I would return to Barcelona in a heartbeat just for the food.
Along with some other sightseeing highlights from our week-long trip to the Spanish capital, the best thing about our visit was definitely the delicious food we got to try.
We couldn’t really visit Barcelona without having some seafood paella, and like true tourists we shared a pan of it on our first night in the city, washed down with cold glasses of sangria.
Unsurprisingly you’ll find this dish in most restaurants across the city, but much like eating anywhere abroad, it’s best to avoid those located directly on the main tourist areas (unless you exclusively like to eat at restaurants with pictures of food on menus).
I always try to find a few nice places to eat before we set off somewhere new, and had spotted a tapas restaurant online called Bodega Biarritz 1881 before we left.
Located in the winding lanes which lead out into the Gothic Quarter, it’s a tiny restaurant which seats no more than 20 people at best. After waiting in line for about 10 minutes outside, we were seated on a half-barrel table up against the wall.
With all of their dished lined up in plates along the top of the bar counter, you order what you want by pointing at plates over the shoulders of customers who are sat in front (it’s a really small place!). This is then brought out to your table as its cooked. I’ll be honest, I’m not even sure exactly what it was we ordered, but each dish was just as delicious as the next.
With prices ranging from a very reasonable €2-4 per dish, the food here was without a doubt the best meal we had that week and the nicest tapas I’ve ever tried. You’ll see that most people would agree, as it’s currently number 9 of over 7,000 restaurants in the city.
My only disappointment is that we didn’t go back again during our stay.
We loved this busy indoor market, having lunch here twice during our week’s stay. Located half-way down La Rambla, it’s home to hundreds of tightly-packed stalls selling fresh seafood, fruit and vegetables, as well as having a small number of tapas bars too where you can sit and eat among the hustle and bustle of the marketplace.
We had a selection of dishes here, including the usual suspects of patatas bravas and ham croquetas, but also tried some more specialty plates too which the waiter checked we were adventurous enough to have before cooking it up. (FYI, it was just liver.)
If you don’t fancy sitting down, you can also easily pick up a full meal by buying a few nibbles here and there too – we had chorizo sticks, empanadas, fried fish, ‘ham and chips’ (aka serrano ham and crisps), and lots of other delicious treats.
And if after all that you still have room for more, you can easily pick up dessert from one of the many stalls selling fresh fruit salads and smoothies.
Having never visited the country or tried the food before, I ordered the first thing that jumped out from the menu – bistec a caballo, a flank steak served with a delicious tomato and onion sauce, topped with a fried egg, on a side of plantain and white rice. A very tasty and filling meal, finished with some alcoholic sugar cane shots which the waitress kindly brought over.
I don’t usually try anything other than the local cuisine when we go away, but this was a really nice change from our week of tapas!
What’s your favourite restaurant in Barcelona? Tell me in the comments!