A slice of Paris in the heart of Barcelona's Ciutate Vella, if you're in the mood for a french cafe/bistro, this is the place to go. Run by all French staff, this rustic, quaint and incredibly personable cafe acts as a restaurant as well as a late night wine bar. It's an ideal place to set up shop and work for the day using their free Wi-Fi while sipping on a glass of Bordeaux accompanied with a plate of Comte cheese. If you're not in the mood for French wine however, they also have an excellent tea list and comfy leather arm chairs in the far left hand corner, ideal for reading, working and relaxing.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Delicious French food in an intimate and beautiful setting in one of the Born's Plazas
Sam's expert tip: Try their Comte and Ham salad
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 Outdoor Dining because: A sunny, fun and easily accessible terrace in the Born with great sun
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.
Featuring a mix of high quality Oriental and Mediterranean cuisine, Salero was established before the Born became trendy and is now one of the 'go to' hot spots for delicious food and fun evenings out on the town. Dim lighting and candlelit tables coupled with a warm and somehow magical ambiance, make this restaurant ideal for dates. Although the majority of their tables are indoors, there are a few outside, which are great for people watching while you dine. Since it's situated in the heart of the action, when dinner's over all you have to do is step outside and you have tons of options at your fingertips in order to keep the night going.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: A small terrace just off Passeig Del Born. Great for people watching and romance
Sam's expert tip: They have a few outdoor tables but be sure to reserve them in advance especially in the summer.
A trendy and cute Italian restaurant in the Born neighborhood, Obe has a vast Italian wine list and a delicious selection of pastas, meat, fish and antipasta cuisine. The restaurant is a new addition to Born's already thriving culinary scene and is fast becoming known for its top notch service and high quality food. Although Obe is primarily Italian, it has a variety of options and is more of an Italian/Mediterranean Fusion restaurant. Located behind the Santa Cata Market, Obe has an excellently situated outdoor patio, adjacent to other restaurants, yet far enough away that you don't feel squished. It's ideal in the summer and perfect for those looking for an enjoyable meal in a vibrant atmosphere.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: A quaint, terrace tucked away in the Born with delicious Italian food and wine
Sam's expert tip: Try the Risotto with saut�ed shrimp
It's hard to get more Catalan than Sol De Nit, located in Plaza Del Sol. This tiny restaurant has one of the best terraces, ideal for gawking at hippie Catalans, buskers, performers, runaway dogs and for sun tanning, especially during the summer. Their food is cheap and tasty and it's one of a handful of places you can sit for hours and not even notice the time pass you by. During the hot summer months, their terrace is shaded with an abundance of parasols and in the winter, no matter how cold it might get, it's always sunny enough on the patio to stay warm while you dine.
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 Outdoor Dining because: Gorgeous terrace surrounded by the old Roman Wall in the heart of the Gotico
Sam's expert tip: One of the only outdoor patios you can reserve in the summer
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. The upstairs dining area is roomy enough to accommodate large parties, but the best part about Cafe de L'Academia is their outdoor, candlelit terrace. Situated in Plaza Sant Jus, this is one of the most romantic terrazas, as it's tucked away amongst the windy, mysterious streets of the Gothic Quarter; close to the action but far from the noise.
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.
One of the most well known Tapas joints in the city, Tapas 24 features high quality food with a greasy flare. Their menu is diverse with a variety of Spanish, Catalan and Mediterranean options. The restaurant itself is tiny with a few outdoor tables on the patio, ideal during summer and heated in the winter. You can't make reservations and the place is always packed so it's best to go early especially on weekends. Their patatas bravas, croquettas and tortilla (Spanish style omelet with potato and egg) are all worth ordering as is their cava sangria which is even better than the traditional one which has wine instead of cava (Spanish Champagne).
Tucked away in the Raval, in the gardens of the Old Hospital Santa Creu, El Jardi is a quaint and very charming outdoor tapas bar and restaurant. Ideal during the spring and summer, the restaurant serves fresh salads and tapas and also features an extensive wine list. During the winter the outdoor heaters and blankets provide for a cozy and fairly warm atmosphere, while during the summer, it's hard to find a more romantic place to dine or to have an intimate evenings amongst friends. And if you have a large group ask to use the back of the garden where they can set up several tables.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: A unique and authentic place to dine outdoors surrounded by a beautiful garden
Sam's expert tip: They don't take reservations so if you're going for lunch show up before 1:30pm if you want a table, especially during the summer