If you enjoy food (who doesn’t really?) you are going to have some major moments thanks to the amazing restaurants in Barcelona. The city is known for its restaurants but because of the sheer quantity of them it can be hard to sort out the tourist traps from the true gems. We did get caught the first few nights going to some places that were rather ordinary but after that I got a little wiser and started choosing our restaurants based on online reviews. From then on it was so long fatty patatas bravas & fried calamari and hello foodie heaven. Here are the restaurants that really stood out and that I highly recommend.
Restaurant Mosquito, an Asian tapas bar, is in the El Born quarters (part of El Gothic), one of the cutest neighbourhoods in Barcelona and where we lived during our stay. It’s a tiny restaurant but it’s full of warmth with a super friendly atmosphere. They are reputed for their dumplings so I went for the vegetarian option as well as the won ton soup and the cucumber salad. The three tapas were beyond delicious and the prices are very affordable. The owners of Mosquito also have a noodle workshop called Redant and a new restaurant opening soon called Grasshoper.
Asur Café is also in El Born. In fact, it was right in front of our apartment. We figured we should encourage the businesses in our neighbourhood. The restaurant has a beautiful terrasse in a little square that is full of life as the sun sets and the interior is lovely as well. Alsur Café has a simple menu with some traditional tapas and I went with two of their healthier options: a goat cheese salad and grilled pepper dip with some veggies. (Photo: Coffee & Brunch BCN)
CAN CISA/Bar Brutal
CAN Cisa is actually the name of the wine bar that was there previous to Bar Brutal. Because CAN Cisa was so well-known, the new owners decided to keep the old name but gave it their own unique twist by adding Bar Brutal. The funky restaurant stocks 300 wines, all from organic or bio-dynamic producers around the world, without chemicals or additives, at accessible prices. “The same wines at the same price as before.” This alone is reason enough for me to love the place. In addition to quality booze, the ambiance is really fun as you can tell by the pictures. The decor is the perfect mix of “brutal” and creative. As for the food, I am salivating just thinking about it. People online raved about the freshly made bread so although I don’t usually eat gluten I will splurge if I think it’s worth it and boy was it ever. I then ordered the burrata with grilled funghi and babaganoush and the autumn salad (mesclun, pomegranate, endives, kiwi and seasonal nuts) which is pictured below. Both tapas were mouth exceptionally good.
And of course, the best part of the evening: my lovely date, my dad! Such a sweetheart. He bought me a rose.
We went to Sensi for our last supper in Barcelona and it did not disappoint. Once again, a small restaurant with a cozy atmosphere. The service at Sensi was excellent. We didn’t have reservations and although it is a very popular restaurant, they found a table for us immediately. As a treat, my dad ordered sangria. I had already ordered a glass of wine and wanted to stick to just one drink because of our early rise the next morning but once I had a sip of his sangria, it was as good as gone. It’s a must try if you eat at Sensi.
Now for the food. I had the truffle ravioli in a parmesan cream, scented with truffle oil and the tuna tartare Asian style. As rich as the ravioli might sound, it wasn’t too heavy. Not too much cream and the ingredients were of the highest quality. Same for the tartar. The fish was super fresh, with just the right amount of spice and it melted in the mouth. Sidebar: I dared my father to try the tuna tartare although he is usually repulsed by raw anything and he loved it! Oh and one final detail the Frenchies out there will appreciate. They have a waiter that is a Quebec native and speaks le français! And their website even has a French version. Impressionnant! Sensi has two locations in Barcelona: Sensi Tapas (where we went) located on Carrer Ample and Sensi Bistro on Calle Regomir.
Red Velvet (Sitges)
This last restaurant recommendation is actually ouside the city, in gorgeous Sitges. A 40 minute train ride away, Sitges is a must-see destination as I described in an earlier post. I have to give a shout out to Red Velvet restaurant even though they aren’t in Barcelona because A) You should really take one day to go outside the city during your stay and B) Sitges and Red Velvet are the places to go if you do venture out of the urban jungle. You can read about all the reasons I loved this charming restaurant over here (one hint: they had gluten free and vegetarian options on their menu!).
One last place I want to share isn’t actually a restaurant but rather a health focused supermarket. Because we lived in an apartment during our stay, we bought some basic food to have our breakfasts at home as well as some snacks to eat on the go. Now, you know me and my healthy eating habits. I couldn’t start stuffing my face in gluten packed pastries for breakfast just because I was in Barcelona. I wanted to keep my meals nourishing and not too hard to digest so I purchased my beloved quinoa, some fruits and nuts and even found gluten free bread! I was very impressed with the choice available at Veritas. We frequented the Veritas located on Via Laietana in El Born because it was the closest to our apartment but they have over 15 stores across the city.
So you now have five great options to start from next time you visit Barcelona. I like the fact that these restaurants each have their own unique style of food and atmosphere so you can experience something different at every meal. If you’ve already had the good fortune of visiting Barcelona and want to share your favourite food spots, please do so in the comments below!
Don’t miss out on all the other great discoveries I made while in Barcelona! To read more about beautiful Spain, click here.