Make some room in the itinerary, here are the city’s must-visit restaurants.
The energy, the architecture, the food! It’s hard to beat a getaway to Spain’s Catelonian capital, Barcelona. We love to do a bit of foodie scouting before we hit a destination. This way you can pick out a few top spots you really want to go to (and make reservations if needed) before everyone gets tired and hungry walking up and down Las Ramblas. So here you have it, our list of everything wild and wonderful you have to eat while you’re in Barcelona.
There isn’t going to be a better stop for craft beer lovers, and unlike other beer-forward hotspots in the city, BierCab has a full menu to go with its 30 rotating taps. We’re talking gourmet wagyu beef burgers (topped with things like camembert, pesto gouda, Iberian pork, sunny-side-up eggs and sweet pepper jam) along with quick-bite sandwiches and snacks (like the spicy potato wedges). Inside, it’s a step up from a beer hall too, it’s very modern with wood-stick decor on the ceiling (which looks far more glamorous than it sounds), big angled wood bar tables and a bathroom that doubles as a light installation.
This is the type of place everyone looks for when travelling, but doesn’t always find. Don’t be fooled by the modest facade outside, this long, bustling hotspot is a favourite with locals (and celebs) because it has a lively atmosphere with rocking tapas at moderate prices. This is the place where you get to try and discover new dishes that will probably end up being the most memorable from the trip: tuna tartare, tuna with foie gras, fresh octopus, aubergine—don’t hold back, just order, and wash it all down with a big glass of cava.
Pizzeria Da Nanni Barcelona
Imagine all the restaurants that exist in a foodie destination like Barcelona (nearly 12,000)—and then let it sink in that this humble pizza joint is ranked on TripAdvisor at number two! It’s fast, affordable and pies are Italian-style, made from scratch and look like a cross between a Napoleon and a flatbread, piled high with roasted vegetables, freshly grated cheeses, house-made sauces and straight-from-the-butcher cured meats. Try and go here and not have the best pizza of your life, just try.
You’ve probably heard of pintxos before, these tasty bites are a subcategory of tapas with one major difference: they’re all skewered by sticks and toothpicks. Pintxo in Basque literally translates to thorn or spike, and a tray of pintxos is like a colourful flavour porcupine comin’ right atcha. Maitea Taberna is pintxos central in Barcelona, and has a loyal, dedicated following of regulars. There’s a great selection of hot and cold tapas to order (off an English menu), and the prices are so good you can try as many bites of pork cheek, white sausage or codfish with mousseline as you like. Naturally, this hoppin’ tapas bar has a fun atmosphere, so grab a seat at the bar and get ready to make friends.
Torre d’Alta Mar
You come to Barcelona, you want to see the view—the Torre d’Alta Mar is going to deliver. Located inside a funicular tower affords Alta Mar 360-degree views of Barcelona. It’s that jaw-dropping “Insta shot” restaurant with the upscale food to match: dishes like fried niguiri with smoked sardines and plankton wasabi, or scallops with black garlic, daikon and black turnip, plus more experimental plates like the “Orchard” which features veggies on a bed of fake edible soil. It’s not exactly budget-friendly (mains are around 30 euros a plate, one of the tasting menus is 80 euros), but if you’re only doing Barcelona once, this is a showstopper.
If you’re travelling to Barcelona with your significant other, a few romantic haunts should be on your list and you’ve got to include La Dama. You’ll find this French bistro-esque eatery inside the Casa Sayrach. This residence was designed by an Antoni Gaudí-influenced architect, Manuel Sayrach, so the mansion’s restaurant features fabulous melting doorways, wood lattice work and sumptuously rich velvets and leather furnishings. The lighting? Dim and moody, perfect for a romantic dinner in a beautiful setting with great upscale food (oysters, lobster, scallops, etc.).
Have we saved the best for last? Die-hard foodies will certainly think so. The Insta-famous Disfrutar is a wild Michelin-starred ride into the thrilling and confusing world of molecular gastronomy. Dishes look nothing like what you’ve ordered, and perhaps aren’t even recognizable as food, but they can take you to places you never knew a bit of glass pasta carbonara could. Veggie puree cubes in the shape of a caterpillar roaming a garden, a red dinosaur with a ladder that leads to a deep-fried croquette tower—the menu changes all the time, there’s no predicting what you’ll see or taste—you’ve just got to go, and try to book a few months in advance.