The best Catalan cuisine

Enjoy the finest traditional dishes in Barcelona

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Crema catalana

Crema catalana

Try these restaurants, cafés and tapas bars for the best traditional Catalan fare in Barcelona - from escudellia (Catalan stew) to crema Catalana (pictured above).

7 Portes

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The eponymous seven doors open on to as many dining salons, all kitted out in elegant 19th-century decor. Long-aproned waiters bring regional dishes, served in vast portions, including a stewy fish zarzuela with half a lobster, a different paella daily (shellfish, for example, or rabbit and snails), a wide array of fresh seafood, and heavier dishes such as herbed black-bean stew with pork sausage, and orujo sorbet to finish. Reservations are available only for certain tables; otherwise, get there early.

  1. 14, Pg. Isabel II
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Petit Comitè

  • Price band: 3/4

Said to be the mentor of überchef Ferran Adrià, Fermí Puig has enjoyed years of quiet success with the moneyed classes at Drolma in the Hotel Majestic. This bistro is Puig's attempt to open up to a less élite public, serving more affordable versions of the Catalan classics; suquet (fish and potato stew), pig's trotters with spinach and pine nuts, and so on. Be warned: it's not obvious from the menu that dishes are small and meant to be ordered in a tapas style, so for all the good intentions behind the concept, this is still not an especially cheap option.

  1. 13, Passatge de la Concepció, 08008
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Can Culleretes

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Barcelona’s oldest restaurant, ​​and one of the oldest in Spain, is still going strong. The Agut-Manubens family, with mother and daughter to the fore, serve good Catalan cooking at very reasonable prices, notably their cannelloni with cod, roast sea bream and escudella i carn d'olla. And I promise you, afterwards you’ll never be hungry again. An ideal place for an enjoyable low-key Sunday meal.

  1. 5, Quintana, 08002
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Cal Boter

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

One of Gràcia’s best-known old restaurants, with great service and an unforgettable baked cod. The lunchtime menu is very good. Book at weekends, as it fills up quickly.

  1. 62, Tordera, 08012
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Taverna Can Roca

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The king of sit-down breakfasts, in fact it’s a good place to eat at any time: trinxat, beans and fideuà are just some of the traditional Catalan dishes that share the menu alongside such innovations as delicious roast pig's feet in xatò sauce. Their sandwiches are just as spectacular.

  1. 209, Gran de Sant Andreu, 08030
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Chicoa

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

The secret of Chicoa - a classic example of the city’s rustic-style restaurants – is that they offer first-class Catalan cuisine. One of their specialities is cod, which they serve in every different way imaginable.

  1. 73, Aribau, 08036
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Freixa Tradició

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

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.

  1. 22, Sant Elies, 08006
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Casa Delfín

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Casa Delfín was given a general facelift recently, when it changed owners. But some types of plastic surgery enhance the features and yet it’s hardly noticeable. This has become a place which, while it still has the appearance of an eatery, is more dynamic, has a traditional yet more diverse menu, and the outdoor terrace is absolutely lovely. And, like any good neighbourhood bar-restaurant, it is open uninterruptedly from 9 am until midnight, while on Friday and Saturday the closing time is extended until 1am. A perfect place to take visiting friends who want to have paella in the morning, after leaving Santa Maria del Mar church.

  1. 36, Passeig del Born, 08003
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Fonda Gaig

  • Price band: 4/4

It's currently all the rage for Barna's top chefs to set up more affordable offshoots, and this one is under the guiding hand of Carles Gaig. The Fonda Gaig schtick, like that at Petit Comitè, is a return to grandmotherly Catalan basics, and the favourite dish here is the canelons - hearty, steaming tubes of pasta filled with shredded beef and topped with a fragrant béchamel. The various dining rooms manage to be both modern and wonderfully comfortable, with red leather armchairs, careful soundproofing and mellow lighting.

  1. 200, Còrsega, 08036
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Casa Agustí

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The traditional cuisine of Casa Agustí, with its excellent cannelloni and the superlative oxtail, is a joyful reminder of past times, before the tidal wave of tourism arrived.

  1. 5, Bergara, 08001
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Bar Velódromo

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This classic restaurant serves quality dishes from the early morning until the small hours. With Jordi Vilà (one of the most in-form chefs in the city) as their executive chef, they produce an endless succession of dishes and tapas that will help you to experience, with every delicious bite, Catalonia’s gastronomic heritage. Whether you come here early in the morning or late at night, you can order anything from a croissant to a portion of Iberian ham or a good capipota

  1. 213, Muntaner, 08036
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Windsor

Refined, elegant and exclusive, the Windsor combines an air of modernity and noble traditions with an impeccable seasonal menu that includes delicacies such as deer cannelloni with cream of wild mushrooms and truffles. They are also the kings of game cuisine.

  1. 286, Còrsega, 08008
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