We spent 5 days in Barcelona in September last year and really soaked up all of the amazing things that beautiful city has to offer, from incredible architecture to delicious tapas, we really did all the good things. I truly fell in love with the incredible city and really did feel like I could easily have stayed there for 2 weeks, wandering the beautiful streets and finding delicious places to eat.
Given that food is a huge part of any trip we go on, Nick did a lot of the restaurant research before we left and even made some of the bookings before we left (even using google translate in some instances😂😂) So I thought I would give you 5 of our favourites from our trip.
- Bar Lobo
- Pizzeria Da Nanni
- Paisano Café
Nick found Raó from scouring booking.com and Tripadvisor. We decided that we would do one fancier, more expensive dinner while we were there and Raó came highly rated on multiple sites. Because of its rating, this was one of the places he booked at a few weeks before we travelled. And it truly did not disappoint. A stylish, contemporary restaurant buzzing with excited patrons. We were blown away by the food, service and the wine. The food is tapas style, as are most places in Barcelona but the portions were really generous and every bite was delicious. The stand out dish was the acorn fed pork cheek which was so tender and flavoursome. Followed closely by the chocolate dessert sensation which was the perfect end to this delicious meal! I would highly recommend splurging with a dinner here when you are next in Barca.
Another great Nicholas find, Lokal Bar was so special. The restaurant is run by a husband and wife duo and the brother handles the bar, so it is a real family place. Exposed red brick walls and a vibey atmosphere, this place was a really great find. The staff were so friendly and they were even kind enough to allow us to bring our own wine (which is not usually allowed) so we were able to drink our special bottle of Creation Syrah Grenache that we had travelled with from Cape Town. We started with our usual order of croquettes and for mains I had salmon tartare which was UNBELIEVABLY good (I still dream about it) and Nick had the fillet tagliata which they toast for you at the table to burn the rosemary on top. It is quite pricey, with all the mains being above the €15 but the food was definitely worth it.
This was a recommendation by my folks who had been there twice on their previous trip to Barcelona and their recommendations are always good. We in fact stumbled upon it on our way to Raó on our first night and decided we would definitely go there when we were back in Barca after our cruise. Every time we walked past it was buzzing with people and the evening we went was no different. We opted to sit inside as the weather was cool. We were served by a very friendly guy with a great sense of humour who helped us understand the menu and make good selections.
We obviously started with croquettes and some tomato toast and then for mains we shared the chicken tortilla which was delicious and more than enough food for two if you aren’t very hungry. We had really gotten into the tapas eating rhythm and I loved getting to try a whole lot of different things as opposed to our normal way of eating which is, everyone ordering and eating their own meals. The Spanish definitely have the right idea! Bar Lobo had a great vibe and the food was amazing – well worth a visit!
Pizzeria Da Nanni
One of Barcelona’s amazing hidden gems! Nick found Pizzeria Da Nanni due to our love for pizza and because this little place is rated the best pizza in Barca. So it seemed like the perfect place for us to set out and find one afternoon. It is literally a hole in the wall and without maps.me (which is actually how we navigated everywhere on this trip) we would never have found it. When we arrived there were a few people waiting for takeaways but we decided to sit at one of the 6 chairs available at the small counter in the pizzeria. The whole thing was being operated by 2 young Italians and they were pumping.
The lady basically told us what to order and we went with her recommendations which we were glad we did. The pizzas are small but packed with toppings and made authentically with thick dough making them very filling. We couldn’t even finish two. However we can confirm that we were NOT surprised that they are rated best pizza. I think even on a world scale they would be up there. So delicious and definitely worth seeking out to find. If we went back we would probably get takeaways and go sit somewhere outside to eat them as it was quite cramped but we felt like we got the full experience sitting at the counter.
Located just around the corner from Sagrada Familia, Paisano Café was another gem that came highly rated on Tripadvisor. The location isn’t special but the food certainly is. Another hole in the wall type of place, you would totally not look at it twice if you didn’t know about it.
We sat outside and drank beer and enjoyed the most delicious (and huge) parma ham paninis with buffalo mozzarella that I still dream about today. It is a MUST after a visit to Sagrada Familia if you love a great panini.
As a bonus, one other food related place you cannot miss when in Barcelona is the La Boquera market off of La Rambla. It is the craziest market you will ever visit, serving everything from oysters, sausages, raw fish, fresh juices and a sweetie bar. It’s vibrant colours and bustling stalls will leave you both stunned and entranced. You will no doubt find many delicious treats to make your day special.
With meals being such a vital part of every trip of ours it is always great to have recommendations because meals are precious and the offering is so vast in Barca, so I really hope that this helps you with some must-do’s when you are next in that beautiful city.
Adiós por ahora! (Bye for now)