How to Find the Best Barcelona Hotels and Restaurants
If you’re a foodie, Barcelona is your best option. The capital of Catalonia is home to some of the finest restaurants in the world, as well as countless traditional tapas bars and cozy natural wine cafes. While the cost of a meal in this city isn’t what it used to be (or what it still is in other parts of Spain), plenty of excellent options are available to suit any budget or palate.
Unless you ignore the local eating hours, which may be “late,” you will never be hungry as long as you do so. To put it another way, lunch is at 2, dinner is at 9, and you should think twice about going anyplace before 8. Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of restaurants opening in the city. Meanwhile, several interesting new restaurants that expand on traditional Mediterranean fare have debuted in Catalonia thanks to an infusion of foreign chefs and inventive natives who have returned home.
Barcelona’s dining scene is more exciting than ever. You have found the ideal location if you seek advice on how to make the most of it and suggestions for some fantastic hotels.
Visiting Besta should be at the top of your list when in Barcelona. This relatively new restaurant in the less trendy “left” side of the Eixample neighborhood features a menu that blends Galician and Catalan cuisine. A menu full of unexpected pairings of seasonal produce and fresh seafood, such as white Mediterranean shrimp tartare with aged Galician beef carpaccio and calamari with swiss chard and black pudding sauce, is guaranteed to leave you wanting more. Finish it with a (or two) gin and tonics created with their gin, which is distilled with algae and oysters for a refreshing, cucumbery (and only slightly salty) finish.
Sant Antoni is the hippest part of Barcelona right now, and Benzina’s bustling terrace is at the epicenter of the action. The Catalan capital is more diverse and cosmopolitan than ever. It shows in contemporary restaurants like this one—with its British owner, Italian chef, playlist from the 70s and 80s, and the decidedly New York air. This 2018 establishment is known for its inventive twists on classic Italian fare (such as eggplant parmigiana with parmesan ice cream or Sferamisu, a deconstructed spherical take on tiramisu), potent cocktails, and a great range of Italian wine.
Between the stylish setting in El Borne, the well-dressed audience, superb lighting, and weathered wooden tables with bench seating, Fismuler feels like a performance art studio that also offers excellent food. Dorada tartare with almonds and grapes, truffled escalope with low-temperature egg yolk, and an ultra-gooey cheesecake that is more cheesy than sweet are some of the perennial crowd-pleasers on the menu, which rotates frequently. Seating is available in a brightly lit dining room or, if you want to eat outside, at one of the six tables on the tiny terrace.
The Hidden Japanese
It used to be that if you wanted Japanese food in Barcelona, you either had to take out a loan to pay for it or settle for poor raw fish and forgettable noodles. Fast-forward to 2022, and the Japanese culinary scene in Barcelona has never been hotter, with El Japonés Escondido on the Borne-Barceloneta border being the top place. Begin with the silky smooth blue-fin tuna moriawase selection, then move on to the steaming bowl of mussels with a wonderfully spicy, sticky sweet-chili sauce. Unique from wonderfully fresh seafood, what sets this place apart is excellent service and dining space that feels more like a late-night drinking hole than a restaurant.