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.
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.
I have had the pleasure of exploring the rich cuisine of the city, and I am here to pass on my picks for the best restaurants in Barcelona.
When to Go:
Where to Stay:
What to Do:
In a rush? Don’t worry we got you covered, here is a quick breakdown of our favorites by type.
- Best Restaurant Overall – Teoric Taverna Gastronomica
- Best Casual Restaurant – Quimet & Quimet
- Best Fine Dining Restaurant – Alkimia
- Best Vegan Restaurant – Disfrutar
- Best On the Go Restaurant – La Paradeta
- Best Bar/Restaurant – Jai-Ca
The 18 Best Restaurants In Barcelona
1. Cerveceria Catalana
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.
2. ABaC Restaurant
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.
3. Can Vilaro
Can Vilaro 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 homemade foods are delicious and worth the trip, Can Vilaro 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!
4. Restaurant Estimar
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!
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 complement each other delightfully. There’s a good selection of wine to be enjoyed by the glass or bottle, too.
6. Teoric Taverna Gastronomica
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!
7. La Cova Fumada
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.
8. Bar Ramon
Bar Ramon was opened in 1939 by Ramon 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 Ramon serves classic, traditional tapas, but they also offer house specials for full meals and some delicious desserts – 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!
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 cava, beer, sparkling cava, or local wine, all at cheap prices. Staff may not speak a lot of English, but they’re happy to help!
10. Morro Fi
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!
11. Cinc Sentits
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. As a family business, it exudes love and caring 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 shown 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.
12. El Xampanyet
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!
13. La Paradeta
La Paradeta 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.
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 every day 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.
15. Quimet & Quimet
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.
Disfrutar opened in 2014 and is now a restaurant famous worldwide, with two Michelin stars under its belt along with 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 on 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!
FAQs About Barcelona Restaurants
What are the nicest restaurants in Barcelona?
Barcelona is home to several fantastic restaurants and tapas bars for all budgets. However, if you are looking for an elevated dining experience, Batea, Cocina Hermanos, and Alkimia are some of the best restaurants in Barcelona.
What food is Barcelona known for?
The capital of Spain’s autonomous region of Catalonia, Barcelona is a city whose culinary offerings blend Spanish and Catalan traditions. As such, the city is known for its Spanish dishes, including the national Paella dish, and Catalan’s traditional dishes, such as the locally recognized national dish, mongetes amb botifarra.
What is the national dish of Barcelona?
Spain’s national dish of Paella varies between regions, with the Barcelona variant typically featuring rice, spices, and seafood. While not officially recognized, many Barcelonians consider mongetes amb botifarra their national dish, which consists of white beans and sausage.
How many restaurants are there in Barcelona?
Barcelona is a culinary hotbed of over 8000 restaurants. Of its numerous fantastic eateries, the city features 130 internationally recognized restaurants featured within the Michelin guide, two of which boast a coveted 3 Michelin Star status — Lasarte and ABaC.
How expensive is food in Barcelona?
Food prices vary vastly between venues in Barcelona. Visitors should expect high prices when eating at restaurants in popular tourist areas, particularly those with Michelin star-level service. However, if you get away from the tourist traps, Barcelona’s lesser-visited neighborhoods feature delicious meals at more affordable costs.
Are there food tours in Barcelona?
Does Barcelona have any food festivals?
When is the best time to visit Barcelona as a foodie?
The best time to explore the various flavors of Barcelona is in either the spring or the fall. The spring season brings several food festivals for sampling the local seafood and tapas, while the fall harvest season provides the perfect wine pairings for enjoying your favorite dishes.