As well as iconic architecture, fantastic shopping and guaranteed sunshine, the Catalan capital also seduces visitors with its flourishing food scene. If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, here are our top recommendations for a fantastic foodie trip. We’ve hand-picked some of the best options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If you are looking for an excellent coffee to wake you up in the morning, then La Esquina should be on your radar for breakfast. The stylish restaurant, located right in Barcelona’s city centre, is well-known for its skilled baristas. From a simple but delicious buttery croissant to avocado toast or eggs Benedict, their breakfast menu doesn’t disappoint either.
Milk is famous for its so-called ‘recovery brunch’ because it sets you up for the day, even if you’re suffering from the worst hangover possible. Their brunch menu features an array of American-style breakfast options such as New York toasted bagels and pancakes, but you can also enjoy chorizo hash or Mediterranean toast. Tip: Try and get there early – Milk opens its doors at 9am – as the restaurant tends to get very busy and does not take reservations.
Start off your day by visiting one of Barcelona’s traditional food markets such as the Mercat de Sant Antoni in the heart of the city. Right next to the market you’ll find El Rebost De Sant Antoni, the perfect brunch stop offering traditional and market cuisine and a passion for authentic flavours. Enjoy a selection of cured meats, grilled Iberico pork, a wide range of cheeses, and delicatessen products sourced directly from their places of origin (Torreznos de Soria, Morcilla de Burgos and Jaén, Sobrasada de Menorca and many more).
You cannot visit Barcelona without walking along the famous Rambla Catalunya and taking in Spanish daily life. Why not stop at Taller de Tapas and enjoy an al fresco lunch at one of the shady tables on the tree-lined boulevard (just like Scarlett Johansson in Woody Allen’s movie “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”)? Give the roast Pyrenean lamb with rosemary and thyme a try or enjoy traditional Spanish tapas dishes such as crisp, fried artichoke shavings or sizzling chorizo cooked in Asturian cider.
Another great spot for lunch in the Catalan capital is Xemei, especially if you have had enough of tapas and paella for a while. We recommend Xemei and its outstanding Venetian cuisine and atmosphere. Tip: Owners Stefano and Max have collected a fantastic selection of wines and will match your food and drink choices absolutely perfectly.
After a long day of sightseeing, we recommend having dinner at Mariscco Reial right in the heart of Barcelona’s beautiful Gothic Quarter. The restaurant is located in a Renaissance building dating back to 1850. Besides offering fantastic Spanish cuisine, Mariscco Reial’s history is equally outstanding. It was once home to the Gran Café Español and later the Pedagogical Museum of Natural Sciences and taxidermy workshop, a quirky place frequented by the likes of Joan Miró, Ava Gardner and Salvador Dalí.
Looking to impress your other half? Then pay La Dama a visit – it’s the perfect spot for a romantic date night. Located in an elegant building hailing from the Catalan Art Nouveau era, La Dama provides traditional French cuisine and has a creative cocktail bar, so you can spend your entire evening under one roof. Tip: Try the lobster spaghetti or their signature dish steak tartar la Dama – you won’t be disappointed.
Lovers of seafood should definitely pay El Cangrejo Loco a visit. A firm favourite of royals all across Europe, you might be in luck and even see Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia or Britain’s Princess Anne at this very special location overlooking the Spanish coast. We recommend their fisherman-style paella – an absolute delight.
El Xalet de Montjuïc ticks all the boxes. Surrounded by Joan Brossa of Montjuïc’s gardens, the restaurant benefits from stunning views across Barcelona’s countryside whilst offering exquisite Mediterranean and Catalan cooking that bring traditional flavours and fresh local produce to life. Tip: Take a seat on its large panoramic terrace to make the most of the spectacular views. You’ll never want to leave!
Visit OpenTable to discover more restaurants in Barcelona and let us know your favourites.
This is a guest post from freelance journalist Beatrice Clark. She has written for Vogue, Glamour and Vanity Fair, among others, and has spent the past 15 years living in France, England and Scotland. She is currently based in Berlin and is always on the hunt for the perfect Eggs Benedict.