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A Foodie Guide To Barcelona's Best Catalan Restaurants

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June 6, 2017 / Spanish / By
ETG - Food For Thought

Catalan cuisine attracts foodies from all over the world to Barcelona. The city is very welcoming, the kitchens are creative, the ingredients are locally sourced, the chefs know the perfect way to combine traditions with contemporary techniques and they also know how to make their food irresistible, not to mention that Catalan cuisine is surprisingly affordable considering how good the dishes are.

The ingredients used in Catalan cuisine are usually fresh veggies, such as tomato, artichoke, eggplant and garlic, mixed with all sorts of meat (poultry, lamb pork), meat products (sausages, ham) or fish (tuna, sardines, cod and anchovy), paired with all sorts of cheese and/or wheat products like bread and pasta. However, what makes Catalan cuisine so special is the mix of sweet and savory flavors of the dishes and the special sauces used for the meat or for the preparation of the traditional stews.

An amazing staple of Catalan cuisine is picada, a sauce added as seasoning in numerous Catalan meat and/or vegetable dishes. Picada contains almonds, bread and some type of liquid. There are numerous variations of picada used by the cooks and chefs who prepare Catalan dishes. For example, some of them use pine nuts or other type of nuts in addition to almonds, others use biscuits instead of bread.  As for the liquid used to prepare this sauce, things can vary as well. Some people use warm water while others prefer stock or cooking juice.

Allioli is another staple of Catalan cuisine. This simple, thick sauce made with garlic and olive oil is also used for various meat or vegetable dishes.

If you are a fan of sweet, savory and garlicky, you have to go to Barcelona and visit at least some of the best Catalan restaurants in the city. Here’s a list that will help you to decide where to dine or where to enjoy a delicious Catalan meal throughout the day during your visit to Barcelona:

Restaurant Gaig

Restaurant Gaig is one of the best, if not the best, Catalan restaurant in Barcelona. Founded in 2013, Restaurant Gaig is the result of a merger between Gaig and Fonda Gaig, two restaurants opened by Carles and Fina Gaig, that received recognition from Academia Catalana de Gastronomía during the first year after the launch.

Image source: Restaurant Gaig

The ambience of the restaurant is very inviting and the décor elegant and chic however, the Catalan dishes are the reasons Restaurant Gaig is so popular and loved inn Barcelona. You can choose from a traditional menu, a tasting menu or a la carte dishes. No matter what you decide to try from the menu, make sure you do not skip dessert! We also recommend ordering wine with your dessert since the dessert wine collection is impressive. If you are not sure what wine to order for your dessert, ask the waiter for guidance.

Image source: Restaurant Gaig

Ca l'Estevet

Founded in 1890, Ca l'Estevet was initially named Fonda Navarro and it was known as a warehouse then an eating house. In 1940, Fonda Navarro changed owners and also its name becoming Ca l'Estevet. Since then, the restaurant thrived and transformed into the amazing traditional restaurant it is today.

Image source: Ca l'Estevet

The décor is simple, the atmosphere friendly but the dishes stand out. Ca l'Estevet is the place where you can find numerous classic Catalan dishes, such as pig’s trotters or lamb’s brain in bread crumbs.

Image source: Ca l'Estevet

El Sortidor de la Filomena Pagès

El Sortidor de la Filomena Pagès is one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona and the place you can enjoy a traditional lunch or dinner. The authentic decorations will make you feel like you are living in a totally different era.

Image source: El Sortidor de la Filomena Pagès

When it comes to the dishes, we can say that the traditional cuisine has a little bit of a modern twist due to the restaurant’s chef who loves to add something modern to the menu not by changing traditional dishes but by adding some modern options.

Image source: El Sortidor de la Filomena Pagès

Petit Comité

Petit Comité is the place where Nando Jubany, a Michelin-starred chef, works his magic reinventing old classic Catalan dishes. The interior of Petit Comité has a warm and modern flair and the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming.

Image source: Petit Comité

Open every day from 1 to 4 pm and from 7.30 to 11 pm, the restaurant is ready to surprise its guests with the dishes included in its seasonal menu or in the main menu. Artichoke textures with foie-gras, crispy Iberian ham and zuchinni cannelloni stuffed with mashed codfish and black garlic are just some examples of what delicious surprises you will be able to enjoy during your meal at Petit Comité.

Image source: Petit Comité

La Mar Salada

Image source: La Mar Salada

Close to Barceloneta beach, La Mar Salada is the place where you will find numerous unique Catalan dishes. If you visit the restaurant during summer months, you can eat your meal outside, while admiring the surroundings.

The menu changes every week and you will surely find something tempting to try every single week. Usually, the weekly menu includes starters, a main course and a dessert and the price is really affordable.

Image source: La Mar Salada

Òsties Pedrín

Another traditional Catalan cuisine restaurant you should visit during your stay in Barcelona is Òsties Pedrín. Situated in the Boqueria, the culinary center of Barcelona, Òsties Pedrín is a beautiful place where you can indulge in Catalan dishes and Catalan wines.

Image source: Òsties Pedrín

Òsties Pedrín focuses on Catalan dishes that are specific to Barcelona and uses seasonal products from local suppliers. The restaurant is perfect for groups and the menu offers a wide range of salads and cold starters, warm starters, elaborated dishes, meat and fish dishes, vegetable dishes but also amazing desserts.

Image source: Òsties Pedrín

CentOnze

Another restaurant from La Boqueria market, CentOnze is a place where the chef loves to put a modern spin on the traditional Catalan dishes. The chic restaurant has a modern interior that offers a refined dining experience.

Image source: CentOnze

There are several menus you can choose from at CentOnze, including a la carte, tasting, tapas and lunch. The restaurant can accommodate vegetarian or people who are on a gluten-free diet. If you want to eat at CentOnze, we recommend the grilled monkfish medallions included in the tasting menu or a visit during lunch time when you can enjoy a three course meal with delicious contemporary-traditional Catalan dishes.

Image source: CentOnze

L'Havana

Opened in 1897, L'Havana is still committed to provide delicious homemade Catalan dishes that are loved by both tourists and locals. L'Havana is simply decorated and it has a very family-like feel.

Image source: L'Havana

It’s hard to decide what to choose from the menu when you are at L'Havana since there are so many options. If you plan to eat there with a friend, you can order two plates that are ideal for sharing. In this way you will be able to enjoy two different dishes at the same time. If you prefer small portions, ask the waiter for recommendations but keep in mind that the stuffed calamari and the Catalan cannelloni are to die for!

Image source: L'Havana

Bar Angel

Bar Angel is known for its reasonable prices and tasty dishes. The décor is simple, friendly and not at all fancy, but the dishes will compensate for the simplicity of the location.

Image source: Bar Angel

Pork is very popular at Bar Angel and you can order pretty much everything with pork, both dishes and tapas. However, you will also be able to order fish dishes, salads and even hamburgers.

Image source: Bar Angel

Can Culleretes

The first restaurant in Barcelona, opened in 1786, is still serving delicious Catalan dishes today. You can order anything from fish dishes to stewed wild board and also some very special wines. The walls of the restaurant feature huge oil paintings and numerous framed photographs with clients from different centuries.

Image source: Can Culleretes

Can Culleretes offers a la carte dishes, fixed-price menus (including the signature 1786 menu and the Agut-Manubens Family Menu, a menu with the dishes that brought fame to the restaurant) but also dishes of the day and decadent desserts.

Image source: Can Culleretes

Senyor Parellada

Situated in the old town of Barcelona, Senyor Parellada is a charming inn with an even more charming restaurant where you can enjoy a variety of Catalan dishes.

Image source: Senyor Parellada

From lamb and code dishes to a delicious Paella Parellada, Senyor Parellada is ready to impress your taste buds with the best Catalan flavors and aromas. It’s really hard to recommend something from the menu since all the dishes are extremely good and prepared with love for the Catalan cuisine.

Image source: Senyor Parellada

Freixa Tradició

Josep Maria Freixa is a renowned chef with international experience that returned to Barcelona and opened Freixa Tradició to celebrate Catalan cuisine and its wonderful flavors. The restaurant is a chic establishment with a lovely décor.

 

Image source: Freixa Tradició

The menu is complex and full of traditional Catalan dishes, such as pig’s trotters, cuttlefish with artichokes, macarrons a la barcelonina and other authentic dishes.

Image source: Freixa Tradició

Can Vallès

Can Vallès has a simple appearance but the food is as good as the one served in fancier restaurants. The prices are, obviously, affordable and the dishes are made with some of the best products on the market.

Image source: Can Vallès

You have to try the pork cannelloni, the fresh salads, the delicious tapas, the fresh fish dishes but make sure you have room for dessert. You’ll need more than one visit to Can Vallès to be able to indulge in all these Catalan dishes, but a second visit is mandatory if you ask us.

Image source: Can Vallès

Ca L'isidre

When Catalan cuisine has French influences, it is hard to resist trying all the dishes in the menu. This is exactly what happens at Ca L'isidre. A classically decorated restaurant that welcomes clients in a friendly and warm atmosphere.

Image source: Ca L'isidre

There are numerous dishes in the menu we think you should try and, again, it is very hard to recommend just a few. The wine selection is also very good and we don’t think you will be able to resist the temptation of trying a Ca L'isidre dessert.

Image source: Ca L'isidre

Bar Nou

Bar Nou is a colorful, modern place that serves great Catalan food all day long. You can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in this gastrobar and you will feel like home. The atmosphere is very friendly and the prices affordable.

Image source: Bar Nou

For €15 you can enjoy a three course menu or you can try different a la carte dishes that sound appealing to you, your choice.

Image source: Bar Nou

Can Pineda

Can Pineda first opened its doors in 1904 and it is a great place for those who never tried Catalan cuisine before and want to be sure the dishes they try are traditional and very tasty. Can Pineda is loved by Barcelona’s local foodies but also by foodie travelers from all around the globe.

Image source: Can Pineda

This restaurant is expensive compared to Bar Nou or other Catalan restaurants in Barcelona but if you want to experience perfectly made traditional Catalan dishes, you shouldn’t say no to Can Pineda.

Image source: Can Pineda

N/A

Country: Spain

Province/State: Cataluna

City: Barcelona

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: N/A

Website:...

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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