Barcelona is a restaurant town. I say that because not only is the food excellent, fresh and varied (in over 4.000 restaurants, tapas bars and cafés), you get excellent value for your money. If you come to Spain, plan to eat out for lunch (2:00 PM – 3:00 PM) and dinner (8:00 PM is the earliest. Most people eat after 9:00 PM).
Since a number of friends and relatives have asked me to recommend places to eat, I thought that I would just list some of my favorites. If you try only one, I suggest either Accontraluz in the summer or Tragaluz in the winter. Medium priced and incredible value for money.
Click on the links for location and reservations (the ones with the *) They are all recommendable and the list goes from good to great.
La Bodegueta de Ramblas – Enjoy some excellent tapas – especially the Jamón Iberica and the Padrones at very reasonable prices. A meal for two will run up to EUR 45 with beer or wine. (GREAT for lunch and very close to you) Dag & Marianne, this is the place I told you about at lunch.
Il Mercante Di Venezia – Great value for some excellent Italian food. The wine is very inexpensive here as well. EUR 70 with beer or wine for two – including a great dessert.
Little Italy Jazz House* – We haven’t gone on Thursdays yet, when they have live jazz, but the food is very good. I recommend the Foie Gras, the duck and the filet mignon. EUR 80-100 with wine for two.
Daps Bar & Restaurant – Medium priced, very good Mediterranean food and tapas. More for lunch than dinner. Good wine menu. EUR 70 for two.
La Vinya del Senyor – This is near the Gothic area. It’s really a wine bar (fantastic selection at very good prices), but has excellent tapas. EUR 60-100 with wine for two – of course depending greatly on which wine…
Acontraluz* – Both of these restaurants are in the EUR90-150 range depending on the wine and the starters. Mains are 20-27 Euro. They are EXCELLENT. Service, ambiance, etc. Acontraluz has a wonderful garden to eat in.
Tragaluz* – see Acontraluz above. There is a very good Japanese restaurant on the ground floor of Tragaluz, so we actually never get up the steps to Tragaluz. Order of bottle of Afortunado (white wine) and make sure you try the Ebino Tempura, the tuna tartár and the Foie anything. Oh and they have these mascarpone chocolate delicacies for dessert, but no coffee!
La Balsa – Another restaurant in the class of Acontraluz and Tragaluz situated in the hillside above Diagonal. I have only been there during the winter time, and even then there were a lot of people seated in the outdoor sections. The chef is Andaluzian – evident by the amount of citrus infused dishes on the menu. Similar to Acontraluz, it has wonderful ambiance and a wide selection of well-priced wines. Not inexpensive, but not exorbitant either. EUR80-120
Cal Pinxo* (Pincho) – There are two of these. One on the beach (which it is linked to) and one at the start of the Barcaloneta. Have the paella without the shells – with cava of course. EUR90-130 for two.
On Sushi* – THE best sushi restaurant in Barcelona (we’ve tried four or five that others have recommended) I suggest the spicy tuna with crispy onion and the tempura shrimp to start – heavenly. Wash it down with some cava! EUR 85 with cava for two.
Nuba* – Great food and atmosphere, but pricy EUR150-175 for two. Turns into a trendy nightclub at midnight in case you want to get decked out and pay DK prices for cocktails and dancing (beware: the annoying homepage is not indicative)
Osmosis* – This is as close to a Michelin as I have come to. EUR 175 for two.
Torre d´Alta Mar* – OK. Be prepared to take out a second mortgage for this one, but it is one of the most romantic restaurants in Barcelona with sweeping views of the city sprawling from the sea (see picutre at the top of this posting). The food is excellent. Not as good as Osmosis, but you won’t be disappointed if you accept the fact that you are paying €50 per person for the view. If you take this attitude, you’ll love Torre. Very good service, excellent wine list (most reds between €45 and €80 – The Protus Reserve ´06 is reasonable at €52) and the prawns with rice (like paella) is reported by Silvia (an absolute expert) to be the best in Spain. I hope so for over €40! My suggestions: the octopus with lentils and the Nebraska filet. EUR 225 for two – easy.by