Beautiful bustling Barcelona is a heady mix of intriguing architecture, irrepressible culture, inviting beaches and most importantly, exquisite food. Here, you’ll find a dining option for every budget, cuisine and taste and have the opportunity to try traditional Spanish tapas, sangria and the local speciality, Cava. Read on to find the top restaurants in this thriving city for breakfast, lunch and dinner:
Breakfast in Barcelona
- Brunch & Cake
- Flax & Kale
- Milk Bar & Bistro
Brunch & Cake
Brunch & Cake is entirely dedicated to brunch. Their menu features classic breakfast dishes but with a modern twist. Expect to see eggs benedict served on waffles or brie sandwiches with caramelised onions and strawberries. The menu changes frequently, which is one of the reasons this spot is one of the most popular in Barcelona for brunch.
There are five Brunch & Cake venus across the city and each follows a philosophy of dedication to quality. The chain aims to use fresh, local and sustainable ingredients in every dish but the real star of the show is the presentation. You should dine here just to see how beautifully presented each dish is! Each venue features a host of sofas and low coffee tables for those just stopping by but there are also regular tables for those that wish to lounge for longer.
Flax & Kale
“We are what we eat” is the motto behind mostly vegetarian restaurant, Flax & Kale. With two restaurants in Barcelona, Flax & Kale has seen vast growth in popularity since it opened in 2014. And it’s easy to see why! Research and innovation are the engine that drive the evolution behind the restaurant - allowing them to create a world of tasty, healthy and sustainable food.
Part of the Terese Carles empire, Flax & Kale brings customers closer to the fascinating world of healthy flexitarian cuisine. All dishes on the frequently changing menu are super healthy, gluten-free and incredibly delicious, making it highly rated among Barcelona’s foodies. If you’re after brunch, make sure to visit at the weekend as it is served then between the hours of 10 and 5.
Milk Bar & Bistro
Carrer d’en Gignàs, 21, 08002
Since 2005, Milk Bar & Bistro have been serving up a family-style menu of tasty, bold flavoured foods with global influence in a fun and lively setting that makes guests feel at home from the moment they walk through the door. Most well-known for their Famous Recovery Brunch (perfect after a long night of hitting Barcelona’s vibrant bars), Milk Bar & Bistro has an extensive menu. Classics such as eggs benedict, American pancakes and English breakfasts are available alongside unique dishes such as the triple-whammy breakfast burger and ‘Nurse Jackie’ (toasted goat’s cheese with piquillo peppers).
The restaurant is located within a once-famous absinthe bar where tarot readers predicted the future and the less desirable of Barcelona’s nights would once gather. Today, there is a healthy atmosphere in keeping with the spaces chequered past. The interior is fascinating and the menu is seasonal, meaning there’s truly something for everyone.
Lunch in Barcelona
- Bodega Biarritz
- La Taperia
- Teresa Carles
Carrer del Vidre, 8, 08002
Bodega Biarritz is the total package. Open 6 days a week, the restaurant serves delicious Spanish tapas alongside traditional Catalonian wine. Michael from blogging duo, Just A Pack, highly recommends a visit to Bodega Biarritz. He says, “if you are looking to go on a culinary tapas adventure in Barcelona you will be hard-pressed to find a restaurant better than Bodega Biarritz. Located on the edge of the Barri Gótic it’s rustic yet stylish interior is in perfect keeping with its surroundings in one of the most beautiful areas of the city.
“Once you have arrived and been seated we highly recommend that you order a “surprise” sharing menu for two people. The menu consists of 8 different tapas dishes which will be chosen for you. The waiters will bring each tapas dish one by one so you get the chance to enjoy each while it’s fresh. If you don’t like a particular dish you can say no and they’ll bring you a different one until you’ve sampled a total of 8. That’s why we love Bodega Biarritz so much. You can explore new flavours and discover new tapas dishes that you might otherwise not have tried!”
Passeig de Gràcia, 24 Bis 08007
Ever competed for dishes “Malaga-style”? At La Taperia you will have to do just that. Swift service means you order cold tapas from passing waiters while hot tapas dishes flow out of the kitchen endlessly. And thanks to its ideal location, you can stop by for lunch while exploring the local area.
“While it probably isn’t the most “traditional” of places in Barcelona, La Taperia located in the food hall, El Nacional, is quite the experience,” says Taylor from travel blog Travel Colorfully. “Instead of ordering your hot dishes directly from the waiter, you’re in for a more immersive experience. Every five minutes a different waiter will appear from the kitchen holding four or five servings of a dish. It’s up to you to raise your hand as quickly as possible as they scream what the dish is so you can get a serving before it runs out!” Check out Taylor’s Barcelona food guide for further inspiration.
Carrer de Jovellanos, 2, 08001
Looking for a vegetarian option? Randi from vegan lifestyle and travel blog, Veggie Visa, recommends lunch at Teresa Carles. “Teresa Carles is a vegetarian restaurant in Barcelona that has been around since 1979. The chef, Teresa Carles Borras, created a restaurant centered around the traditional Catalan cuisine of her family but with a healthy twist,” says Randi.
“The Barcelona based restaurant was the first experience in innovative vegan dining I had after transitioning, and one that left a long-lasting impression. The restaurant is stunning. The entrance greets guests with an array of fresh produce and ingredients used by the kitchen. Exposed brick walls are lined with sconces reflecting warm light onto the hodgepodge of furniture, fabrics and designs used throughout the space. The restaurant’s atmosphere is lively and welcoming, as you’d expect from any in Spain.
“As impressive as the restaurant is, the menu steals the show. Traditional Spanish dishes that have been veganised feature prominently, including spinach and millet croquettes and patatas bravas. It isn’t limited to just one cuisine though. There are also curry's or tacos with jackfruit, lasagna with cashew cheese and portobello dumplings with ginger, miso and black garlic broth. So many vegan options are featured on this vegetarian restaurant’s menu that it can be difficult to make a choice. Luckily, the staff are skilled at guiding customers to choices that will please their palates and panzas. Just make sure to save room for dessert - 6 of the 8 on the menu are vegan!”
Dinner in Barcelona
- Casa Lolea
- El Xampanyet
Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt, 49, 08003
You know a restaurant is good when it is filled with locals. At Casa Lolea there's a happy mix of tourists attracted by the intriguing menu and discerning locals who are drawn in by the delicious food. A typical but real tavern, Casa Lolea combines the traditional with the contemporary resulting in mouthwatering dishes at affordable prices.
The restaurant was originally opened by four friends in 2013 who aimed to “re-educate the consumer on how to appreciate the drink that has garnered such bad press.” That drink was sangria. Today, their signature Lolea sangria lines the side of the white-topped bar in brightly coloured polka dot bottles. They say, “it is easy to find a good sangria in this city… but impossible to find one as incredible as the one at Casa Lolea!”
Carrer dels Escudellers, 33, 08002
Hannah from travel, food and lifestyle blog Hannatalks, ate at some great restaurants during her time in Barcelona but would like to give a special shout out to Colom, a small restaurant tucked down the side of a cobbled alley in the Gothic Quarter, serving up traditional Spanish cuisine. She mused, “when a restaurant is bustling with locals, you know it’s going to be a good place to check out! The food is relatively cheap here and there are some great meal-deal style offers for solo travellers, couples and families.”
Hannah ordered a few tapas-style starters to try but said the star of the show was the gigantic dish of fresh chicken paella, packed with lots of fresh and delicious ingredients - yummy! Colom is open from 11.30am until 12.00am Monday to Friday, so the chances are you’ll have the opportunity to try their incredible menu.
Carrer de Montcada, 22, 08003
Located in El Borne, hidden down a narrow, pedestrianised street you’ll find El Xampanyet. A traditional old school bar and restaurant popular with locals, El Xampanyet is the perfect spot for traditional Spanish tapas and thirst-quenching Cava. Haydy, blogger at Squibb Vicious, believes a trip to Barcelona is incomplete without a visit to El Xampanyet, “whenever I visit Barcelona - which has been eight times over the past fifteen years or so - there is one restaurant that I always revisit and that’s El Xampanyet. It’s the first tapas bar I remember visiting - you can even share a table with the locals!
One thing that draws Haydy back time and time again is the relaxed atmosphere, she said, “you don’t need to order your tapas, they bring it over to you with drinks. Their Cava is served from clip top bottles and is their very own variety, it really gives you a feel of what Barcelona and tapas are all about!”