Barcelona's best cheap eats

Time Out's top places to eat on a budget in the Catalan capital

0

Comments

Add +

In Barcelona, more than most other European cities, eating out on a budget can mean dining in style - as long as you know where to go. Here are Time Out's recommended places to find great food with minimal outlay.

Bacoa

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The mothership of this small gourmet hamburger chain, a pioneer in the field in Barcelona, moved to Ronda Universitat, and is now called Little Bacoa. The original bears the name 'Little' because the new Bacoa, while still carrying on with its trademark excellence and informality, is enormous. So what's new? Owner Brad Ainsworth is betting that thinking locally will pay off: with the change of seasons, Bacoa will offer a burger with products grown nearby, such as artichokes from El Prat, for example. And apart from the house classics, the exclusive Bacoa burgers will make your mouth water just thinking about them: the San Jacobo is Iberian loin and Serrano ham with manchego cheese in panko, Japanese bread crumbs.

  1. Bacoa Gourmet Burger, Rda. Universitat, 31
More info

Romero

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

If you want to keep your spending down (and without having to resort to fry-ups), Romero is the place for you. Venezuelan chef Jose Antonio Camacaro makes dishes that can be described with the adjectives ‘fresh’ and ‘Mediterranean’ (and with  touches from his own country), but without the clichés. His cuisine is suitable for coeliacs and has vegetarian options. Excellent food in a friendly atmosphere.

  1. Bailèn, 115, Eixample Dret, 08009
More info

La Taquería

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The Mexican owners say they make 'Mexican street food'. And they do it well: their tacos are phenomenal and their quesadillas are made with care and without industrial cheddar. The repertoire is informal Mexican food, and weekends are reserved for more-traditional fare such as aguachiles and chicken with mole sauce. The ambience is also a cut above the norm, with modern Mexican and colourful décor.

  1. 5, Passatge de la Font, 08013
More info

Àpat

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Eating well at a reasonable price would be a pipe dream in Barcelona if it weren't for restaurants like Àpat: its lunchtime menu is surprising and scrumptious. The dinner menu brings to the table dishes such as cod steak with sweet apple and traditional chickpea stew.

  1. 137, Aribau, 08036
Book online

Cat Bar

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

A petite bar-restaurant with a vegan punk spirit, the walls look like Black Flag album covers starring cats. They're also big into their beers, with foam-licking-good Catalan craft beers, and the punky bottled Scottish Brew Dog. The lunchtime menu always features a veggie burger (that could easily make claim to being the best in the city in its class) and dishes that are simple but always scrumptious. Food and beer are served all day till closing time.

  1. Bòria, 17
More info

Lluís de les Moles

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Down a little street right near Plaça Catalunya you can enjoy a lunch menu that offers so many dishes to choose from, it's not nearly as limiting as many lunch specials. Bear in mind the restaurant is open only for lunch and a drink is not included. Their timbal (pie) of potato and botifarra negra (black sausage) is already a classic.

  1. 25, De les Moles, 08002
More info

Lata-Berna

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Juanjo Martínez, former executive chef at the Hotel Arts and Renaissance man, has opened a space for creative tapas with a raison d'être – that is, they have to speak for themselves. So there's a lot of thought behind the tapas like a smoke burrata cheese with rosemary and tomato and muesli compote, but you'll also find classic tapas with original presentations, such as the Olot potatoes served with a metal mesh that evokes the mountains of the Garrotxa.

  1. Torrent de les Flors, 53
More info

Himali

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

A comic metaphor for modern-day Barcelona, Himali moved into what was a local boozer, but has retained the silhouettes of famous Catalans - Dalí and Montserrat Caballé among them - on the windows; inside, meanwhile, there are Nepalese prayer flags and tourist posters of the Himalayas. The alien and impenetrable menu looks a bit daunting, but the waiters are useful with recommendations. Alternatively, you could start with momo dumplings or Nepalese soup, followed by mugliaco kukhura (barbecued butter chicken in creamy tomato sauce) or khasi masala tarkari (baked spicy lamb). All dishes include rice and nan bread.

  1. 60-68, Milà i Fontanals, 08012
More info

Juicy Jones

  • Price band: 1/4

At first glance it looks like a Rasta bar, perfect for enjoying a fresh fruit juice after a late-night rave. But in fact they serve good, varied meals at Juicy’s: exotic salads and cold dishes, stews with Indian touches, as well as all kinds of shakes, juices and delicious sandwiches. They always use organic produce, and the menu is 100% vegan.

  1. Hospital, 74, El Raval, 08001
More info

Las Fernández

  • Price band: 2/4

For the past six years, these three sisters from Bierzo have been in the heart of El Raval, offering an experience that combines the produce of their land with a deep red decor, a bit like an Almodóvar film. All dishes are for sharing. It’s quite small and has its hardcore clientele, so please book well in advance.

  1. 11, Carretes, 08001
More info

El Kiosko

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Brad Ainsworth, the chef who brought the gourmet burger to Barcelona with his tiny Bacoa, also opened El Kiosko, which is along the same lines but more spacious and comfortable and open onto the street. Try any of the delicious recipes with special chutney sauce, home-cooked fries and you’ll know what I mean.

  1. Marquès de l'Argentera, 1, Born-Ribera, 08003
More info

Negro Carbón

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Critics choice

Tapas and tango is their motto. Apart from that, these Argentineans serve stupendous barbecued meat (it’s one of the few one of the few places in Barcelona that can be described as an authentic Argentinean parrilla), and generous burgers made from premium beef.

  1. 16, Pla de Palau, 08003
Book online

Gelida

  • Price band: 1/4

One of those bar-restaurants that are few and far between nowadays, ideal for tight budgets and good eaters. The fork breakfast is a memorable experience. And at lunchtime, get ready for a communal meal with some delicious starters and main dishes. The capipota, shoulder and cod are excellent. Wash it all down with a fine wine from Gelida.

  1. 133, Diputació, 08015
More info

Biocenter

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

One of the pioneers among the city's vegetarian restaurants, Biocenter's been around for 30 years and still going strong. You may have heard of Biocenter references as a 'quiet place', but 'quiet' isn't exactly how we would describe it. And that's not a criticism. We found it to be spacious, lively, decorated with care, and ultimately enjoyable. When you enter you have the feeling that it's not a restaurant that's just for vegetarians, but for anyone who wants to eat well, with generous portions, healthy options, fast and cheerful service and at an incredibly good price. Lunchtime features a self-service salad bar with much more than your typical lettuce-and-tomato options, followed by a main dish that you choose from among the daily specials. At night you get a bit more intimate lighting, good music and waiter service. In addition to a quality range of vegetarian and vegan options for traditional and ovo-lacto-vegetarians, it's worth noting that they use all natural and organic products.

  1. Pintor Fortuny, 25, El Raval, 08001
Book online

Escairón

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Escairón is particularly remarkable for its Galician entrecot (sirloin steak) and caldo gallego (Galician broth). Jorge and Pilar make you feel at home, while the clientele are mostly regulars. Aside from the entrecot, main dishes include barbecue, stews, and especially the eponymous dessert, Escairón (crème caramel with a kind of nougat ice cream). Unforgettable fried potatoes accompany the meat dishes. This is the perfect place to delight your palate with the very best of Galician cuisine and fresh, quality market fare at reasonable prices and with excellent service.

  1. 5, Fontrodona, 08004
Book online

Bouzu

  • Price band: 2/4

A good place to try authentic Japanese cuisine tapa-style, and at very attractive prices. No sushi here, but they do have tofu, pork dumplings and Japanese-style fried chicken.

  1. 26, Ronda de Sant Antoni
More info

Granja Mabel

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This family establishment was modernised when the children inherited it from their parents, resulting in one of the best lunchtime menus in the Marina area. For less than 10€ per person, you can choose between four starters and four main dishes, made from simple ingredients but created with great expertise and originality. Like upside-down macaroni stuffed with chicken and bechamel. It’s become a real magnet in the area.

  1. 116, Marina, 08018
More info


Users say

10 comments
Michelle Milgrim
Michelle Milgrim

Wow, I love Negro Carbon, such a great spot. Believe it or not, some of the best meals I have been having recently have been with these "eatwith" events. Has anyone heard of it? Basically you eat meals with locals in their homes. Prices range but I have been meeting some very cool people and eating AMAZING food. Take a look at the events in Barcelona coming up http://goo.gl/x0PWSW

Mike
Mike

woww Himali is amazing!! I live it and I love Trobador restaurant too! :)

Marie
Marie

I love Negro Carbon restaurant and Bimbas restaurant, both ones are amazing!

Laurent
Laurent

Hi! I was in Negro Carbon last year! I love this place! another restaurant that I've been this year is Bimba's, and I liked a lot, sure is one of the best italian restaurants in Barcelona!!

Marie
Marie

Wow thanks for these tips! In addition I was last summer in Barcelona and I was at Divinus restaurant, they have a quality food and very good Price! So recommended! :) Àpat restaurant I was too and it's quality/Price a good restaurant too.

Megan
Megan

Bo d Be sandwich shop!

Jony
Jony

Guakamola Mexican Taqueria A taqueria that offers Mexican food Burritos (Tinga, Steak, Cochinita, Veggie), Tacos, Guacamole, Nachos, Quesadillas and some specialties like ceviche, shrimp cocktail, meatballs, stuffed pepper, and also have fruit drinks, fruit smoothies , Margaritas, Tequila, Mojitoz. All products are fresh with typical Mexican. They are located off the Barceloneta beach, has a very cool terrace and decor is fun, the service is warm and quick with great prices.

KimK
KimK

Great tips I like the look of the Japanese tapas place! Another good tip is to get involved with the Barcelona foodie scene for cheap (and sociable) eats. There is a new community where chefs are serving fresh, local meals from their homes, I tried this out last month when I was in Barcelona, it was a lot of fun and something new and different, here is the site: www.eatwith.com/espana

Richard
Richard

I was in Barcelona a week ago, I went to the Casa Batllo and then ate in restaurant Divinus. It was so cool, really impressive quality, and excellent service. If I go to Barcelona go to this restaurant for sure!

Lillie
Lillie

Can't wait until I go to BCN so I can try all these restaurants!