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Nov 13, 2013 02:44 AM

Barcelona with an adventurous toddler - suitable restaurants please?

We are heading to Barcelona soon with our 2.5 yr old toddler - my husband and I are quite adventurous eaters and like eating and our son is happy to try pretty much anything but is obviously still a toddler so fidgity etc. Wondered if anyone has any suggestions for somewhere with good food which is quite bustling and not overly fussy / pretentous where we wouldn't feel too self-conscious if he's a bit noisy..? Also relatively spacious I guess where we could have proper seats rather than a bar-type meal - thank you!

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  1. The relatively new mercato Princesa is a very well-run "food court" inside a 15th century former palace in Borne, the very hip part of the Gothic Quarter. You can choose quite good standard seafood dishes like Almejas and chipirones from one stand, or wander to another stand to order Catalan sausages, or yet another stand for traditional and modern tapas, or even sushi, or pasta, a beer stand, a dessert stand. Then you find a seat under the lovely atrium and wait for the waitstaff to bring you your food. The place is also open relatively early, at around 7pm in the evening, which according to Catalan standard is just hopelessly early bird geezer hour. :)
    Another good and casual place, again in young and hip Born, is the Paradeta fish market-resto. You pick out the seafood you want, and specify how you like it cooked. You choose your seating and wait for the kitchen to call your order number. Very good seafood in funky atmosphere. I suggest you check out the opening hours and go there 15 minutes before it opens, so that you don't have long to wait.
    The two Bilbao Berria tapas bars in the old town have verye good tapas in sit-down arrangements. The one in front of the old Cathedral is especially good for families with children, with its outdoors tables and the frequent street singalongs and dances and even the castell human tower. Trust the Catalans to have a unique sense of pageantry.

    1. they all sound really interesting, thank you - someone else recommended Bilbao Berria and we'll be visiting the Cathedral so that sounds like a good lunch option one the sound of the mercato - it'll hopefully be noisy enough to drown out any toddler noises!

      2 Replies
      1. re: lolalight

        You really don't need to worry much about the kid. I promise it won't take more than a day for it to become clear that in general, Spaniards are pretty into kids and no one will be bothered by yours. They're definitely less uptight about kids than Americans are.
        You'll run into lots of bar stools and standing room only and that will be your biggest challenge.

        1. re: lolalight

          "it'll hopefully be noisy enough to drown out any toddler noises!"
          The mercato is quite animated, don't worry. But animated with happy people's noise, not hipster music.

        2. That's good to hear, that's part of the reason we're going cos I've heard they are excellent with children...

          1. sorry if this is a bit late but it might be useful for other people. We were in Barcelona in October 2012 and ate at the following places Pinotxo for breakfast, he sat on a bar stool with husband standing behind him, Paco Meralgo same here too, Embat, Cuines Santa Caterina, Kiosko burger, CanRavell, Cuidad Condal this is great for kids as is open all hours, tapac24 - we waited for a table outside as I knew from previous trips the seating might be a bit dangerous for him as he was three and a half then, La Cova Fumada. Bubo and cacao sampaka, Cremeria Toscana and vioko for treats. We ate our latest meal at 8 pm which suited our sons schedule fine. You can eat very well in this city with a toddler in tow. Not like in the UK!