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These are a few suggestions of where and what to eat in Barcelona.
1. Luz de Gas, Port Vell, Delante Palau de Mar. Save this for a sunny afternoon. It is a two-tiered boat that is moored in the harbor and which has seating on the boat and on the pier next to where the boat is tied up. You can usually expect to wait about 15 minutes for a table on the boat and in the shade of an umbrella As an example, a plate of cheese, lentils with sausage, prawns, and a bottle of wine will cost approximately 32.00e for two. You can just have drinks here and it is very pleasant.
2. Kiosko Universal in the Boqueria. It is so busy here for lunch that you have to tell one waiter, who waits on tables off to the side, how many you are. If you manage to just sit down you might be asked to get back up if there were people ahead of you. It is not unlikely to wait an hour for two seats but you can sip a beer or two to help pass the time and it is worth it. (You might notice that there are "friends of the house" who got seats before you, but be patient). And be warned: They close at 4:00 and if you get there after 3:30, you might not get a seat. The later you go, the more chance something will be sold out.
The Kiosko serves one of the best tapas in Barcelona, a big, double hand-full of terriminos. These are tiny clams, no more than a half-inch across that are grilled with oil and salt. They open up and you eat them one-at-a-time with a beer or copa of cava. Then you can have a plate of grilled vegetables, a plate of grilled squid with potatoes. *Then* a grilled fillet of bream or sea bass. All this and four glasses of cava will cost approximately 42.00e for two.
3. Bar-restaurant Elisabets, C/ Elisabets. You might not wander into this small restaurant on your own but it is mentioned in several guides and it is as good as many of the more expensive restaurants. It is a smallish, crowded, local place where a plate of ham, a plate of cheese, the local sausage, and a bottle of the vino de meson - house wine - will cost approximately 19.22e for two, a bargain!
The house wine here was brought in an open, re-used bottle, and not in a carafe. This is OK for a house wine, but just FYI if you order a bottle of wine and it is brought to you opened, send it back as there is no telling what is in the bottle. A bottle of wine should be opened in front of you after you have been presented the bottle so you can see the label. After that it is up to you whether you want to hold it up to the light, sniff it, then taste it.
4. Can Majo, C/ Almirall Aixada 23, just off the beach. This is a good restaurant to try fideua, the Catalan version of paella. A typical dinner here might include 2 servei de taula I cobert (3.80 euros), 2 fideus amb marisc pelats (27.78 euros), vina escarlata reserva (18.75 euros), aigua font d'or (1.65 euros), and 2 cafe (2.80 euros) Total is 58.61 euros, about $70.00.
5. Can Ramonet, C/ Carbonell 5, This is a small, local seafood restaurant just to the east of the harbor off the Pg. Joan de Borbó and this is a good restaurant to try paella. A dinner of paella and a bottle of wine will be approximately 78.00e for two.
6. Costa Gallega, Passeig de Gracia, 71. This is a good sidewalk restaurant to try after a visit to the Casa Batllo which it is very close to. You sit outside under an umbrella on the main street, but it is not noisy or uncomfortable. Here try the olives, fried calamari and a great bowl of mussels, and a carafe of Sangria. This will cost approximately 50.00e for two.
7. Peru, Pg. Joan de Borbó, a restaurant that is not mentioned in a guide. This is not open every night and there is a minimum of four tapas which must be ordered for dinner, but it is a great meal. A typical meal here consists of a plate of assorted olives, grilled sardines, grilled peppers, and another local sausage, with a bottle of wine. If you finish with two glasses of the local Catalan herbal liquor it will cost approximately 36.98e for two.
8. Els Quatre Gats (4 cats), Montsio, 3 bis. This is mentioned in many of the guidebooks and with the number of people eating here, it is a good idea to make reservations. A nice meal here consists of a plate of pan amb tomaquet, a big dish of mussels, tuna in oil, grilled vegetables, and a bottle of the house wine, "mas negre", a local red wine. This will be approximately 53.00e for two.
9. Longa de Tapas (Celler of Tapas), Plaça de Universitat, 5. This is an excellent restaurant in which to try tapas. Try a bottle of Catalonian wine (idoia), calamacitos (small grilled fish), chistorra (sausage), padron (small green peppers roughly the size of your thumb), escalivada (grilled veggies), pan amb tomaquet (tomato on bread, heated), orujo Pondal (an after dinner liquor). All for 59.72e for two.
Or have a bottle of Catalonian wine (idoia), padron (those green peppers), jamon Joselito (local ham), queso cabra (goat cheese), parrillada (mixed, grilled meats), mariscada (a kind of seafood stew), pan amb tomaquet. This is 75.00e for two.
10. Belgious, Avinyó, 50. Located in the charming Gothic Quarter the store only uses all-natural ingredients in all of its offerings. The waffles are light and crispy and you can watch them being made. The topping of melted chocolate, followed by a light sprinkling of icing sugar is a treat in itself. You can have a sweet crepe but they also have lunch crepes as well, such as the Philadelphia with tuna, tomato, mozzarella and oregano. They also have a large assortment of fresh juices from Brazil including the world-renowned Açai berry, which is a natural energy booster. And finally, they offer 48 flavours of ice cream made with all-natural ingredients, and some of the most original flavours around - would you ever think Rosemary ice cream would be good? It is! The staff are super-friendly...Michel the owner, a native Belgian, always has time to show you around.
11. 9BARNILS Roger de Flor 204, close to the Sagrada Familia. It is a great option to enjoy Catalan food. It is a really cosy and familiar restaurant. it is also interesting because they have good sushi. The place is a small, pleasant restaurant where you will enjoy great food and nice prices. You can go there to eat paella and drink a nice Sangria. However, you have and excellent amount of choice. You could also try the codfish and the sushi. Telf: 93 207 77 57 / 93 207 67 97
12. Petit Comitè Restaurant: Located in the centre of Barcelona in the Passatge de la Concepció, between the Passeig de Gràcia and the Rambla de Catalunya. It offers a Traditional Catalan Cuisine. It's open from 1pm to 1am non-stop. Tel: +34 935 500 620
13. Restaurant Arogueira. A nice Galician Restaurant in the district Poble Nou close to Rambla de Poble Nou. Located in Marià Aguiló Street, 50 - 93 309 26 81
14. Nakashita: While this is largely a list of traditional Spanish options (or Galician or Catalan or...) there will come a time when you need a break from tapas or just want to dabble in Barcelona's cosmopolitan culinary diversity (new-ish and growing every day). When that day comes, if delicious sushi in a classy and intimate setting is in the cards, try Nakashita. Delicious.
LOCAL FOOD/RESTAURANT RESOURCES:
If you're looking to scroll few several restaurant possibilities listed by theme by a local resource in English, you won't be wasting your time with the local cultural newspaper BCN MES and their Shortlist of Barcelona restaurants, bars and other hangouts. It's not a place to find the molecular cuisine type stuff, or the very pricey. But it's a good resource for quality non-touristic spots with a nice price-quality balance.
If you speak Spanish (or can read it) there are two nice local blogs that are also go-to resources. The first, Los Bonvivant, is a good place to get ideas that you can then search online elsewhere if you don't understand the gist. The next, Con 2 Abuelas (with two grandmothers) is not as purely a restaurant reference as Los Bonvivant, but it's got a few nice spots listed.