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Restaurant reviews and recommendations: how we do it

Here's how we select and rank the very best restaurants in Barcelona

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Mar i muntanya de Can Boneta
© Iván Moreno

We’ve visited every place on the Time Out eat list in person (in the case of some of them, several times). We go incognito, and book, pay and tip like everyone else. We get treated like regular diners—sometimes we even get the worst seat in the house. Some of these places are established icons of Boston’s dining scene, some are future stars. We like to let places settle in, revisit them and explore the menu.

For a restaurant to get on the EAT List, the food has to be amazing, that’s a given. But we’re after more than that. We’re looking for a combination of cooking, atmosphere and experience that makes a place truly memorable: somewhere you’d tell your friends about. Somewhere you can’t wait to go back to. We won’t include a place just because it’s innovative, or expensive, or hard to book. It always has to deliver on flavor and value. We rate out of five stars:

One star: Avoid!
Two stars: Not that great
Three stars: Good
Four stars: Really good
Five stars: Unmissable

We also give you an idea of the average cost for a typical meal per person. Euro-sign designations are as follows:

€: €10-12 or less
€€: €15-25
€€€: €25-45
€€€€: €50 or more

The eat list is updated regularly, so you can be sure that it is always a picture of the very best of Barcelona's current food scene.

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The Black Lion
© Iván Moreno
Bars and pubs

Best craft beer bars in Barcelona

Barcelona is getting a reputation as one of the top cities in Spain (and, dare we say, beyond) for craft beer. Even some in beer-proud Madrid will tell you that Barcelona is the place to be for great brew. This is a city with such huge aficionados of craft beer that they make that special combo of water, malt, hops and barley their cause – to the extent that there are tours of breweries, social networks devoted to craft beer, and you can even use apps like Untappd and websites such as BeerAdvocate, and RateBeer to seek out the latest barrel or bottle, including both local and imported products. Come along as we show you around the city's top spots for the craft beer you crave.

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Bars and pubs, Tapas bars

Barcelona bars with free tapas

We admit it: Barcelona isn't Granada or Madrid. We don't know why, but the pleasing custom of getting a free tapa when you order a beer just isn't Barcelona's style, to the point that some places plop down an insignificant plate of seeds or extra-salty nuts in front of you and call that a tapa. But you can still find some bars in the city that swim against the current, places where with every beer you get to try a different treat because you're that special to them – or maybe because they want you to stay and buy another drink. Fill your belly while enjoying a beer or two in Barcelona's most generous bars. SEE ALSO: 10 BARCELONA BARS WITH FREE TAPAS

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Vermouth route: Sant Antoni and L'Eixample

The aperitif culture of Sant Antoni has been appropriated and at the same time revived by roving hordes of hipsters. As we enter Sant Antoni along C/ Manso, the most solid corner of the Vermouth Triangle is La Bodega d’en Rafel (Manso, 52). At this earthy den everything is done right, from their old-fashioned hot breakfasts to the profusion of cold pickles, tinned delicacies and hot tapas (from their range we like the cod salad, fried fish and pork scratchings). There’s a staggering variety, and you can wash it all down with home-made vermouth, three draft lagers or wines from Batea in the Terra Alta. It’s not a bar, it’s a gem. If there’s such a thing as a hipster granddad, you’ll find it here: I watch as a spry 70-year-old drains a 'porró' (a Catalan glass receptacle with a long, narrow spout), pouring a fine jet of wine straight into his mouth, without getting a drop on his Fred Perry T-shirt or a hair out of place. Before hipster culture and the credit crunch made aperitifs fashionable, Bodega Vinito (Parlament, 27) was already in business: they’ve been brightening the afternoons and evenings of their loyal customers for nine years now. In this neighbourhood, they’re the kings of the tinned seafood cocktail: at the weekend, a saucer of pickled artichokes, cockles, razor clams and anchovies comes in at only €4. All this plus excellent hot tapas and a wall of wines by the glass. Great stuff.They take traditional bar life seriously at Bar Nostàlgic (Viladomat, 38) t

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