Destination BarcelonaDestination Barcelona

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Eating & drinkingEating & drinking

The sheer variety of restaurants in Barcelona can be subdivided into two categories: new and old. Not only is the city home to some of the most modern restaurants in the world that are managed by some of the most innovative chefs in the world, but it also can provide traditional Catalan cuisine that is characterised by the high-quality of its vegetable dishes: samfaina (a sort of ratatouille); escalivada (grilled, peeled peppers, aubergines and onions); and espinacs a la catalana (spinach, roasted with garlic, pine nuts and raisons). The best known dish is the simple pa amb tomàquet, which is pieces of bread with olive oil, salt and fresh pieces of tomato. The ‘new’ restaurants in particular are often expensive, but a lot of protégées of the most renowned chefs have now opened up their own restaurants in a lower price category. The ‘old’ category is generally cheaper. Always reserve a table in Barcelona; dinner generally only begins at 21h00.

Cal Pep

A very popular tapas bar and restaurant. Tables are also available here, and there is a dining-hall at the back. A mix of classic and innovative dishes at a medium price-range. Address: Plaça de les Olles 8 Metro: Barceloneta

Café de l’Acadèmia

Catalan cuisine with a slightly modern touch and served in an alfresco restaurant (go there at the right time!) or in a cool building with unplastered stone walls. Around midday, this place is full of public servants from the town hall and the regional government buildings nearby. Medium price-range. Address: C/Lledó 1 Metro: Jaume I

Ot

Another venue where you can enjoy modern Catalonian food at a reasonable price. There is no menu – just leave it to the chef. Full of pleasant surprises, this place is small but nice and enjoyable. Address: C/Torres 25 Metro: Diagonal

Alkimia

Alchemy, that’s what the name says, and that’s what you get when top Spanish chefs are at work. Here you’ll find Jordi Villa, distinguished by his star in the Guide Rouge which was awarded for his new versions of Spanish classics and his own innovations. Reserve a table in good time; expensive. Address: C/Indústria 79 Metro: Sagrada Família

Salero

Elegant and interesting cuisine in an almost completely white restaurant, a typical Salero dish could be tuna with spinach and Konbu (Japanese sea grass). If you’ve reserved a table here, we recommend you begin the night with a small drink in one of the bars in the Born neighbourhood (see below). Address: Rec 60.

7 Portes

"The seven doors" opened in 1836 and its modernismo lay-out with dark wood and tiles is still completely intact, although it definitely doesn’t feel like a museum. The cuisine follows the Catalonian tradition – try the Crema Catalana, the Catalonian version of crème caramel. Has to be the best in Barcelona. Address: Passeig d‘Isabel II 14.

Casa Leopoldo

This is where you can experience old Barcelona, both from the design and from the dishes composed of traditionally-prepared fish and crustaceans. Address: Sant Rafal 24

Tapas bars

Would you like to spend an evening experiencing the now world-renowned titbits from Spain? Begin with some meat-based dishes in Taberna la Comidilla Real on the Calle Heures 6-1, before going to Opaqo in the Calle Ciutat 10. Finish up at Xampanyet on Calle Montcada 22, where you can try Banderilla, or smoked tuna with goat’s cheese.

Cafés

The coffee culture in Barcelona is semi-Italian but with simple rules. Café con leche (café amb llet in Catalan) is drunk at breakfast with a sweet croissant. In the afternoon, particularly after a meal, people drink espresso, café solo ("un café" in Spanish) or a "cortado" ("un tallat"), with a dash of milk. Café americano is the variety of these that is diluted with hot water. Later on in the day or in the evening, you can order a café solo corto, an espresso with less water, or a carajillo, an espresso with Spanish cognac.

Café Zürich

A central meeting point in Barcelona where you can observe the people of the city. Pay when coffee is served. Address: Placa Catalunya 1

Café de l’Opera

If Café Zürich is full, Café de l’Opera is our recommendation, a place that is often visited by street vendors and artists from La Rambla. Address: La Rambla 74

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