Best Barcelona Food Neighborhood
- MBlair Feb 2, 2009 08:32 AM
My wife and I are in the process of planning a trip to Barcelona this summer, and we are curious to see if there is any consensus on which area is the best chowhound destination. We have travelled throughout Italy, but this would be our first trip to Spain. We are looking for food that best represents the local Catalan cuisine and are not interested in places that have more of an international focus.
We stayed at the hotel Banys Orientals, in El Born. It was very centrally located for a wide choice of restaurants, many serving traditional Catalan food, moderate to inexpensive. Senyor Parellada is a very popular and good restaurant in the hotel.
I would stay in the Eixample district, northwest of the old town. There you will find all the high-end places, which are expensive as elsewhere, and really nice, small taperias and restaurants, where you get more value for the money.
I like this local guide for Barcelona eateries: http://barcelona-guide.info/
If one is looking for a neighborhood to eat out, I would choose Ribera/El Born. It has a great variety of restaurants, tapas/pinxtos places, cafes and always bustling with activities. It also has many characteristics of the Barri Gotic: small winding streets, old architecture and pedestrian walkways. The Barri Gotic has many traditiional Catalan restaurants and old atmospheric tapas places. It also has the highest concentration of visitors and places that cater to them.
The Eixample is loaded with greatt places to eat, especially the high-end modern Catalan restaurants. Because of the large blocks and broad streets, it has much more of a modern feel and some parts feel very quiet at night.
If one is looking for food shopping to cook, just about any neighborhood has a great mercat for food shopping. For convenience, I would stay in the old quarter or the Eixample where everything is within walking distance.
We just got back from Barcelona and thanks to this board, we had some amazing meals. We loved our hotel in Eixample -- the AC Diplomatic, at the top of the Las Ramblas, was the perfect spot from which to venture either north or south. We walked to every single meal and only took one taxi -- back to the hotel from Paco Meralgo, because it was pissing with rain.
Trip report coming soon!
The Eixempla is a good neighborhood if you want to dress up and pay a lot of money for very good food, but I really love the atmosphere of Riberta/El Born. It used to be just a lot of bars, but it is my favorite eating neighborhood. Fancy? Got it. Noisy bar with great food? Yup. Late night snacks? Pues claro! Fabulous take-out? Of course! And it's an ever-changing, always vibrant neighborhood. If you're not a vegetarian, go to Set de Born for jamon de bellota that will make you swoon.
We went to Barcelona in January. We stayed in the Eixample at the Gallery Hotel (nice). We had some wonderful food; Tragaluz was our favorite dinner and it was just around the corner from the hotel.
I happened to meet an old friend & her husband in Barcelona (I'm American but live with my English husband in London) & love that city! I can't wait to take my husband. You & your wife will love it especially if you like Italy. We stayed at the OMM Hotel - expensive, but absolutely wonderful, with a narrow rooftop pool to cool off on - and across from the Gaudi Casa Mila. We were lucky that we stumbled on the first weekend of the most magical experience: try to build your trip around the dates of the Friday Jazz nights on the Casa Mila roof: a very non-touristy, authentic experinece. It's listed under 'La Pedrera at night' from 29 June - 28 July, so try to do your trip then.
We also asked advice from the hotel for a local tapas bar and they recommended Tapas 24: no reservations, long queue, and very authentic, simple, great Catalan tapas: http://www.carlesabellan.com/
Altho this was my first time in Barcelona, my husband and I have been going for years to a wonderful small hotel on the beach at the tip of Andalusia, near Tarifa, called the Hotel Hurricane (or Hurricane Hotel). Great restaurant there, simple rooms, two pools, and subtropical, Rousseau-like gardens in an area that is otherwise arid & stunning landscape. You can see the purple mountains of Morrocco from the beach. It's quite a ways from Barcelona - nearest airports are Gibraltar or the new, beautiful Jerez - but really worth a trip!
Did you eat at the OMM restaurant...MOO? We did and loved it. It is, of course, extremely trendy, expensive and a real scene, but the food and service were wonderful. The food may not have been worth the price, but we had such a good time, and the atmosphere was so avant garde, that we had no regrets re the money, and would return in a heartbeat.
We stayed in a rented apartment near the Born and the Barceloneta underground station and found this location perfect. The Ribera/El Born/Barri Gotic area is the best for food, night life and just walking around end enjoying BCN.
What a great city!!