I started vegetarian lifestyle in 2017 in Los Angeles and back then, I did not know that I would start eating meat again in Barcelona. Two cities that happen to change my lifestyle instantly are also the best cities to explore foods. In Barcelona, I do not know how can a person enjoy food being a vegetarian. I hope there are ways but it was very difficult for me. On the first day, I had a discussion with my partner because he was eating a box of ham and I could not find anything vegetarian to eat in the market. Within 2 hours after landing in Barcelona, I decided to be non-vegetarian in order to explore the city fully and enjoy foods and restaurants.
Tapas, Juice Bar, Chocolate, Churros, Ham, Sausage, Bread with tomato, Red wine, Sangria, Paella, Goat Cheese with Truffle, … the Barcelona food list goes on and on. And I tried them all, again and again, every day.
Here are the top restaurants that I loved in Barcelona and I highly recommend it, try at least one of them.
Bar del Pla (http://www.bardelpla.cat/ing_bardelpla.html)
This is a must-try best restaurant in Barcelona for tapas. You should visit it on the first day of your trip. The tapas are exceptional. It is located in the Gothic quarter and is super busy all the time. We visited without any reservation and luckily; we got seats in the bar. Some of our favourite tapas were mushrooms and wasabi, Catalan sausage and lamb tacos. The restaurant is a bit pricey but definitely worth it. After the meal, you can explore the Gothic Quarter.
Els 4Gats (https://4gats.com/en/)
You have to first know that Picasso used to hang out in this café with his peers and I as many other people adore Picasso. This restaurant and café is a gem of Barcelona. I am glad it re-opened and I loved it. I booked a table for café through the restaurant website and they confirmed me through an email. It is a very famous place, so you should expect the crowd. I tried a café lait and a chocolate dessert “Paco’s textures of chocolates”. You can also grab a meal. They have two sections; a cafe and a restaurant. More than the food, it is the ambience and the paintings of Picasso hung all over the walls that will carry you away to Picasso’s era. They have many of his work in the cafe. You can be a part of his group and imagine how they discussed their marvellous artwork in this cafe. In addition, this café is also mentioned multiple times in “The shadow of the wind” novel written by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
One of our friends who live in Barcelona recommended this restaurant to us and I want to recommend it to you. Please do not judge Bar Angel by the exterior design and the location. The restaurant is in a safe area and you can experience one of the best authentic Barcelona tapas here. The tapas are terrific and so are the wines. Also, do trust the waiter’s recommendation as she suggested the best ones for us. Do order as much as you can finish. When we were done with our dinner, the waiter made sure we finished all the food by asking us to eat the last piece of bread. This means you cannot throw good food. I am definitely visiting it again.
You have to try hot chocolate in Barcelona. It is a must-try dessert and you should try it in Chocolat-Box. They have the best hot chocolate with Churros. The chocolate is thick, no sugar, only chocolate and taste delicious. Do not be surprised by the sugar on the side. I repeat the hot chocolate in this place tastes only chocolate. You will not taste any sugar. Hence, they add some sugar on the side as an option. I think the hot chocolate here; taste similar to Angelina, a famous teahouse in Paris. In case, you are not churros or a hot chocolate fan, they have plenty of ice-cream flavours than you can splurge on.
Mercat de Sant Antoni (https://www.mercatdesantantoni.com/)
Who does not love to eat in a market? This is one of the famous markets in Barcelona. It is a must place to visit. The market has many stalls and it is well allocated. The stalls are modern and very clean. You can grab snacks as ham, sausage, fresh seafood and other fast food items. They also have fruit stalls with tropical fruits. We saw one of the biggest Jackfruit in the market. You will also notice many locals visiting the market for their regular grocery shopping.
Mercat de La Boqueria (http://www.boqueria.barcelona/home)
You cannot miss this famous market in La Rambla. It is crowded with tourists day and night. As you enter, you will notice multiple colourful fruit bars. The fruit juice is a must-try and is very cheap. It costs around 2 euro. The fruit juices are fresh and include only fresh fruit with no added ingredients. In case, you do not want juice, they have an option for fruit boxes too. This market is covered with food stalls. We tried some sausages and tuna bread. The sausages were good but do not ever buy the tuna bread. There is hardly any tuna and only plenty of bread. You can also try fried seafood for quick snacking. My favourite was the juice bars and I tried Dragon fruit juice for 2 euro.
Guell Tapas Restaurant (https://www.guelltapasbarcelona.com/en/)
Paella in Barcelona was one thing I really wanted to try. We had planned to take Paella cooking class but it didn’t happen. We visited this cute restaurant well known for Paella near Palau Guell. It has very good reviews on Trip advisor. However, my partner did not enjoy the paella here. I actually enjoyed it and hence I added it on the restaurant list of Barcelona. Do make a reservation as it gets crowded quickly. We waited for thirsty minutes. We ordered mixed Paella, potato tapas, ham for two people. The food was plenty. The restaurant is located close to La Rambla and opposite to the famous casa by Antoni Gaudi. You can try the restaurant if you are near the area and enjoy the ambience with varieties of Paella.