Great Restaurants In the Heart of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter

Barcelona's Ciutat Vella is best known for the Gothic Quarter. The heart of the city's history, culture and local vibe, it's no wonder you'll find some of the tastiest and most authentic restaurants in this part of town. Whether you're looking for local Catalan dishes, gastro tapas or rustic hole in the wall joints, the Gothic Neighborhood has it all. Amongst the windy streets and tucked away courtyards, the Gotico hosts some of Barcelona's most well-known locales. Plaza Sant Jus in particular is ripe with excellent restaurants from Pla, to Bliss, to Cafe L'Academia and the best cocktail bar in town, Ginger. Just a short walk down the road, Plaza Reial (right off La Rambla) is a bit more touristy, but full of renowned restaurants including Les Quinze Nits, which ALWAYS has a line up, so be sure to show up early as they don't take reservations.

Another popular street is Calle Escudellers, where the chickens from Caracoles restaurant can be seen spinning in the window and known for being delicious. 

Whether you're in the mood for fine dining or 'greasy tapas', the Gothic Quarter is one of the trendiest and liveliest places in the city in which to enjoy great eats in an eclectic atmosphere. 


There is always a line up outside Les Quinze Nits. Part of the Andilana Restaurant group, although this place can be slightly touristy, it's one of the tastiest Gothic Quarter restaurants. Their dishes have a Mediterranean and Catalan flare and are all reasonably priced. One of the best parts about Les Quinze Nits is its location. Perfectly situated, overlooking the always lively, Plaza Reial, you can enjoy dinner while feasting your eyes upon the performers who are always there to entertain during dinner (breakfast and lunch as well). The palm trees and gorgeous lights make for a romantic and very special evening.

Recommended for Gothic Quarter's Best Restaurants because: Les Quinze Nits is a Barcelona staple and a favourite in the Gothic Quarter

Sam's expert tip: Show up early as you can't reserve and there are ALWAYS long lines

Read more about Les Quinze Nits →

Los Caracoles

Sight, smell and taste converge when you see the large wall of roasting chickens at one of Barcelona's most famous restaurants. Dine on incredible Catalan dishes of roasted meats, fresh fish dishes and snails. Los Caracoles is one of the city's most famous chicken restaurants. Luring people in with it's mouth-watering roasted chicken which can be spotten from La Rambla (down the street) this restaurant is always packed with locals and tourists alike. Located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, on Calle Escudellers, it's right around the corners from Plaza Reial and Plaza Tripi, both of which are excellent areas for a night on the town.

Recommended for Gothic Quarter's Best Restaurants because: Los Caracoles is one of Barcelona's most famous chicken restaurants

Sam's expert tip: After dinner check out Marula Cafe just down the street

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Ginger Bar

With its hanging disco ball, plush leather seats and wooden tables, many Ginger fans have coined this trendy wine and cocktail bar as an 'airport lounge'. It is however, rather known for it's innovative cocktails, wide selection of amazing wine and high quality tapas. This is a Barcelona gem, ideal for weekend adventures, intimate drinks and lively evenings on the town. Ginger is nestled behind Plaza Sant Jaume, in Plaza San Jus a little hard to find if you don't know where to look, but once you stumble upon it you'll be sure to mark the spot; if you're up for dinner after a few drinks, check out Pla restaurant which is right around the corner.

Recommended for Gothic Quarter's Best Restaurants because: Ginger is the best wine bar and tapas restaurant in the Old City

Sam's expert tip: Try their tuna tartar and duck tapas dishes as well as the Gordito wine.

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Els 4Gats

Els 4Gats, or 'Four Cats' is one of Barcelona's most famous restaurants. Most well known for being Picasso's watering hole, it opened in June, 1897 in a building designed but architect Puig i Cadafalch and instantly caught peoples' attention due to its artistic detail and unusual design. When Picasso was 17 he began frequenting the locale and even carried out his first exhibit in the large room at the back. It was his poster that was used as the main page for the menu. Today, 4Gats is a popular tourist destination but also holds fond memories for locals, especially those in the Gothic Quarter.

Recommended for Gothic Quarter's Best Restaurants because: Picasso's Old Watering Hole and a Catalan Staple, this place is worth a visit even if you're not going to eat there

Sam's expert tip: Be sure to reserve a seat at the back in the large room

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Andu Bar

Romantic, intimate and cozy, this dimly lit wine and tapas bar is tucked away on one of the Gothic Quarters' many side streets. Ideal for dates or a few drinks with friends, it's owned by a Canadian and the service is top notch and so is the food. Andu has a particularly good wine list, with a variety of Spanish wines and a few international bottles on the menu. Their comfy couches and wooden tables provide for a very intimate atmosphere and although its more frequented during the colder winter months, Andu still appeals to the summer crowd, especially late nights on the weekends.

Recommended for Gothic Quarter's Best Restaurants because: Great tapas bar and restaurant with a fun outdoor patio

Sam's expert tip: Try their hummus

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Wine and tapas bar in the center of the Gothic Quarter, Jet Lag is a welcome new addition to Barcelona's bar scene. Nestled behind Plaza Sant Jus, just up from Jaume Metro station, Jet Lag serves a range of amazing, international wines including those from France, Argentina, Italy and Chile. They also have great cheese plates and tasty bread as well as an extensive menu including salads meats, fish dishes and a variety of other options. Although Jet Lag isn't large, it's always full and never feels crowded. The owners are delightful and eager to make sure your stay is as comfortable as possible.

Recommended for Gothic Quarter's Best Restaurants because: Jet Lag has an excellent wine list and great service

Sam's expert tip: Every Thursday get free tapas when you buy a drink.

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Café de l'Acadèmia

Casually appointed with wicker chairs and walls of stone, this restaurant exudes a chic, rustic feel. Strains of classical music can be heard by diners feasting on new Catalan cuisine such as chicken brochette, quail with soy and sesame, and paella in fish broth with prawns. Cafe L'Academia is typically Catalan with a slightly modern twist. Less 'stuffy' than other Catalan establishments, the food is authentic, and the vibe slightly more lively. Situated in Plaza Sant Jus, in the heart of the Gothic Quarter you're surrounded by great bars and after dinner places to have a tasty and always needed, digestif.

Recommended for Gothic Quarter's Best Restaurants because: Cafe L'Academia combines Catalan cuisine with a modern twist

Sam's expert tip: After dinner have a cocktail around the corner at Ginger bar

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Tucked away in Plaza Sant Juss, Bliss is both a cozy coffee, tea and tapas joint as well as a thriving summer time venue due to it's great out door patio. The back room is full of plus couches and comfy chairs which makes it hard to leave and ideal for chatting with friends over coffee and a few plates of delicious tapas. Their couches suck you in making it hard to leave, thus providing for one of the best places for tea time in the city. Their extensive menu caters to those looking for a simple pot of herbal tea to those wanting a slightly more sophisticated brew.

Recommended for Gothic Quarter's Best Restaurants because: Bliss is always open! It's the surest best in the Gotico with great food, excellent service and a nice patio.

Sam's expert tip: Try Their Ginger Tea

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Before you order at Pla, the waiter will pull up a chair, sit at the edge of your table and discuss the daily specials. They'll then answer any questions you might have about the menu and recommend an amazing wine from their very extensive list. This is Pla! 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 varied 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.

Recommended for Gothic Quarter's Best Restaurants because: Pla is Quaint and Charming with high quality food in a romantic setting

Sam's expert tip: Be sure to reserve and keep in mind dinner is done in shifts so you only have two hours to eat from the time you sit down (which is usually enough).

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Old Town
El Salón

The antique decor that adorns El Sal�n is simply charming, and the menu is equally impressive. It is based on a Catalan traditional menu, but it is colored with French influence. Dishes you should try include the seared tuna, lamb and aubergine tart with goat's cheese and pesto. El Salon is one of few Barcelona restaurants that has no problem adjusting the menu for specific clients. If you're a vegetarian, or allergic to certain ingredients, they'll make you a special plate that's not on the menu at no extra charge. The owners pride themselves on customer service and its evident in the quality of the food and their attention to detail.

Recommended for Gothic Quarter's Best Restaurants because: El Salon has the greatest outdoor patio in the summer, behind the old Roman Wall

Sam's expert tip: One of the only outdoor patios you can reserve in the summer

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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