I love great food and I love Barcelona and I think these two things def have some overlap. From huevos estrellados to shawarma to good old American Kale salad, Barcelona slays everyone’s food. I’m not sure if you could find bad food if you tried, but just to be sure, here are some tested places I love.
Café Alsur is a place my sister recently discovered located in the Gothic neighborhood which is part of the downtown. It’s hands down my favorite place to get breakfast or brunch here in Barcelona. We ordered Huevos Estrellados which the waiter explained as “Scrambled Eggs” but, as you can see, these go way beyond your typical scrambled egg—in fact, they’re way too tasty and photogenic to even fall under the classification.
Even more noteworthy however, were the carrot cake pancakes which are my new laptop screensaver; that’s how gorgeous they were! Although the menu described them as “healthy”, the thick cream cheese frosting contradicts that. That being said, they’re worth every calorie.
If you want to dine somewhere nice, but still not crazy expensive, Mordisco is a lovely place to go. The best seats are on the glass-enclosed plaza, so definitely ask the waiter if you can be seated there. I ordered the truffled tagliatelle, which was wonderful, but they also offer more classic Spanish dishes like squid paella and ham croquetas. The restaurant is located in a cute area far enough from La Rambla that you can go calmly shop at some of the clothing boutiques nearby like Oysho and Brandy Melville. It’s also pretty close to Tomo II which is a deluxe gelato shop.
Taverna Can Margarit
This tavern in Poble Sec is a perfect place to go with a group of friends for a raucous evening and affordable, delicious traditional Catalan cooking. I spent my eighteenth birthday here and there must have been at least five others doing the same since every couple minutes the waiter’s danced it with sparkling champagne and chocolate cake. It’s open from 9 pm to 11:30 pm so best for a late night. The atmosphere inside is gorgeous, you’ll find yourself surrounded by aged wine barrels, overgrown candles, and romantic lighting. Don’t forget to try the house specialty: conejo a la jumillana (fried rabbit).
Flax and Kale and Teresa Carles
If you’ve eaten one too many croquetas and are feeling weighed down by the plentitude of meat and fried foods in Spanish cuisine, head to one of Teresa Carles’s vegetarian restaurants. Flax and Kale and Teresa Carles are both located near Plaza Catalunya in the downtown of Barcelona and I love them both. If I had to pick one, I’d go with Flax and Kale since the interior is a bit cuter, but I’m a huge fan of both. The standouts for me are the smoothies at Flax and Kale, salads (the classic Kale salad offered at both is mind-blowing), and cheesecake at Teresa Carles.
La Boqueria is the most famous food market in Barcelona. Although it’s swarming with tourists, it’s still worth paying a visit to while you’re strolling down La Rambla: the main street of Barcelona’s downtown. Since it’s overpriced and busy, I usually prefer to pick up something small like chocolate covered strawberries (3 euros well spent) then head somewhere calmer for my lunch. That being said, it’s a wonderful way to get a quick peek at the wide variety of specialties here in Spain as well as some free turrón samples!
I don’t have any photos here yet since I’ve yet to visit this trip, but it’s my favorite restaurant of all. It’s a shawarma restaurant located towards the bottom of La Rambla that’s a cult favorite amongst my friends which we discovered while studying abroad. For a few euros, you can pig out on the tastiest shawarma around, a Moroccan mint tea, and mini baklava for dessert. Even though it’s cheap, however, the interior is still lovely. The best part of all is they leave the legendarily delicious white sauce on the table so you can douse your shawarma to your stomach’s desire.
Also published on Medium.