17 Carrer de la Unió, El Raval
Part of a family-founded restaurant business, Bar Cañete is part tapas bar, part restaurant. Its long, narrow dining room, decorated with red banquettes and rich mahogany details, gives way to a wooden bar where diners sit, looking into the restaurant's open kitchen. Here, the menu is a mix of traditional tapas, fresh market seafood, and prime cuts of beef and pork. Note: Bar Cañete takes reservations but not for day-of.
91 Carrer de Tamarit, Sant Antoni
Bodega 1900 is just across the street from Tickets, another Albert Adrià spot, where you'll find a fresh spin on the classic tapas and vermouth bar. Bright white tiles and oversized cabinetry add to the charming, at-home vibe, though the real pull is the salty creations (salazones) served alongside smoked, grilled, and pickled plates that are a bit more innovative than what you'll find at your basic joint.
81 Carrer Gran de Gràcia, Vila de Gràcia
Botafumeiro is a warm family restaurant where you're just as likely to see dignitaries as local celebs. Sit at the bar (kind of a Spanish version of an oyster bar) and have a late lunch.
8 Plaça de les Olles, Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera
A tiny, popular spot situated on a corner of Plaça de les Olles, Cal Pep serves Mediterranean tapas and larger dishes best shared. The front bar is where the party is at (get there early if you want to grab a coveted stool), but you can also reserve a table (in advance) in the back room for a party of four or more.
4 Carrer de la Font del Mont, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi
Can Martí is a very informal restaurant in the mountains, best accessed by a hike along the Carretera de las Aigües, a dirt road where people from Barcelona go to jog, bike, and walk their dogs. Accordingly, it offers great views of the city. The food is simple, with dishes like tortilla de patata, judías blancas, barbequed meat, salads, and barbequed calçots. It’s essential to reserve in advance, and if it’s calçot season, reserve those, too.
55 Carrer de Sant Joan de Malta, El Clot
Can Pineda is famous for really traditional Spanish cooking and an old-school style. It's a bit of a classic—we first learned about it when Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, and Claudia Bassols filmed there during a PBS food special GP did with them a few years ago called Spain... on the Road Again. Definitely order the rice with mushrooms.
10 Carrer Nou, Sant Pol de Mar
Chef Carme Ruscalleda owns and operates this beautiful place overlooking the sea. Her food is Michelin-starred, inventive, and delicious. While Sant Pol de Mar is a bit outside of Barcelona, it's a charming seaside town and makes an excellent day trip.
Passatge Marimón 5, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi
The folks behind Tribu Woki (a Barcelona-based market and restaurant group) are on a mission to make local, organic food a more explicit part of the culinary conversation in the city. Accordingly, their new restaurant concept, helmed by chef Xavier Pellicer, can be found right next to one of their market spaces. The minimalist restaurant features concrete walls, simple brick, and straightforward furnishings—all the better, so you can focus on what's being cooked up in the open kitchen. As for the menu, the focus is on hyper-fresh, locally-sourced vegetables—and while it's a great dressed-up kind of restaurant for vegetarians (a rarity in this meat-and-seafood town), Pellicer definitely knows his way around fresh fish and roasted chicken.
58 Carrer d'Aribau, L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample
Tuesday through Saturday, at lunch and dinner, Cinc Sentits serves a remarkable tasting menu, four or six course. (Nora Ephron, who told us she hates tasting menus in principle, called her lunch here "an astonishment.") The Catalan cuisine at Cinc Sentits changes based on what is currently in season and freshest: line-caught fish from villages along the Mediterranean coast, artisanal cheeses from Catalan towns, organic butter and beef from the Pyrenees. And you can opt to have your tasting accompanied by Cinc Sentits's thoughtfully curated wine pairings sourced from Catalonia, along with a selection from across Spain.
9 Carrer d'Elisabets, El Raval
This Far East-inspired restaurant is the brainchild of Albert Raurich—who spent nearly a dozen years at Ferran Adrià's El Bulli, seven of which he was head chef. Located in the Casa Camper hotel, Dos Palillos has two bar areas—the Asian bar serves their tasting menu at dinner, and at the more casual-feeling tapas bar, it's à la carte for lunch and dinner. There are also two spaces offering a bit more seating—the outdoor terrace and the signature Dos Palillos table, which fits about a dozen guests. Not surprisingly, the menu varies, but expect dishes like crispy chicken bites with curry, grilled oyster with sake, tuna steak temaki with nori, and burgers served on homemade bread with ginger.
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