Barcelona restaurants come in a great variety, and on the whole they offer some of the finest food in Europe, including local and international delicacies. However, like every popular tourist city, the food has some inconsistencies, particularly when it comes to quality and price. However, the good food at a decent price can be found, and the best option for good quality and high value is to find the restaurants and cafes that are most popular among local residents, rather than tourists.
Most travelers visit Barcelona restaurants to get acquainted with the local flavor. You can visit any local restaurant and try out the menu of the day (menu del dia), which is a simple two course meal consisting of a main dish, one salad, and a drink. You can also try some Catalan food, which usually consists of meats, fish soups, salads, desserts, and seafood. Catalans generally have a three course meal: an appetizer, main dish and dessert. Dishes including Pa amb Tomaquet (bread with tomato) and Paella are a favorite among locals. Paella is a rice dish with seafood, with variants having noodles and black squid ink to enhance the taste of the delicacy. If you’re looking for the best restaurant in Barcelona for local cuisine, ask around for recommendations for Catalan or seafood restaurants.
In addition to the local delicacies, there is a variety of food in Barcelona beyond the native Catalan cuisine. As in the rest of the country, the tapas restaurants are very popular among both locals and tourists. Tapas refers to a variety of snacks, appetizers, and small dishes native to Spanish cuisine. This style of dining originated in southern Spain, and today it has evolved into sophisticated food and a relaxing culture. The best time to visit tapas bars and restaurants is over the lunch hour, or late in the evening, when you can have a few snacks, try the local wine, and get ready for your night out. Virtually all tapas restaurants, and many other eateries as well, are closed during the mid afternoon siesta, but there are others that remain open for tourists, and international chain restaurants around the Placa de Catalunya are also open all day.
There are several restaurants, including the ambient La Fonda, that offer the Catalan classics and other Mediterranean food in Barcelona. Located next to the scenic Placa Reial in Barcelona, La Fonda offers the best Catalan food at reasonable prices. Classics such as the butifarra sausage and the national dessert, the crema catalane, are served in well-designed and highly attractive surroundings. The restaurant is quite popular among the locals, so it certainly is a good choice for travelers to taste the flavor of local delicacies. Another traditional Catalan restaurant serving the finest delicacies is Set Portes. Also called Seven Doors, the restaurant is one of the oldest eateries in Barcelona and has been operating since 1836. Set Portes is located in Passeig Isabel II near the port area in Barcelona and is one of the most traditional Catalan restaurants in the city.
If you are looking for a specific area for good dining in Barcelona Spain, head for the Barceloneta. This beachside neighborhood in the Ciutat Vella is located near the city center, and it’s a favorite place among locals for good food. Some of the best and most authentic Barcelona restaurants are located in this area, and you can follow up an excellent lunch with some time spent relaxing on the local beach.