From its historical landmarks, world-class museums, stunning beaches and amazing architecture, it’s no wonder that Barcelona is one of Europe’s most renowned and visited cities. While all of the abovementioned features make the city a must-visit, the number one reason for coming to Barcelona is its dining scene. The Catalan capital has an overwhelming amount of quality restaurants across various cuisines that will surely satisfy your taste buds and your tummy.

The Barcelona culinary scene is excellent, and only a handful of other cities in the world can match it (the city alone has 24 Michelin-starred restaurants). Although it was a virtually impossible task, we’ve narrowed down the list of must-try restaurants in Barcelona so you don’t have to. For a hassle-free dining experience in the city, don’t forget to leave your personal items at a Barcelona luggage storage facility.

Best Restaurants in Barcelona

Whether you’re after authentic Catalan fare, seafood, international dishes and more, you’ll surely find a restaurant in Barcelona that suits your budget and preference. Without further ado, here are the 15 restaurants in the city that you should definitely try:

  • Moments: The restaurant in the luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental is managed by chef Carme Ruscalleda, one of Barcelona’s most prominent chefs, and her son Raül Balam. Ruscalleda has seven Michelin stars to her name while Balam got his second with Moments, which revisits Catalan classics with an innovative twist, including the city’s very first “anti-aging menu.” Offering both a tasting menu as well as an ala carte menu, some of the restaurant’s bestsellers include the Maresme shrimp with glazed tomato petals and the veal fricando with Scotch bonnet mushrooms. You can view the full menu here.
  • Tickets: The brainchild of Albert Adrià, who is one half of the Adrià brothers from the late legendary restaurant El Bulli, Tickets is known as one of the best restaurants not just in Barcelona but in the entire world (it ranks 20th in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list). The Michelin-starred dining spot is known for reinventing the traditional tapas using molecular gastronomy techniques. Its popularity does mean that reservations must be made at least three months ahead of time. 
  • Hetta Cuisine: Hetta (which means “heat” in Swedish) is the experimental project of two Michelin-starred chefs – Olof Johansson and Alberto Sambinelli. The restaurant focuses on a small, seasonal menu with dishes that are cooked at different temperatures, from flame-torched to oven-baked. Favorites include the egg yolk with bottarga and salt-baked onion risotto.
  • ABaC: Set in a small boutique hotel of the same name, ABaC was awarded three Michelin stars and is one of Barcelona’s most famous restaurants. Established by prestigious chef Jordi Cruz, there are two tasting menus with creative dishes available for diners. Some of ABaC’s sophisticated dishes include smoked steak tartare, smoked piparra peppers and oysters with fermented cabbage. 
  • Casa Leopoldo: A dining institution that’s been around since 1929, Casa Leopoldo is an excellent choice if you’re looking for traditional Catalonian dishes. Located in the El Raval area, the restaurant hasn’t changed even after its reopening in 2017. Some of the crowd favorites at Casa Leopoldo include oxtail, the arroz del señorito (shell-free seafood paella) and the espardenyes (sea cucumbers).
  • Disfrutar: Established in 2014, Disfrutar is headed by former El Bulli chefs Mateu Casañas, Eduard Xatruch, and Oriol Castro. The three chefs have made a name for themselves with this restaurant, which was awarded two Michelin stars and ranks the 9th best restaurant in the world (according to the World’s 50 Best list). Its avant-garde menu features dishes such as chocolate peppers and crispy egg yolk with mushrooms. 
  • Xemei: Italian may not be the first cuisine that comes to mind when in Barcelona, but Xemei (a Venetian dialect word meaning “twins”) is a restaurant you shouldn’t miss. Started by twins Stefano and Max Colombo, Xemei brings authentic Venetian dishes that go beyond the usual pizza or pasta. 
  • Bar Cañete: Another famous restaurant in the El Raval area, this classic diner is simple, yet its menu is anything but. The spot makes a regular appearance in almost every Barcelona travel guide, offering Catalan favorites such as tapas, seafood dishes and an extensive wine list.
  • Enoteca Paco Perez: Situated in the Hotel Arts Barcelona, this acclaimed restaurant by Chef Paco Perez is another one of the city’s Michelin-starred eateries. The restaurant boasts a selection of flavorful Mediterranean dishes using only the freshest ingredients from the sea and the mountains. 
  • Martinez: Barcelona has no shortage of paella spots, although they are typically found by the beach (called chiringuitos). Martinez, however, strays away from this. The restaurant is up in the mountains, in the famous Montjuic. Its most famous dish is the señorito paella, filled with peeled seafood. Martinez also has an oyster bar and fine selection of tapas.
  •  Alkimia: If you’re looking for signature Catalan dishes with a modern twist, look no further than Chef Jordi Vila’s Alkimia. Another Michelin-starred restaurant in the city, Alkimia offers two tasting menus containing Catalan favorites based around locally-sourced ingredients, particularly marine life. 
  • Pakta: Another project of renowned chef Albert Adria of El Barri fame, Pakta is an exclusively-tasting menu restaurant that serves a fusion of Peruvian-Japanese cuisine. Found within the Poble Sec neighborhood, the Michelin-starred Pakta serves favorites such as tuna belly crispy cone, ceviche, cod fish soba and their famed espardenyes nigiris. 
  • Gresca: Owned by Rafa Penya, who has made a name for himself in the world of gastronomy, Gresca is housed in a small wine bar that isn’t exactly eye-catching. But don’t let its appearance fool you; the restaurant has a quality set menu and a Michelin star to boot. Despite its status, however, Gresca still flies under the radar and draws a local clientele. This spot is one of the Michelin-starred places in Barcelona that won’t break the bank.
  • Can Solé: One of Barcelona’s dining staples, the restaurant dates back to 1903 and is well known for its seafood dishes and traditionally-Catalan menu. Found in the neighborhood of Barceloneta, Can Solé is a great place to get no-frills classic such as the arros caldos and seafood paella. 
  • Dos Palillos: Found in the El Raval region, the Albert Raurich-led restaurant is the perfect mix of Asian and Spanish cuisine. Raurich got his Michelin star with Dos Palillos, which is definitely not your traditional tapas restaurant. At Dos Palillos, you will find Japanese ingredients integrated into his dishes, the most popular being the Iberian-Cantonese pork jowl, black truffle mocha, Szechuan-style jellyfish and red prawn sushi. Aside from its tasting menus, the restaurant also offers an ala carte street food and dim sum menu. 

Sources:

https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/best-restaurants-in-barcelona

https://www.timeout.com/barcelona/restaurants/the-50-best-restaurants-in-barcelona

https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/best-food-in-barcelona

https://www.eater.com/maps/best-restaurants-barcelona-spain

https://www.barcelona.com/barcelona_city_guide/where_to_eat_barcelona/top_10_best_restaurants_in_barcelona

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/spain/catalonia/barcelona/articles/Top-10-best-restaurants-in-Barcelona/