A Foodie's Guide To Barcelona Eats

Whenever I go someplace new, I have one key focus: What will I be eating? Trying the local cuisine is my favorite part of any adventure, and I believe that if you don’t eat as the locals eat, you’re missing a crucial part of the experience.

When my friend and I went to Barcelona this last October, I knew that I wanted to eat a lot of seafood. But that was my only expectation—I was wide open to any other suggestions. This was wildly successful, with 98% of our meals bringing delight to my stomach. We also had a baby squid carpaccio that was a “hmm nope not again” meal, but ya know, you always need one. If you want the ultimate foodie experience in Barcelona, here’s what you’ll eat and where you’ll eat it.

1. El Pescadito de Balmes

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I figured we should start off on the strongest note. This was my favorite meal of our whole trip. Located in the northern region of the city, close to Park Güell, El Pescadito is a seafood restaurant that I would like to request as my last meal.  

We began our meal with the fried squid, croquetas (we had these many times throughout the trip, but these were my favorite—the seasoning was top notch!), and house wine. For our main course, we enjoyed the seafood paella.  

Our paella was full of Razorback clams, baby clams, mussels, and prawns. It was a hearty portion, especially after our two starters, but hey—when in Barcelona!  

2. Da Greco

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My co-worker raves about Da Greco so much, I had to make sure it was on our list—and I’m so glad I did! Going to an Italian restaurant while we were in Spain seemed a little silly at first, but then we tried the food. Da Greco has this amazing policy of bringing sample portions of each meal to everyone else at the table. This way, you can try what everyone is eating without nibbling off their plates! Petition to bring this to the U.S., stat!

At Da Greco, I had the lasagna, with the house red. Shannon had the pasta sampler, with the house white. We shared the tiramisu for dessert.  

See also: 10 Things You MUST Check Off Your Barcelona To-Do List

3. Tropicó

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One of Shannon’s friends suggested we go to Tropicó, and it was such a fun treat! Tropical (duh) interior and bright colors matched the fresh, fruity breakfast we had. I had the acai bowl, and Shannon had the pitaya coconut smoothie. Having some fresh fruit for breakfast was a nice change from the carbs we had been stuffing our faces with!

4. El Nacional BCN

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I’m fairly certain that I could go to El Nacional for every meal and not be bored. With a roaring 20s, gastropub design, the restaurant was alive, from the tapas bar to the steakhouse! 

While there are five restaurants to choose from within El Nacional, as well as a cocktail bar, an oyster bar, and a gelato booth, we decided that tapas was the only way to finish our last full day in Barcelona. We ordered the patatas bravas, the fried prawns, tomato bread, and the Spanish cheese plate.  

The fun thing about El Nacional’s tapas restaurant is that the waiters bring platters of food straight from the kitchen, yelling out the dish they are carrying. You then raise your hand if you want that dish, and they bring it directly over to your table!  

See also: 36 Hours In Menorca, Spain

5. Granja La Pallaresa

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We could not go to Spain and not sample the churros! Located in the Gothic Quarter, Granja La Pallaresa is THE place to go for churros in Barcelona—it was jam-packed when we went around 8!

I was expecting the chocolate to be thick and overpowering, but it was actually thinner, which was exactly the consistency the churros required! Hot, dark chocolate with sweet, crunchy churros…you may think sharing this treat is the right choice, but trust me, you’ll gobble down your own serving without any problem!

BONUS: All the cappuccinos and croissants at corner bakeries. We ate cappuccinos and croissants as if our lives depended on it. Almost every little cafe we passed had a “cafe y croissant” combo, bringing our habit to $3-4. What a steal! This was our daily breakfast, aside from our morning at Tropicó, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

FAVORITE: While all of these dining experiences were out-of-this-world amazing, my favorite foodie aspect of our trip was our Airbnb Experience with Foodie Experience BCN! Creating a beautiful paella meal with a local really amplified our trip, and the meal was delicious! When you go to Spain, tell Carmen and Angels “hi” for me!

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