When it comes to Spain, life revolves around food. With this ultimate food guide to Barcelona, you’ll see there are plenty of good eats to enjoy. You could easily spend a week here and still not try every place. I would suggest finding your favorites and saving them on Google maps so you can easily see where they are. It’s a great way to plan your day, especially if food is important. A lot of the top restaurants require reservations far in advance, especially like the near impossible Tickets. Plan on lines starting to cue after 8:00 pm, as this is the typical time to dine out in Barcelona.
The Ultimate Food Guide to Barcelona
Where Not to Miss in Barcelona
- El Quim De La Boqueria: Though the market may be tourist central, this gem hidden in the middle is a place I would fly in for their iconic breakfast. Baby squids and two fried eggs. It’s life-changing, and possibly the most expensive breakfast I’ve seen since the Four Seasons. It’s delicious, inventive, and works great — and you won’t be the only to think so too, mind the wait at prime time.
- El Xampanyet: It’s an institution to the tradition of tapas, and this lively and often at first very intimidating bar is home to incredible food. Get the house cava, pan con tomate, “lard pillows,” and the octopus. Let’s just say after three days, they started to recognize us, for better or for worse!
- El Nacional — the beer bar: Come here for the local sampler of cheeses, meats, and local beer.
- Can Paixano (La Xampanyeria): It would be a sin to not come here at least once. Get the lomo, add cheese, get a bottle of house cava, and enjoy one of the best eats in town.
Where to Get a Solid Bite in Barcelona
- Casa Lolea: For those of you who’ve tried their sangria at home, this place is the original and serves incredible food!
- Bo de B: An easy spot for late-night tapas.
- Bodega 1900: The masterminds of Tickets opened up another restaurant just next door, featuring a menu focused on preserved foods and tapas.
- Boca Grande: A solid bar with good eats.
- Tapeo Del Born: Come here for upscale tapas and incredible flavors.
- 7 Postres: For those wanting paella while in Barcelona, this is a solid choice. My other choice would be Pez Vela at the W, for a great view and more upscale paella.
Where to Get Caffeinated in Barcelona
- Nomads: This was our favorite during the stay and often returned here for our coffee.
- Satan’s Coffee Corner Gothic Quarter: A solid coffee shop in Barcelona, without the thrills.
- Satan’s Coffee Corner at Casa Bonay: Their second location is in a beautiful space.
- Skye Coffee Co: A bit out of the main drag, but this cheerful cafe is great for a good sit and sip.
- Wer-Haus: Though it’s more of a cafe than a coffee shop, their coffee is still delicious.
Where to Experience Upscale Dining in Barcelona
- Tickets: If there’s one restaurant to plan a trip around, it’s certainly this one. The iconic Tickets and undoubtedly the hardest reservation to get make this number one in Barcelona. Try to snag a reservation in advance or call the day of at 4 pm to grab a canceled reservation.
- El Nacional: The destination that has 9 places to dine, from tapas bars to fresh seafood restaurants in a space that is sure to impress. We dined here twice when we were in Barcelona.
- Disfrutar: My second choice to Tickets, Disfrutar may not be the cheapest meal you’ll enjoy but the creativity will blow your mind.
Where to Get a Break from the Local Food in Barcelona
It’s not to say that you could never get enough tapas, but after day 5 of pan con tomate, I am sure this list will be where you look first. 🙂
- Mosquito: If Dim Sum and Tapas had a child, this certainly would be it. Yes, quite good Chinese dim sum in a spot that often requires a 30-minute wait. Be sure to order the duck.
- Flax&Kale: A healthy spot that serves many vegetarian and vegan options, in a beautiful space.
- Brunch & Cake: A solid spot for brunch-style food.
- El Flako: This place specializes in cereal! It’s a fun, and very creative take on cereal, and you can enjoy some classics, and those even with candy on top!