Best Food Tour & Cooking Class in Barcelona
• Market Tour and Private Cooking Class – Highly recommended!
The 18 Best Places to Eat in Barcelona
1. Tickets Bar – $$$$
The hottest ticket in Barcelona. If you’re a serious foodie, you’ve probably heard of the now-closed el Bulli, known at the time as the world’s best restaurant, helmed by Catalan superstar chef, Ferran Adrià. Tickets Bar is owned by Ferran and his brother Albert and it’s basically a circus-themed tapas bar with the most creative tapas you’re ever likely to taste – a globally-inspired world tour in a few dishes. It’s a casual, informal, buzzy place, and the only tapas bar in town that you have to book online two months in advance. Food-wise you have two choices: order tapas a la carte, or decide how much you want to spend and have the waiter choose for you. Dishes are fun and playful: expect dishes like liquid olives (a nod to Ferran Adrià’s molecular gastronomy), wafer-thin ‘pizza’ with buffalo mozzarella, a ‘Nordic landscape’ of cured beef with vinegar snow and sweet pickles, Peruvian and Japanese oysters, and suckling pig mini-sandwiches. Fun, busy, memorable.
• Avinguda del Paraŀlel, 164
• Nearest transport: Poble Sec metro
2. Viana Barcelona – $$-$$$
Gourmet tapas bar. Hidden down a tiny street in Barri Gòtic, Viana is a winning combination of vintage decor, internationally-inspired tapas, carefully chosen wines, and original cocktails. This place has only been open a couple of years and has already firmly established itself as one of Barcelona’s most popular tapas bars – a beacon of light in a sea of mediocre places that spill off La Rambla. The succinct ‘eclectic Mediterranean’ menu is divided into tapas, mains, and ‘happy ending’ desserts. Grab a few small dishes (burrata with guacamole, Galician octopus in tempura, prawn and white fish ceviche) to share or get here early for a proper sit-down meal of slow-cooked beef cheeks and cod in blood orange sauce, and don’t miss the ‘threesome of chocolate’. Of the house cocktails, the signature blackberry mojito is a winner. Friendly service, flawless presentation, busy, friendly, fun vibe. Book a table in advance; bar seating for walk-in customers.
• Carrer del Vidre, 7
• Nearest transport: Liceu metro
3. Restaurante Lasarte – $$$$
Barcelona’s first 3-Michelin-star restaurant. Run by Martín Berasategui, one of Spain’s most decorated chefs, Lasarte earned its third Michelin star in 2017. There are two tasting menus to choose from; the 7-course (185 Euros) and the splurge-y 11-course (210 Euros) with additional wine pairings, as well as an a la carte menu. The decor is quite understated – all blond wood and flowing lines – leaving the focus squarely on the food. And what food! The menu changes seasonally, but you can expect the likes of sea bass with mantis shrimp broth and clam mayo, Wagyu carpaccio with frozen mozzarella powder, charcoal-grilled pigeon with olive and galangal and almond and salt praline with rum ice cream. Everything is beautifully presented and the flavors are amazing. The meal is a once-in-your-lifetime treat. Smart-casual. Advance reservations essential.
• Carrer de Mallorca, 259
• Nearest transport: Passeig de Gràcia
4. 7 Portes – $$$$
Old-school seafood restaurant. On the edge of Barceloneta, this elegant restaurant is all white linen service and bow-tied waiters. It’s also one of the very few arrocerías (rice restaurants) in Barcelona where you can get portions of paella, fideuà (paella-like vermicelli dish), and other rice dishes for one person; in most places it has to be for a minimum of two. Apart from rice dishes, 7 Portes specializes in dishes like chicken roasted with mushrooms and Moscatel wine, overflowing platters of steamed seafood, and grilled catch of the day. Picasso, poet Federico García Lorca, and Orson Welles have all once dined here; look for the little plaques with their names. Lots of dishes designed for sharing and excellent value.
• Passeig d’Isabel II, 14
• Nearest transport: Barceloneta metro
5. Pinotxo Bar – $$-$$$
Tapas bar in the busy La Boquería market. If you’ve walked up and down La Rambla, Barcelona’s most popular pedestrian thoroughfare, you will have seen crowds streaming into the city’s most popular fresh produce market. On the fringes of the market there’s a number of tapas counter bars, and Bar Pinotxo is the best of the lot. It’s been going strong for over 70 years, while attracting some of Barcelona’s top chefs, along with a throng of tourists and locals in the know. You won’t find a menu here; just look at the platters along the counter and ask the bow-tied owner, Juanito Bayen, about the daily specials. These may include truita de carfoxes (artichoke omelette), cigrons (garbanzo beans with cilantro), botifarra (grilled Catalan sausage), bacallà amb Samfaina (codfish with ratatouille) and cap i pota (veal head and leg). Get here early, as some of the specials run out, and be prepared to queue. Busy, fun, quick meal. Cash only.
• Carrer la Rambla, 89
• Nearest transport: Liceu metro
6. Big Al’s American Kitchen – $$-$$$
The Barcelona branch of the award-winning hamburger joint. Several years ago, Big Al’s first opened in the beach town of Sitges and now they’ve brought their phenomenally successful American burgers to Barcelona. There are 20 different burgers to choose from, from Fat Elvis (bacon, caramelized banana, peanut butter) and spicy jalapeño (habanero alioli, caramelized jalapeños, cheese) to the ultimate burger challenge: The Widowmaker (6 patties, pulled pork, quadruple-decker bun) – eat it in less than 30 minutes and you get your picture on the Wall of Fame. Burgers aside, you can also get pulled pork sandwiches, hot wings, brisket sliders, nachos, and quesadillas, along with a good selection of craft beers. Inexpensive, popular with young locals and families.
• Carrer de Corsega, 178
• Nearest transport: Hospital Clínic metro
7. Celerí – $$-$$$
Excellent organic and vegetarian food. What to do as an accomplished chef working at a 3-star Michelin restaurant after it closes? If you’re Xavier Pellicer, you open an organic and (largely) vegetarian restaurant. Celerí, a cellar restaurant where the menu revolves around vegetables, is a change of pace and style for Pellicer. Leeks, beans, potatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, squash, and various tubers are each presented in a vegan dish, a vegetarian dish, and an omnivore dish, with a few wild fish and ecologically raised meat dishes as well. Veggie standouts include the beetroot gazpacho, roasted wild mushrooms in garlic oil, squash blossoms on red pesto, and heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella foam, capers, and basil. Omnivores shouldn’t miss the shrimp carpaccio. Sheet glass separates diners from the open kitchen, and each dish is presented by the chef who cooked it. The wines are mostly organic and biodynamic and there’s a nice, happy buzz to this casual place as it fills up with couples and groups of friends. Reservations recommended.
• Passatge Marimon, 5
• Nearest transport: Diagonal or Hospital Clínic metro
8. Dos Palillos – $$$$
Michelin-starred Spanish-Asian fusion. Run by Albert Raurich (former protégé of Catalan superstar chef Ferran Adrià) and his Japanese wife and sommelier, Tamae Imachi, this is bar dining at its finest. There are two seatings per night with diners given the choice between two tasting menus: the 17-course or the 20-course. The courses range between bite-sized and tapas-sized and are a fun, creative exploration of Spanish, Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese flavors. Bar seating surrounds the open kitchen, so you can watch the chefs at work. Expect dishes like sea urchin on crispy rice, cuttlefish tartar with fish roe, toro (fatty tuna) in ponzu sauce, smoked soya ice cream with edamame, and tender, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, cooked for 16 hours. The presentation is beautiful and Dos Palillos is great for a romantic night out or for dinner with friends. Reservations essential.
• Carrer d’Elisabets, 9
• Nearest transport: Liceu or Universitat metro
9. Moments – $$$$
Michelin-starred, contemporary interpretations of traditional Catalan cuisine. Located inside the Mandarin Oriental hotel, Moments is run by Carme Ruscalleda, the celebrated Catalan chef already responsible for two of the world’s best restaurants, and her son Raül Balam. The mother-and-son team uses seasonal, local ingredients to playfully reimagine traditional Catalan dishes with contemporary twists and international touches. Expect the likes of venison with black garlic and artichokes, rice with prawn tails, wild sea bass with eggplant, and Duroc pork with daikon and pistachio. The 14-course tasting menu (171 Euros) is a special treat, with each dish inspired by a classic movie (Titanic, Wizard of Oz, Breakfast at Tiffany’s). The extensive wine list features many rare vintages. The sleek dining room with its gold-leafed ceiling adds to the refined atmosphere. To watch the food-as-art being created, request to sit at the chef’s table, overlooking the open kitchen. Tranquil, romantic, ideal for a special occasion. Reservations essential.
• Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40
10. Alkimia – $$$$
Seasonal, creative, Michelin-starred dining. Run by highly respected local chef, Jordi Vilà, Alkimia’s been part of the Barcelona dining scene for 15 years. The concept is simple: all dishes are created from locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, with surprising textures and clean, unpretentious flavors. Visitors are ushered into a striking dining room, with a frescoed ceiling and open kitchen. Choose between a la carte and two tasting menus (11/13 courses for 98/155 Euros), then sit back as seamless service delivers dish after beautiful dish. These may include shrimp tartar, cuttlefish stuffed with botifarra negra (Catalan sausage), baby squid with the first peas of the season, lamb and squash ravioli, leek and porcini mushroom tart, and a red fruit gazpacho with galangal (ginger-like root). There’s an interesting wine list to boot and the homemade bread is excellent. Relaxed atmosphere, romantic, friendly. Reservations.
• Ronda Sant Antoni, 41
• Nearest transport: Universitat or Sant Antoni metro
11. Roca Moo – $$$$
Fun, affordable Michelin-star dining. The Roca brothers, responsible for El Celler de Can Roca (twice the World’s Best Restaurant), run a more casual operation inside Hotel Omm. The dining area is a bright and stylish space, reachable by passing through the lobby. The place is dominated by the open kitchen behind the bar, where you can watch young chefs preparing your dishes. There’s an affordable 4-course lunch tasting menu (49 Euros) on weekdays, offering a taster of the restaurant’s creative, imaginatively-presented dishes, as well as a Classics tasting menu (80 Euros), but for the best of Roca Moo, splurge on the Joan Roca tasting menu (110 Euros). The menu changes, according to what’s seasonally available, but dishes may include pigeon carpaccio, raw mackerel, seabass with asparagus and lemon peel, lamb shoulder with black garlic, and chocolate with bitter orange. Fun, friendly, romantic. Reservations highly recommended.
• Carrer de Roselló, 265
• Nearest transport: Diagonal metro
12. Irati Taverna Basca – $$-$$$
Lively Basque tapas bar. Though this little tapas bar is right in the Barri Gòtic, only a block from La Rambla, it manages to avoid being a tourist trap and serves fantastic tapas. Like with most typical Basque bars, there’s a spread of around three dozen different pintxos (tiny open-faced sandwiches) on the counter. Just help yourself and the staff with add up how much you owe based on the number of toothpicks on your plate. But the pintxos aren’t the main draw here. For the best experience, grab one of the tables at the back and order a few hot dishes from the menu, from the seasonal artichokes stewed with cod and clams, and baby calamari sautéed with green peas to grilled beef with tempranillo wine sauce. Wash it all down with a spritzy Txacolí (young Basque white wine). No reservations. Buzzy, friendly, fun vibe. The bar gets really crowded in the evenings, so get here early.
• Calle Cardenal Casanas, 17
• Nearest transport: Liceu metro
13. Hoja Santa – $$$$
High-end, traditional Mexican food with Catalan touches. Named after an herb widely used in Mexican cooking, this contemporary restaurant is a joint effort between Mexican chef Paco Méndez and renowned Catalan chef Albert Adrià. Picture this: you’re sitting in a bright, cheerful dining room, completely devoid of clichéd sombreros, cacti or Mexican flags, while dish after dish appears, presented in clever and unusual ways. Sea urchin toast on a leaf. Cockles with pineapple aguachile in a shell. A charred artichoke served on round rocks. Cochinita pibil (Yucatan-style, slow-cooked pork) and avocado with black garlic mole – all beautifully plated on slate and stone. Flavors are authentic, service is friendly and prompt, and the signature margaritas are a wonderful accompaniment. Choose between a la carte or the seasonal tasting menu. Bustling, friendly, informal. Reservations.
• Avenida Mistral, 54-56
• Nearest transport: Poble Sec or Plaça Espanya metro
14. Shunka – $$-$$$
Stylish yet unpretentious Japanese restaurant. Though its flashier, Michelin-starred sister restaurant, Koy Shunka, is just around the corner, many locals prefer this place when it comes to quality Japanese food. Shunka is a block away from Barcelona’s cathedral and inside it’s all minimalist decor, blond wood fixtures, bustling waiters, and seating at the bar for solo diners. The short but sweet menu is divided into rice, seafood, meat, udon, sushi, sashimi and maki, with an emphasis on quality ingredients and clean flavours. Standout dishes include white fish carpaccio with straw mushrooms, tuna, salmon and avocado combo maki, and anything with toro (fatty tuna belly). The 10-course surprise tasting menu is well worth the splurge at 65 Euros. Casual, relaxed, friendly vibe. Great value for money.
• Carrer dels Sagristans, 5
• Nearest transport: Jaume I
15. La Bella Napoli – $$-$$$
The best pizza in Barcelona. With its red-and-white checked tablecloths and Neapolitan waiters, this is one of the best restaurants in Barcelona for authentic Italian food, and for pizza in particular. The thin and crispy pizzas that come out of their wood-fired oven are among the best you’ll find outside Italy. On the extensive pizza menu, our favorites include the Sofia Loren (with rucola, provolone cheese, and fresh tomatoes) and the Quattro Stagioni (with mozzarella, jam, artichokes, salami, and olives). There’s a good selection of risottos, fresh pastas, and house-made gnocchi and specialties include papardelle with lobster. The wine list includes tipples from all over Italy and the service is prompt. Popular with families. Reservations are a good idea for dinner and on weekends.
• Carrer de Margarit, 14
• Nearest transport: Paral.lel metro
16. Semproniana – $$-$$$
Fun French-Catalan fusion dishes. Colorful and whimsical, with mismatched furniture, Semproniana is a lunchtime favorite with local foodies of all ages. Most dishes come in three sizes: small, medium and extra large, and they are local chef Ada Parellada’s playful takes on French and Catalan classics. I recommend getting a number of small dishes to share. Highlights include shrimp tartare, arroz del venere con queso Maó (black rice topped with soft cheese from Menorca), cod with rosemary and honey, pasta tubes stuffed with butifarra negra (Catalan black pudding), and grilled vegetable and couscous stack. The three-course weekday lunch is a steal at 16 Euros. Buzzy, fun, casual.
• Carrer del Rossello, 148
• Nearest transport: Hospital Clínic metro
17. Bubó – $$-$$$
Excellent patisserie and cake shop located in Born, the maze of tiny streets just north of Barceloneta. Ten years ago, Bubó was a humble patisserie. Now it has branches in Japan and Abu Dhabi, and this original outlet is one of the best places in town for coffee, gourmet pastries (croissants, pan au chocolat), and beautiful desserts. Choose from elaborate cheesecakes and chocolate creations to macarons with uniquely local flavors, such as crema Catalana. This branch of Bubó has branched out into savory foods as well – There’s an attached café and restaurant that serves decent tapas (grilled shrimp, pork skewers, patatas bravas) and more substantial mains, such as rabo de toro (oxtail) and burgers. Great all-rounder, good for people-watching.
• Caputxes, 10
• Nearest transport: Barceloneta metro
18. Xurrería Sagrada Familia – $
A great spot for the quintessential Spanish snack of chocolate con churros. In an enviable location, right across the street from Barcelona’s most famous landmark, this family-run churrería (churros café) has been attracting locals and visitors since the 1950s. Chocolate con churros to the Spanish is like tea and cake to the British, and this little place does it really well. The drinking chocolate is appropriately thick and decadent, and the churros (deep-fried, tubular donuts) come in five different versions: original, filled with Nutella, dulce de leche, or vanilla cream, and covered in chocolate. Nice little terrace. Good for a quick bite.
• Placa de la Sagrada Familia
• Nearest transport: Sagrada Família metro