Top 5 Bakeries
→ Baluard – C/ del Baluart, 38. Barceloneta. From a 4th generation baker, Anna Bellsolà, the pan de pagès is the one to order.
→ Cloudstreet Bakery – C/ Rosello 112. Eixample. Micro bakery.
→ Mayer Bakery – C/ Diluví 11. Gràcia. French style bakery. Beautiful Viennoiserie.
→ Origo Bakery – C/ de Milà i Fontanals, 9. Gràcia. Sourdough bread using ancient grains sourced locally.
→ Yellow Bakery – 4 Biz LOC 1 C/ Regomir. Gothic. Tremendous sourdough bread, this bakery supplies the best brunch places in town.
Top 5 Breakfast
→Caravelle – C. Pintor Fortuny 31. El Raval. The chef-owner is Australian, so expect good coffee and top brunch choices, expertly executed.
→Granja Petitbo – P/ de Sant Joan, 82. Arc de Triomf. All day brunch in a bright large space.
→Levante – Sant Domènc del Call, 11. Gothic Quarter. A gorgeous cafe serving breakfast with a Middle Eastern lean.
→Little Fern – C/ de Pere IV 168. Poble Nou. A couple from New Zealand brings us this gem. Brunch options are creative here – think corn fritter pancakes smothered with guacamole.
→Lulu – Av. del Marquès de l’Argentera, 7. Delicious tartines, scrumptious bowls, super service.
Top 5 Cheap Eats
→ A Tu Bola – C/ Hospital, 78. El Raval. Balls. Falafel, meatballs, all manner of round things.
→ Bao Bao – C/ de n’Aglà, 4, Gothic. Steamed Asian buns with funny names like the “Obama”.
→ Can Paixano (La Xampanyeria) – C/ de la Reina Cristina, 7. Barceloneta. Can Paixano is a Cava producer and La Xampanyeria is their restaurant. Tapas, warm sandwiches, canned food is all served. Extremely popular and busy. So go for breakfast (Cava for breakfast!).
→ Pikio Taco – C/ de Còrsega, 376. Gràcia. Gobble them up in two bites. The tacos at Pikio are so good you must order at least four.
→ Ramen Shop – C/ d’en Gignàs, 3. Gothic. A big bowl of ramen, good flavour – even the odd milky white soda popular in Japan.
Top 5 Coffee Spots
→ Cafe El Magnifico – C/ Argenteria 64. El Born. The one, the original single origin bean coffee roaster of Barcelona. A 3 generation business. Also, check out their shop Mag opened weekends only.
→ Espai Joliu – C/ Badajoz 95. Poble Nou. The prettiest coffee shop in town. Pick up a couple of succulents, a zine and an excellent coffee.
→ Satan’s Coffee – C/ de l’Arc de Sant Ramon del Call, 11. Coffee with heaps of implied attitude, in case the name didn’t tip you off. Some creative eats as well. They have another coffee shop in Casa Bonay.
→ Slow Mov – C/ de Luis Antúnez, 18. Gràcia. A thoughtful coffee shop going to great lengths to be the best and fairest it can.
→ Three Marks Coffee – Ausias Marc 151. Eixample. A relative newcomer, this cafe is spread over two light-filled floors.
Top 5 Food Tours
→ Barcelona Eat Local – barcelonaeatlocal.com –
→ Bear on Bike Market to Table – www.bearonbike.es –
→ Culinary Backstreets – culinarybackstreets.com –
→ Devour Tours – devourbarcelonafoodtours.com –
→ Wanderbeak – www.wanderbeak.com –
Top 5 Food Shops
→ Casa Perris – Plaça Comercial, 2. El Born. Flours, pulses, unsweetened peanut butter, dried fruits, spices – you can find it all here.
→ Ferment 9 – C/ de Sepúlveda 135. Sant Antoni. The shop no one knew we wanted but all loved when it opened. A temple to fermented things from water kefirs to kimchi to olives. Your gut will thank you.
→ J.K. Asian Supermarket – C/ De Sant Pau, 25. El Raval. An essential resource for Asian ingredients. I’m routinely amazed at how much stock they manage to squeeze into this small shop.
→ Vila Viniteca – C/ Dels Agullers, 7. El Born. The best Jamón, cheeses, canned foods and of course wine.
→ Xin Yang Kuang – Paseo de San Juan, 12. Arc de Triomf. The largest, best stocked Chinese supermarket I’ve found. Their walk-in fridge is a must visit.
Top 5 Gastro Restaurants
→ Fismuler – C/ Del Rec Comtal 17. El Born. In the Hotel Rec, opened by 2 El Bulli Alums. Large space, beautiful plates of food. Legendary cheesecake.
→ Gresca Bar – C/ de la Provença, 230. Eixample. They invented this concept in Barcelona. Accomplished food, served on chipped mismatched plates from an open kitchen.
→ Hetta – P/ Marimón, 5. Sarrià – Sant Gervasi. Some spectacular dishes here listed on a quirky menu that lists 9 ingredients at a time with a variety of cooking methods.
→ Petit Pau – C/ de l’Espanya Industrial, 22. Sants. Seasonal Catalan food in a small restaurant. Emphasis on flavour rather than plating and colours.
→ Santa Gula – Plaça de Narcís Oller, 3. Gràcia. Best canelones in town. Cosy, comfortable space. Best representation of Catalan food around.
Top 5 Hardest Places to get a Reservation
→ Direkte Boqueria – Locals 4-5. Pòrtics de la Boqueria. An 8 seat restaurant off the Boqueria market making remarkable fusion dishes.
→ Disfrutar – C/ Villarroel, 163. Eixample. A fantastic contemporary restaurant from El Bulli alumni.
→ Pakta – C/ Lleida, 5. Sant Antoni. Nikkei cuisine from Albert Adria.
→ Tickets – A/ del Paral·lel, 164. Sant Antoni. The most fun you are likely to have eating out. An avalanche of small dishes that will surprise and delight.
→ Yakumanka – C/ Valencia 207. Eixample. Peruvian restaurant known for it’s extremely fresh, sustainably caught fish.
Top 5 Interiors
→ Cafeteria Industrial – C/ Pallars 154. Poble Nou. Cool, yellow and retro. This Poble Nou cafe is worth a visit.
→ Cañete – C/ de la Unió, 17. El Raval. The succulents alone are worth a visit, hanging from the ceilings like many legged creatures. The food here is excellent.
→ El Nacional – P/ de Gracia, 24. Eixample. Just off Paseo de Gracia in a former car dealership, this huge space with various themed restaurants will definitely impress.
→ Flash Flash – C/ de la Granada del Penedès, 25. Eixample. A white interior with stencils of a young Karin Leiz taking pictures of the room – Flash Flash!
→ One Ocean Club – Moll de la Barceloneta 1. Barceloneta. A restaurant with a view of the yachts of Barceloneta.
Top 5 Japanese
→ Fan Shoronpo Japones – C/ Seneca 28, Gràcia. Delicious ramen, particularly the sesame one and delicate dumplings.
→ Kak Koy – C/ Ripoll 16. Gothic. A Japanese bistro with a Robata grill at its heart contributing smoke to some of the dishes. Try the miso eggplant!
→ Ramen Ya Hiro – C/ Girona 156. Eixample. The original ramen joint. Line curling round the blog usually.
→ Sato i Tanaka – C/ Bruc 79. Eixample. Exquisite nigiri and sashimi. Expertly made by either Chef Sato or Chef Tanaka.
→ Shunka – Sagristans, 5 bajos. Gothic. This remains the best all-around Japanese in the city.
Top 5 Menu del Dia
→ Berbena – Minerva 6, Baixos. Gràcia. 16.50€ will get you a basket of homemade bread, 2 starters, a main, a dessert and filter coffee. Huge effort going into it.
→ Can Kenji – C/ del Rosselló, 325. Eixample. Delightful Japanese cooking.
→ El Casal – Plaza Víctor Balaguer, 5. El Raval. Done up like the quirky living room of some eccentric aunt, El Casal offers a great value menu for 11.25€.
→ En Aparte – C/ Lluís el Piadós, 2. Sant Pere (El Born). French-themed lunch in a bright space filled with French flea market finds.
→ La Pubilla – Plaça de la Llibertat, 23. Gràcia. An institution. Across from the market, the food is fresh and often Catalan themed.
Top 5 Tapas
→ Bar del Pla – C/ Montcada 2. El Born. Serving a few of the classics but many of their own concoctions – like shaved mushrooms with strawberry and wasabi. Good wine list.
→ Bodega 1900 – C/ Tamarit, 91. Sant Antoni. Superb tapas, under the direction of Albert Adria. If you’ve always wanted to try spherified olives – this is the place. Go early and you won’t need a reservation.
→ Casa de Tapes Cañota – C/ Lleida 7 (junto AV. Parallel). Sant Antoni. A large wacky restaurant that serves an encyclopedia of tapas with ease.
→ Lolita – C/Tamarit, 104. Sant Antoni. A great spot for all manner of tapas including montaditos or things like salmon with truffled honey.
→ Tapas 24 – C/ Diputació, 269. Eixample. The wait can be long and you will be dining with tourists but this Carles Abellan spot is still good.
Top 5 You Would Never Expect It
→ Bambarol – C/ Santaló, 21. Sant Gervasi – Galvani. Excellent food from this unassuming, almost basement restaurant. Desserts are delightful, leave room for them.
→ Chennai Masala Dosa – C/ de Galileu, 326. Les Corts. South Indian food. Good thalis and dosas, all delicious.
→ Embat – C/ de Mallorca, 304. Eixample. Great cooking happening here, no ego, no fanfare, just excellent food, and hardly anyone seems to know about it.
→ Leka – C/ de Badajoz, 65. Poble Nou. A Mediterranean, fusion, with some Scandinavian thrown in – it sounds odd, but they make it work. Interesting space and furniture.
→ Lluritu – C/ Torrent de les Flors, 71. Gràcia. Some of the best seafood in Barcelona, miles from the sea, up in the hills of Gracia. Small, easy to walk past but don’t, you will be smitten with this place.
Top 5 Vegetarian
→ Flax & Kale – C/ Tallers 74B. El Raval. The first hipster vegetarian, flexitarian, cold-pressed juice flagship of the city.
→ Flax & Kale Passage – C/ de Sant Pere Mes Alt 31-33. Sant Pere (El Born). The second iteration of Flax & Kale. This one with a fermentation chamber.
→ Green Spot – C/ de la Reina Cristina, 12. Barceloneta. An elegant vegetarian restaurant from the En Compania de Lobos group. Even non-veggies eat here for the space.
→ Honest Greens – Rambla de Catalunya 3. Eixample. Fast affordable food mostly vegetarian, gorgeous space.
→ Teresa Carles – C/ de Jovellanos, 2. El Raval. A more traditional offering of vegetarian food although this was the restaurant that preceded Flax & Kale and is the same group.
Top 5 with Kids
→ Chivous – C/ del Pintor Fortuny, 15. El Raval. – C/ de València, 204. Eixample – C/ del torrent de l’olla, 175. Gràcia. Choose from 3 different locations. Kids will love the cheese on wedge fries and parents will love the burgers or the pulled pork. (But probably also the fries.)
→ Cuines Santa Caterina – Francesc Cambó 16. Gothic. A large restaurant next to the Santa Caterina Market. Skilled at dealing with bigger groups, getting the food out fast and offering a range of foods to please everyone. Oh, and there is a little train that rides along the ceiling of the place.
→ Koryo – C/ Reus, 4. Sant Gervasi. The Bento boxes are just the thing for kids who want to keep their food from touching. Good bibimpab bowls.
→ Parking Pizza – Passeig de Sant Joan, 56. Eixample. A huge noisy place with plenty of parking for prams (it used to be a parking garage).
→ Tomasso – C/ Londres 93. Eixample. All kids love pizza and this one is large enough that you can wrap smaller kids in one, should they misbehave. Excellent New York style pizza.
→ Yatai – C/ del Comte d’Urgell, 112. Eixample. Rice with a face for them a nice Donburi bowl for you. Fun space with vintage Japanese advertisements on the wall.