Zona Alta (above the Diagonal – more of a residencial/shopping/business area)


 

L'Oliana:
Santalo 54 Tel. 93 201 0647
Price range: 50 Euros/person
In a lively residential neighborhood which comes alive at night with many bars. I like this place especially for lunch - it feels crisp and clean – frequented by regulars and businessmen. Great unobtrusive service with consistently high quality Catalan dishes. Nothing complicated, just prepared perfectly. I prefer to sit on the 2nd floor.


 



 

La Bodega:
Plaza Molina 2 Tel. 93 237 84 34
Price range: 40 Euros/person
Cute old place where the waiters carry out the starters on silver platters for you to make your selection – main courses however are ordered “a la carte.”


 



 

Silvestre:
c/Santalo Tel. 93 241 40 31
Simple, intimate and uncluttered setting: white table cloths, unobtrusive service, low key – good for business or quiet lunch. Good value lunch menu. The setting is discrete and is mostly frequented by locals. Lunch is best and you definitely need to book. Very good service too. Kind of intimate and uncluttered.


 



  Tutusaus:
by Turo Park
This is the most exclusive residential area of Barcelona. This boutique/shop sells the highest quality hams, cheeses, salmon and caviar. The same can be eaten in their little café area at the back. All that you are served is very good. The rich ladies and men of the neighbourhood while away the hours and money here! Open only from 9 to 9.


   


  Casa Pepe:
Residential neighbourhood. This shop / restaurant serves really good food in a modestly decorated shop with maybe 20 tables in the back. You can have anything from lentil salad to a perfectly grilled sirloin steak or monkfish all in an informal setting. Only downside is that they close at 10 pm.

 

 


 

 

Il Vizietto:
C/ Ganduxer 14-18 08021 Barcelona, Spain +34 934 143 104
Basic & simple Italian trattoria with friendly service – good place to go when you are not in the mood to “go out” and if you are in the neighbourhood. They do a good burrata with tomato starter and other antipasti based on good quality raw material.

 

 


 

 

Bar Mut:
C/ Pau Claris 192 08037 Barcelona, Spain +34 932 174 338
Good for a drink and tapas around 7 pm (later you need to book and it is usually complicated). Quality of tapas varies - safe to stick with ham, cheese, etc. but sometimes their more unusual dishes are worth a try. Good wine selection by the glass. Also a good breakfast place - lots of interesting egg dishes - almost better to go there for an early lunch (beat the crowd) or just a drink before the dinner crowd arrives.

 

 


 

 

La Taronja:
Best tasting coffee in Barcelona. Great little sandwiches too (not US style with tons of ingredients) Catalan style: bread smothered in tomatos and olive oil, good quality cheese, ham, etc. Looks very average and inconspicuous but top quality.

 

 



  Eixample


   


  La Clara:
Gran via de les Corts Catalans 442 Tel. 932 893 460
La Clara is the slightly more economical sibling of L’Oliana. It is located in a residential neighbourhood not too far from Placa Espagna. Definitely no tourists here. The food is good and you will find some of the same dishes as in Oliana. Unfortunately not many places to go after dinner/lunch as the neighbourhood is not too exciting.


   


  Jose Luis Cerveceria:
Avenida Diagonal 520 Tel. 93 200 75 63
This is both a restaurant and tapas bar. The clientele is somewhat “senior” and it is rarely very crowded –so not a trendy place – more of an old men and divorced older women kind of a feel. Good to rest your feet after a day running around. It is the perfect place for a “cava break” along with some ham (great ham!) and pimientos del padron. The other tapas are not bad either.


   


  Trobador:
c/Enric Granados 122 – now in many locations around the Gothic quarter and Eixample Tel. 93 416 00 57
Same as for Tenorio. Good value restaurant. Popular with both locals and tourists. Can have typical tapas dishes as well as extensive range of food with specialities being meat on the grill.


   


  Meson Cinco Jotas:
Rambla de Catalunya 91-93 Tel. 93 487 89 42
Good tapas but also for a more casual “sit down dinner” – most tapas are ham based and their ham is of course excellent.


   


  Cerveceria Catalana:
Mallorca 276 (almost by Rambla Catalunya) Good traditional tapas place in the style of Ciudad Condal – not as nice though.


   


  Paco Meralgo:
Muntaner 171 Tel. 93 430 90 27 Located in a residential neighbourhood, they have some of the best quality tapas in Barcelona. All need to be ordered from a menu. I like to sit at the bar and “participate” in the energy of the place. This is a place where you will find locals with money. You can book, but not if you want to sit at the bar. And if you like ice cream, then head across the street to the Cremeria Toscana, or if you want a drink, cross over to the next parallel street to the Dry Martini for a drink.


   


  Dry Martini:
Aribau 162-166 Tel. 93 217 50 72
This cocktail bar has an atmosphere that changes depending on the day of the week. A lot of wood panelling with bartenders in white uniforms and serious demeanours gives it this old and intimate feel. Probably caters to “older people” – I like to sit at the bar. The rest is kind of red and velvet almost bordello style (as I imagine it). Expensive but nice to relax. No tapas or very few ones and just at a certain hour of the day.
   
  Inopia:
c/ Tamarit 104.
Tues-Friday 19:00-23:00 Tapas place run by the brother of Ferran Adria (of El Bulli) Very good designer style tapas – but not too off the wall – still edible! The atmosphere of the place is not so nice – too bright lighting for example. Also, not in a nice location, but if you are at the exhibition area then it is within good walking distance.
   
  Casa Lucio:
C/ Viladomat 59 08015 Barcelona, Spain +34 934 244 401
Same area as Inopia. Small and simple tapas place where the owner takes great pride in personally doling out his hams, cheeses, and other small dishes. Good wines by the glass from less known estates. Downside is the neighborhood which isn’t very nice to walk around.
   
  Quimet & Quimet:
calle Poeta Cabanyes 35
Another tiny tapas place that is known for top quality tapas coming from cans (the conservas concept which is big in Spain). It is so tiny thought that you only have room to stand up. Only go if in the neighborhood.
   
  Near Tibidabo
   
  La Venta & Mirador de la Venta:
Pl. Dr. Andreu, 1 Tel. 93 212 6455
To go here you need a taxi or a lot of time. If you do have time, it is quite nice to walk up the Avenida de Tibidabo or take the old tram up, and watch the beautiful old houses. La Venta is really 2 restaurants. “Mirador de la Venta” on the second (last) floor is the more expensive one. You get a spectacular view of Barcelona and really very good food. For the view it is best at lunch time. “La Venta” is located on the bottom (ground) floor and is slightly more casual but also very good. Book a day ahead. *In front of La Venta there is a bar that is worth stopping at if you are up there, it is called the Mira Blau and also has great views of Barcelona. *And if night clubbing is your thing, go a little down the Avenida de Tibidabo to the Danzatoria for an “indoor/outdoor” nightclub with many different ambiances.
   
  Gothic Quarter & El Borne
   
  Taverna Irati:
Cardenal Casanas, 17 Tel. 933023084
Good Basque tapas bar and restaurant. The tapas area is only standing up and usually quite packed. The restaurant at the back is simple in style, and some seating is at shared rustic wooden tables however the quality of the food is always very very good.
   
 

Ciudad Condal:
Rambla de Catalunya 18 Tel. 93 318 1997
One of the best Madrid style tapas places in Barcelona. They have a huge selection and it is always very high quality. I like to sit at the bar or by one of the small tables next to the bar so you can breathe in the atmosphere, but the tables in the back are perfectly OK too. It gets packed so try to come a little on the early side, which means at latest by 1:30 pm or in the evening, before 8 pm as no reservations are possible.

   

  Cal Pep:
Placa de les Olles 8 Tel. 93 310 79 61
Probably the best Catalan tapas I’ve tried in Barcelona. Don’t come here for decoration or cozy atmosphere. This is more of a restaurant where tapas dishes can be ordered. Best is to be seated at the bar and watch them work. No menu – they just rattle off whatever they have fresh that day – typical Catalan dishes prepared to perfection. No reservations possible so get there early and expect to queue in front before they open up. Don’t miss it!
   
  Casa Calvet:
C/Casp 48 Tel. 93 412 40 12
Old textile factory designed by Gaudi. This is the place to go if you are looking for a special occasion restaurant in a quiet setting. You are then very close to the Gothic quarter and the Borne, so plenty of places to go later for drinks or just a walk.
   
  El Pla:
c/Bellafila 5 Tel. 93 412 65 52
This tiny restaurant is tucked away on a quiet little street. It is cozy but sometimes a bit risky as you may not always get great tables. A bit of a gay scene going on here. The food is very innovative and usually quite good.
   
  Bodega Palmera:
continue c/Bellafila (where the Pla restaurant is) and take a right at the end of the street and you happen on to this old Bodega – the kind that is disappearing from Barcelona. It is never crowded; go for their house vermouth and some ham and chorizo – not easy to know when they are open though!
   
  El Quatre Gats:
Carrer de Montsío, 3 bis Tel. 93 302 41 40
Designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, this was where Picasso, Rusiñol and Casas would hang out. The food is not so exciting but to see it once is interesting. It is touristy though but you will still get some locals. walking by.
   
  Ca L'Isidre:
c/Les Flors, 12 Tel. 93 441 11 39
Really good food in semi formal setting. This is not the Gothic quarter though. It is off the Avenida Parallel. Great for any occasion: business, to celebrate, etc.
   
  Los Caracoles:
Escudellers 14 Tel. 93 302 31 85
Albeit touristy, the old interior and huge kitchen that you walk by is quite worth a stop – food is average, it is traditional Catalan– you definitely go here for the lively atmosphere and the “so Spanish” decoration.
   
  Little Italy:
Rec 30 Tel. 93 319 79 73
Mixed Italiand and Spanish food. Food is pretty good. Live music. Nice atmosphere. This is in the Borne area which is getting really popular.
   
  Santa Maria:
Comerc 17 Tel. 93 315 12 27
New style tapas place emphasizing good quality moden tapas. Small but quite good. I like to sit by the bar. Service is a little slow but perhaps it has improved since I was there last.
   
  El Xampanyet:
Montcada 22
One of the older tapas place. Tiny and usually packed with people standing at the bar. Hardly has any tables. You go there for cava, vermouth and anchovies. Just a a place to stop in if you are in the area, by no means a tapas place to “relax.”
   
  La Pineda:
c/Pi 16
Typical old colmado/bodega selling hams, cheeses, canned goods and spirits. Don’t be fooled by the touristy location and appearance. Once you stick your head inside it is actually very authentic. There are a few tables at the very back and you can order basically anything they sell in the shop. Have some wine and a selection of ham and cheeses and you are all set.
   
  Senyor Parellada:
Argenteria 37
Big and colourful restaurant with new style Catalan food. Setting is nice and you are in an area with bars and places to go foor a drink afterwards.
   
  Gracia
   
  Botafumeiro:
Gran de Gracia 81 Tel. 93 218 4230
One of my favourites. Location also makes it good to go for a walk afterwards or to bars. The atmosphere is lively and if you are two people then sit at the bar! You get great service, the waiters are “spirited” all decked out in white uniforms, and the food is very good – especially sea food. Although this place is often frequented by celebrities (although I don’t recognize them) the atmosphere is not snobbish. If the bar won’t do, then get a table but ask to be seated in the “comedor principal” - main dining room.
   
  By the Sea
   

  Barceloneta:
/ L’Escar 22 Tel. 93 221 21 11
One of the older remaining restaurants – busy, noisy and fresh ingredients.
   
  El Merendero de la Mari:
Plaza Pau Vila, 1 Palau de Mar Tel 93 221 31 41
Large and busy restaurant that is perhaps getting a bit too touristy. The food here can really vary, sometimes excellent other times just average. What is nice though is to be seated on the terrace for lunch, get a bunch of different dishes to share and have a sangria and just enjoy the harbour, view, all the people. You may need a siesta after this! *If this is full and you like the harbour, try the Cal Pinxo and La Gavina – both are right next door. r.
   
  Can Ramonet:
Maquinista 17 Tel.93 319 30 64
Located in the Barceloneta, this is actually a restaurant, but I find it nicer for just a tapas by the entrance where they servce you mainly seafood tapas on big wine barrels used as tables. If you do want a sit-down dinner, then the terrace in the summertime has a nice relaxed feel to it.
   
  El Lobito:
C/ Ginebra 9 08003 Barcelona, Spain +34 933 199 164
Extremely fresh seafood and tapas (mainly seafood based but also ham is served) – fun, busy, ebullient atmosphere – casual but expensive – only food will be 70 Euros/person – with drinks probably 100 Euros / person. -You actually can’t chose, they come and ask what wine you want and then just begin bringing out massive quantities of excellent sea food.
   
  Torre de Altamar:
Pg. Joan de Borbó, 88 Tel. 93 221 0007
This has a rather original location as it is situated in one of the teleferic towers where cable cars cross over to Montjuic. You will actually feel that the restaurant “moves” a little every time a cable cart departs so it may make some people dizzy. In that case, ask to be seated at a different table as they seem to be used to this happening to their guests. Food is very good and the views, at 75 meters altitude are beautiful.
   
  Outside Barcelona
   
  Cal Pinxo:
Sitges It is lovely to sit on their terrace during lunch time. This is not one of the nicest “looking” restaurants but I go here for certain dishes such as the arroz negro, mejillones a la marinera (best in town) and dorada baked in salt
   
  Cafe Belgrado:
Rius I taulet, 120 – Sant Cugat Tel. 93 675 38 51
Very good food in a relaxed atmosphere. Part of a live music bar that seems to have good bands playing certain evenings. Quite expensive. Good place to stop in when shopping next door at the antique fair – if you like antiques this is worth a stop.
   
  La Taverna del Mar:
S’Agaro (Girona) Tel. 972 32 38 00
Excellent food in a bright and airy restaurant. Set outside the “La Gavina” area right on the beach. Fairly formal – can’t walk in with swim wear. Expensive.
     
  La Gavina:
Two restaurants: one formal restaurant and one more casual (Sa Conca) by the pool Both are excellent. But if you are there during lunch time, then maybe the pool side restaurant is more relaxed, especially if traveling with children. After / before lunch have a walk around the residential area next to the hotel with the spectacular houses and views.
     
  Hostal Bofill:
Viladrau Tel. 93 884 90 12
If you want to try a very typical Catalan environment in the mountains. This is a charming town and this hostal has a restaurant that is really local, nothing fancy, but authentic
     
    Coloma:
If you fancy a lunch outside of Barcelona along with a nice walk by the sea you should go to either Mas Nou or Sitges. Coloma is located in the Mas Nou’s harbor. Set amidst a long row of restaurants and bar, facing the marina, it is the perfect informal, bustling yet cozy setting for a relaxed week-end lunch. Tables inside are as nice as those on the terrace. A drink by the bar is nice too. Food is not outstanding but certainly good enough and if you are in the mood for “embutidos” the selection is very good. I especially like the full package: atmosphere and food. So don’t go there if you are looking for a purely gastronomic experience. Go there if you want a “uppsluppen” (as they say in Sweden) lunch with friends or even as a couple.