Dining Planner

Eating-Out Strategy

The selection here represents the best this city has to offer—from tapas bars to haute cuisine.


Barcelona dines late. Lunch is served from 2 to 4 pm and dinner from 9 to 11 pm. Arrive a half hour early if you want to secure a table, but the liveliness of each place picks up later in the evening. The city is slowly adapting to the eating timetables of tourists, and a number of restaurants now offer all-day and late-night hours. Satiate cravings between meals in the city's numerous cafés and tapas bars.


Barcelona is no longer a bargain. Though low-end fixed-price lunch menus can be found for as little as €10, most good restaurants cost closer to €40 or €50 for a full meal when ordering à la carte. For serious evening dining, plan on spending €55–€80 (or more) per person. Barcelona restaurants, even many of the pricey establishments, offer a daily lunchtime menu (menú del día) consisting of two courses plus wine, coffee, or dessert.

Tipping and Taxes

Tipping, though common (and appreciated), is not required; the gratuity is included in the check. If you do tip as an extra courtesy, anywhere from 5% to 10% is perfectly acceptable.

The 10% Value-Added Tax (IVA) will not appear on the menu, but is tacked on to the final tally on your check.


Nearly all of Barcelona's best restaurants require reservations. As the city has grown in popularity, more and more receptionists are able to take your reservations in English. Your hotel concierge will also be happy to call and reserve you a table.

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