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 Barna (as it’s sometimes called by locals), here are our top recommendations for where to dine like a local in Barcelona. We’ve hand-picked some of the best options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Brunch at El Rebost De Sant Antoni
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 flavors. 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). Make a reservation at El Rebost De Sant Antoni.
Traditional lunch at Taller de Tapas – Rambla Catalunya
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. Make a reservation at Taller de Tapas.
Venetian lunch at Xemei
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. Make a reservation at Xemei.
Date night at La Dama
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. Make a reservation at La Dama.
Authentic dinner at El Cangrejo Loco
Lovers of seafood should definitely pay El Cangrejo Loco a visit. A firm favorite 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. Make a reservation at El Cangrejo Loco.
El Xalet de Montjuïc for a special occasion
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 flavors 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! Make a reservation at El Xalet de Montjuïc.
Visit OpenTable to discover more great restaurants in Barcelona and let us know your picks for where to dine like a local in Barcelona here or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Freelance journalist Beatrice Clark 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.
All photos courtesy of the restaurants featured.