Where to Eat in Barcelona & What Site Not to Miss

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Traveling to Barcelona, Spain? Wondering where to eat in Barcelona with great Barcelona food and dining experience. Here are some of the best spots we enjoyed when we visited.

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 all the Barcelona food it offers. It’s just enough to get acquainted with the city.

I know how hard it is to find a great place to eat while visiting a new city. Nobody wants to get sucked in a tourist trap with subpar Barcelona food

Tasty Itinerary Tip: Lunch is a great time to try some of the higher-end restaurants as they may have a pre-fixe menu.

It rained on-and-off during our time there, and hopefully, when you are there, the weather cooperates. However, the rain did not stop us from having great dining experiences or from seeing the beautiful city. Especially, La Sagrada Familia – we were blown away by the magnificence of Gaudi’s masterpiece.

With that said, if there is one site you should add to your Tasty Itinerary that should be La Sagrada Familia. It’s a must-visit.

Please note: this trip and post was written pre-Covid.

Where to eat barcelona |blog post cover

Where to Eat in Barcelona, Spain

Experience a Food Tour in Barcelona

Nothing like a great food tour in Barcelona 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.

Devour Barcelona Food Tour

Tapas from Devour Food Tour in Barcelona

Ultimately, we booked the Tastes & Traditions of Barcelona with Devour Barcelona.

What’s great about this particular food tour is that it takes place in the evening, just in time for dinner. Therefore, there is no need to worry about finding a restaurant to eat at.

It’s also 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 tour, we visited three different establishments:

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 as well as recommendations for the rest of our time there. He was super personable and ready to answer any questions via email, even after the fact. I mean, seriously, above and beyond.

Barcelona Food Tours
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Eating in Barcelona, Spain

Bar del Pla

Tapas from Bar La Pla in Barcelona, Spain

Our very first night in 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.

Miraculously, we came across Bar del Pla. A tapas bar recommended by Kate, a fellow Instagrammer [@OhHelloKate] and a resident of Spain.

busy bar del pla in barcelona

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.

El Born District, Carrer de Montcada, 2, 08003 Barcelona, Spain (Google Map It) | Tripadvisor |
Reservations recommended

Three Days in Girona, Spain

An hour from Barcelona, you will find the old city of Girona. It’s the perfect escape from the city. See how to spend three days exploring Girona and other places spots in Costa Brava.

Arcano

beautiful archways inside arcano in barcelona spain
inside Arcano in Barcelona, Spain

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.

Arcano restaurant in Barcelona Spain

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.

El Born District, Carrer dels Mercaders, 10, 08003 Barcelona, Spain (Google Map It) | Tripadvisor | Reservations recommended

Kserol

Kserol Barcelona Restaurant

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.

l’Eixample District, Carrer de Nàpols, 182, 08013 Barcelona, Spain (Google Map It) | Tripadvisor

El Foro

Dinner items from El Foro Restaurant in Barcelona, Spain

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 a few.

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.

El Born District, Carrer de la Princesa, 53, 08003 Barcelona, Spain (Google Map It) | Tripadvisor |
Reservations suggested for large groups

A few great foods to eat in Barcelona:

  • Catalan tomato bread
  • Patatas Bravas
  • Crema Catalana
  • Churros
  • Croquettas
  • Jamon

Bike Tour of Palma de Mallorca

Spending any time in Palam de Mallorca? Check out my hilarious tale of touring the heart of this island on a bike. Do I survive? See all the treats you must try while visiting this lovely Spanish island.

La Sagrada Familia Barcelona, Spain

Don’t Skip La Sagrada Familia

exterior of la sagrada familia barcelona

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.

colorful Interior of La Sagrada Familia

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.

Close-up of the intricate artwork of La Sagrada Familia

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.

La Sagrada Familia Guided Tour Options

  • Ellie from Withlocals: Skip the Line Sagrada Familia Private Tour [book here]
  • Fast Track Sagrada Familia Guided Tour [book here]
  • Priority Access: Best of Barcelona Tour Including Sagrada Familia [booke here]
  • You can also book directly with La Sagrada Familia in advance, ticket and guide options are available here.

Where to Stay in Barcelona, Spain

There were a few Airbnb apartments and B&Bs worth looking into in Barcelona with great rates. I only recommend this option if you’re staying for a minimum of 3 nights.

If you have never booked an Airbnb, I suggest reading: Airbnb Tips to Book Your Next Stay.

Hotel Recommendations in Barcelona

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 or 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 absolutely worth the extra fee per person. There is a rooftop with beautiful views of the city.

Tip: Did you know that you don’t need a hotel reservation to visit the hotel rooftops bar locations?

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?


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Restaurants not to miss in Barcelona, Spain

When I’m not daydreaming about my next vacation, drinking coffee, or playing with my dogs, you can find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook for more posts and stories! Would love to hear from you!

8 thoughts on “Where to Eat in Barcelona & What Site Not to Miss”

  1. Another great tour! I love your foodie posts and I love that you go on foodie tours when you travel. I definitely want to try that the next time I’m traveling.
    That stinks that it rained so much while you were there but glad that because of the rain, you found a yummy spot you loved!
    I’m wondering what one of your dishes is. It’s your first close up food pic. Is it a dessert? Looks yummy!
    La Sagrada Familia looks incredible! I can’t imagine what that must have looked like in person. I will totally book with Ellie when I go! You sold me!

    Thanks for another awesome post. I can’t wait to one day visit a spot you’ve posted about so I can follow your tips!!

    Reply
    • I love foodie tours! With the right guide and food, it can be so much fun!

      It rained so much while we were there, we missed doing a lot. However, we ate well. And that dish that looks like dessert is sort of like a creme brûlée only Catalan style. It was yummy, very light which I liked.

      La Sagrada Familia really blew me away! I know, it’s like everyone posts pics and talk about it, you would think that its overrated, but once you see it, you realize why it’s so popular. Absolutely loved it!

      Thanks again for commenting!

      Reply
  2. Yessssss I love everything about this article! We are visiting over NYE this year (bought the tickets Wednesday!!) and we can’t wait! Food is one of the top reasons for our visit, so this is perfect. Also, I have 100% done that where they say you have x amount of time before the next person comes and I’m always like yup I can down two pinot grigios and a dinner in that time! Sign me up! Glad you had a wonderful trip!!

    Reply
    • Oh yay! That means so much coming from such amazing blogger like you

      Oh wow, NYE in Barcelona! That will definitely be festive. Would have loved to see it as well totally decorated for the holiday. I hope you get better weather than we had, no rain at least.

      Can’t wait to hear all about your trip. Hopefully, you’ll get to visit one of these places. Have a great time! Have some wine for me!

      Reply
  3. One of the things I noticed and struggled to adjust to when we were in Spain was the late dining time. It seemed like, at least in Seville, a lot of people dinned starting at 9 PM or later. We were like you, and so ready for bed; we wanted to eat faster and earlier. 45 minutes?! Sure, I got this. Although what I do *sometimes* love most about European culture, especially when we visit family in Sicily, is how long meals can last…until I’m ready to explode. It just depends what you are in the mood for, and you definitely got super lucky with the coveted spot. That’s just awesome! The older I get, girl, the less I like staying out late. I sound like my parents.

    I follow and chat with Kate from IG too–she’s great. Don’t you just love when IGers help you plan a trip?! In a good way (and not the fake twirly, dreamy way)…lol

    La Sagrada Familia looks AMAZING. How architecturally cool and beautiful. It reminds me of pulling up on the train to Koln Cathedral in Germany. It’s both jaw-dropping and massive. The pointed top is incredibly harsh and stunning. Definitely not just another cathedral.

    Yay, food tours! I am glad that you enjoyed yours.

    Reply
    • The timing of everything was so confusing in the beginning. It was after 9 am and the streets were empty and the majority of the stores were closed. The stores closed up at some point mid-afternoon and we’d have to go back late at night after dinner. Our dinner time is normally 8pm or so, I noticed it was mostly Americans eating at that time. Locals would start to file in as we were eating desserts over an hour or two later. It’s crazy. It took us a few days to get into the flow and we started to realize, sleeping in wasn’t so bad after all. We’d sleep in, start our day later like the locals and then we were sort of on their schedule. I’m with you, I’m in bed by 10 pm these days. If I’m on a cruise ship, I may stay up to gamble LOL.

      I follow Kate and I like her a lot. She was the only person to recommend anything. I had even asked for links but nothing. Kate totally came through. Love her feed.

      I’d love to visit Koln Cathedral. You understand what I mean about La Sagrada Familia, it’s such a work of art. So many people go there just to take pictures outside of it and say they’ve been there. It’s ridiculous cause there is so much to this beautiful architecture.

      Love me a good food tour. Since we did the one in Florence, we always try to fit them in when we travel. They’ve been great when I ask them to adjust things like no alcohol or fish for hubby.

      Reply
  4. Since I sorta got into soccer back when I was 14, I’ve wanted to go to Spain to see Barcelona play :’) Obviously, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned a lot more about the country. I’m ~fairly~ sure that I have Spaniard blood in me to some extent, so it would be amazing to go there for cultural/heritage reasons. I would LOVE to have a churro in Spain; I’d like to compare Mexican and Spanish churros to see which I like best :’)

    Reply
    • Ah, Macey! I wish I could tell you I had a great churro but I didn’t. I had a place on my list and didn’t make it. It rained so much and it took forever to get from one side of the city to another that I never got to try the cafe with these churros and hot chocolate. Hubby did by me churros at a farmers market we attended by La Sagrada Familia and they weren’t worth mentioning. Next time. I was told several times that plates like paella, churros and some other dishes weren’t from Catalonia but from Southern Spain. So it kind of felt inauthentic to try them anyways. HA.

      I need to make it to Southern Spain!

      I also do believe that I have Spanish blood in me. My niece recently did the 23andme test and it came back that she was about 70% Spanish. I always thought I was part French though because my grandmother’s last name was French. I don’t know. I need to take that test and find out. Like you, as I walked around Spain, I thought of my ancestry as I don’t know much about it and wondered.

      Hope you make it to Spain one day soon and have that churro!

      Reply

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