Feast Your Eyes on This Barcelona Food Tour
Get a true taste of the city with this guide to the best restaurants, markets and pincho bars in Barcelona
There are so many reasons to visit Barcelona. Offering brazenly beautiful architecture, thrilling nightlife and a Mediterranean pace of life, Barcelona is arguably the cultural capital of Spain. It also boasts an astonishing array of gastronomical delights, from intimate, family-owned tapas bars to avant-garde Michelin-starred restaurants, so there's something for every food-lover in this stretch of the Costa Brava coastline. There is no better city in Catalonia for a foodie trip, so read on to discover some of our top picks for the best Barcelona food tour. Here at Plum Guide, we pride ourselves on doing the hard work so you don't have to, and we accept nothing but the best, so you can comfortably trust our expert advice.
Grab yourself a table at Gresca
A local favourite, Gresca is a tiny restaurant with enormous flair that deserves a place on any Barcelona long weekend itinerary. Nestled in the shabbier quarters of the Eixample district, this modest wine bar has clearly channelled its energies into content over style, but for those seeking exceptional cuisine at an affordable price, owner Rafa Penya delivers. Relatively new, Gresca is a wonderfully understated jewel, and at €50 for a seven-course meal, you can also enjoy its equally outstanding wine selection without wincing when the bill arrives. The veal sweetbreads with mustard potato are highly recommended. Thinking of staying in the neighbourhood? Gaudí's Balcony is one of our top Plum picks.
Experience new taste sensations at Dos Palillos
Only a two minute walk from the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Dos Palillos (Spanish for 'Two Chopsticks') deftly fuses Japanese and Spanish cuisine to Michelin-starred effect. For those seeking an adventurous alternative to regional highlights during your Barcelona food tour, Albert Raurich's menu delivers in abundance. A veteran chef of the world-renowned El Bulli, Raurich has gone solo, launching a restaurant in El Raval that proudly bears the hallmarks of its owner's culinary history. Thoroughly unpredictable, adventurous, and, most importantly, delicious, this is a prime pick for anyone with a yen for gastro-tourism. Lose your inhibitions and dive into a dish of Szechuan-style jellyfish or Iberian-Cantonese pork jowl, to experience two distinct cultures blended in a deliciously original way.
Enjoy authentic paella at La Perla
As the saying goes, ‘when in Rome’ (or even Barcelona), any food enthusiast in search of authentically cooked paella, arguably Spain's most quintessential dish, should look no further than La Perla, a family-run diner where you can expect some of the best rice in town. Always cooked from scratch, using the freshest possible ingredients, these are paella recipes that have been handed down over generations, and the results show. Avoid the tourist traps in Barcelona's centre, and seek out this humble, authentic eatery in the Las Ramblas region of the city.
Embrace the chaos of La Boqueria
No Barcelona food tour would be complete without being swept along in the sensory chaos of La Boqueria, easily the most famous of Barcelona's 39 food markets, also located in Las Ramblas. The sights, smells, and sounds of La Boqueria make for a thrilling environment in which to sample some of the best street-food in Catalonia. It's a great place to entertain the little ones if you're looking for things to do in Barcelona with kids. You may be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the city’s top chefs as they pick the freshest produce to serve that day. Be sure to nurture an appetite, as the best way to experience the throng is to do so whilst nibbling on an endless array of tapas. Succulent Iberian ham, zingy citrus smoothies, and plump, garlicky olives are available at every turn, but you can also squeeze in to one of its many delightful bars for a sit-down snack if your legs need a rest. Bar Ramblero is the critics' choice for seafood, and the garbanzo beans and sausage served at Pinotxo Bar has earned its status as a foodie favourite.
Sample pinchos all over the city
Originating from the Basque country, pinchos are ubiquitous in the Basque Country - and in the Poble Sec quarter of Barcelona, they are particularly good. (So make sure to find a home in the neighbourhood so that you're close to these foodie favourites). Their main allure lies in their versatility - essentially, a pincho consists of a small slice of toasted bread, on a skewer, served with pretty much... anything. Hot, cold, sweet or savoury, pinchos are the tapas of choice for late-night revellers. Varieties include Spanish tortilla, grilled prawns, garlic squid, cured meats and regional cheeses. If the ingredients are at hand, so are the pinchos. Always at an affordable price, and often included with a beer, pinchos bars Zeruko, Maitea, Bilbao Berria, Golfo de Bizkaia and Els Pinxus are some of the best in the area.