Let’s be honest, we came to eat. When I share my top 5 bites in Barcelona after living here, I truly mean these are my tried and true. It’s the reason my pants may feel a bit tighter after day one. The reason we fell in love with this part of Catalonia. And most importantly, the reason we returned time and time again to enjoy this incredible food.
Barcelona’s food culture is no stranger to mind-blowing experiences. In fact, this region of Spain is one of the pioneer’s for world-class food. Heard of El Bulli? The world’s top restaurant for a decade is only an hour away. So when I say Barcelona has some of the best food around, I mean it. The best part? Most of your meals will not break the bank.
With three months of being here, I wanted to share my top 5 bites in Barcelona after living here. Take a look, star them on your map, and see why there’s much to love about the culinary scene in Barcelona.
My Top 5 Bites in Barcelona After Living Here
1. El Xampanyet
Address: Carrer de Montcada, 22, 08003 Barcelona
Why: I felt sad the day I saw Chef Albert Adriá walk in on this Chef’s Table season during his episode. I knew it would mean that this place would be that much more busier moving forward. It’s a sanctuary, an institution, and a haven for classic tapas. Don’t be intimated by a packed bar with food and drinks coming out left and right. You’re not the first to get a scowl and certainly not the last to get a smile when you order another round of the house cava.
What to Order: The octopus, the pancetta pillows, the butifarra sausage, the house cava or vermut, and the pan con tomate.
Address: Av. del Paraŀlel, 164, 08015 Barcelona
Why: It took two years to get a reservation but when we did, it was worth every penny spent (around $400 USD for two people) and the time waited. Reserve exactly two months in advance, at midnight local time to get a seat at one of the hottest restaurants in the world. It’s otherworldly is really the only way I can describe the former El Bulli Chef Albert Adriá’s menu. Equal parts playful and delicious, his menu is a ride.
What to Order: Let the chef pick for you and be sure to request the El Bulli olives.
3. Quimet & Quimet
Address: Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, 08004 Barcelona
Why: What makes me most sad is that I finally made it to this hole in the wall place in Poble Sec just this time. When Anthony Bourdain visited here, he knew what he was up to. We followed in his footsteps as we normally do and the food + drinks here didn’t disappoint. The balance of flavors and texture had us talking about it for days.
What to Order: The salmon with truffle honey, the cured beef bite, and house vermut.
4. La Xampanyeria
Address: Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 7, 08003 Barcelona
Why: There’s a reason this place is packed at all hours. We’ve walked in at noon, at 4 pm, and at 9 pm and are always shoulder to shoulder. It may be your cheapest and most delicious meal here — a glass of amazing house cava for under 2 euro and melting cheese and pork sandwich for 3? Let’s just say we doubled up on most visits.
What to Order: Lomo con queso y cava roja.
5. El Quim de la Boqueria
Address: Mercado de La Boqueria, La Rambla, 91, 08002 Barcelona
Why: When I told Travis that this is top three breakfasts in the world I had ever had and it had baby squid it in, his response was “yeah right.” So after a half dozen more visits, he was sold. A packed bar set in the back of the famed Boqueria market, this iconic spot serves a mean breakfast. Get in line, own your seat, and don’t be ashamed to wash down breakfast with a beer.
What to Order: Baby squid with fried eggs.