Whatever you're craving, you’ll eat well in Barcelona. The Spanish city knows what the good life is all about, with lunches lingering well into the afternoon and dinner recommendations enthusiastically offered and received. Barcelona’s restaurants naturally excel at fresh, Catalan cuisine, but you’ll also find international dishes, from high-quality burgers to freshly rolled sushi. The city does a fine line in creative cocktails, too – best sipped at rooftop bars with stunning views of the gorgeous Catalan city. Here are 10 venues that rank among Barcelona's leading gastronomic lights.
Enjoying a wonderful spot right next door to Barcelona’s buzzing Santa Catarina market, and taking full advantage of its fresh, seasonal produce, Veraz offers a deliciously tempting menu of tapas. Take your pick from Catalan cheeses and jamón ibérico to anchovies and Spanish omelette, plus fresh fish and steaks from the market butcher. The restaurant, located inside the stylish The Barcelona EDITION hotel, is popular with locals, especially for its double-height central bar. Don’t miss trying the local vermouth, best enjoyed at a terrace table overlooking the market.
The 26th-floor restaurant NOXE at W Barcelona is a chic space with real wow-factor – perfect for making memorable first impressions over a superb meal. With views out over the ocean and across the city, paired with authentic Japanese cuisine, NOXE is a true destination venue. Order some gyoza or tempura to start, followed by freshly pressed nigiri and just-sliced sashimi. There’s lobster for your main course, and a plethora of inventive cocktails to sample – try the gin-based Nostalgic Tokyo, which mixes pear liqueur, kumquat cordial, sugar cane and grapefruit bitters.
Take a seat beside the large windows of CentOnze at Le Méridien Barcelona to enjoy the buzz of the city’s famous Ramblas thoroughfare in comfort and style. The menu here follows a “marketarian” concept, with as much of the produce as possible sourced from the nearby La Boqueria, so you can expect the likes of sliced jamón ibérico de bellota, twice-cooked, exquisitely tender octopus and fresh fish, grilled simply but perfectly. Don’t miss the cheesecake for dessert, and a signature cocktail to wash it down with – perhaps the tequila-based creation that sings with flavours of lime, pineapple and apple.
There’s nothing quite like a creamy glass of horchata, a traditional plant-based drink made with soaked and sweetened tiger nuts. Barcelona’s best is found at Orxateria Sirvent on Parlament in Sant Antoni, founded in 1920 by Tomás Sirvent Planelles and today run by his granddaughter and her son. Order it chilled for a wonderful refreshment on a hot day and consider adding a scoop of ice cream or a side order of Sirvent’s deliciously chewy nougat.
Fans of Japanese cuisine will be delighted to hear that the renowned restaurant brand Roka has a new outpost – at the Hotel Arts Barcelona. This summer 2023 pop-up is sure to draw a crowd to Barcelona’s waterfront, to take a seat beside Frank Gehry’s Fish sculpture and dine on the highest quality sashimi, tataki and meat cooked on the robata grill. It’s worth ordering the tasting menu for an overview – you’ll get an exquisite range of dishes including crab and black cod dumplings, soft shell crab and yellowtail sashimi.
Speakeasy-style The Pantry at Hotel Arts Barcelona has a chic, dark vibe, all plush curtains and flickering candles. Take a table here for hand-picked local tomatoes served with Catalan cheese, steak tartare made with beef from the Catalan Pyrenees, and Mediterranean sea bass with tiger prawns. Finish with a selection of cheese and come back on Sunday for El Vermut, a very local way of doing brunch, with regional dishes, a live band and bottomless drinks.
At seaside Sabàtic, Sitges, Autograph Collection, a laidback end of the week vibe prevails no matter when you visit – especially at the al fresco Pasatempo restaurant, with its sea views and Mediterranean cuisine. The specialty here is oven-roasted fish. Diners can choose from sea bass, turbot, sole and cod. Meat dishes include a pan-seared poussin and charcoal-grilled pork. Stick around for dessert and try the traditional orelletes de Sitges, a sweet pastry served with honey and anise.
Amid the hustle and bustle of Barcelona’s famous La Boqueria market, you’ll find the family-run tapas bar El Quim de la Boqueria. The atmosphere here is very much 'stools at the counter': no tables, no reservations. Wait your turn until one of the prized, brightly painted chairs becomes available, then order traditional Catalan dishes made using produce from the stalls that surround you. The grilled seafood is especially good and Quim’s signature dish is chipirones (baby squid) with fried eggs.
Gracing the heart of the dynamic Eixample district and with views out over the neighbourhood's comings and goings, the Goja Rooftop at Renaissance Barcelona is one of Barcelona’s latest hotspots. The food ranges from beef carpaccio and huevos rotos with jamón ibérico to rice with shrimp and cuttlefish, and there’s also rib eye steak and homemade cheesecake. Look out for live DJ sessions, and there’s a popular weekend brunch, plus cocktails both classic and cutting-edge.
Located in a traditional Catalan farmhouse that dates back to the 17th century, Can Travi Nou is one of Barcelona’s most romantic places to eat. Draped in bougainvillea, the restaurant blooms bright purple throughout the summer and is candlelit come nightfall. The tables on the terrace are the sort that tempt proposals and it’s no surprise that this is a popular wedding venue for locals. Dishes are high-end Catalan. Try the black rice, the sautéed lobster with chickpeas or the secreto Iberico pork dish, which comes with padrón peppers and cherries.
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Published: June 29, 2023
Article Tags: Barcelona
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