We say adios and until next time to Spain and our cruise trip from the fall with this post. Let’s pop a bottle of cava! I share with you where to eat in Barcelona, Spain with a side of La Sagrada Familia. You can’t visit Barcelona, not have great food and not visit La Sagrada Familia.
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After 3 days in Girona, we spent the rest of our time (3 ½ days) in the city of Barcelona. Three days is not enough to see or eat everything in Barcelona, it’s just enough to get acquainted with the city. It rained a lot during our time there, but we did have some great dining experiences and were pleasantly surprised by the magnificence of Gaudi’s masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia.
There are so many guides out there for Barcelona and we didn’t do anything extraordinarily unique to share with you that you can’t find in a guidebook. Instead of writing a full guide of the same old, I thought I’d share with you where to eat in Barcelona, Spain because I know how hard it is to find a great place to eat while traveling. Nobody wants to get sucked into a tourist trap with subpar food.
Tasty Itinerary Tip: Lunch is a great time to try some of the higher-end restaurants as they may have a pre-fixe meal.
Also, why La Sagrada Familia is a must when you visit Barcelona. Is it overrated?
Where to Eat in Barcelona, Spain
Devour Barcelona Food Tour
Nothing like a great food tour to kick off your vacation in a new city. There are few tour companies with foodie tours and you really have to do your research to make sure you get an authentic experience. Ultimately, we booked the Tastes & Traditions of Barcelona with Devour Barcelona.
What’s great about this tour is that it takes place at night, just in time for dinner, so there is no need to worry about finding a restaurant to eat. Also, it’s a 2-in-1 tour! You’ll eat and drink at a few places while being guided through the history of a couple of the oldest areas of Barcelona. As foodies, we enjoyed it immensely.
We strolled through the Gothic Quarter and El Born (my favorite districts) while being told about the history of these two areas. It was cool at one point to discover that I was probably standing in the same spot Christoper Columbus stood and had an audience with the King and Queen of Spain.
Blows your mind, right?! Mine too.
On this particular tour, we visited three different establishments: Xarcuteria La Pineda, La Plata, and Bodega La Palma. All with great history, food, drinks, and company I will never forget. And out of all the patatas bravas I had during this trip, I had the best ones on this tour. I still think of that sweet vermouth above.
Our fabulous Devour guide, Fintan, emailed us the next day with all the great eats we enjoyed on our tour
Where to Eat in Barcelona
Bar del Pla
Our very first night of Barcelona was the night before our cruise. After twenty hours of travel, we arrived at our hotel in El Born, starving and tired. The front desk recommended Arcano, but we had a hard time finding it and came across Bar del Pla, recommended by Kate an Instagrammer that goes by @OhHelloKate. So thankful for her recommendation and happy it was on my radar.
Bar del Pla is a busy tapas bar and reservations are recommended. We were lucky when we got there they had two seats at the counter and they were available for 45 minutes until the next reservation arrived. They made it clear if we chose to stay to eat that we had to be out of there in that time frame. We were okay with that. I was ready for bed.
While we sat at the counter, locals were constantly coming in and being turned away. Some were able to snag reservations after 10 pm at night.
Happy we stayed because we had a great array of tapas on our first night in Spain. Everything was fresh, delicious and we ate every bite.
Tip: Make sure you order everything you want at once.
When we returned to the hotel, the front desk asked us if we found Arcano. He was impressed by the fact that we ended up at Bar del Pla and told us he loved it there.
Location: El Born District, Carrer de Montcada, 2, 08003 Barcelona, Spain (Google Map It)
Where to Eat in Barcelona
On our way back to the hotel after Bar del Pla, we stumbled upon Arcano and we decided to make a reservation for when we were back in town after the cruise and Girona.
I instantly loved the vibe of the restaurant. It’s located in an old seventeenth-century barn with stone walls and beautiful Romanesque arches. It’s perfect for a romantic dinner or special occasion.
Make sure you’re hungry when you go there. The food is excellent, but if you decide on their prefixed menu with multiple courses (worth every penny), you’re going to need a wheelbarrow to get out of there.
Location: El Born District, Carrer dels Mercaders, 10, 08003 Barcelona, Spain (Google Map It)
Where to Eat in Barcelona
We absolutely loved Kserol restaurant. Fintan, our guide from Devour Barcelona, heard we would be visiting La Sagrada Familia the next day and practically insisted we have lunch here.
Since it came highly suggested, we made the effort to make it there in the rain after our tour of La Sagrada Familia. It’s actually only a 10-minute walk.
It was lunchtime and they had a prix fixe menu that we chose from. Adored the homey comfy feel of the restaurant and the divine food they served. The staff there was so lovely.
We felt like we had a homecooked meal and we loved how we got to choose 3 items each for our meal. It was so filling and I think we had dessert because I almost never say no to dessert but I can’t find a picture.
I would not have minded returning here for dinner.
Location: l’Eixample District, Carrer de Nàpols, 182, 08013 Barcelona, Spain (Google Map It)
Where to Eat in Barcelona
Imagine it starts pouring rain not long after leaving your hotel to find food. You see a swarm of locals enter a restaurant and so you follow them inside. The restaurant is full of patrons, chatting away in Catalan and Spain with delicious plates of food in front of them. It also smells amazing and your stomach starts to growl.
What would you do? You ask to be seated.
We found El Foro by luck, by rain, by however you would like to call it, and we ended up eating here at this Argentinian restaurant two nights in a row. It was that good. I still think about these dishes. Now, I don’t have pics of everything from both nights because we were too busy enjoying ourselves. It was the end of our trip and the blogger side of me was done. Thankfully hubby captured these.
If you’d like to see the sizzling shrimp in butter and garlic in action, we have video! You will seriously drool.
The waitress was so kind! When she saw us the next night she hugged me and kissed my cheeks.
Reservations suggested for large groups.
Location: El Born District, Carrer de la Princesa, 53, 08003 Barcelona, Spain (Google Map It)
A few great things to eat in Barcelona:
Don’t Skip La Sagrada Familia
You may be thinking, another cathedral? How many can I see in the span of all my travels in Europe? The answer is MANY.
But La Sagrada Familia is more than just a church… it’s an ICONIC MASTERPIECE. You see photographs and I’m telling you, it does NOT compare to seeing it up close and personal. This UNESCO World Heritage site is magnificent inside and out.
We hired a local guide for a private tour with Ellie from Withlocals and it was one of the best decisions we made for our time in Barcelona. We arranged the Gaudi Tour with a Skip the Line to La Sagrada Familia, which started with the other Gaudi homes in Barcelona. Ellie provided a wealth of information from history to details we would never have learned about on our own. As a local, she knew all the best spots to visit.
When we arrived at La Sagrada Familia, she had the tickets purchased and reservations made, so we were able to enter quickly. She introduced us to Gaudi’s work, the meaning behind every little work of art and help us understand how his mind worked.
I probably could have read it from a guidebook but not have understood or appreciated it as much as I did. I definitely left impressed and would absolutely return, if and when the cathedral is ever finished.
If you plan to visit Barcelona, don’t just go there and see it from a distance. Plan your visit. Book a reservation in advance or book a tour with Ellie or one of the others I mention below.
Tour Options For La Sagrada Familia
You can also book directly with La Sagrada Familia in advance, ticket and guide options are available here.
Hotel Recommendations in Barcelona
There were a few Airbnb apartments and B&Bs worth looking at in Barcelona with great rates but only if you’re staying 3 nights or more. If you have never booked an Airbnb, I suggest reading: Airbnb Tips to Book Your Next Stay.
We chose to book a hotel for our longer stay after many of the apartments I had in my favorites were booked up quickly.
H10 Montcada Boutique Hotel
For our pre-cruise stay, we found the H10 Montcada Boutique Hotel on Booking.com for a great price and in a fantastic location. Located in the El Born district, right across from the Gothic Quarter and in the center of Barcelona.
The standard queen room was small but modern and comfortable for a couple of day’s stay. The breakfast was top notch and worth the extra fee per person. There is a rooftop with beautiful views of the city.
Sadly, we were only here for one night but this boutique hotel certainly left a great impression. We wish we had booked it for our return to Barcelona the week later.
Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella
Since most great Airbnb’s were taken by the time I had my itinerary figured out, booked the Motel One Barcelona for the rest of our stay after we returned from Girona.
This is another great option to consider in Barcelona. The cost is more affordable than most other hotels in the area, including H10 Montcada. It’s in close walking distance to El Born and the Gothic Quarter district.
The rooms were modern and clean. It has a wonderful rooftop as well as a bar and lobby downstairs. Breakfast was a great start to the day.
Did you take notes of where to eat in Barcelona? What would you like to try while in Barcelona? What is your favorite place to eat in Barcelona?
Don’t forget to book your tour of La Sagrada Familia!
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