The cuisine of Barcelonès is about the food and drinks typical of the cuisine of this region and its capital, Barcelona. It includes the cuisine of its capital: Barcelona. The province has a varied mountainous geography as well as one of the most populated coasts of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the province with the highest population density in Catalonia. The rural area has a traditional cuisine, while in the urban area there are various foreign cuisines such as the cuisine of the Maghreb, China and Africa due to the immigration that the province has received throughout the 20th century.
Barcelonès is the most densely populated region in Catalonia and is almost entirely urban, leaving aside the mountains that separated it from the Vallès. On the other hand, it is the best-connected region with the highest rate of foreign-born population. All this means that the typical eating habits of the countryside and the countryside cannot be applied, and the mixture of cultures typical of any capital makes it very difficult to speak of a unified Barcelona cuisine. So let’s talk about two cuisines: the first, a mixture of culinary elements from the rest of the Catalan Countriesor that in any case they are also present in a large part of the Catalan counties; and the second, one of non-Catalan origin and assimilated through the restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries of the region under the influence of immigration.
In terms of catering, it should be emphasized that Barcelona has a tremendous number of restaurants, pastry shops, bars, taverns and more, which suggests that much of the world’s cuisine can be found in the city. In the Raval and other neighborhoods, there are establishments dedicated to providing food of foreign origin, usually for the various ethnic communities from abroad: Maghreb, Chinese, African, etc. However, these influences have not popularized any food, especially among Barcelonans at the usual level, with the possible exception of xauarma; none of them have managed to get inside the home kitchen. Instead, several dishes like thePotato omelette or gazpacho, of supposed Castilian origin, can be found in Barcelona’s homes, especially where the family has a relative. The lasagna, the cannelloni meat or spinach and various forms of pasta Italian can also be found at home. Other cuisines with a prominent presence in the restaurant are Basque (pintxos), Spanish cuisine (tapas), French, Italian and Greek.
Regarding the culinary contacts with the neighboring counties, we could talk about the seafood and the strawberry of the Maresme, milk of the Vallès Oriental, curd of the Bages, wine of the Penedès, cava of Anoia and sausage of Osona. On the other hand, the cuisine of the entire metropolitan area of Barcelona, including the Baix Llobregat, largely follows the pattern described above, ie an urban and postmodern cuisine that offers almost all the most traditional and large Catalan cuisine part of the cuisines of the world.
Among the many historical reviews of the province, it should be noted that it is in Barcelona where the first cookbook in Spain is printed. It was written approximately in 1477 by Ruperto de Nola.
An anonymous cookbook entitled La cuinera catalana written in 1835 describes traditional dishes and preparations of Catalan cuisine. From this time it is worth highlighting the appearance in the Condal city of restaurants, already centenary, such as 7 Portes and Los Caracoles.
In addition, Barcelona is a city with a greater number and variety of restaurants, since it is also the largest city. It has a great variety of restaurants that are very different according to the tastes and budgets of the diners.
Barcelona has a great offer of restaurants, very varied and for all tastes and budgets. In addition, the Catalan capital is the birthplace of some of the most awarded chefs in the world, such as Ferran Adrià, Carme Ruscalleda and Sergi Arola.
Few cities in the world like Barcelona can guarantee a first-class gastronomic experience. Its offer is a good example of the wonders of the Mediterranean cuisine of Catalonia, combining sea and mountain, meat and fish. But instead of falling asleep on the laurels of tradition, Barcelona’s gastronomy has evolved and, with its innovations, has become one of the city’s best business cards to the world.
Barcelona exemplifies the tradition and gastronomic richness of a country that, for many centuries, has been a land of passage and has been steeped in the cultural burden of various civilizations. A tour of the city allows you to constantly discover new places that represent cuisines from around the world. There is no doubt: for gastronomy lovers, Barcelona is a real paradise.
Going out to eat is, by far, the first leisure activity for Barcelona residents, and to check it out, all you have to do is take a stroll through the streets of the city to appreciate the large number of establishments dedicated to the restoration. Many of these places also have a terrace, and the people of Barcelona love to eat outside. In fine weather, the city terraces are perfect for al fresco dining or dining. You can start the day with breakfast in one of the many squares with terraces in the neighborhood of Gràcia, Les Corts or Sant Andreu. At noon, you can have lunch in an establishment in Barceloneta or El Born while enjoying the sea breeze. In the evening, you can enjoy an outdoor dinner immersed in the multiculturalism of the Rambla del Raval. On the best terraces in Barcelona, the tables are finished immediately, and to avoid disappointments, it is always advisable to make a reservation.
The other most successful terraces are those of the hotels, which have become one of the great attractions of the city during the summer. From the top, as a replica of New York rooftops, or in well-kept interiors, hotel terraces continue to experience their particular heyday, in part thanks to the anti-tobacco law, which has already become a lure for summer tranquility. when the heat intensifies. The hotel terrace season begins in late May or early June with the so-called Terrace Week, an event called “Hotel View”. Every year, around fifty establishments take part, organizing magic, fashion, literature, concerts and open-air cinema shows on their rooftops. It is a great way to enjoy the best views of the city while trying out various dishes.
According to Josep Pla in What we ate, in the city the meal that undergoes the greatest transformation is breakfast. Thanks to working hours, breakfast has been reduced to a coffee and little else. On the other hand, he complains that dinner is too late. In any case, traditionally in Barcelona the most typical time for dinner is nine. Despite the various food cultures present, the opening hours of restaurants and bars guarantee a certain acceptance of this time.
Another typical custom of Barcelona families is to have “vermouth” or “platillos” before lunch, which is a snack of cold cuts, walnuts, cheeses, sardines, anchovies or any tasting to whet your appetite. Lunch is taken around two, at home if possible, and close to work if not.
The most typical menu, and the most humble, in the past was stew every day and rice with fish on Sundays. At Christmas it was styled to make a large bowl and a baked chicken.
During the festivities of Gràcia, in the procession of the Three Wise Men and for Sant Medir, sweets mounted on horseback are usually distributed in the streets. In La Castanyada (All Saints’ Day), it is common to eat chestnuts, panellets and drink mistela. Carnival cake is eaten at the carnival. During Lent, typical windy donuts or cream fillings are eaten. At Easter, the monkey is common. Cakes are eaten for Saint John. Meanwhile, for Sant Esteve, there is a certain custom of eating cannelloni.
Catalan cuisine is full of characteristic dishes that are still prepared and served in many traditional restaurants. Dishes that can be tasted in establishments of great tradition and even in urban farmhouses that transport us to other times. The basic recipe of Barcelona is made up of dishes such as the popular bread with tomato, with or without ham; the roasted vegetables, a salad of peppers, eggplant and other vegetables roast is a true classic; the cobblestone, another essential dish consisting of a cod salad with white beans; and if we want something more forceful, we should bet on the stew, vegetable soup, thick noodles and rice, boiled with white beans or pot meat.
Among meats, there is a predilection for pork: there are more than fifteen varieties of sausages, but the best known is the sausage, the star of the sausage dish with beans. As for the pastries, the Catalan cream or panellets are famous, cakes made with ground almonds, pine nuts, coconut and cocoa that are prepared especially in November.
There are many restaurants where you can try these traditional dishes. A good example of this cuisine are Ca l’Isidre, opened in 1970, or Casa Leopoldo, opened in 1929. Both establishments are located in the Raval district. Another good place to try this type of cuisine is in an old farmhouse ―a typical rural construction in Catalonia a converted into a restaurant. In Barcelona there are some spectacular ones with more than a thousand years of history, such as Can Cortada or Can Travi Nou, both located in the Horta-Guinardó district.
The so-called signature cuisine, also known as haute cuisine, creative cuisine or avant-garde cuisine, has given, for some years now, an international projection to Catalan cuisine. Names of international chefs, such as Ferran Adrià or the Roca brothers, are closely linked to some of the best restaurants in the city. Perhaps the best example of this projection is Ferran Adrià. The well-known chef was for many years in charge of El Bulli, which was considered five times the best restaurant in the world. It closed its doors in 2011 and will soon reopen under a new laboratory concept.
Adrià has placed Catalan cuisine on a different planet, and it is the cause, direct or indirect, of the appearance of a good group of young chefs, many of them installed in Barcelona restaurants, such as the Abacus or Arola, at the Arts Hotel. Among this new generation of chefs is his brother, Albert Adrià, responsible for leading establishments such as Tickets, 41 0 or Pakta. Other outstanding chefs with restaurants in the Catalan capital are Jordi Cruz, Sergi Arola, Raül Balam, Paco Pérez and Martín Berasategui.
With all these names, Barcelona continues to be at the forefront of the international gastronomic avant-garde. And among the wide range of quality restaurants in the city, 23 stand out: among those who have the honor of having received one or two Michelin stars, there is the Roca Moo, the Barcelona bet of the Roca brothers, the responsible for El Celler de Can Roca, a restaurant in Girona that has also topped the list of the best in the world.
The following are the most outstanding elements of the gastronomy of this region:
The panellet is a small ball of marzipan or soft nougat covered with pasta and garnished with pine nuts, chocolate, cherry or other sweet element. They are very colorful and are consumed by the Castanyada (All Saints).
Rice and suquet
The rice with fish and fish stew are typical dishes from our kitchen and represent a cuisine based on sea that bathes everything in Barcelona. It is therefore not surprising that all dishes with seafood and fish are very present, even those of non-Catalan origin, such as Galician-style octopus.
Eels from the Llobregat are a specialty of the region and especially of the towns along the river.
Among the various breads offered in the capital, one of very local origin stands out, “the harlequin”, made only in the district of Gràcia, and the bread of Sant Jordi, a festive bread with the four bars of the Catalan coat of arms..
There is a great variety of ingredients that go from the mountainous interior of the province, to the coastal products from the sea. This abundance is reflected in traditional culinary preparations that combine indoor products with those of the sea. This concept is summarized in a set of dishes called el mar i muntanya (sea and mountains). Among the most popular sauces in the province is the aioli (involved in tapas as the popular pincholi), its Levantine variant as mahonesa the ground and in some cases under the influence of tarraconense cooking the salvitxada(like the romesco).
Vegetables and fruits
The most popular rice dishes are arroz parellada (arròs Parellada, typical of the city of Barcelona). Among the wheat products there are the cocas, the most popular being the recapte, the Montserrat coca, etc. Among the bread making there are specialties such as country bread. Among the wheat products, one of the most characteristic of the province is Pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato), which is prepared by spreading the tomato on the bread, then olive oil and salt are added.
Among the vegetables you can find various salads (called esqueixadas), the escalivada, etc.
The confectionery of the province has various preparations, some of them related to the saints, being famous on November 1, All Saints’ Day, the traditional panellets, small sweets made with marzipan and nougat, made of various flavors such as chocolate, coffee, etc. Panellets are very popular during the Castanyada celebration. The nun’s pets (whose translation is nun’s farts), also called paciencias de San Blas, are very popular in the city of Barcelona, theHe killed de Pedralbes, the xuixo, a kind of frying pan fruit filled with cream. Likewise are popular tortells, cakes made with sponge cake, the ensaimadas, the “braç cremat” which is a kind of roly-poly, Ever since sugar was introduced to Catalonia in the Middle Ages, there have been confectioneries and pastry shops in Barcelona that have marked a taste in the public: that of culminating festive meals with pastry desserts.
There are historic patisseries in every district of the city, and many of them have a lounge or café to taste the products they make on site. Among the oldest, there are two with a linked history: La Colmena on Carrer Gran de Gràcia, open since 1835 on the road that went up to the then independent town of Gràcia, and La Colmena in Plaça de l ‘ Àngel, in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, and in operation since 1849. Both have unique recipes for candies, cakes and artisanal sweets that are difficult to find in other establishments.
There are also centuries-old pastry shops that continue to delight the palates in other neighborhoods that centuries ago had been independent towns in Barcelona. One of the most veteran in the city is the Pastisseria Mayol, which opened in 1854 in Carrer d’Horta in the neighborhood of the same name, and in 1915 moved to the premises it currently occupies, at number 59 from the same street. In the old town of Sarrià, the Pastisseria Foix has been open since 1886 and, in addition to being a pastry reference in the city and preserving the modernist decoration, it stands out because it is an emblematic point of Catalan literature, as the founders went being the parents of the poet JV Foix, who turned the establishment into a meeting point for intellectuals in the early twentieth century.
The Sants district also has a century-old patisserie, Casa Vives, founded as a bakery in 1895 and one of the most established shops on the emblematic Carrer de Sants. Pastisseria Escribà, open on the Rambla de Barcelona since 1906, is not only one of the most emblematic modernist shops in the city, but also the birthplace of a lineage of internationally renowned pastry chefs Cristian Escribà leads the fourth generation and is’ He is considered one of the best pastry chefs in the world. A regular collaborator of Ferran Adrià, from his workshop located in the shop-salon of the Gran Via he has made amazing pastry creations that have captivated the world. In the Eixample, the Pastisseria Mauri, opened in 1929 on the corner of Rambla de Catalunya and Provença, retains a splendid modernist decoration and is one of the first to have a lounge to taste its delicious sweet products.
In addition to traditional establishments, a large number of new contemporary pastry shops have emerged in Barcelona, led by renowned pastry chefs, who have turned the craft into an art and who are transforming the heritage of tradition into innovative creations. One of the pioneers was the Pastisseria Canal, in the Sant Gervasi district, run by the Canal brothers since 1970 and with sweets turned into temptations reminiscent of precious jewels. And on Flassaders Street in the Born district, the Hofmann is the patisserie where the prestigious chef Mai Hofmann makes her sweet tooth come true.
One of the most typical traditions of Barcelona is to have a chocolate accompanied by melindros, crunchy churros, a soft ensaimada or a delicious croissant. Barcelona’s chocolate shops are part of the city’s gastronomic and cultural heritage, characteristic of the good life of its inhabitants. Entering a chocolate shop in the city often means discovering historical sites over fifty years old, which bear witness to the life of Barcelonans. And the link between Barcelona and chocolate is significant: the port of the Catalan capital was the first in Spain where cocoa from the conquest of America was introduced, and over the centuries this product became popular. among the popular and wealthy classes.
In the center, hidden between Carrer de la Portaferrissa and the church of El Pi, you will find the epicenter of the chocolate Barcelona, Carrer de Petritxol. Among the various art galleries present in this small street, the most renowned chocolate shops in Barcelona are housed. One of the most characteristic is the La Pallaresa Farm. It will be very easy for you to find it by the queues of people waiting for the delicious chocolates in the cup and, above all, the Swiss with cream accompanied by some churros. This place has been offering, since 1947, several hot drinks and desserts typical of Catalonia.
If you want to know an authentic chocolate shop, very close to the Rambla, Viader is your place. This farm was founded in 1904 and has made several generations of Barcelonans happy. It is said to be the place where Cacaolat was invented, a popular milkshake and cocoa. A little away from this area, in the Ronda de Sant Pere, you will find the Granja La Catalana, an establishment founded in 1948 where you can also have a typical snack.
If you want to taste the best croissants, you have to go to the Pastisseria Escribà. They sell 50,000 units a year in just two stores. They make them normal and make dark and white chocolate. You will also find excellent croissants and other products in Farga pastry shops, spread over different parts of the city, or in Foix de Sarrià, in the Sarrià – Sant Gervasi district.
There is a wide range of cakes in Barcelonès. The most widespread are the coca de recapte with arrangada or butifarra, the coca de crema and the coca de Sant Joan. There is one called the “fruit cristina”, which looks like St. John’s wort but the pasta is not thin but stewed and oval. They usually take the typical shape in Central Catalonia of a long, thin oval, about 25 to 50 centimeters.
There is a profusion of sweets in the bakeries, many known in much of Central Catalonia. Highlights include tortillas, made of puff pastry or lioness pasta, in the shape of a ring and filled with cream that are usually bought on Sunday mornings for lunch desserts; as well as, although less so, the sticks, understood as an individual version of the tortell, or the Lyonnais, the cocktail version. It is very typical of Barcelona, as in many places in Catalonia, a cake called “sara”, based on gingerbread, butter and almonds. Another typical one is the “burnt arm”, a gypsy arm with burnt cream. The curd Pedralbes is a dessert Barcelona. The nun’s fartsthey are also from Barcelona. Salted pasta, waffles, biscuits, cakes, marzipan shapes, Mallorcan ensaimadas – but smaller than typical on this island – and croissants, puff pastry canes filled with chocolate or cream, flutes, glasses, muffins and Empordà fritters complete the offer. In the churrerías, in addition to the xujos from Girona, there is also a larger version of churro, filled with Catalan cream and covered with chocolate.
Other typical dishes
Rice in a casserole
The cod in the pan, ie cod cooked in a baking tray with olive oil is one of the dishes that best highlights Josep Pla is in Barcelona. A Barcelona variant is the cod au gratin with allioli, which is nothing more than a canned cod but covered with allioli before baking.
Spinach with raisins and pine nuts
Bread with tomato
Barcelonans like the habit of meeting at noon and sharing conversations and tapas with friends with a glass of vermouth in hand. More and more bars and wineries are betting on making the aperitif the best time of day. The word vermouth comes from wermut (absent in German) and refers to a flavored sweet wine that was first marketed in Italy in the 18th century. In Barcelona, it is usually taken before noon on holidays or weekends, along with a tapa of olives, seafood, french fries or any other snack. If someone suggests “going to make vermouth”, it probably refers to the aperitif in general. This phrase includes beer, wine, soda, juice or whatever, but always before eating.
Making vermouth was a very Catalan custom that was degraded and lost its original form until it practically disappeared. Vermouth used to be bought in bulk in traditional cellars and drunk on special occasions. However, in recent years it has become fashionable again. It is becoming more and more common to see an elderly couple drinking vermouth in the same place as they have done all their lives, and at the table next to a group of young people doing the same. Some wineries, such as Casa Mariol, in the Sagrada Família, have contributed to the fact that vermouth has lost its rancid image thanks to the “very Barcelona” design of the bottle, or to having introduced vermouth at the Sònar electronic music festival.
Today, many taverns are committed to the Catalan tradition of “making vermouth”. There are areas of Barcelona where you will find wineries with history, such as Poble-sec, where Quimet and Quimet, or El Born, with El Xampanyet. There are also areas that are very popular with the local public, such as Carrer de Blai, also in Poble-sec, or Carrer de Parlament, in the Sant Antoni district. To enjoy a good vermouth accompanied by a seafood tapa, the Barceloneta district is a must;
Other typical drinks:
Cava. Although it is not produced in the region, its consumption is widespread in the capital.
Cava with natural orange juice, very cold, is a very common cocktail in this region.
Panther milk, a cocktail containing condensed milk very popular in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.
Melted, hot chocolate, often covered in whipped cream and accompanied in Barcelonès, typically with melindros or, sometimes, bread.
Milk with chocolate or chocolate milkshake, very cold in summer or hot in winter.
Historic bars and restaurants
Barcelona is a city with a great culinary tradition. There are many old and historic restaurants, establishments where, unwittingly, the walls are able to tell part of the history of the city. The first food houses in the city were opened in the 18th century by Italian chefs who imported some dishes and products that soon merged with the natives to make a purely local cuisine. But as early as the 19th century, the fashion of French chefs arrived, who imposed on their restaurants a recipe that until then the Barcelona bourgeoisie did not know.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest restaurant in Barcelona and the second oldest in Spain is in the Gothic Quarter, next to the Rambla, near Plaça Reial and Plaça de Sant Jaume. It is the Fonda Can Culleretes, founded in 1796. Another historic place is Els 4 Gats, founded in 1897 in Carrer de Montsió, also in the Gothic Quarter. This legendary restaurant was a place frequented by Dalí, Picasso and Hemingway in the early 1900s, and is a classic with history and tradition. Also with a lot of tradition and many years of life, the restaurant 7 Portes, founded in 1836, is another of the city’s classics. Its walls hide a long architectural history and the charm of the past. Many celebrities have tasted his dishes: writers like Camilo José Cela or Federico García Lorca, or artists like Dalí, Picasso or Miró. Even the legendary revolutionary Che Guevara dined here.
To know the idiosyncrasy of Barcelona nightlife, it is also important to discover the historic bars. There are many in the city, but perhaps the most notable are the Marseille, the London Bar or the Admiral’s House. In Marseille the most popular drink is absinthe, made locally. The century-old decoration gives it a certain Parisian air. The London Bar opened in 1910. It has modernist décor and still features live music. Casa Almirall is another century-old bar that has improved over time. Like all of the time it also has modernist inspiration, and absinthe is the star drink.
If you feel lost in the variety of food choices there are – Catalan, Basque, Spanish, and beyond, it may be helpful to do a food tour to quickly get oriented. Many independent tour operators run food and wine tours in the city.
As with all cities which welcome large numbers of tourists, Barcelona’s cuisine is inconsistent in quality, but there are plenty of restaurants serving excellent food at very reasonable prices, if you know where to look. The usual rules of thumb apply: to save money and get better food, look for places off the beaten track used by fellow travellers, and seek out cafés and restaurants which the locals frequent. In practice, this usually involves searching out eateries in residential districts away from the main sightseeing attractions. Avoid restaurants with touts outside, and have a basic understanding of the traditional foods served in restaurants, as well as the local drinks. One slightly crafty way of sussing a place’s authenticity at a glance is to take note of how they spell a certain word: a menu board advertising tapas, written the Spanish/international way, is likely to be somewhere which primarily caters to tourists, whereas somewhere offering tapes, using Catalan spelling, is in all probability a venue frequented by locals.
Some districts to check out include Gràcia, which is a hub of quality, affordable Catalan cooking of both the traditional and more avant-garde varieties, and the Eixample, whose chic boulevards have upscale restaurants aplenty worthy of your splurge money. The fishing quarter of Barceloneta (in Ciutat Vella) is an example of a neighbourhood where it pays to be picky: closer to the gentrified seafront, a slew of mojito beach bar-style places serve up expensive tourist tapas; for the real thing, head into the backstreets, where many traditional bars are still tucked away. In all cases, be prepared to “promenade” in search of the most attractive-looking menu; that’s what the locals do, after all.
Set menus: Most restaurants (and some bars) offer a menu of the day, which usually means a three course meal (a first plate often a salad or rice-based or pasta-based dish, a second plate usually a meat or fish, and a drink; plus a dessert or coffee), 3 or 4 options for each course, for €12 to €20, depending on the restaurant. The portions may be quite generous, or rather small. During the week, some smart restaurants offer lunch specials from 14:00 to 16:00. The savvy traveller will try the hip places for a fraction of the price during the day. If you’re looking for a place where everyone can choose their own meal, ask for restaurants that serve platos combinados, which is the closest thing to an American/Northern European meal. Smoking is not permitted inside bars and restaurants since 2011, but it’s usually allowed in terraces.
Dishes: You can get food from any part of the world in Barcelona, but make sure you try some Catalan food. The selection of seafood is consistently great, although not a lot of it is local (this part of the Mediterranean is pretty well fished-out). A treat to try that no travel guide mentions is waffles sold at street stands. They will tempt you with their mouth watering smell and taste.
Tapas restaurants are now all over the city (although tapas originated in Andalusia in the south of Spain). Each Spanish region has its native tapas; signature ‘Catalonia’ tapas is delicious. Some Catalans eat a more French-style three course meal (appetizer, main dish and dessert) and would more likely go for a pre-meal beer/vermouth and some snacks (olives, chips, etc.); others go for a meal entirely of tapas. This pre-meal snack is called ‘fer el vermut’ or ‘making the vermouth’. As you travel to smaller towns in Catalonia outside of Barcelona, it is less likely that you will find tapas and more likely you’ll see restaurants serving traditional Catalan food in three courses.
Beyond Catalan food, there is no shortage of durum or shawarma stands in Barcelona, offering tasty beef or chicken and salad in toasted flatbread for around €3.50. Gyros are delicious! You can also consider the Asian selection, with a lot of Chinese, Japanese and Indian restaurants. As with anywhere else, there are plenty of Italian restaurants, while Latin American offerings, particularly Argentine and Mexican, are well-represented too.
Areas to eat
Depending on where you are in the city, there may be restaurants galore, or none at all. The following areas tend to be restaurant “hubs”, with a large variety of restaurants to choose from:
Barceloneta: A popular quarter for locals, where you can try fish based dishes, such as Paella (a name that may hide many different kinds of rice concoctions) or Arròs negre (Black Rice), that takes its colour because it is made using squid ink. Barceloneta is a very good place to eat tapas as well.
Sant Antoni is the new addition to the culinary scene in Barcelona where old and trendy cuisine mingle.
Eixample Esquerra (between Gran Via and Mallorca)
Barri Gòtic (especially for tapas)
“El Born” (next to Barri Gòtic)
Around Plaça Catalunya there are dozens of restaurants serving tapas. One should be careful with the tourist traps as the area is highly populated with tourists.
For budget eating you may choose “menú del migdia” in small bars on the Avinguda del Parallel for €9-11 per person. Be aware that sometimes the menu and the staff are only in Spanish.
The large cafes that line the Passeig de Gràcia and the Rambla Catalunya, just north of the Plaça Catalunya, offer a variety of acceptable tapas. This part of the town is quite touristy and a bit expensive.
In several supermarkets you can find a wide stall with a great selection of ready-to-eat dishes. You can get a two-course lunch for less than €5.
Comer y no Bombas (Location is variable). Shares free vegan food.
Juice bars. More and more the city is being populated by bars that serve organic/vegan food and cold-pressed juices.
El Glop. Three locations, in Eixample and Gràcia. Excellent mid-range Catalan meals. Allow about €20 per person, although you could get out of there for half of that if you let the price dictate your choice of dishes.
Try a “café con hielo” an espresso served with a glass of ice cubes on the side and any local ‘cafeteria’. Cafes are found on each corner in Barcelona, and these days a conscious movement in favour of top quality coffee is changing the scene in the Catalan capital with a new trend in terms of coffee houses.
Chupitos are found in several locations throughout the city, including one in Barceloneta. Chupitos is Spanish for “shots” and offers hundreds of unique shots including the “Harry Potter” (a shot that sparks as cinnamon is sprinkled over it), and “Monica Lewinsky” (a variety of flaming shots) among others. As much a show as it is a place to get a drink, it’s a fun night out.