrumptious drink, and Barcelona is no exception. With tapas, wine, and other fine foods, there’s no shortage of consumable offerings to sample. A tour focusing on cuisine and finery can help you explore while tasting the best the city has to offer. Here are 10 of the most highly recommended food and drink tours in Barcelona:
- Paella Cooking Experience + Boqueria Market Tour (2.5 hours) – Highly recommended!
- Tapas and Wine Small-Group Walking Tour (3 – 4 hours)
- Barcelona Tapas Experience (3 hours)
- Generation Pub Crawl (5 hours)
- 4-Hour Tapas Evening Tour and Flamenco Show (3.5 – 4 hours) – Highly recommended!
- Half-Day Spanish Cooking Class & Boqueria Market Tour (3 – 4 hours)
- Barcelona Wine Tasting: Catalan and Spanish Wines (45 – 90 minutes)
- Casa Museo Amatller Guided Visit with Chocolate Tasting (1 hour)
- 2-Hour Bites & Flavors Private Food Tour (2 hours)
- Wine & Cheese Pairing Experience with a Sommelier (2 hours)
Travel Tips For Eating In Barcelona
- Eat Where The Locals Eat – Tourist-centric eateries look great on the outside, but they’ll be charging you extra for subpar food that may not be very authentic. Instead of going to these places, follow the locals when they go to eat. Chances are, you’ll stumble upon some reasonably priced local gems that are the true epitome of Barcelona’s cuisine.
- Eat When The Locals Eat – The normal eating times in Spain are different from most Western meal times, and that shows in the opening of most kitchens. If you during your usual times, there is a good chance that restaurants won’t be serving their best foods and kitchens won’t be open for fresh meals. You can get some finger foods and drinks, but that’s about it. So go for lunch between 1 and 4 pm and go for dinner between 9 and 10 pm!
- Try Menu Del Día – The “menu of the day” is basically the weekday lunch menu for workers. It’s all reasonably priced and is a good way to sample local dishes cooked in an authentic way. Most menus involve full courses: an appetizer, an entree, a dessert, and a drink – and if you’re lucky, some coffee. These menus go for as little as €10, though they can cost €20 in fancier places.
- Tipping Is Not Mandatory – If you’re from a country where tipping is required, you may automatically try to tip in Barcelona. But no one is expecting tips in this country! You can leave behind the change, round up prices, or leave tips for amazing service if you like, but it’s not really customary in Barcelona.
- Don’t Order Sangria – People often associate Spain with sangria, which is a crime given the fact that it’s far from “traditional” – very few locals of Spain actually drink it, and even fewer people do so in Barcelona. Instead, go for a more quintessential Barcelona beverage: Spanish vermouth, or vermút Rojo, a white wine infused with herbs, cinnamon, and caramel. You can also opt for cava, or sparkling white wine, a famous drink of Catalonia. Don’t be afraid to try exotic cocktails or local gin, too!
- Try Eating At A Park – Want to truly eat like the locals? Buy a bottle of wine, a baguette, and cheese of your choice and head to a local park. Sit on a bench and have yourself a mini-picnic of sorts! It’s something many locals do.
The 18 Best Restaurants In Barcelona
1. Cerveceria Catalana ● Carrer de Mallorca ● Moderately Priced
Cerveseria Catalana is a famous tapas bar conveniently located in a central area of Barcelona. The large restaurant is loud and lively, with plenty of space for groups if you’re part of one. There are so many different tapas varieties on offer that it’s impossible to try them all at once! There are vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, too.
Since it’s virtually always busy, it can be a struggle to get a table, especially since the restaurant doesn’t take reservations. Expect to have to lounge at the bar for a while to wait for a table to clear up – which isn’t the worst fate, regardless! The ambiance is amazing and the staff is friendly, and it’s never a dull time in this bright bar.
Tel: +34 932 16 03 68 • View on Map
2. ABaC Restaurant ● Avinguda Tibidabo ● Expensive
Located in the small boutique ABaC Hotel, ABaC restaurant boasts three Michelin stars and is as fancy as you may imagine, with lots of natural light, large windows, and a cellar packed with nearly 1,000 unique varieties of wine. It serves Catalan cuisine with gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly options.
Jordi Cruz is the chef behind ABaC Restaurant. If you’ve never heard of him, he’s incredibly talented and was just 24 when he earned his first Michelin star. There are two tasting menus offered to patrons of the restaurant: the basic ABaC which costs $213, and the fancier Gran ABaC for $235. The latter is certainly more recommended thanks to its unique and innovative food offerings. Overall, for creative gastronomic meals, ABaC is a good once-in-a-lifetime dining experience to try.
Tel: +34 933 19 66 00 • View on Map
3. Can Vilaró ● Comte Borrell ● Inexpensive
Can Vilaró is a rather old-timey location, but what it lacks in contemporary design it makes up for in authentic, homecooked-style Catalan meals. The restaurant is classic and well-known for its historical value, having been around for decades. Faithful customers have been coming for years, and the owners have maintained a traditional establishment for all this time.
While their home-made foods are delicious and worth the trip, Can Vilaró is also an example of genuine market cuisine. Daily specials are inexpensive and loved by all, and queues often form in front of the lovely establishment. Many meals offered are nearing “extinction” in Barcelona, so go here to get a taste of truly traditional Catalonian cuisine. The menu is pretty expansive so there’s a lot to choose from, and all recipes are the same as they were in the time of the original founders!
Tel: +34 933 25 05 78 • View on Map
4. Restaurant Estimar ● Carrer de Sant Antoni dels Sombrerers ● Expensive
Restaurant Estimar is a seafood restaurant that is far from the ordinary. With a high price point and an intimate setting, this small establishment is hidden in a little alleyway and is often overlooked by tourists. A fish counter in the middle of the restaurant displays the catch-of-the-day, which gives you a good idea of how fresh everything is!
There aren’t many tables at Restaurant Estimar, which makes it even more personal. The food is fresh and made for true foodies, with a fine-dining focus less on the controversial subject of molecular gastronomy and more on a love and passion for authentic seafood in Mediterranean and European cuisines. Do note that the portions can be quite small, but most patrons say it’s worth every bite!
Tel: +34 932 68 91 97 • View on Map
5. Alkimia ● Ronda Sant Antoni ● Expensive
Alkimia is a Michelin-starred restaurant that recently relocated to the center of the city. It is housed in a residential building through a flight of stairs and takes up the location of an old beer factory for Moritz. The modernist interior is impressive and comfortable, and its lesser-known status means it isn’t constantly crowded.
Chef Jordi Vila is in charge of the restaurant, and he’s become pretty popular around Barcelona. His tasting menu is specially created to “flow” in a natural and balanced manner, with a wide range of Spanish, Mediterranean, and European flavors and textures that all compliment each other delightfully. There’s a good selection of wine to be enjoyed by the glass or bottle, too.
Tel: +34 932 07 61 15 • View on Map
6. Teoric Taverna Gastronomica ● Carrer de Bailen ● Moderately Priced
Teoric Taverna Gastronomica is a rustic location with wood and brickwork elements, while low-level lighting maintains an atmosphere of comfort. It is a highly trendy and extremely popular location – so much so that it’s often fully booked, so you may want to reserve in advance.
All the food in Teoric Taverna Gastronomica is fresh and high-quality, and it is essentially a gourmet tapas bar that serves innovative dishes that put unique spins on traditional Catalonian cuisine. They serve a good variety of wines from Catalan, all affordable and many even organic! For food bursting with flavor, contemporary harmonies of taste, and locally-sourced, organic ingredients, look no further than here!
Tel: +34 930 00 25 52 • View on Map
7. La Cova Fumada ● Calle Baluard ● Inexpensive
La Cova Fumada is one of La Barceloneta’s oldest restaurants, and it’s also where the area’s famous, exquisite mashed-potato croquettes, known as bomba de la Barceloneta, were first created. The bar looks a little dingy and sits in an old area, but don’t judge this book by its cover; the huge queues lining up outside are sure to tell you just how loved this eatery is!
For the most part, La Cova Fumada serves traditional tapas with very cheap beer and wine. Even after garnering so much fame, it remains true to its roots and is every bit the establishment it was when it first opened. Be absolutely sure that you don’t leave without trying the bomba de la Barceloneta here! Though you can find bomba anywhere else in this fishing neighborhood, this is where it came from, after all.
Tel: +34 932 21 40 61 • View on Map
8. Bar Ramón ● Carrer del Comte Borrell ● Moderately Priced
Bar Ramón was opened in 1939 by Ramón Estalella, and it is run by his grandchildren today. It is a small, crowded establishment that is the epitome of an authentic Spanish tapas bar, complete with jazz legend posters lining the walls, dim lighting, and old-school music. It is mostly frequented by locals, though more and more tourists are catching on!
Primarily, Bar Ramón serves classic, traditional tapas, but they also offer house specials for full meals and some delicious dessert – especially their house dessert, which you must try. Enjoy your consumables with cheap wine or beer, or with red vermouth. Most staff here don’t speak English, but they’re friendly and happy to help in any way they can. The warm atmosphere will make you want to stick around!
Tel: +34 933 25 02 83 • View on Map
9. Hoja Santa ● Avenida Mistral ● Expensive
Hoja Santa is often hailed as one of the best restaurants serving Mexican fare in all of Barcelona. The Mexican cuisine on offer is a mix of haute dining and traditional fare, creating innovative blends of scrumptious food unlike any else you can get in the city.
The restaurant is run by renowned chef Albert Adrià and Mexican chef Paco Méndez, both of who exceed expectations with the food they’ve cooked up. Hoja Santa mostly serves what can best be classified as fancy Mexican food, with a sprinkling of slightly more casual dishes like tapas. Many of their dishes are unique, making for a very interesting and inventive tasting menu that you are sure to enjoy.
Tel: +34 933 48 21 94 • View on Map
10. Jai-Ca ● Calle Ginebra ● Inexpensive
Jai-Ca is a small little bar that specializes in seafood tapas. It is far from modern and is old-school and rustic in many ways, providing an authentic and charming feeling that makes it a favorite among locals, students, and tourists alike. It’s so popular that Jai-Ca 2 was opened across the street – but you should try to go for the original!
If you go to Jai-Ca, expect to eat and eat and eat until you’re full to bursting. Endless tapas await you, from squid to mussels and from anchovies to clams, and even if you’re not a big seafood fan, there are options there for you – like bomba. Accompany your bites with caña, beer, sparkling cava, or local wine, all at cheap prices. Staff may not speak a lot of English, but they’re happy to help!
Tel: +34 933 19 91 64 • View on Map
11. Morro Fi ● Consell de Cent ● Moderately Priced
Morro Fi is one of the best bars to go for vermouth. Barcelona loves vermouth, and Morro Fi offers the must-try vermut Negre, a kind which is bittersweet, garnished with orange and olive, and served on the rocks – among other drinks! Even if you’re not a big vermouth drinker, the cold beer and other alcoholic beverages are worth the stop.
The bar is relatively small and serves small bites, some accompanied by much-loved aperitivo sauce, which is a red mixture of vinegar and chili. The tinned treats, though they sound questionable, are absolutely delectable. Despite its size, Morro Fi is virtually always full and busy, and it has been from almost the moment it was first opened!
12. Cinc Sentits ● Carrer d’Entenca ● Expensive
Cinc Sentits is an intimate fine-dining restaurant that is simple and classic in design. It is quiet and elegant in a timeless way. Run by Jordi Artal, a self-taught Michelin-starred chef, with his sister and sometimes mother, this restaurant is understated and not somewhere you’d want to be underdressed in! As a family business, it excludes love and care in a unique manner not usually felt in fine-dining establishments.
Meals are among the best examples of fine Catalonian dining. You’ll be given appetizers to start, then showed tasting menus with delicious multi-course offerings. Each dish is served alongside a description card, and you can pair them with wine from local small-batch producers. Before you leave, you’ll receive a booklet that tells you, on a map, where each ingredient was sourced.
Tel: +34 933 23 94 90 • View on Map
13. Tickets ● Avinguda Paral.lel ● Expensive
Tickets is a fancy restaurant that serves Mediterranean, Spanish, and other European cuisines. In 2019, it ranked on the 20th spot on the list for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants – and with good reason. It’s a good place to go if you’re trying to impress someone, and it doesn’t have the intimidating factor that comes with many fancy eateries – it’s eccentric, vibrant, and enthusiastic.
Molecular gastronomy is not typically a loved form of cuisine, but celebrity chefs Albert and Ferran Adrià exceed all expectations with delicious, poetic meals served in ways that will change how you think about “fancy” dining establishments. You can get good local wine for approximately $30, but there are also bottles worth thousands of dollars served.
The biggest downside to Tickets is how famous it is. Reservations are made available at the stroke of midnight, three months in advance – and yet it usually takes just minutes for them all to be taken up!
Tel: +34 932 92 42 52 • View on Map
14. El Xampanyet ● Carrer de Montcada ● Moderately Priced
El Xampanyet is located on a narrow street in a prime tourist location. But instead of upping the ante for tourists, it is true to its roots – old-school, with tables of marble and walls tiled in blue. The bar is busy almost all the time and is very popular with just about anyone, and the comfortable atmosphere makes it perfect for chatting. After three visits, it’s likely that everyone will know your name!
Though not an ideal dinner spot, El Xampanyet is fantastic for lunches and snacks. The plates of food are surprisingly good, and some of the offerings have even gained fame in the city. Drink cava while you’re here – this is where the sparkling white wine is authentic and cheap!
Tel: +34 933 19 70 03 • View on Map
15. La Paradeta Sagrada Familia ● Passatge de Simó ● Moderately Priced
La Paradeta Sagrada Familia is a fantastic establishment to go to for both quick bites and sit-down meals. It specializes in seafood and local dishes and it has a unique dining style – you walk in, choose your fish, choose how much of it you want, and decide how you want it cooked! There are no waiters and you directly order and collect your food yourself in a self-service style.
The restaurant has its own fish stall inside, like a mini-market, and all fish served is fresh and of impeccable quality. But this isn’t the only La Paradeta Sagrada Familia branch in Barcelona – multiple different ones are set up around the city, so there’s likely to be one nearby no matter where you happen to be.
Tel: +34 934 50 01 91 • View on Map
16. Fismuler ● Carrer Del Rec Comtal ● Expensive
Fismuler originally opened in Madrid, and this Barcelona branch of the fine-dining restaurant was opened in 2018 by three ex-el Bulli chefs. Located in the Hotel Rec, Fismuler is designed with an old-fashioned flair – street tiled floors, thick worker’s tables, scuffed unpainted walls, and no tell-tale sparkle of fine art or glinting surfaces.
At the beginning of the day, families often visit the restaurant, but once dinner time hits, the establishment becomes loud with live music, chatting visitors and friends, and multilingual discussion.
The restaurant uses different ingredients everyday for its date-stamped menus – all delicious in their own way, with cuisine primarily Madrid-inspired. Drink housemade spirits – unique and interesting – or lip-smack-worthy Spanish wines with your dishes. It’s a great place to come with a small group of friends you’re dying to catch up with.
Tel: +34 935 14 00 50 • View on Map
17. Quimet & Quimet ● Poeta Cabanyes ● Moderately Priced
Quimet & Quimet is a tiny little tapas bar with lots of charm and lovely walls lined from end-to-end and top-to-bottom with bottles in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. There’s a reason this establishment is often considered the most beautiful of its kind in the whole city!
Quimet & Quimet began its life in 1914 as a wine store, but as time went on, it expanded the offered drinks and began to add food like tapas. Gradually, the offerings got more and more sophisticated, and now there are delicious, high-quality tapas, montadito, preserved conservas, and much-loved drinks, like vermouth.
Tel: +34 934 42 31 42 • View on Map
18. Disfrutar ● Calle Villarroel ● Expensive
Disfrutar opened in 2014 and is now a restaurant famous worldwide, with two Michelin stars under its belt and an irresistible modern elegance. Welcoming staff help reduce the usual intimidating aura that fine-dining restaurants often have, and the airy, spacious establishment’s bright cleanliness makes it comfortable and enjoyable.
Difrutar was opened by former El Bulli staff members, who aimed to create an informal and casual feeling in their fine-dining spot – and they succeeded in building a relaxed atmosphere. The dishes are served like a performance – lots of colors, smoke, and even fire and ice pepper the tasting menu. While you’re here, you can enjoy some of the extensive wine offerings – glasses and bottles go for as little as $6 and $25 respectively!
Tel: +34 933 48 68 96 • View on Map