Rías de Galicia
7 Carrer de Lleida, El Poble-Sec
Like many of Barcelona's fine dining establishments, Rías de Galicia is divided into two sections: A more casual tapas bar on the top floor, and a more formal, white tablecloth situation downstairs. The menu is casually organized around seafood dishes from Galicia, in the northern part of Spain. Order from the tapas menu upstairs, or choose between a la carte and pre-fixe downstairs.
85 Paseo de la exposición, El Poble-Sec
Almost as soon as Venetian ex-pats Stefano and Max Colombo (who also happen to be twin brothers) got a taste of Barcelona's boisterous nightlife, they were hooked on the city. Their cozy Italian spot, Xemei—named for the Venetian word for twins—is widely thought of as the best place for Italian food in the city, with gregarious Stefano handling front-of-house and the organic wine program, and Max expertly leading the kitchen. The restaurant was actually unlicensed when it first opened, and though the paperwork is legit at this point, the interior is reminiscent of its underground roots—the itty-bitty space, cluttered with worn, mismatched furniture is centered around a big central bar that opens into the kitchen, and where Max presents the food before it's brought to each table. Not unlike local cuisine, Venetian dishes center around seafood, so regulars here rave about anything that combines pasta and fish—although it's hard to imagine being disappointed by anything on their daily-rotating menu.
Hotel Miramar Barcelona
3 Plaça de Carlos Ibáñez, El Poble-Sec
Hotel Miramar sits a bit outside the city center, but you can be in the Las Ramblas district in minutes. Formerly a palace (built in 1922 by architect Ramon Raventós and inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII) the hotel has maintained its original, classy façade. And GP is a big fan of the sleek and minimalist interiors.
Quimet y Quimet
25 Poeta Cabanyes, El Poble-Sec
This place is a bit of a novelty—a tiny, very special tapas bar that only serves preserved food. The walls are lined with cans and jars and the people behind the counter assemble amazing little open-faced sandwiches. It’s really wonderful and quirky and unlike anywhere you’ve ever been.