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8 Tapas and Paella Restaurants to Try in Barcelona

8 Tapas and Paella Restaurants to Try in Barcelona

Hola!

This past September, I finally made it back to Barcelona after an eight-year hiatus!

Not having visited this city for that long of a period, this recent visit to Barcelona, Spain felt like it was my first time. There was a feeling of familiarity when I visited iconic sites in Barcelona such as the Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell.

But at the same time, it all felt new.

There was one thing that I do remember on my last visit to Barcelona: going to this one restaurant (that I sadly don’t remember the name. I mean, that was in 2008) and having the best paella I’ve ever had.

Barcelona is not typically known as the region to find the best paella (that recognition belongs to Valencia , which I have yet to visit!) But the paella that I had in Barcelona back in 2008 was so good that I still think about to this day!

So when I made the (last minute) decision to visit Barcelona during my two-week Europe pit stop, I knew right away my mission for the trip: eat paella and tapas as much as possible.

Here are the 8 restaurants that visited during my 4-day visit in Barcelona:

 

1. La Flauta

Carrer d’Aribau, 23, 08011

 

Flauta con jamon

My first restaurant stop in Barcelona was La Flauta.

And it was also the restaurant that made me realize: I think I prefer the baguettes in Spain than in France (Don’t hurt me, French people!)

Something about the way it’s toasted and the combination of flavors (jamon iberico, cheese, olives, or anchovies, even eggplants….) that just makes my eyeballs roll back as I stuff it in my face (yay for visuals!)

Fresh mussels

Anyways, La Flauta also has plenty of choices for fresh seafood.

2. Tapa Tapa

Passeig de Gràcia, 44, 08007

seafood paella tapa tapa

Seafood paella from Tapa Tapa

I learned something new on this visit to Barcelona: Catalonians only eat paella during the day. As such, many restaurants do not offer paella in their dinner menu.

croquetas tapa tapa

Croquetas from Tapa Tapa

But if you are really craving paella for dinner and can not wait until lunch time the next day, hit any of the touristy streets like Passeig de Gracia to get your paella fix.

I tried Tapa Tapa, located right along the busy street of Passeig de Gracia.

3. Il Café di Francisco

Carrer del Consell de Cent, 347

Breakfast in Café Il di Francisco

Breakfast in Café di Francisco

It’s a chain but I don’t care.

The Il Café di Francisco right on Consell de Cent has some of the tastiest toasty baguettes, churros, and tsokolate I’ve tried, on top of a chill and very Spanish ambiance.

flauta breakfast barcelona

So toasty!

They also have wifi – perfect to take pictures of your churros and chocolate drink if you need to upload on Intagram, stat!

I loved it so much that I didn’t bother trying any other places in Barcelona for breakfast.

4. Cerveceria Catalana

Carrer de Mallorca, 236, 08008

paella from Cerveceria Catalana

Paella !

Yo, man! The paellas in this place is legit.

The first bite of my seafood paella immediately brought back memories of my 2008 paella fantasy – so that says a lot.

squid tapa cerveceria catalana

Fresh squid!

I usually stick to a rule of not going back to the same restaurant again. But after that first bite of paella, I went back again for dinner.

5. Vinitus

Carrer del Consell de Cent, 333

seafood tapa vinitus barcelona

Plenty of seafood selection!

I love this restaurant not because of their amazing selection of tapas, but because the brute honesty of the server and the level of shade when she stopped me mid-order, “you’ve ordered a lot already, no?”

I wasn’t even halfway through….

6. 7 portes

Passeig d’Isabell, 14, 08003

seafood paella 7 portes

Seafood paella 7 portes

Great ambiance! Perfect setting for group dinners and/or a romantic evening with your boo (or tinder/grindr date.)

Locals frequently recommended 7 portes for the best paella – and it didn’t disappoint!

8. Restaurante Salamanca

Calle Almirall Cervera, 34, 08003

Seafood Paella at Restaurante Salamance

Seafood paella at Restaurante Salamanca

Shut the front door because the seafood paella at Salamanca was the best out of the ones I’ve tried.

After the first bite of their seafood paella, I already knew it.

croquetas in restaurante salamance

I’ve never used cute to describe croquetas before… but here it is: they are so cute!

It took over an hour and a half just to finish off that plate. It took a hot minute not because of the size of the plate (it was massive, good for three people), but because I made sure I took my time to savor every flavor of the tastiest paella I’ve had to date.

It surpassed my 2008 paella.

Mission accomplished!

One Comment

  1. Did you know?…

    Spanish people ‘tapear’ (the act of eating tapas) as an appetiser before dinner or lunch. Another Spanish way of enjoying tapas is to ‘ir de tapa’, which is basically bar hopping with a tapa and small drink at each stop.

    And if you love tapas you’ll want to put World Tapas Day in your diary – it’s the third Thursday in June. Yum yum!!

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