Best Restaurants in Barcelona

Barcelona's Hottest and Trendiest Restaurants in and Around the Downtown Core

Ferran Adria and Jordi Vila are just two names amongst many, who draw self proclaimed foodies and culinary 'know-it-all's' from all corners of the world, to Catalonia. Barcelona's reputation as a gastronomic hub has flourished over the years and only continues to grow and make a name for itself as one of the greatest cities for innovative, creative and avant-garde cuisine. Whether you're looking for authentic hole in the wall joints full of character and culture, an informal and lively ambiance in a trendy downtown restaurant, or high quality tapas in an elegant and classy establishment, there is truly something for all tastes in Barcelona. Between the rustic Gothic Quarter, posher Born district to the often seedy Ravel in the Old City and into the more upscale Eixample district in the newer areas, Barcelona's restaurant scene is as eclectic as the people who inhabit and frequent it. A few notable places to consider are Montiel, 41 Degrees (if you can get tickets), Paco Meralgo, Pakta and Comerc 24. There is also a host of Michelin Star establishments in the city as well as just outside. The number one restaurant in the world, El Cellar Can Roca, is only an hour and a half away outside of Girona. 



A trendy, young, lively and unique restaurant that specializes in Asian tapas. Mosquito has found its niche offering the most amazing Dim Sum and dumplings, you'll actually feel like you're in Hong Kong and China, while dipping into a wide variety of tapas amongst friends. Mosquito is a small place in the heart of the Born, owned and run by a British native who spent years in Asia mastering the art of Asian cuisine. This place is always packed and for good reason. You can't make reservations on certain days so if it's a weekend be sure to show up before 8:30pm if you want a table without having to wait in line for hours.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Mouth watering Asian tapas in a rustic and unpretentious locale

Sam's expert tip: They have an excellent selection of local as well as international beer.

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Café de l'Acadèmia

This is one of those restaurants where you always find yourself passing by, staring at the people in the window, mouth drooling wishing you were sitting at their table. There's something that draws people to Cafe de L'Academia, whether it's the invigorating ambiance, chic yet rustic decor or the classical music that is often played in the background during the meal, it's hard not to enjoy this restaurant. There are two floors so although it's small there's enough room that you don't feel like you're being packed in. They also have a great outdoor patio which is very romantic in the evenings and sunny during the days.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Tasty Catalan food in a modern and cool setting with a great patio

Sam's expert tip: Ask about their rooms for large parties.

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A hip, New York style gastro tapas bar in the heart of the Born neighborhood. Llamber is chic and trendy, set in a loft style setting with exposed brick and a mix of high top tables and regular seating. The restaurant prides itself on quality, fresh food from the market as well as it's incredible wine list with a whopping 30 wines by the glass. This is a chic new place in Barcelona to dine with friends or on a date. It's also great for family outings perhaps on a special occasion. It's quite roomy and great for large groups.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Delicious, trendy tapas in a cool loft style restaurant in the Born

Sam's expert tip: Try their salad it's incredible and innovative

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Comerc 24

This Michelin star restaurant boasts the best of both worlds; an eclectic tapas bar with the service of an elegant restaurant. Avant-Garde with a modern decor, Comerc 24 has been hailed as a Barcelona 'must-try' from foodies worldwide. Renowned chef, Carles Abellan's reputation precedes him and his talents shine through his innovative and delicious dishes. There is a set menu and a la carte options, so if you have vegetarians amongst you be sure to let them know in advance so they can prepare something. This is a wonderful place for a special dinner with a loved one or group of friends.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: A Michelin-Star restaurant in the Born neighborhood, not to be missed.

Sam's expert tip: Book well in advance the restaurant is always packed. If it's full ask to be seated at the bar.

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Mediterranean inspired cuisine with Spanish influence, this intimate and elegant restaurant is an excellent find in the heart of the Old City. Pla has an extensive menu including fish, meats, salads as well as seasonal specialties and mouth watering desserts. It's classy yet unpretentious and a perfect place to spend a truly enjoyable evening. This is a wonderful experience on all levels. The waiters are attentive and fun, even sitting beside you while they tell you the daily specials. The menu is innovative and only uses the highest quality ingredients. They also have a great wine list with plenty of options for both red and white wine lovers.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: A romantic and charming restaurant in the heart of the Gothic Quarter

Sam's expert tip: Be sure to reserve and keep in mind dinner is done in shifts, 9pm and 11pm

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Paco Meralgo

Innovative tapas in the heart of the Eixample, Paco Meralgo's minimalist decor doesn't take away from its warm atmosphere and absolutely delicious food. It's fair to say that this restaurant has some of the most unique tapas in the city, offering dishes that are hard to find in other places. Their large windows and bar stools provide for an airy feel and excellent people watching, especially during the day time. Once you are finished dining take advantage of the great location and check out some of the wonderful bars and clubs in the 'gayeixample' neighborhood just a few blocks down.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Delicious gastro tapas in an authentic setting in the trendy Eixample neighborhood

Sam's expert tip: Check out their takeaway paella option on Saturday & Sundays.

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Old Town
El Salón

Charming, quaint and one of the only restaurants in Barcelona that takes reservations on their outdoor terrace, El Salon is a always a sure bet for out-of-towners, dates and intimate evenings amongst close friends. Featuring a mix of Catalan and French cuisine, the inside of the restaurant has a classic and authentic feel while the patio nestled out back creates a friendly and warm ambiance as it sits alongside several other bars and restaurants, all situated within close proximity of each other. This is a delicious restaurant with friendly staff who take great pride in their food, service and in providing an overall enjoyable experience.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Delicious food with a beautiful terrace surrounded by old Roman Walls

Sam's expert tip: Try their tuna steak and aubergine.

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Fabulous cooking classes by a professional nutritionist and vegan cook. This is less of a traditional restaurant and more of a home experience plus cooking class, which ends in a three-course meal. Pabulum focuses on fresh, organic, local and in season foods, providing private and group cooking classes in a modern, trendy loft in the Gothic Quarter. Classes and dinners are run by a native American with a passion for food and not only are incredibly fun and informative, but focus on creating pretty, elegant dishes that are sure to impress vegans and non-vegans alike. Cocktails and an amuse-bouche accompanies the classes. If you'd rather not participate and just watch the magic happen, that's possible as well. (NA)

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: The best 'local restaurant' in the city with hands on participation for aspiring cooks

Sam's expert tip: Schedule in advance as classes are limited

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There are few Barcelona restaurants able to beat the charm, elegance and eclectic menu found at Montiel. Hidden on one of the narrow side streets in the Born, this small, two-story restaurant has mouth watering tapas, meats, starters and above all they have an excellent selection of fresh fish daily. One of the only places in the city that has fish on Mondays (for the most part fish is not caught and sold on Sundays), this is a sure bet for dates, guests or an intimate evening out. This is a wonderful place to go for date night or an intimate night out with good friends.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Trendy Mediterranean cuisine in a charming and intimate setting

Sam's expert tip: Try their sirloin steak and tuna tartar.

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An Italian landmark in Barcelona, Murivecchi is renowned for its delicious food, authentic Italian flair and attentive staff. Known as one of the city's most scrumptious Italian restaurants, Murivecchi has made quite a name for itself over the years. Everything on its extensive menu is made of the highest quality and freshest ingredients. Some particularly mouthwatering dishes include the burrata, the steak, the tuna and of course every single pizza option. Not only are the staff highly trained and innovative, they're also flexible, catering to guests who are vegan, gluten-free or have other dietary restrictions.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Best Italian restaurant in Barcelona. Delicious food authentically Italian

Sam's expert tip: Every Thursday they're now doing an Aperitif

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Meet Sam Mednick

Sam’s passion for the sea and mountains makes Barcelona the optimal living destination. 

Sam's love for traveling has taken her to Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South America. Before...  More About Sam