Barcelona Restaurants

Barcelona's restaurant scene is an ongoing adventure. Between avant-garde culinary innovation and the more rustic dishes of traditional Catalan fare, there is a fleet of brilliant classical chefs producing some of Europe's finest Mediterranean cuisine.Catalans are legendary lovers of fish, vegetables, rabbit, duck, lamb, game, a
Barcelona's restaurant scene is an ongoing adventure. Between avant-garde culinary innovation and the more rustic dishes of traditional Catalan fare, there is a fleet of brilliant classical chefs producing some of Europe's finest Mediterranean cuisine.Catalans are legen
Barcelona's restaurant scene is an ongoing adventure. Between avant-garde culinary innovation and the more rustic dishes

Barcelona's restaurant scene is an ongoing adventure. Between avant-garde culinary innovation and the more rustic dishes of traditional Catalan fare, there is a fleet of brilliant classical chefs producing some of Europe's finest Mediterranean cuisine.

Catalans are legendary lovers of fish, vegetables, rabbit, duck, lamb, game, and natural ingredients from the Pyrenees or the Mediterranean. The mar i muntanya (literally, "sea and mountain"—that is, surf and turf) is a standard. Combining salty and sweet tastes—a Moorish legacy—is another common theme.

The Mediterranean diet—based on olive oil, seafood, fibrous vegetables, onions, garlic, and red wine—is at home in Barcelona, embellished by Catalonia's four basic sauces: allioli (whipped garlic and olive oil), romesco (almonds, nyora peppers, hazelnuts, tomato, garlic, and olive oil), sofregit (fried onion, tomato, and garlic), and samfaina (a ratatouille-like vegetable mixture).

Typical entrées include faves a la catalana (a broad-bean stew), arròs caldós (a rice dish more typical of Catalonia than paella, often made with lobster), and espinacas a la catalana (spinach cooked with oil, garlic, pine nuts, raisins and cured ham). Toasted bread is often doused with olive oil and rubbed with squeezed tomato to make pa amb tomàquet—delicious on its own or as a side order.

Beware of the advice of hotel concierges and taxi drivers, who have been known to falsely warn that the place you are going is either closed or no good anymore, and to instead recommend places where they get kickbacks.

Aside from restaurants, Barcelona is brimming with bars and cafés, the latter of which can serve as an outdoor meeting spot or a place to socialize and enjoy a cocktail. Be advised that the sidewalk cafés along La Rambla are noisy, dusty, overpriced, and exposed to pickpockets.

Catalan wines from the nearby Penedès region, especially the local méthode champenoise (sparkling white wine, known in Catalonia as cava), pairs perfectly with regional cuisine. Meanwhile, winemakers from the Priorat, Montsant, Empordà, and Costers del Segre regions are producing some of Spain's most exciting new wines.

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  • 1. Céleri

    $$$ | Sant Gervasi | Mediterranean

    When a fine dining chef with as many Michelin stars on his resume as Xavier Pellicer decided that what he really wanted to do was cook vegetables...Read More

  • 2. Disfrutar

    $$$$ | Eixample | Eclectic

    Three former head chefs from the now-closed "World's Best Restaurant" elBulli have combined their considerable talents to create this roller...Read More

  • 3. Roca Moo

    $$$ | Eixample | Spanish

    In any space as stylish as Roca Moo, located in the Hotel Omm, there's a real risk of the food playing second fiddle to the surroundings. Fortunately...Read More

  • 4. Benzina

    $$ | Born-Ribera | Italian

    Named in homage to the gas station that once sat here, Benzina blends industrial elements with splashes of color, supremely comfortable chairs...Read More

  • 5. Boca Grande

    $$$ | Eixample | Mediterranean

    This three-floor design triumph by Spain's hottest interior decorator, Lázaro Rosa Violán, makes up for in sheer panache what it lacks in consistency...Read More

  • 6. CDLC

    $$$ | Barceloneta | Eclectic

    Carpe Diem Lounge Club is a combination restaurant, chill crash pad, and nightclub, with spectacular views over the beach and a continuously...Read More

  • 7. Fismuler

    $$ | Born-Ribera | Spanish

    The cosmopolitan crowd here doesn't come just for the standoffish hipster waiters and stylish, stripped-down decor. Fismuler Barcelona re-creates...Read More

  • 8. The Alchemix

    $$ | Eixample | Asian

    Traditionalists tempted to run screaming from The Alchemix's blend of creative cocktails and Asian-influenced, avant-garde gastonomy should...Read More

  • 9. Tickets

    $$$ | Poble Sec | Spanish

    Ferran and Albert Adrià of former "World's Best Restaurant" elBulli fame are the ringleaders behind this circus-themed big top of creative tapas...Read More

  • 10. Tragaluz

    $$$ | Eixample | Mediterranean

    Tragaluz means "skylight" (the sliding roof opens to the stars in good weather), and this is an excellent choice if you're still on a design...Read More

  • 11. Bravo 24

    $$$ | Barceloneta | Spanish

    The gleaming glass walls of the ultramodern Hotel W are an unlikely place to find some of Barcelona's most traditional dishes, but celebrity...Read More

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