Where to Eat in Barcelona in 2021 - Ultimate Food Guide - Spanish Sabores

Where to Eat in Barcelona in 2021 – Ultimate Food Guide

Wondering where to eat in Barcelona? Not only will I share my favorite local spots below, I’ll also tell you the 27 must try foods in Barcelona so you can be sure to order well in this foodie paradise!

The first time I visited Barcelona back in 2007 I was trembling with excitement. It seemed like everyone I’d ever met had only raved about Barcelona’s charm and beauty– I imagined a seaside port city where everything was magical. After seeing photos of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and the colorful Boqueria Market I prepared myself for love at first sight.

Barcelona Arc de Triomf
I was expecting the city of my dreams!

It didn’t happen.

I left Barcelona confused and disappointed; unsure of how I’d missed out on what everyone else seemed to have fallen for.

In retrospect, it’s totally normal that I didn’t love Barcelona right away.

My hotel was on the Parallel, a huge, noisy street that wasn’t even close to the quaint Barcelona I’d been expecting. And back in 2007, I rarely used the internet– so I chose what to do and where to eat based on hotel recommendations and guide books. I didn’t know about blogs. Oh, how things have changed!

Falling Hard for Barcelona

So it wasn’t love at first sight– but today, I DO love Barcelona.

Barcelona Gothic Quarter
The gorgeous Barcelona Gothic Quarter.

Fast forward to 2011, when I decided to give Barcelona another chance. This time, I went prepared with plenty of research, and personal recommendations from friends and family. I encountered a whole new Barcelona– one I even dreamed about living in!

I stayed in the village-like Gracia neighborhood, one of my favorite places to stay in Barcelona even today, and spent the trip exploring Barcelona’s incredibly diverse neighborhoods, this time free of any misleading preconceptions!

The beautiful Gracia neighborhood in Barcelona is the perfect place to stay! Check out my guide to eating and drinking in Barcelona for more!
Gorgeous Gracia.

After multiple trips for both business and pleasure, in 2014 it only made sense to expand my Devour food tours to include Barcelona– in fact, we probably should have started there! Why, you may ask?

Because it is SO EASY to eat poorly in Barcelona (which I know from plenty of personal experience!). Yet at the same time, Barcelona welcomes thousands upon thousands of foodie tourists each year. And while many of them are able to navigate with today’s great blogs and travel guides, many fall into the same traps I have.

The mission of our food tours in Barcelona is to bring people off the tourist track– and into Barcelona eateries that are family run and serving real, delicious and not “made for tourists” food. It was very difficult– much more so than in Madrid or Seville. But today I am SO PROUD of our awesome food tours in Barcelona, which achieve the goal of bringing curious food lovers to the best traditional family-run eateries and restaurants in town!

For More Info: Listen to our feature on NPR radio!

Barcelona food guide!
Barcelona is an amazing city that always surprises me!

I now adore Barcelona.

When people ask me, “Madrid or Barcelona?” I have no response! Why choose? They’re completely different cities and I truly love them both.

I’d love to live in Barcelona for a time– the closest I’ve come is spending a couple of months at a time there when planning new tours. And although frequent stays multiple times per year has given me a good idea of the city, there’s nothing like actually living in a place long term!

Eating in Barcelona

Ok, now for the good stuff! Barcelona is filled with amazing eateries– from simple and traditional to gourmet and extravagant.

I’ve been meaning to write this gastro guide to eating in Barcelona for the past year– but, to be perfectly honest, it was an intimidating task! There are SO MANY amazing places to eat in Barcelona and I wanted to make sure to do the city justice with my recommendations. Yet after getting back from planning new tours in Barcelona (including a super traditional Barcelona food tour, a delicious Barcelona tapas tour and a fun Barcelona wine tasting tour) I finally feel ready to share my personal Barcelona restaurant recommendations and food tips with the world.

I hope that these tips will save many from my fate back in 2007, because Barcelona is full of great food, but also has plenty of awful food!

So this guide will tell you what to eat in Barcelona, and later where to eat in Barcelona. I hope it is helpful!

Barcelona Tapas 101

The best tapas bars in Barcelona and more in this guide to eating in Barcelona!
The low down on Barcelona’s tapas scene.

So tapas aren’t actually from Barcelona– crazy, huh?

On the one hand, that means that many places in the city that claim to be “Tapas Bars” should actually have a sign that reads “Tourist Trap”. There are plenty of these in Barcelona, likely more than any other city in Spain. But don’t worry, there’s hope!

Because there are also some fantastic tapas bars in Barcelona, and I’d categorize them into three groups:

  • Catalan bodegas: While technically not tapas bars, these are the closest that Barcelona gets to the traditional concept of small plates. These are old-fashioned wine shops where people fill their empty bottles with barrel wine. The food on offer is almost always cold– think charcuterie, cheese and (delicious) Spanish canned goods.
  • Traditional tapas bars from other parts of Spain: Many Spaniards have immigrated to Barcelona over the past centuries, as it’s been a center of Spanish industry. And each group of immigrants brought their food and traditions. So the famous pimientos de padrón? From the north of Spain! The concept of tapas (small plates) with a drink on the way home from work? From the south of Spain! Thanks to immigration, Barcelona is a whole lot more delicious!
  • Modern tapas bars: Of course the locals realized that the idea of tapas is a great one (and one that tourists demand), and so over the past two decades countless tapas bars have opened in the city. Usually, they are a bit more modern and often serve sharing plates (raciones) versus the individual tapas portions so typical of Andalusia (in the south of Spain).

See More: Read my Gastro Guide to eating in Seville for tips on how Andalusians eat!

Fun Fact: The Catalans have a reputation for being a bit stingy– whether or not it’s true, it is not common to get a free tapa with your drink in Barcelona (as it is in Madrid, Salamanca, or much of Andalusia).

Tapas with an expert: As I love both Barcelona’s tapas and its history, I couldn’t separate the two! You can join my company, Devour Barcelona, on our 2-in-1 Tapas, Taverns and History Tour for a fantastic evening out. You’ll learn lots, eat lots and drink lots– my kind of night 🙂

Our Barcelona tapas tours include a historic route between bars-- lots of fun and filled with information!
Eat, drink and discover Barcelona’s 2,000 year history!

What to eat in Barcelona 

Barcelona is home to both traditional Catalan food and international cuisine alike. You can eat pan con tomate for breakfast and modern fusion tapas for dinner — with a vegan smoothie for lunch! Here I focus on local classics (mostly traditional) — things you will only find in Barcelona and the surrounding area!


Croissants are a typical Barcelona breakfast food-- find out more in this Barcelona food guide!
There are croissants of all sorts in Barcelona– even green tea flavored!

Croissants in Barcelona?! Yes– and they’re delicious. Barcelona is super close to France and has been French occupied multiple times. The result? French influence– namely, amazing croissants!


Barcelona's best sandwiches are enjoyed for breakfast and called entrepans. Find the best ones in the great Barcelona food guide!
The tortilla entrepà on our food tours!

A very typical Barcelona breakfast food is a sandwich (entrepà in Catalan and bocadillo in Spanish). It might be filled with ham and tomato, cured Catalan sausage, cheese or tortilla (Spanish omelet). If you’re really hungry, you can get in with grilled botifarra sausage– my personal favorite!

Tip: We try the Gracia neighborhood’s best entrepà on our Gracia neighborhood food tour!


Looking for the best churros in Barcelona? Read our guide to eating in Barcelona!
You can never go wrong with churros and chocolate!

I think the best place for churros in Spain is in the south, but Barcelona certainly has some great places to indulge. If you are craving fried dough while visiting Barcelona, I give you permission to go ahead! But make sure to go to a place known for their churros, rather than ordering at any old breakfast bar (where they’ll likely be frozen).


Eating in Barcelona
Ensaimada, anyone?

Originally from the Balearic Islands, ensaimadas are a delicious lard-based pastry that is often served on its own, or enjoyed with coffee or thick, Spanish hot chocolate.


Delicious tapas on a Barcelona food tour!
Barcelona is the best place for great charcuterie!

Catalan charcuterie is incredibly delicious, and there is a lot of variety. From fuet (my personal favorite) to Iberian ham (not produced in Barcelona, but certainly available!) to black blood sausages, there’s something for everyone here.


Beans are a very typical food in Barcelona. Find out more about typical foods in Barcelona here!
Homemade beans sold in the Barcelona markets.

Who would have thought that beans would be one of the most typical foods in Barcelona? Well, they are– and I love them! Beans and sausage (botifarra) is a very typical “farmer’s breakfast” (a hearty brunch type breakfast served in the countryside) and also a typical lunch dish. Beans are eaten all around Spain and usually sold two ways: in jars or dry. But in Catalonia they are also available homecooked in the local markets. This is such a time saver– but allows you to eat perfectly cooked beans instead of the mushy jarred ones!


Find the best Barcelona restaurants in our guide to eating in Barcelona.
Delicious cheese at a Barcelona tapas bar.

Let’s go back to that French influence– and talk about cheese! Catalan cheeses (and Spanish cheeses in general) are wonderful. And in Barcelona you can choose to enjoy a cheese plate as a starter (as in the rest of Spain) or for dessert (like in France!).

Taste delicious cheeses on our Boqueria Market Tour!


The best vermouth bars in Barcelona are in our Barcelona eating guide!
A cold and refreshing vermouth!

No visit to Barcelona is complete without tasting vermouth. Despite its sometimes doubtful reputation, vermouth is a delicious fortified and aromatized white wine (though “red vermouth” is actually brown in color) that Barcelona does right. Forget any prejudices you might have and order a glass– you’ll thank me later!

Learn More: Taste vermouth and learn about its history on our Barcelona Wine Tour!

Fish & Seafood

Fish restaurants in Barcelona in this Barcelona eating guide.
Barcelona has wonderful fish restaurants.

When up in the Gracia Neighborhood or when visiting the Catalan mountains and wineries, it’s often easy to forget that Barcelona is right on the Mediterranean! The city’s amazing position means that its markets are filled with some of the most delicious fish and shellfish in Spain. Some common menu items will be:

  • Rape: Monkfish
  • Merluza: Hake
  • Bacalao: Cod
  • Cabracho: Scorpion Fish
  • Sardinas: Sardines
  • Boquerones: Anchovies
  • Atún: Tuna
  • Lenguado: Sole
  • Gallo: Dory
  • Dorada: Bream
  • Gambas: Shrimp
  • Langostinos: Jumbo Shrimp
  • Cigalas: Norway Lobster
  • Ostras: Oysters
  • Rajas: Calamari strips
  • Almejas: Clams
  • Sepia: Squid
  • Mejillones: Mussels


Fideuá on the Devour Barcelona food tour.
Fideua is paella’s delicious cousin!

We can’t talk about seafood and not mention fideuá! Fideuá is paella’s (arguably yummier) cousin. It’s made with buckwheat noodles instead of rice, usually includes seafood and can also be prepared with black squid ink. Served with alioli (a garlicky emulsion) it is delicious and a must-eat in Barcelona.

Tip! Try Mama Carmen’s homemade fideúa on our Tastes, Tapas & Traditions of Barcelona food tour.

Salt Cod

Salt cod in Barcelona, one of the typical foods in Barcelona.
A salt cod booth at the Santa Caterina Market.

As a port city, salt cod (bacalao) has been extremely important to Catalan gastronomy throughout history. Salt cod is made by salting and drying Atlantic cod. This fish can then last for months (if not years) making it the perfect food for tough times in Spanish history. To eat it, you must soak it in water for about 36 hours to “bring it back to life” and then prepare it how you wish. Nowadays it’s a very expensive fish but is still the cornerstone of many traditional Spanish recipes.

Foods made with salt cod in Barcelona:

  • Esqueixada: A cold salt cod, tomato, onion, and pepper salad.
  • Croquetas de Bacalao: Salt cod croquettes with creamy bechamel
  • Buñelos de Bacalao: Salt cod fritters with big chunks of cod

Learn More: Visit any of Barcelona’s food markets to see salt cod vendors soaking the cod. Sometimes they’ll have snacks for sale too!

Recipe: Try my recipe for salt cod croquettes — yum!


There is so much amazing wine in Barcelona! Check out our Barcelona wine tours to learn more!
The wine scene in Barcelona is incredible.

Did you know that Catalonia alone has 11 official appellations of origin (official wine regions, or D.O. regions in Spanish)? You better bet that means a lot of amazing local wine! The area is surprising, due to the drastic changes in geography and climate, and the region produces about 25% of all Spanish wine, so there is a big difference in quality if you don’t know what to look for.

Wine & Tapas Tour: Join our sommelier-led Barcelona wine tour to really dive deep into the world of Catalan and Spanish wines. We can also plan private Barcelona wine experiences!

Looking to visit the vineyards? Don’t miss our exclusive Barcelona winery tour— a day trip to a farm-to-table organic wine region!

Wine Tasting Experience: We also offer an intimate Spanish wine tasting in Barcelona— with tapas of course!

Olive Oil

Olive oil tasting on a Devour Barcelona food tour!
Visiting the olive oil shop on the Gracia neighborhood food tour!

Home to 1,000-year-old olive trees, Catalonia is a wonderful region to buy extra virgin olive oil. Barcelona is home to some great olive oil shops too– like Oli Sal, which we visit for a tasting on our Gracia Neighborhood Tour!


What to eat in Barcelona: Botifarra sausage and beans!
Botifarra sausage and beans– the best combo ever!

Botifarra is sausage, but in Catalonia there are plenty of delicious types to try– any time of day! You can stuff it in a sandwich or serve it with beans for a hearty “farmer-style” breakfast, have it for lunch with vegetables and salad, or for dinner. The best way of all? Going to a Catalan barbecue and eating it right off the grill!


Eating calçots on a Barcelona tapas tour.
Eating calçots can be messy, but it’s so worth it!

So much more than a humble onion, the calçot is a type of onion that grows in Catalonia and is available for a very short season (from January to early March). They’re best enjoyed out in the countryside, where experts grill hundreds at a time over a charcoal barbecue. They’re then presented on large platters, and served with romesco sauce (or the similar calçot sauce). Save room, because the next course is platters of grilled meats!

Calçot Season 2016: If you are lucky enough to be reading this now, and visiting Barcelona in calçot season, join Devour Barcelona on a traditional calçot experience!

Crema Catalana

The strong French influence of Catalonia's northern neighbor is apparent in this creme brulee-like Spanish dessert called crema catalana.
Delicious Crema Catalana!

The most famous local dessert, this is the local version of Creme Brulee (the Catalans claim they invented it first! You’ll find it on most dessert menus and, usually, it’s been flavored with lemon peel and cinnamon (as opposed to the vanilla infused French version.

Recipe: Try my crema Catalana recipe here!

Pa amb tomàquet/Pan con Tomate

Tomato bread in Barcelona-- one of the most typical Barcelona tapas!
Make your own tomato bread on a food tour!

You will almost always be asked if you want bread with tomato in Barcelona– and if you say yes expect to pay for it! It’s not a tourist trap, however, as many Catalan people eat each meal with this yummy tomato bread. It’s also simple to prepare on your own– toasted bread, good quality tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and salt!


Drinking cava in Barcelona is acceptable any time of day!
Barcelona is all about cava– any time of day!

Spain’s champagne (same method, different grapes– usually a much better value) is the thing to drink in Barcelona, any time of day. That’s right– you can have cava for breakfast (and we do on some of our tours!).

Learn More: All About Spanish Cava


snails for sale
Snails are food in Barcelona!

They’re not my thing (at all!) but Barcelona (like Madrid) is also known for snails, and has entire restaurants dedicated to them. I especially love Can Cargol (though I can’t speak for the snails…).


winter food in Spain
This is Madrid’s cocido– but Barcelona’s is just as good!

This is the most typical Catalan stew, and it’s a hearty one! Perfect for the cold weather, it includes all sorts of different meats (chicken, beef, pork, lamb…) and often offal parts like pig trotters or ears. It also has chickpeas and plenty of vegetables.


A xuxo is a type of donut made in Barcelona, Spain.
The authentic Barcelona donut!

This is the authentic Catalan donut– stuffed with pastry cream and covered in sugar. Look for them in pastry shops and get ready for a sugar rush! We taste Barcelona’s best xuxo on our Tastes, Tapas, & Traditions of Barcelona Food Tour!


Must try foods in Barcelona
An ensaimada and suisso– a balanced breakfast!

The suisso is intense– full warning! It is basically the extremely rich and thick Spanish hot chocolate covered in whipped cream! It’s best when the cream is homemade– which is always the case at the famous Granja Viader (a stop on our Boqueria Market Tour!).


A delicious Mallorcan coca.
A delicious coca.

Cocas are a type of Catalan flatbread or pastry– they can be either sweet or savory. I personally love the savory ones, which are served hot or cold, and include toppings such as spinach and pine nuts or onion and sausage.


The best bombas in Barcelona, traditional Barcelona tapas on a tapas tour!
The best bombas in Barcelona– on our tours!

The “bombs” of Barcelona are worth seeking out– but only the good ones! Nowadays it seems that everyone offers these deep fried, meat-filled potato balls on their menus, but there are only a few places that do them right. Among them, the inventors of this snack, the people at La Cova Fumada, who decided to top this delicacy with bravas sauce and alioli to make it look like a mini bomb!

Patatas Bravas

Taking a tapas tour in Barcelona. Patatas bravas in Barcelona are a traditional food to share!
Delicious patatas bravas.

Possibly the most common “tapa” in Barcelona, everyone seems to claim to have the best bravas in the city. Patatas bravas in Barcelona generally consist of deep fried potato wedges, topped with a blend of slightly spicy bravas sauce and garlicky alioli.

Suquet de Peix

Catalan fish stew Suquet de peix recipe
My homemade suquet de peix!

One of the best Catalan recipes I know, this fisherman’s stew is so delicious. I usually make my own, but you can find it in traditional Catalan restaurants.

Get my recipe: Suquet de Peix

Romesco Sauce

Typical foods to eat in Barcelona.
Grilled vegetables and romesco sauce.

This is quite possibly the best sauce I’ve ever tasted! It’s the perfect combination of toasted almonds, hazelnuts, peppers and garlic– and so delicious with grilled vegetables or Barcelona’s famous calçots!

Where to Eat in Barcelona

TripAdvisor alone lists 7,002 different restaurants in Barcelona at the time of writing this guide, so you really are spoiled for choice! Here are 30 of my favorite places to eat in Barcelona and why– hope you love them as much as I do!

Bar Cañete

Let’s start with a classic. This is one of the best tapas bars in all of Barcelona, great for sipping a vermouth or a glass of wine with some of the best tastes in town. Think Iberian ham, baby squid, sauteed clams… Make sure to eat in the bar area for better prices and also for the ambiance! It does get very busy, however, so be prepared to go early or wait.

Carrer de la Unio, 17

El Vaso de Oro

Another amazing choice for traditional Spanish tapas in Barcelona is called El Vaso de Oro, and it’s practically hidden away in the Barceloneta neighborhood. This place gets BUSY and is full of atmosphere. Order a draft beer and some tapas, and you’ll definitely know that you’re in Spain!

Calle de Balboa, 6

Celler Cal Marino

Find the best Barcelona restaurants in our guide to eating in Barcelona.
Celler Can Marino’s colorful display.

This is a great little wine bar in the Poble Sec neighborhood. I love it because it really feels totally off the beaten path, full of local atmosphere and the wines are delicious! I wouldn’t recommend dining here, however, as they don’t seem to have much of a kitchen.

Carrer de Margarit, 54

Lolita Taperia

Another of Barcelona’s best tapas bars, Lolita Taperia is a funky space with a fun menu and (most importantly) really yummy food. It’s the type of place I’d take my friends if they were visiting Barcelona, for a casual tapas feast.

Calle Tamarit, 104

Bar del Pla

Find the best Barcelona restaurants in our guide to eating in Barcelona.
Octopus “bombas” at Bar del Pla!

My favorite central Barcelona tapas bar, Bar del Pla is comfortable and familiar, and serves great food. I love their stewed beef cheeks and octopus croquettes. They also have some delicious Cataln wines by the glass!

Carrer Montcada, 2


Taking a Barcelona food tour-- check out the guide to eating and drinking in Barcelona!
Carlos and Maite will welcome you to L’Anxoveta!

Located in the beautiful Gracia neighborhood, this is one of the delicious stops on our Gracia Neighborhood Food Tour. Not only do owners Carlos and Maite do a great selection of tapas– they have one of the best bombas in town!

Calle San Domenec, 14

La Pantxa del Bisbe

Another of my Gracia recommendations, this wonderful tapas bar isn’t too far from Parc Guell and is totally worth the detour. It’s another of the places on this list that feel completely off-the-beaten-path, and its farm to table menu is worth multiple trips!

Carrer del Torrent de les Flors, 158

Set de Born

I love this central Barcelona tapas bar for its beautiful charm. It’s the perfect place for cheese, charcuterie and wine– I’d stick to these staples as they have no full kitchen. It’s as beautiful as it is tasty, making it a romantic choice too!

Calle Esparteria, 7 

Restaurante Can Solé

Founded in 1903, Can Solé is considered by many to be THE place for paella in Barcelona– which isn’t actually paella at all (that’s from the Valencia region) but an arroz (rice dish). This restaurant is special for me because it’s where we had our only good meal back in 2007– and I still remember the first time I tasted this type of food! It’s a bit pricey, but you’re guaranteed quality and ambiance.

Carrer de Sant Carles, 4

Vila Viniteca – La Teca

Find the best Barcelona restaurants in our guide to eating in Barcelona.
Fuet, cheese and cava– does life get any better?

One of the best gourmet wine and cheese shops in all of Barcelona, this place is a haven for foodies! It’s simple, but you can try some of the best quality cured meats, cheeses and wines at their tasting tables, or stock up on goodies for home!

Carrer dels Agullers, 7

Entrepanes Diaz

Best restaurants in Barcelona-- the guide!
A yummy fish sandwich and vermouth!

This beautiful gourmet sandwich shop on the border of the Eixample Neighborhood and Gracia is a great place for a modern twist on your entrepà. Last time I tried a delicious grilled fish sandwich with a cold vermouth on the terrace– needless to say, I was in heaven!

Carrer de Pau Claris, 189

Satan’s Coffee Corner

Find the best Barcelona restaurants in our guide to eating in Barcelona.
Incredible coffee at Satan’s Coffee Corner.

I love the coffee at Satan’s Coffee Corner, which is centrally located (steps away from the Barcelona Cathedral) and a perfect stop before a long day of sightseeing. It opens early, and also serves food (though I prefer the coffee myself!).

Carrer de l’Arc de Sant Ramon del Call, 11

Nomad Coffee Lab

I made the trek to the famed Nomad Coffee one day and took a seat at the small bar. It was the type of place where staining my coffee with milk seemed like it could get me in trouble– so I ordered the weekly brew, straight up. It was absolutely delicious and a jolt of caffeine I needed at that moment. Recommended for coffee addicts (warning– it’s pretty hipster in there!).

Passatge Sert, 12

Can Cargol

Find the best Barcelona restaurants in our guide to eating in Barcelona.
Classic and rustic– Can Cargol!

A friend of mine who lives in Barcelona first brought me to Can Cargol (the house of snails). Their specialty, you guessed it, is indeed stewed snails. But they have plenty more on offer– we loved their grilled artichokes and calçots (both seasonal) and traditional Catalan salads. It’s one of those simple, rustic places that makes you feel at home!

Read More: My review of Can Cargol

Calle Valencia, 324

Vermuteria Lou

This off-the-beaten-path vermouth bar in the Gracia neighborhood serves my favorite bravas in all of Barcelona (to date!). It has a real neighborhood feel, which I love.

Carrer de l’Escorial, 3

Bar La Plata

Best tapas bars in Barcelona on a Barcelona tapas tour!
3 of the 4 La Plata tapas!

Quite possibly the last standing authentic Spanish tapas bar in the Gothic Quarter, La Plata is a tiny place with only four things on the menu: tomato salad, botifarra sausage, fried anchovies, and pickled and salt-cured anchovies on bread. I love each of them, which makes it the perfect place to fill up on delicious food and wine.

Carrer de la Mercé, 28

Bar Bodega Quimet

Find the best Barcelona restaurants in our guide to eating in Barcelona.
Bar Bodega Quimet– my happy place!

Another hidden vermouth bar in the Gracia neighborhood (are you seeing a pattern yet?). Bar Bodega Quimet (not to be confused with Quimet & Quimet) is a lovely, traditional bodega with a short tapas menu and delicious vermouth. I always stop by when in the area!

Carrer de Vic, 23

Casa Mariol

Not too far from the Sagrada Familia, you’ll find the hole-in-the-wall Casa Mariol, which is more modern than other vermouth bars on this list. I love Casa Mariol vermouth, which is more spicy and bitter than some others. I’d say it’s a must when nearby!

Carrer del Rosselló, 442

Xiringuito Escribá

Best paella Barcelona
Delicious paella in Barcelona

Another great place for paella in Barcelona, I really love that this place uses the best products with a creative touch. The seaside views and great service are a bonus!

Avenida del Litoral, 62

La Cova Fumada

The place that invented the bomba tapa, La Cova Fumada is an absolute classic in La Barceloneta neighborhood. It fills to the brim (there’s often a line), so it’s definitely not a place to go for fine dining or romance. But I adore its authenticity and atmosphere– and I think you will too!

Carrer del Baluart, 56

Casa Mari y Rufo

Hidden in plain sight right across from the Santa Caterina Market, this mom and pop fresh fish restaurant is one of the best!Mari and Rufo serve up simple but delicious market fresh fish and seafood. There’s often a wait, but it’s worth it for their fantastic food.

Calle Freixures, 11

Baluard Bakery

Find the best Barcelona restaurants in our guide to eating in Barcelona.
Breakfast at Baluard Bakery (in the Praktik Bakery Hotel location)

The smell of freshly baked bread and pastries would lure anyone into this incredible shop. Baluard is one of Barcelona’s best bakeries, and you really can’t go wrong with any of their delights. One of my all-time favorites is the almond croissant– just try it!

Carrer del Baluart, 38

Pastelería Hofmann

Find the best Barcelona restaurants in our guide to eating in Barcelona.
Hofmann’s to-die-for croissants on our food tours!

To say I’m obsessed with the stuffed croissants from Hofmann would be an understatement! You can choose from raspberry, mascarpone, chocolate… the list goes on.

Carrer dels Flassaders, 44

Bar Angel

Find the best Barcelona tapas bars in our guide to eating in Barcelona.
The beautiful presentation of the food at Bar Angel.

I discovered this little restaurant near the Barcelona port and fell in love with the quirky decoration and farm to table philosophy. The food is delicious (though portions are small) and I think it’s one of the best small tapas bars in Barcelona’s city center.

Carrer Ocata, 2

Granja Viader

Find the best Barcelona restaurants in our guide to eating in Barcelona.
Beautiful Granja Viader– a must!

A granja is a Barcelona establishment that used to make its own milk– supposedly there were even cows in the city center! Of all the granjas in Barcelona, this is one of the best. It’s famous for its suisso, hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream! They also serve churros an ensaimadas (so that you have something to dip).

We learn the full story of this emblematic café and taste it’s specialties on our Early Morning Boqueria Market Tour!

Carrer d’en Xuclà, 4

La Vinya del Senyor

The beautiful Santa Maria del Mar church.
The beautiful Santa Maria del Mar church.

This quaint, beautiful Barcelona wine bar is located right across from my favorite church in Barcelona. Sagrada Familia? Nope! The Cathedral? Nah! The Santa María del Mar church in the Born neighborhood is my personal favorite. You can learn why on our Barcelona Tapas and History Tour! The wines by the glass at this bar are all fantastic, and the lovely bartenders are happy to advise!

Plaza Santa Maria, 5

Taverna Can Margarit

Best tapas tour in Barcelona with Devour Barcelona's Tapas, Taverns and History Tour!
Some of the delicious fare at Can Margarit!

This is definitely one of Barcelona’s most unique taverns. You walk in and are offered free wine (score!). Once you’re seated, the main event is the Catalan style rabbit (though there’s plenty more on offer). The food is rustic and traditional and this is definitely a local hang out. But don’t go expecting haute cuisine!

Carrer de la Concòrdia, 21


This is one of my favorite tapas spots in Barcelona. They serve simple, rustic and good value for money fare, dishes like fried squid and padrón peppers. The atmosphere is lively (there’s often a wait to get in) and the waiters are gruff (but mean well!).

Calle Ginebra, 13

La Bombeta

I love the buzzing atmosphere in La Bombeta, another place known for its bomba tapa. The place sets the tone with a big sign that says “We don’t have Wifi– talk among yourselves!”. It’s old-school in a good way, with traditional Catalan food, plenty of locals and some in-the-know tourists too!

Calle de la Maquinista, 3

Quimet & Quimet

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who hasn’t loved Quimet & Quimet. This legendary Barcelona hole-in-the-wall serves some of the best tapas in town, including delicious montaditos (small sandwiches). This is the type of place I wish I lived next door to– I’d literally be there all the time (if I could get in!).

Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25

Know Before Your Go

  • A bread and service charge is often added to the bill and ranges between 1€ to 3€ per person, depending on the place. A lot of times the waiter will ask “quieres pan con tomate?” (do you want tomato bread?) or they will just assume that you do. If you don’t want bread brought to the table, specify sin pan por favor, though unfortunately sometimes you’ll still be charged. Feel free to complain if this is the case, though the easiest thing to do is to eat like a local and enjoy your bread!
  • Don’t take offense when in the classic tapas bars the waiters seem like they don’t want to be bothered. They’re not being rude– just busy! You often have to be assertive to get a waiter’s attention– feel free to signal him/her over. This is not rude. Don’t expect to be asked if you want a second drink, more food, the cheque etc. Just be assertive and ask!
  • You aren’t required to tip in Barcelona, but rounding up the bill and leaving up to 10% for excellent service is definitely appreciated (I always tip my servers). Waiters work hard and earn a very low monthly wage. 
  • At some traditional places the menu won’t be available in English– or in Spanish. Don’t forget that in Catalonia many speak Catalan! But don’t worry, most people are more than happy to try to help– just ask 🙂

Where to Stay in Barcelona

This city is filled with fantastic hotels, hostels, and rental apartments, at a variety of budgets. I’ve written my own insider’s guide to Barcelona’s best hotels here— check it out!

Devour Barcelona Food Tours

If you are planning to visit Barcelona we’d love to have you join one of our Barcelona food tours or Barcelona tapas tours. Our tours are unforgettable experiences where you’ll try different local foods and wines at a variety of traditional, family-run establishments. Between bites, you will learn plenty about Barcelona’s unique culture, cuisine, history, and politics. We currently offer multiple fantastic tours (and I’m not just saying that because I helped design them!). They really capture the soul and identity of Barcelona, and are a lot of fun! You can reserve spots online here: book Barcelona food tour.

And if you have more tips for eating and drinking in Barcelona (the best things to do in town!), please leave them in the comments! And if you’ve already been– where (and what!) did you try?

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It probably comes as no surprise that one of the best things to do in Barcelona is eat! With everything from casual beach bars to modern tapas joints to world-class restaurants, it's a food lover's dream come true. This guide will show you exactly where to eat in Barcelona for everything from healthy vegetarian options to indulgent sweets. #Barcelona #foodie


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  1. Thanks for so many recommendations. Just pinning a few spots for an upcoming three days in Barcelona with my kids. So sad to see that some of your recommendations are now permanently closed. I hope the economy recovers quickly!

  2. 4 stars
    Excellent guide to Barcelona, I was in Barcelona a year ago and was in three institutions that you described in my article and I can say with confidence that I share your point of view!

  3. Thank you so much for your extensive and thorough post! My family and I are going to Barcelona/Spain for the first time in June and we can’t wait. Your videos have already helped us plan so much. We’ve booked a tour with your company in Seville. This post will assist greatly. I am an expat myself (in Italy) and hate to eat out without some kind of research first. Tourism hasn’t done done good things to the quality of food in popular cities… As a professional cook and avid traveler, I truly appreciate your enthusiasm and obvious knowledge. Thanks again!

  4. This guide was fantastic for my trip to Barcelona! Caught it on my train from Valencia. There is so much amazing food throughout the country, and a lot that’s not so great. My favorite meal of the trip was at Mari y Rufo! It’s a local family run spot, but they are very welcoming to out of towners. The seafood there was some of the freshest and tastiest I have had period. Service was amazing, and we had a great time. Thanks for your post. I would love to join you on one of your tours in the near future.

  5. Very informative! Will keep this in mind when we visit Barcelona in August. Wish we can try everything you mentioned here….

  6. Barcelona is one of my (growing list of) favourite European cities, and this is such a useful, comprehensive guide to the city’s cuisine 🙂

    I’ve heard good things about your Devour food tours and definitely want to try one next time I’m in Barcelona. I’m just wondering whether you cater for pescetarians on your tours? Or whether we just have to skip the meat bits!

    I’ve visited and love El Vaso de Oro but have yet to discover the others you mention, so a return visit to Barcelona is definitely in order!

  7. Thanks for some awesome detailing Lauren. A friend who recently went to Barcelona did take the Devour Tours there and loved it. I though kinda hoped there was one for veggies too 🙂 Saw your blog much later and realized you do have one tour that could work out for Veggies too. Linked it to my post on Vegetarian Food in Spain.

    Am gonna try out a few of the veggie recipes that you’ve shared too now that I am back home. Spain actually surprised me with the amazing range of veg options. I usually struggle to find veg & settle for pasta/salad but here i had some yum options. Phew! 🙂

    1. Hi there Sandy! Yes– Spain can be great for vegetarians (and at home people eat TONS of veggie dishes!) and that’s why almost all of our food tours are vegetarian friendly. Thanks so much for the mention and best of luck cooking!

  8. Lauren,

    You should try this place out (if you have not already). I put this on another post of yours but wasn’t sure you saw it.

    Place: “Club De La Empanada” located in Barcelona
    Website: http://www.clubdelaempanada.com

    Club De La Empanada is a Galician empanda bar, owned by two brothers from the region. It serves a variety of wines, beers and other foods but most of all it specializes in Galcians tyle empanadas.

    Some usless backstory for you: my mother’s side of the family is from the Galician region of Spain so this was a staple of my diet growing up while at family parties. This is authentic Empanada as I remember it growing up.

    They have a wide variety of empanadas each day, changing up what they make daily. Regardless of what you chose to get, the pies are always delicious. They are packed full of fresh meats and vegetables and baked in house every single day. If you drop into the joint they will serve you a slice of what they have made that day. I believe you can call ahead though and request they make you a whole pie for you and your party. I’ve always just dropped on in with my guests and ate whatever they have already prepared.

    The two brothers who own the place are terrific people as well, always incredibly hospitable and kind. If you go there on the right night of the week too they do singing and dancing while they drink wine and eat empanada. Who knew baking empanada could become such a show.

    To get to the place you have to go down a few back ally ways, off of the Las Ramblas strip in Barcelona. It is just a little whole in the wall bar, built into the backside of the building. Nothing big and nothing fancy, so don’t bring too many people with you when you go. It isn’t the easiest place to find but I promise you it will be well worth your trip. Hope you enjoy if you ever get to try it out.

  9. I’m from Barcelona and I’m pleasantly impressed with your description. Maybe I missed potatoes omelette and salty ham croquettes and chicken croquettes. Also stuffed squid and one delight: small squid with small white beans (chipirones con mongetes). Only one thing: sepia is cuttlefish, calamar is squid.
    Thank you for giving a second chance to Barcelona and congratulations for both web pages.

  10. Hi Lauren! Nice post. I would recommend you try going to Canet, located in Sarriá, for a very typical catalan food experience. It’s delicious!

  11. Wow, what an extensive post-thanks so much. It’s been tooooo long since we were in Barcelona (1999 to be exact, which has just made me feel quite sick LOL). Hoping to visit soon and we’ll definitely book a tour. Great content Lauren. 🙂

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