Looking for a great place to try the local fare? We rate the top 10 restaurants in Barcelona for the best in Catalan cuisine.
The best restaurants in Barcelona for Catalan cuisine
The rambling dining rooms at the ‘house of teaspoons’ have been packing ’em in since 1786. The secret to this restaurant’s longevity is a straightforward one: honest, hearty cooking and decent wine served at the lowest possible prices. Under huge oil paintings and a thousand signed black-and-white photos, diners munch sticky boar stew, tender pork with prunes and dates, goose with apples, partridge escabeche and superbly fresh seafood.
This is Sergi’s restaurant, a young chef with a vast range of experience and expertise. He’s a constant source of surprises, with a cuisine that mixes technique with tradition, resulting in surprising dishes like mille-feuille with fried egg or chick peas with scallops. And you won’t find many 'lletons d'Aranda' (suckling pig) as good as his in Barcelona.
The return of Josep Maria Freixa to his family home, now that Ramon has gone off to enjoy fame in Madrid, has resulted in an authentic festival of traditional cuisine: pig’s trotters with prunes and pine nuts, cuttlefish with artichokes, and perhaps the finest macaroni in Barcelona.
A charming restaurant with a range of classic dishes from Catalonia’s culinary culture that are always good to revisit or discover. There's not a Catalan chef who has never made cuttlefish meatballs. And any good traditional Catalan restaurant will serve them. At Senyor Parellada, they pass the test with flying colours. The 'croquetes de l’àvia', French beans and cod casserole are also among their standout dishes from the Catalan cookbook.
Home cooking. Few places can say that about their cuisine these days, but Can Vilaró is among those that can. It's a classic, authentic restaurant that's earned its place in Barcelona's culinary history. Every day Sisco and Dolors welcome a legion of faithful customers who know how to pick a good spot to eat as though welcoming them into their own home. Located in front of the Sant Antoni market, Can Vilaró could be called a restaurant of true market cuisine, but what they really do well is home-made meals, like traditional Catalan 'escudella' soup and stew, 'fideuà a la cassola' (a hearty and meaty vermicelli-type dish), lentils with chorizo sausage, and plenty of traditional offal delicacies.
Few restaurants in Barcelona that opened in 1897 are still around. In 1945, a family took over one such restaurant, L’Havana, keeping its name and its commitment to home-made Catalan cuisine. Now two sisters and their families boast a faithful following of regular customers. The restaurant offers a variety of traditional Catalan starters that are prepared and presented well, and ideal for sharing. The battered artichokes and aubergines are superb, as are the battered squid rings, which are sometimes hard to find done just right. The tripe, the meatballs with cuttlefish and the stuffed calamari are specialities that attract the local clientele and are always in high demand. You have to try the Catalan cannelloni with béchamel and excellent filling. I'm ashamed to be just discovering this restaurant now despite my many years of existence, but I'm glad I finally have.
The great-grandson of Casa Agustí has opened a new restaurant that has a distinctly traditional feel to it: white tablecloths on every table, and classic dishes that had all but died out. Such as lamb’s brain in breadcrumbs and pig’s trotters. And especially escudella i carn d'olla, which is excellent with a good red wine.