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Nov 1, 2009 05:32 PM

Dining in Barcelona with Kids

My wife and I are going to Barcelona with our two boys (9 and almost 5) in late December for a week. I am looking for suggestions for places we could go that are kid-friendly and have good food. We are not necessarily looking for fast food places or American chains but would like to avoid overly serious places where everyone is really quiet and we have to constantly tell our kids to lower their voices. "Fine dining" places where kids are welcome would be good too.

Also, any suggestions for a place we could go on Christmas day for lunch/dinner? If we need to make reservations I could try and take care of that before we leave.

Thanks for your help.


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  1. Check out Trobador. Good food (not fast food type) with a children's play area. They have many branches. Just Google their website.

    1. Fine dining but families are there: Tenorio. They've some great dishes, such as their grilled snails.

      1. Below is the link to an earlier post on dining with kids in Barcelona.
        Just about any restaurants in Barcelona are kid friendly, therefore, it depends on your kids. Keep in mind that most restaurants, regardless how informal, do not serve dinner until at least 9pm. One way to escape that are tapas/pinxto places but many are stand up only. Plus what was recommended in the above posts, Pacomeralgo has excellent tradtional tapas with table service (don't be put off by the English menu but also in Catalan/Castellano); Santa Maria is great for more eclectic tapas with a diverse crowd and industrial decor (not cheap); not as good but still fun is Taller de Tapas. If the weather is still nice, Sagrada in the El Born is a large bustling pinxto place that one can stand outside in pleasant square and munch on a few things. Sometimes it has a few outside tables for sitting. For more of a sit down dinner, Senyor Parallada has a bustling welcoming dining room, large menu of decently prepared Catalan food, an overall pleasant dining experience considering the moderate price (everything around 10E, desserts and some starters much less). Your kids can order just one plate or whatever their appetites dictate. It might even be open on Christmas evening which is a very difficult. You will not need to reserve until a few days before. For moderate seafood, go to La Paradeta, select your seafood items to be cooked (a plancha is the best way), pick your sauces and drinks; informal and good time for all but no reservation policy. These places are all located in central Barcelona.

        5 Replies
        1. re: PBSF

          Thank you for your responses. I really appreciate them. I found a list online of restaurants that are open for Christmas at

          I wanted to see if anyone here was familiar with these places and could comment on them.


          1. re: tiger1998

            Of the places on the Barcelona-tourist-guide website that I’ve been to are:
            Agut D’Avignon: beautiful old atmosphere in the Barri Gotic with decent traditional Catalan food. Moderately price.
            L”Elx al Moll: modern restaurant right on the harbor with a view. Specializes seafood and quite expensive. Dind not have a full meal, only drinks and nibbles.
            Tragaluz: good traditional food in a bustling restaurant. Tapas in front, both expensive. Probably serve the best food on the list.
            Botafumeiro: famous old style seafood restaurant. Ate there years ago. The ingredients are good but the cooking seems tire then and probably even more so now. Very expensive.
            El Asador de Aranda: specializes in grill and roast meat. Good and very reliable. Double of other branches in Barcelona.
            For above places, I have eaten only once (never any special holiday menu) and for some, quite a few years ago. None I will go back not necessarily because they are bad but they are not interesting to me. Keep in mind that the holiday such as Christmas and New Year is never a good time to eat out because restaurants are overly crowded and prices jacked up. Visitors need to eat out, therefore, I would pick the simplest place and save the top restaurant for another time.
            None of the places are overly formal and all cater to families, therefore, children are welcome.

            1. re: PBSF

              I wanted to see if there were places that were popular among local families and had a "festive" atmosphere for Christmas day. I assume that would also mean that they would be really crowded and quality could suffer. I do agree with your comment about eating out on Christmas or New Year.

              Are restaurants in Barcelona typically open on the days around Christmas (24th and 26th)?

              As always, thanks for response.

              1. re: tiger1998

                Since Christmas this year falls on Friday, most restaurants will be open Christmas eve and the day after. Christmas eve will be also busy. This information is from my friends living in Barcelona. I have never been there for the holidays.

                1. re: tiger1998

                  >if there were places that were popular among local families

                  I'm not sure that's possible... locals will be eating at home on the 24th and 25th... A lot of people do go out after dinner the night of the 24th, though.

          2. The tapas places are especially good for kids.
            - You are served right away.
            - You can eat a lot, or little.
            - Kids, and grownups, will find all the little colorful eats mighty attractive.

            My fave tapas places:
            - Euskal Etxea, on Montcada, the same street as the Picasso museum, in the old town. But it tends to close from Dec24 onward.
            - Bilbao-Berrria on the plaza de la. Catedral, in front of the old cathedral, again in the old town.- Cerveseria Catalana (Mallorca, 236), near the Gaudi buildings. (Am sure this place is - was - open on xmas day

            Otherwise for xmas meal, dunno if Set Portés is open. A very nice and festive place where famiiles come to pig out for h-o-u-r-s ! Book way in advance.
            Tell your kids to order to Arroz Nero. Not only is it mighty tasty, it is also black ! And assure them that it turns their mouth and tongue black. Which kid can resist?
            Admittedly not the kind of dish for first date though...

            1. I agree tapas places are good for kids but many are very crowded and standup or counter seating only. I don't find these appropriate for young children because they are not the most comfortable. Look for places that have table service such as Pacomeralgo, Ciutat Condal and Cerveseria Catalana. Pinxto places such as the above mentioned Euskal Etxea are fun, bustling and can get rowdy. I love the place because the food is good and wines are inexpensive but I find it too uncomfortable and crowded for for kids; standup or bar stools and no table service. Also most pinxto places serve only room temperature food on toothpicks, on slices of bread or bite size pastries; no utensils.

              5 Replies
              1. re: PBSF

                It is true that I always stood around the counter at Euskal Etxea.
                But I have always found a table to sit down at Bilbao-Berria (sorriest I put in an extra r in Berria) and in Cerveseria Catalana, which even has a regular table-service section.
                I have not encountered a "rowdy" crowd in any of the places. At Xampanyet, yes (across from Euskal Etxea). I always go at round 1pm or 7pm, which for the Spanish is hopelessly early, like "early bird" hour. Very sedate crowd then. The locals must think it's geezer hour. :-)

                1. re: Parigi

                  You are right that early evenings are very civilize time for most tapas/pinxtos places. The early time would fit the childrens eating schedule better than late at night. You'll have to go down to Euskal Etxea at around 10pm when everyone has had a few txacoli and/or after a soccer match. The place is jumping; maybe rowdy is not the right word.

                  1. re: PBSF

                    I know what you mean. Just this September we rented a place a few floors up from Bodegon Alejandro in the old town of San Sebastian. Not knowing that that Saturday night was a double soccer-match night, we stepped out of our building and were in shock. It was great fun though. (I suspect that children would like it even more.)
                    (Off topic) PBSF, our parcours crisscrosses. I grew up in SF, now live in Paris and also go to Barcelona and Venice often. World getting smaller all the time.
                    In fact, we are going to Barcelona for xmas-new year...

                    1. re: Parigi

                      Saturday night at the Parte Vieja in San Sebastian makes Barcelona's El Born seem tame. Trading San Francisco for Paris is not a bad deal. We have a small apartment in the 14e but haven't been able to spend enough time there. Have a great time in Barcelona over the holiday. Please report back; would love to hear your experience.

                      1. re: PBSF

                        Those chipirones at Cal Pep have been calling my name !