Last weekend, I spent five heavenly days in Barcelona exploring what the sunshine city has to offer, indulging my inner culture vulture and being the fussiest foodie blogger around (When I say fussy, I don’t mean in the fussy eating sense – that would be madness!). Not just any restaurant could do, it had to be the best possible quality and the best possible price. I will have none of this tourist trap malarkey.
And we found a few little gems on our journey which I’d like to share below. If you’re heading any time soon, I highly recommend the places below:
Palau Reial – Les Quinze Nits
Just one notch down on the ‘Tourist Trap’ scale from Las Ramblas. If you are going to eat here, make sure that you eat outside – isn’t that the whole point? To people watch and to enjoy the warm weather?). By far the best offering was from Les Quinze Nits, a predominantly European menu with Spanish, Italian and French dishes. Three courses and wine for two people came in at just over 50 euros – bargain!
Recommended: Gorganzola and zucchini cream to start. The boy fancied the ‘Chocolate lovers dream’ but unfortunately the white chocolate cheesecake had to make do as it was off the menu. Still delicious & great surroundings!
If you must eat on Las Ramblas, why not pick up a sweet treat from Maximum? A family owned gelateria (est. 1940) that will impress with it’s wide selection of ice creams, sorbets and tasty crepes with toppings. Order a glass of Sangria from here – they’re HUGE!
A chic, modern hot spot that overlooks Las Ramblas. We sat on the roof garden where they have comfortable booths with scatter cushions and padded seats.
Highly Recommended: The set lunch tapas menu priced at 14 euros. Great value with a whole host of popular tapas dishes such as Gorganzola and Walnut Croquettes, Patas Bravas and Iberico Ham. Also great for larger groups as there is ample seating for long tables of diners.
Near Barcelona Cathedral, on the way to Jaume 1, you will find an alleyway with art galleries leading out to the main road and square. On this alleyway, you will find a gorgeous deli that has freshly made sandwiches and serves freshly squeezed smoothies for a reasonable price – about 7 euros for sandwich and drink
Whilst we didn’t eat here, I feel it’s worth mentioning that Cheese Me is based in a cute courtyard with seating both inside and out. The set lunch menu boasts 3 courses for 12 euros and is quite something
A first floor restaurant that is close to the ever popular Casa Batllo (Gaudi House). We ate here for dinner on the first night as it was particularly close to our hotel but were pleasantly surprised. The food was reasonable and of good quality – there is plenty to choose from on the menu whilst still being suave and sophisticated. I would recommend booking a table by one of the windows so you can soak up the atmosphere of the busy Passeig de Gracia at night.
Highly recommended: The seafood ravioli and the shredded sirloin in creamy mushroom sauce – wish I could have eaten those dishes over and over again!
Well.. what a find! I had said to myself that I would stick to traditonally Spanish restaurants whilst we were in Barcelona but this restaurant was the exception and I am very, VERY pleased that we did. If you do one thing with your time in Barcelona, make sure that you go out of your way to visit Mayura. The food, service, ambience and value is quite incredible.
The food is a complex fusion of tapas and traditional Indian cuisine and the cocktail list also has an Asian slant – with classic cocktails such as the Long Island Ice Tea having a makeover as the Mumbai Ice Tea (one that will put hairs on your chest with it’s exotic concoction of seven different liqueurs. I had to ask for more mixer to dilute it with!). You can order a sharing menu which is set and picks the best dishes off the menu or alternatively order a platter to start followed by separate mains.
I had the special, King Prawn Kerala Curry and the boy went for my favourite, Chicken Tikka Masala. Both dishes were the perfect heat and not too spicy. What’s better, is that our waiter had asked how we would like our curry (no need to worry for those of you who aren’t so keen on spice!). We were too full after starter and mains to even think about dessert but they had various Lassi’s and sweets available to finish with.
Highly recommended: This restaurant is FAB, I would recommend everything – five stars!
PORT VELLA / BARCELONETA
Less on the reasonable scale, but never the less, an absolute foodie gem. Barceloneta is a huge seafood restaurant that offers incredible service, delicious seafood and boasts an extensive wine list. Beware entrees start at 23 euros with mains equally priced all the way up to 100 euros for a fresh spiny lobster from the tank. All of the wines were good value with the majority of bottles priced at 12 to 30 euros.
We wish that we had booked one of the terrace tables that overlook Barcelona port and the anchored catamarans and super yachts. One note to point out, this restaurant is most certainly fine dining so do dress the part or I would recommend giving it a miss. There are no jeans / shorts or trainers in this restaurant!
Recommended: All of the seafood. I was particularly jealous of the boy’s rare tuna steak and freshly made crispy tempura calamari. Not only was it perfectly cooked but it was clearly fresh off the line that day.
Do you have your own best kept secrets that you would like to share? Whether they are restaurants in Barcelona or otherwise – feel free to share them below!