I’ve been waiting for over A YEAR to write a guide to Barcelona food and restaurants. Why’d I wait so long, you ask? Well, my husband and I actually got engaged in Barcelona, so when we got back, the next 14 months were filled with wedding and honeymoon plans galore (I wouldn’t change a thing, but my Barcelona guide had to temporarily be put on the back burner…womp womp.)
But, I’ve finally gotten around to writing this post and I couldn’t be happier to share it with you. Barcelona will always have a special place in my heart. It’s a romantic city with lots of gorgeous architecture—and of course, crazy-delicious food. One of my best friends, Ana, lives there and showed us all of the best places to eat when we went to visit her last summer. Today, I’m passing on that insider knowledge—plus, some helpful tips and tricks I’m glad Ana told us when we went to Spain.
Best for dinner with friends: Ca L’Andreu
The first night we arrived in Barcelona, we stumbled upon this restaurant. We were attending a flamenco show at the Palau de la Musica, and everywhere in the area was packed and kind of touristy. After walking down some back alleys, we found Ca L’Andreu, and I’m so glad we did. We started with a bottle of cava (the 1551 Codorniu, which was so crisp and refreshing!), and shared several tapas. I highly recommend the butifarra—a snappy, slightly spicy sausage that was absolutely delicious. But the craziest and most unforgettable part of the night may not have been the food—we actually had a private flamenco show that rivaled the show we saw at the Palau de la Musica later that evening.
Ca L’Andreu: Carrer del Bou de Sant Pere, 13, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Best lunch spot: Mercat de la Boqueria
Okay, bare with me. I know la boqueria is situated right near “Las Ramblas”, the super touristy area that’s infamous for pickpockets, but I absolutely think it’s worth a visit. It’s like a farmer’s market with only local Spanish foods—think jamon Iberico, fresh fruit, olive oil, fresh chiles, manchego cheese, chocolate, and more. It would be a great place to pick up a grab-and-go snack lunch and head to La Ciutadella for a picnic (it’s about a 20 minute walk, but it’s a scenic one).
Mercat de la Boqueria: La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Best for tapas: Vinitus
The sangria, pulpo (octopus), patatas bravas, bacalao (salt cod), and crema Catalana (the Spanish version of creme brûlée) are NOT to be missed at this spot. It gets packed, and they don’t take reservations, so it’s best to go during the week if possible.
Vinitus: Carrer del Consell de Cent, 333, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Best for a night out: Espit Chupitos
I can say without a doubt that my husband, Nick, had the most fun at this place. It’s a shot (“chupitos”) bar with literally hundreds of different shots on the menu. You have no idea what you’re ordering—your only hints are the emojis next to the shot’s name to indicate “flaming”, “fun”, “sweet”, or “spicy”. Warning: This is not a family-friendly place, and you’ll probably make some questionable decisions if you drink here (those shots sneak up on ya!) If you really want to have a good time, order the Monica Lewinsky shot. 😉
Espit Chupitos: Carrer del Consell de Cent, 268, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
Best paella: Xiringuito Escriba
Looking for a romantic date night spot, or a fun place to meet up with friends? This is a winner for both. It’s situated right on the beach, and the kitchen is totally open, so you can watch the chefs make giant (and, I mean GIANT) trays of paella. We tried an original paella, and then a black paella with squid ink.
Xiringuito Escriba: Av. del Litoral, 62, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
Best for day drinking: Freixenet or Moritz Brewery
Freixenet is a cava vineyard that was just a short train ride away from Barcelona city center, and the train drops you off right next to the vineyard. In my opinion, it’s totally worth visiting. The cava was delicious, reasonably priced, and we ended up buying a few bottles to take home. You also get several samples, so you’ll end up with a pretty nice buzz (thank God for public transportation after all that cava tasting!)
Freixenet: Plaça Joan Sala, 2, 08770 Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Barcelona, Spain
Moritz Brewery was great, but unfortunately we were rushing to catch a train so didn’t get to spend as much time there as we would’ve liked (literally, the train doors shut after we sprinted on, it was like a movie!) At Moritz, we each tried the three-beer flight, and the Moritz Original was my personal favorite. It was also one of the few places that was air conditioned, which was a welcome reprieve from the July heat.
Moritz Brewery: Ronda de Sant Antoni, 39, 41, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
Best for a date night: Isabella’s
My then-boyfriend (now husband) and I went to Isabella’s for a date night in Barcelona, and it was so perfect.Sure, it’s an Italian restaurant in Barcelona (not exactly local), but Isabella’s has a funky, bohemian vibe and tons of candles, which adds to the romantic ambiance. The carbonara with fresh truffle was out of this world, and I still dream about the house-made tiramisu.
Isabella’s: Carrer de Ganduxer, 50, 08021 Barcelona, Spain