As many of you already know, I spent 15 incredible months living in and traveling through Europe. I was based in the amazing city of Barcelona – Spain’s most popular tourist stop, and one of my all time favorite destinations for history, gastronomy, and culture. When I wasn’t traveling I had the opportunity to dine at some of the best restaurants in Barcelona, many of which I featured on my web show.
It wasn’t an easy task, but I was able to pair down my list to the ten best restaurants in Barcelona in terms of food, service, and ambiance. It is my hope that you try these gems out for yourself! Leave us a comment below if we forgot your favorite!
Located along Calle Tuset in the Balmes district, this trendy eatery offers the qualities of all top restaurants: atmosphere, design, and superb food. Mood lighting and plush furniture draws you in past the gorgeous paneled bar to a handsome dining room of wooden tables, leather chairs, and immaculate tableware. Through a window, diners can see the frantic prep work going on in the kitchen, which puts out an array of Catalan dishes with a twist. For those of you who want to forgo traditional tapas for a night, this is your chance to sample tartar de buey (ox tartar), garlic prawns, and sausage broiled in cava. Ajoblanco is open late every night and requires reservations. Address: Carrer Tuset 20-24, just off Avenida Diagonal. Average price for main dishes: €24. Watch our episode on Ajoblanco HERE.
A trip to Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without a stroll through the Born district. What was once the center of life in medieval Barcelona is now a trendy neighborhood full strewn with boutiques, bars, and museums. Located in century-old building near the Born Cultural Center is the charming Casa Delfín Restaurant. This is the best place in the neighborhood for traditional Catalan tapas like suquet (fish stew), grilled sardines, and grilled calçots (Catalan spring onions) with romesco sauce. But you may want to skip breakfast to leave enough room for Casa Delfín’s signature dish; arroz caldoso con bogavante (soupy rice with lobster). Keep an eye out for the bold green striped awning. Address: Passeig del Born, 36. Average price for main dishes: €15. Watch our episode on Casa Delfín HERE.
Meat lovers look no further; Casa Paloma is the ultimate splurge for carnivores. On the menu you’ll find Angus, Frisian, and Wagyu beef dishes carefully grilled and artfully plated. Unlike other eateries in the area, Casa Paloma’s meats are minimally seasoned – relying solely on the meat’s natural succulent properties to impress. Cuts are sold by weight (250 g, 380g, 600g, and 1 kg), which makes it easy to share among the table. Hearty sides such as baked macaroni, Russian salad, and potatoes gratin make the perfect pairings. Other outstanding non-meat choices include tuna tartar and monkfish ceviche. Service is excellent and the clean, contemporary design give the restaurant an upscale vibe. Make reservations in advance! Address: Casanova, 209. Average price for main dishes: €23.
After years of renovations the Mortiz brewery is now open to the public. Thanks to the work of illustrious French architect, Jean Nouvel, this 4,500-square-meter restaurant has a bold design scheme that combines the building’s original stone walls with neon art installations and sleek, minimalist furnishings. The brewery offers two types of Moritz beer on tap, as well as sangria and several vermouth cocktails. The mostly German menu consists of beer-friendly foods such as bratwurst, Frankfurt sausages, quiche, and hamburgers. We love the Alsace-inspired specialty of the house; Flammkuchen (crispy thin bread topped with crème fraîche, bacon, and onions). The brewery is open every evening 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., making it a great late night spot. Address: Ronda Sant Antoni, 41. Average price for main dishes: €8.
El Vell Sarria
Located in a 18th century country-style home, El Vell Sarrià is a vert well known restaurant in Barcelona, and has been welcoming guests and ushering them to its beautiful dining terrace overlooking Sarrià Main Square for the past 25 years. To come to this restaurant and sit inside is to miss half the experience. The square is a pedestrian area, so people watching is a great pastime from up here. Calle Sarrià is an upscale avenue surrounded by multitudes of shops, restaurants, cafés and design stores. Loved by locals, the restaurant specializes in tasty rice dishes. With vaulted ceilings, old world charm and superior customer service, El Vell Sarrià is an authentic break from the countless pinchos and tapas being peddled around town. Outdoor terrace dining is available from May to October. El Vell Sarrià is closed on Sunday evenings and on Mondays. Address: Major de Sarrià, 93. Average price for paella for two: €18. Watch our episode on El Vell Sarria HERE.
Named after master chef, Jean-Louis Neichel, this restaurant will wow any foodie with a weak spot for Mediterranean and French cuisine. Classically trained in France, but with an affinity for local Catalan ingredients like olive oil, fresh-caught fish, and seasonal vegetables, chef Neichel has reached a pinnacle in his career with his generous and gorgeously prepared tasting menus and Relais & Chateaux gourmet status. Located in Barcelona’s high-class Pedralbes neighborhood, Neichel’s eclectic design and attentive wait staff give it a sophisticated feel. We recommend splurging on the seven-course tasting menu (you may have to skip lunch). Make sure to make reservations well in advance. Address: Carrer Bertran i Rózpide, 1. Average price for tasting menu: €79 – €100 per person. Watch our episode on Neichel HERE.
As I learned the hard way, good sushi is hard to come by in Barcelona, which is surprising considering the abundance of fresh seafood the city enjoys. Don’t settle for sub-par rolls; Parco Sushi gets it right in all aspects of interior design, good service, and creative cuisine. Eating here is an experience in itself. Traditional tables and chairs are swapped out for a noteworthy collection of leather armchairs, ottomans, and coffee tables. The swanky décor isn’t the only impressive thing about Parco. The sushi here is amazingly fresh and portions are generous. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the sashimi and roll options, let your waiter put the order in for you (we were a little skeptical but it worked out perfectly). We especially love the butterfish with black truffle, flambéed nigiri, and the sea bass sashimi. Reservations are a must! Address: Passeig de Gràcia 11. Average price per couple: €75 – €90.
Santa Caterina Market
The restaurant inside the Santa Caterina Market (A.K.A. Cuines Santa Caterina) is one of our all time favorite restaurants in Barcelona. The luminous and airy interior offers tons of natural light for reviewing the lengthy menu of local and international specialties. The restaurant’s concept is to deliver farm-to-table goodness, whether it’s tuna tartar, Asian-style noodles with Mediterranean prawns, or fresh-caught monkfish stew. Managed by the prestigious Tragaluz Restaurant Group, this place has a remarkable reputation for food quality and great service. Santa Caterina Market is tourist attraction in itself. After browsing the produce stalls in the market head inside to the restaurant to experience this culinary gem for yourself! The restaurant is conveniently centrally located near Plaza Catalunya, Gothic Quarter, and the Portal del Angel shopping district. Address: Francesc Cambo, 16. Average price: €25 – €30 per person
Tapas 24 is definitely the little restaurant that could, and still does. Head Chef Carles Abellan trained at the famed El Bulli before becoming the owner of the widely successful Comerç 24. His concept for Tapas 24 is simple – use the best products available to create outstanding tapas. The restaurant’s location near the Gaudí buildings on the ritzy Passeig de Gràcia makes it the perfect place to refuel after sightseeing. Tapas 24’s menu of classic tapas includes rustic chicken croquetas, patatas bravas, sliced Iberian ham, and oxtail. But you must also make room to try the McFoie burger, bomba de Barceloneta, and the delicious pork tacos. Address: Carrer de la Diputació, 269. Average price per tapa: €8.
Taller de Tapas
With six locations across the city, Taller de Tapas is one of the best places to sample gourmet tapas. The name literally means “tapas workshop.” Restaurateur power couple José Lombardero and Kate Preston, who noticed that quality tapas were hard to come by in Barcelona, created the Taller de Tapas brand to compensate for the shortage of made-to-order plates they so desperately craved. And now it seems they weren’t the only ones. The couple now proudly runs a veritable gastronomic empire that hasn’t suffered one bit in the quality department since expanding. Specialty cheeses, Pyrenees lamb, local sausages, and fresh seafood are just some of the ingredients used to create top-notch plates that rival those of Madrid’s best tapas joints. Of all the locations, we like La Rambla the best. Here you can dine just like Scarlett Johanssen did in the Woody Allen film, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (a scene was filmed here). Address: Ramba Catalunya, 49-51. Average price per couple: €50. Watch our episode on Taller de Tapas HERE.
If you love Barcelona as much as we do, let us know your absolute favorite restaurants in the city! Leave us a comment below.