Ciutat Vella Restaurants
La Taverna del Suculent
39 Rambla del Raval, Ciutat Vella
Taverna—you'll know it from its flashy red-painted exterior—is actually the little sister of nearby Suculent, an upscale tasting menu type of place from Carles Abellan. Like so many of the best chefs in the city, Abellan is a former protege of Ferran Adrià—his first solo venture was another favorite of ours, Comerç, 24. Unlike its sit-down neighbor, La Taverna del Suculent is more casual; guests order tapas and finger food directly from the bar and can eat them standing, and wine flows freely. Order the crispy tortillitas, or anything that involves ham.
Passadís del Pep
2 Pla de Palau, Ciutat Vella
It's easy to miss Passadís del Pep if you don't know what you're looking for—the more than 30-year-old spot is located down a long hallway in a nondescript apartment building, and there's no sign, so follow the address exactly. Once you arrive, you'll be greeted by a traditional-looking dining room, with stone walls, white tablecloths, impeccable service, and no menu in sight, as owner Joan Manubens Figueras prefers to serve whatever looks freshest at the market. When he first started the restaurant, the kitchen was run by his mother, and he continues to cook in her traditional style—fresh food founded in great ingredients and simple preparation, with a heavy emphasis on gorgeous local seafood (there are always a lot of crustaceans on offer). The no-menu situation also means no prices until you get the check, so expect to pay around 120 euros per person (including wine).