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. One of the city's first gastro tapas restaurants, Paco Meralgo has a mix of elegant dishes as well as homey Catalan favourites including pan con tomate and a mouth watering tortilla (Spanish omelet).
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Delicious gastro tapas in a spacious restaurant, great for groups
Sam's expert tip: Check out their takeaway paella option on Saturday & Sundays.
A family owned and run, quaint tapas restaurant in the Eixample neighborhood, La Pepita has made quite a name for itself with its high quality food and understated, yet classy ambiance. The restaurant is tiny with a room at the back, which can hold around 15-20 people. Ask for 'mama Pepita'; a wealth of knowledge and quite the comedian as well. She'll make the evening that much more enjoyable, especially if you ask her to recommend f few of her favourites. The front bar is ideal for a few drinks or cocktails and tapas before venturing into the rest of the Eixample for a night on the town.
Bright, airy and absolutely delicious, this is a Barcelona gem. Tucked away in Barceloneta, only a three-minute walk from the water, Segons Mercat prides itself on serving high quality tapas, especially when it comes to their fish and seafood. There are two locations in the city, one in the Old City and the other on Gran Via in the Eixample district. Segons Mercat is off the beaten path and one of the places most tourists would never find unless with a local. Their tapas are high quality and tasty and they're ideal for large groups, especially at their Gran Via location in the Eixample.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Delicious food and perfect for large groups who want an authentic tapas experience
Sam's expert tip: Order the asparagus with goat's cheese and the 'ternera' (beef).
An excellent gastro tapas bar in the Old City right near Arc De Triomf at the edge of the Born neighborhood. Elsa y Fred sports an early 1920's decor and provides an elegant understated vibe. It's a great place for a morning coffee and paper, tapas lunch and delicious dinner. On Tuesday nights they have Jazz and on weekends they're always packed for brunch. They also have a wonderful new breakfast menu with 'American Style' options such as omletes and pancakes depending on the day. This is a trendy, tapas restaurant/bistro in the Born and a great place for good conversation and a fun evening out.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Mouth watering gastro tapas in the Born, with a long table perfect for small groups
Sam's expert tip: Be sure to reserve in advance on Tuesdays and on the weekends
A beef lover's paradise, El Foro cooks a mean Argentinean bife de chorizo and is one of the few places in Barcelona that knows how to make a steak 'poco hecho' (bloody rare). This lively, airy and spacious restaurant is excellent for dates, parties or just an intimate evening out amongst friends. When it comes to lunch, they have a very affordable three-course lunch menu. Even if you're not a carnivore, you still have options; El Foro has an extensive menu including pasta, pizza and salad dishes amongst other Argentinean specialties. Every morning El Foro also features a small breakfast menu, with fresh orange juice; the restaurant also has free wi-fi.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: The best steak house in the city with a private room for groups and a huge downstairs
Sam's expert tip: Try their Bianchi Malbec, an excellent and reasonably priced Argentinean wine. They also have a tasty and cheap, three-course menu del dia for lunch.
Not only does this sleek yet rustic restaurant/bar sport a large breakfast menu, but it is one of few places in Barcelona to offer bagels as well. Situated in the up and coming Raval neighborhood in the Old City, Dostrece's brunch and lunch menu is hard to beat. With a wide variety of eggs dishes, cheeses, breads, yogurts and even fruit smoothies for brunch and mouthwatering hamburgers and sandwiches for lunch, Dostrece has high quality food in a very cool atmosphere. Don't be fooled however, this trendy restaurant turns into a lively bar and lounge in the evening with a stage downstairs, ideal for live music venues and djs.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Homey and tasty food in the Raval, great for small parties and evenings with groups
Sam's expert tip: Check out the 25 Euro menu deal for larger groups
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 Group Friendly because: Intimate and romantic with two floors and enough space for an intimate small group
Sam's expert tip: Be sure to reserve and keep in mind dinner is done in shifts, 9pm and 11pm
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 Group Friendly because: Large, yet intimate, a great place for groups to either have a drink at the bar or dinner
Sam's expert tip: Try their salad it's incredible and innovative
Upscale wine bar and restaurant in the heart of the Eixample, Monvinic is for wine lovers and foodies. Featuring a selection of international and Spanish high quality wines, every day they open a selection of thirty wines from around the world, all available for wine tastings or to drink with mouth watering tapas, cheese and cavier dishes. The bar area is nice for a small group of people of up to about 5, and the dinner area is best for larger numbers. It's more spacious with excellent service and delicious high quality food. It's a nice place to start at the bar and then move into the dining room.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: High-end wine bar with a restaurant, ideal for small and large groups
Sam's expert tip: Try their eggs with truffles and fried potatoes
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. The restaurant works great both for intimate one-on-one dinners as well as larger group events.
Recommended for Group Friendly because: Their second floor is perfect for groups, small and intimate yet very spacious
Sam's expert tip: Try their sirloin steak and tuna tartar