1. La Taverna del Clínic

Google Map

Slightly off the beaten track, this ordinary-looking tavern (see La Taverna del Clínic) offers inventive (though pricey) tapas, accompanied by a great array of wines. Arrive early or be prepared to wait for a table.


The unpretentious interior of La Taverna del Clínic

2. Igueldo

Google Map

Basque cuisine, prepared with flair and originality, is served here in elegant surroundings (see Igueldo). Dishes include pig’s trotters stuffed with morcilla (black pudding) and dried peach purée, or zamburiñas, a small scallop from the Atlantic. There is also a tapas bar at the entrance.

3. El Asador d’Aranda

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This palatial restaurant (see El Asador d’Aranda), perched high above the city on Tibidabo, is popular with businesspeople and dishes up the best in Castilian cuisine. Sizable starters include pica pica, a tasty array of sausages, peppers and hams. The restaurant’s signature main dish is lechazo (young lamb), roasted in a wood-fired oven.

4. Kaiku

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This unassuming beachfront restaurant (see Kaiku) makes what is possibly the best paella in the city. It is on the menu as arròs del xef, and is prepared with smoked rice and succulent shellfish. The desserts are great too. In the summer, book a table on the terrace and enjoy the views and sea breeze.

5. Windsor

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The modern Catalan haute cuisine dishes served in this elegant restaurant (see Windsor) are based on seasonal local produce. Tasting menus feature suquet de rape (monkfish stew) and suckling lamb.


The bar area at Windsor

6. Alkimia

prac_info Ronda de San Antoni 41 • 93 207 61 15 • Closed Sat–Mon • €€

Google Map

Jordi Vilà has won countless awards and a Michelin star for his innovative New Catalan cuisine, taking time-honoured dishes and giving them an artful twist. This restaurant inside the Cervecería Moritz offers a suitably spectacular setting.

7. Cinc Sentits

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This elegant Michelin-starred restaurant (see Cinc Sentits) is known for its inventive cuisine. The tasting menu by chef Jordi Artal can be paired with specially-chosen wines. The set-price lunch menu (Monday to Friday) is a bargain.

8. Pez Vela

prac_info Pg del Mare Nostrum 19/21 • 93 221 63 17 • €€

Google Map

Contemporary decor and fresh Mediterranean cuisine coupled with some of the best sea views in the city make this (see Historic Hotels) a great spot for a special meal. Pez Vela is located underneath the W Barcelona hotel.

9. Tickets Bar

prac_info Av Paral·lel 164 • Closed Tue–Fri lunch, Sun, Mon, Easter, 3 weeks in Aug, Christmas & New Year (reserve in advance online, or call 93 292 42 52 for last-minute availability) • • €€

Google Map

Run by El Bulli’s founders, this Michelin-starred place serves inventive tapas such as tuna belly with ham and caviar, and Manchego cheese ice cream with bacon, mustard and cucumber.

10. Disfrutar

prac_info Carrer de Villarroel, 163 • 93 348 68 96 • Closed Sun & Mon • • €€

Avant-garde cuisine prepared by former El Bulli chefs is served here. Unconventional dishes such as a gazpacho sandwich (sourdough with feta spread and raw vegetables) or Moroccan style pigeon are on offer in a relaxed and modern setting.


1. Calamars

A savoury seafood option is calamars a la romana (deep-fried battered squid) or calamars a la planxa (grilled squid).


Calamars a la Romana

2. Patates Braves

This traditional tapas favourite consists of fried potatoes topped with a spicy sauce. Equally tasty are patates heaped with aioli (garlic and olive oil sauce).

3. Pa amb Tomàquet

A key part of any traditional tapas spread is this bread topped with tomato and olive oil.

4. Croquetes

These tasty fried morsels, usually paired with cod, ham or chicken in a béchamel sauce, are a perennial favourite.

5. Musclos o Escopinyes

Sample Barcelona’s fruits of the sea with tapas of tasty mussels or cockles.

6. Truita de Patates

The most common tapas dish is this thick potato omelette, often topped with aioli (allioli in Catalan).

7. Ensaladilla Russa

“Russian salad” includes potatoes, onions, tuna (and often peas, carrots and other vegetables) all generously enveloped in mayonnaise.

8. Gambes a l’allet

An appetizing dish of prawns (shrimp) fried in garlic and olive oil.

9. Pernil Serrà

Cured ham is a Spanish obsession. The best, and most expensive, is Extremadura’s speciality, Jabugo.

10. Fuet

Embotits (Catalan sausages) include the ever-popular fuet, a dry, flavourful variety most famously produced in the Catalonian town of Vic.

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