It’s hard to believe that in 2019, Barcelona was suffering a completely different tourism-related crisis: we had too many visitors.
Overtourism was a hot topic in Barcelona in recent years, and visiting the city in a responsible way had never been more important. But now, like many cities in Europe, Barcelona hasn’t been immune to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis—and lack of tourism resulting from it.
Many of Barcelona’s most cherished small businesses were already being threatened by gentrification. Now that they’re seeing even less business than ever, it’s never been more important to show them some love.
In this guide, our Barcelona operations manager, Owen, has rounded up more than 60 of the best small businesses in Barcelona you can support from both near and far. Whether you live in the heart of the city or across the world, there are plenty of places that would truly appreciate any support you can give them.
1. Bar del Pi
Owned by Antonia and Eloi, with their son Roger also helping to steer the ship through these rocky times, Bar del Pi is a true local gem. It is at the heart of the community. It has been open for decades and is a historically important location, being where the Catalan Socialist Party was formed.
Today, it’s better known for the piano by the kitchen that the odd local will play while enjoying a vermouth or glass of cava.
Bar del Pi is open all day with a fine selection of classic tapas. I recommend their tortilla española and a chat with Antonia.
We visit Bar del Pi on our Tapas, Taverns and History Tour.
2. Bar La Plata
Originally a fishermen’s hangout, Bar La Plata has become a Barcelona institution. The offering is uniquely local, with a half Catalan, half Andalusian menu. Amazing butifarra from Vic highlights the Catalan background, while the pescadito frito, decor and ambiance speak of the south. The walls are adorned with photos of famous chefs who all head to Bar la Plata for simple, delicious food.
In response to COVID, Bar La Plata has spread into the street and the pescadito frito is available takeaway in paper cones.
We visit Bar la Plata on our Tapas, Taverns and History Tour.
3. Bodega La Palma
La Palma has been open for decades, serving artists, bohemians, locals, government employees, and visitors. Originally a bodega, now a bodega-come-restaurant, Bodega La Palma is particularly famous for its patatas bravas—#8 in Barcelona last time we checked.
The owners, Judit and Albert, are the beating heart of La Palma, bringing passion and knowledge to this corner of the Gothic Quarter.
Bodega La Palma is now offering delivery and takeaway of a reduced menu. They also have their excellent value menú del día available and have even put together a vermouth pack. Get the most up-to-date information on their Facebook page and order delivery, or head down to see them and grab your food to take away or eat in.
We visit Bodega La Palma on our Tapas, Taverns and History Tour.
4. Xarcuteria La Pineda
Open since 1930, Xarcuteria La Pineda (Carrer del Pi, 16) is simply fantastic. The quality of the produce is second to none and the interior hasn’t changed for decades. From the house vermouth to the imperious cured meats, La Pineda is pure quality.
If you find yourself in the center, head in for a vermouth or cava and some cured meats. It is an experience we should all enjoy more often!
5. Granja la Dulcinea
Granja la Dulcinea turns 80 in 2021. Opened in the early years of the Franco regime, La Dulcinea has lived through many of Barcelona’s most turbulent years and still hasn’t changed.
On a cold evening, the upstairs area is full of warmth and joy as people of all ages enjoy a suizo and melindros or churros (or both!). We hope Granja la Dulcinea never changes.
We visit Granja la Dulcinea on our Barcelona for Kids Tour—because kids of all ages love chocolate.
7. Formatgeria La Seu
Opened in 2000 and run by Neal’s Yard alumna Catherine, La Seu is a treasure trove of cheese. They buy Spanish and Catalan cheeses directly from farms, and quality is always at the forefront.
La Seu does tastings at a range of prices: all great value, all delicious. They even sell cheese ice cream and great gift packs. If friends or family can’t come to Barcelona to see you, why not send them a pack of delicious local cheeses?
8. Tasca el Corral
Carlos loves talking about cheese, especially Cabrales. He loves showing me new chorizo, new dishes and always wants me to have a drink. This level of hospitality is what you can expect from his bar, Tasca el Corral.
Though he’s originally from Cantabria, Carlos and his team also show off Asturian products. The chorizo al diablo is great, as are the different strengths of Cabrales with a tostada and seasoned with cider.
Tasca is open year round (usually only closed for one or two days a year). As the weather turns slightly cooler, huddling inside Tasca with a cider and flaming chorizo sounds ever more appealing.
9. Caj Chai
Spain is a land of coffee lovers, but teas and infusions are becoming increasingly fashionable. One great place to indulge your senses is Caj Chai, just off of Plaça St. Jaume.
Located right on the edge of the Jewish Quarter, Caj Chai offers over 130 types of tea, all served in the manner of their home nation. Ducking in here on a rainy day, escaping the slippery sheets of the Gothic Quarter, feels like a well-deserved treat. Next time the Gothic Quarter gets to be a bit too much, you know where to go!
10. Pastisseria La Colmena
We love sweet things here at Devour. Kids also love sweet things—which is why we finish our Barcelona for Kids tour at La Colmena.
La Colmena is not only the oldest sweet shop in Barcelona, having opened in 1849, but it is right in the heart of the Ciutat Vella and well priced. You can buy generous sandwiches in the morning, and a range of cocas and pastries for, well, another breakfast.
Cakes and chocolates abound—and then you have their speciality. La Colmena has been producing hard candies with the same recipe ever since they opened. There are classic flavors like strawberry, lemon or honey, but also marshmallow, cafe con leche and even some herb flavors such as fennel.
Even better than all of this is they have an online shop which ships worldwide!
We visit Pastisseria La Colmena on our Barcelona for Kids Tour.Want our insider’s guide to eating in Barcelona? Just add your email address in the form below!
11. Turrones La Campana
Bea and Laura run Torrons La Campana with a passion that a business of this age and cultural relevance to Barcelona deserves. There are fantastic turrones all year round, because why wait till Christmas? In addition, in the summer months there is amazing horchata (including a sugar free variety that’s recently available) as well as luxurious ice creams.
The sisters have added a cafe on to the shop and are due to open a new unit. It is ready to be opened, but right now there is no demand. Turrones La Campana is a true Barcelona gem.
There is a limited range of turrones online at the La Campana online shop and they ship internationally! So why not support this great business and send some relatives the best turrón in Barcelona this Christmas?
We visit La Campana on our Tastes and Traditions of Barcelona Tour.
12. Casa Perris
El Born used to be the home of Barcelona’s commercial food market. Now home to a cultural center, the old market building stands proudly in Plaça Commercial.
Casa Perris is nestled in one corner, serving a huge array of dry goods by weight. You can’t go in without buying far more than you had planned to. From dates to rice, from chocolate to spices, nuts, teas and all dry goods in between, Casa Perris is a true jewel in El Born’s crown.
If you are going on a baking journey, as so many seem to be, head to Casa Perris to find some rarer ingredients and be inspired!
13. La Botifarreria de Santa Maria
Two generations of the Trave family have carefully, always with a focus on quality, nurtured this business into a staple for residents of Barcelona.
Opened in 1955, a long time before El Born became the cool neighborhood we now know, La Botifarreria specializes, as you may have guessed, in amazing sausages and related products. The stars are the in-house botifarras. You can buy cooked botifarras of liver or haggis, white pig, black pig and a range of botfarras to cook at home with truffle, apple and curry, foie gras, cuttlefish, artichokes—the list goes on.
They don’t yet send deliveries, but check out their website and you can place an order for collection if you’ll be in Barcelona soon.
Vicente works in a bank. His family has a history of owning bars and restaurants, but Vicente knows the insecurities of that life. However, he also loves it, which is why he also owns a wine bar, Orvay, in the heart of El Born.
After a day at work Vicente will go to Orvay and welcome guests. Their wine selection is fantastic and the kitchen does a few great turns. Their chicken curry croquette should be something everyone in Barcelona knows.
In addition to their normal offering they have started to do daily menus. This is a great way to discover some of Orvay’s great qualities.
We visit Orvay on some of our wine experiences.
El Born is great for wine. And ElDiset is great for El Born: an informal yet quite excellent wine bar, specializing in Catalan wines. Matias is originally from Argentina but he now calls Barcelona home, and in ElDiset he has established one of the best wine bars in Barcelona.
We visit ElDiset on our Gourmet Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour.
Marianne is a whirlwind. She has two restaurants in Barcelona (Braseros 34 is the other one on Carrer del Parlament) to run and a family. Often her young son is around Bastaix in the afternoon, but he normally just wants to play or eat—the staff indulge him a bit!
Bastaix has a great cellar and some inventive twists on Spanish and Catalan classics. Since COVID started, they have been allowed to open a terrace, and it’s one of the best in the city.
The restaurant and its outdoor space sit in the corner of Plaça del Fossar de les Moreres, with Santa Maria del Mar for a backdrop, and trees providing shade. Get down to Bastaix to enjoy some great food and a wonderful terrace.
17. Bar del Pla
Started by four friends, including Jaume Pla, Bar del Pla has emerged as a true locals’ favorite. The relaxed—and often loud—atmosphere is encouraged and nurtured by a team of cool, charismatic staff and a wonderful kitchen.
There are too many highlights here to go too deep, but in a nutshell: the house red is great, there are always delicious dessert wines available, the mushroom salad is one of the most surprising dishes in Barcelona, their bravas are great, they know what they’re doing with pork, and the desserts are classics with a creative twist.
In response to COVID, Bar del Pla has actually decided to open more often. You can now go seven days a week. So why not head down on a Sunday evening for a meal that says, “yes, I know what I am doing.”
We visit Bar del Pla on our Gourmet Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour.
18. Pla de la Garsa
Toni and Pol (father and son) are two of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. What makes them even better is they love cheese, great food and a laugh.
In times gone by we have had 30 people in their upstairs room doing a pan con tomate relay after a good few glasses of wine. On these occasions Pol joins us as a judge and loves to engage with our guests.
Pla de la Garsa began life as a cheese and wine specialist, importing French cheese. Nowadays it is a beautiful restaurant. Little nooks and corners blend with candlelight and hushed tones to make you feel like it is your own private restaurant. This is a wonderful spot to enjoy a long lunch.
We visit Pla de la Garsa on our Gourmet Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour.
19. Bar Joan
We love market bars. Everyone should love market bars. The atmosphere, the smells, sounds, the excitement of people buying fresh food, talking to stall owners about food and everything else important in life.
Bar Joan, opened by Joan in 1984, is the—there are others, but—the market bar in Mercat Santa Caterina. Largely all from one family, the staff know all the locals, vendors, and us. Bar Joan is great for a breakfast, quick sandwich with a beer, and a daily menu. On Friday and Saturday mornings they do huevos rotos—probably some of the best in the city. Bar Joan is somewhere people should always go, all of the time.
We visit Bar Joan on our Tastes and Traditions of Barcelona Tour.
20. Casa Gispert
One of the oldest shops in Barcelona, Casa Gispert opened in 1851 as a colmado—somewhere that the fruits of the Spanish empire were sold.
Spices, nuts, coffee, chocolate and now olive oils, cava and other local products fill the shelves. The smells of freshly roasted almonds and coffee beans fill the space. The warm smell matches the decor, service from staff and that feeling you have inside when you are there.
Gispert ships across Europe and many of their goods can be found in other high-class food stores. Here is their online shop. You can send friends and family a hello from Spain!
Pastisseria Brunells is one of the food stores that defines El Born. It has been located in the same spot (corner of Carrer de Montcada and Carrer de la Princesa) since 1852. The latest incarnation is hopefully here to stay.
Speaking to locals, Brunells was a business that didn’t change much. They did great pastries but the business stagnated and didn’t change as much as the area did. The new Brunells is a partnership between other local companies that gives hope that it will survive. It may not be the Brunells that some remember, but it is a patisserie and cafeteria with an enhanced focus on quality and sustainability.
22. Rack and Return
Rack and Return is Barcelona’s leading wine school, focusing on teaching internationally acclaimed WSET qualifications as well as focused, intense courses all about Spanish wine.
Led by a team of WSET Diploma-qualified teachers and teaching in both English and Spanish, Rack and Return is the No. 1 reference point for wine education in the city. So grab a glass and, in their own words, “Drink the World!”
23. La Catalista
La Catalista burst onto the wine scene in Barcelona back in 2019, focusing on high quality Catalan wines from the 11 wine regions that surround the city.
What makes La Catalista particularly special is their focus on food and wine pairings, with each delicious dish with a recommended wine pairing by the glass, designed to bring out the very best in both. This charming wine bar has quickly become one of the best in the city and is already winning awards and a loyal, local following. Come and find out why!
24. Bodega Maestrazgo
One of the great beauties of Barcelona is its rich history, from the architecture to the ancient streets and the stories of those who’ve lived their lives here. Bodega Maestrazgo is a real testament to just this: founded in 1952 and still one of the most recognizable and acclaimed wine shops in the city.
Come inside and explore the amazing world of Spanish wine! José, the third generation of his family to pour his life into the world of wine, runs the day-to-day operations and procures wines from across the country. From Ribeira Sacra to Rioja, come and discover the world of Spanish wine in this gorgeous bodega!
25. Aguita Vins
Aguita Vins is a newcomer to the wine scene in Barcelona, and a very welcome one at that!
Tucked away into the winding streets of the Born, Aguita Vins is set in a beautiful old building from the early 20th century and home to one of Barcelona’s most niche wine offerings.
Not only is it home to delicious wines from Spain, but you’ll also find quality wines from Argentina and Chile here, too, and often from producers not represented elsewhere in the city. Come in, grab a bite to eat and take advantage of their corkage fee, all under the expert guidance of their team of sommeliers. Magic!
26. Pastisseria Hofmann
If you like pastries and haven’t yet been to Hofmann you should have a long hard look in the mirror. And then go to Hofmann.
Now an institution in Barcelona, Hofmann has a few locations. Two spots in El Born are almost next door to each other. The patisserie and cafe (based in the La Seca theater) are both on Carrer dels Flassaders and make it almost impossible to pass both without being lured in by the smells. (Oh, the smells.)
There are a few Devour favorites, the mascarpone croissant being the top. It is truly delicious. They have reduced hours post-lockdown, but now offer delivery.
We visit Hofmann on our Tastes and Traditions of Barcelona Tour.
27 + 28. La Cucine Mandarosso and Emporio Mandarosso
You can spend a lot on Italian food. Or a little, to be fair. But when you find somewhere that is such good value for money that you are happy no matter how much you spend, you have found a good place.
The Mandarosso mini-empire (please open a Piadina place) is one such place. The restaurant is one of the best Italians in Barcelona with superb pasta. The Emporio is somewhere I am not allowed to spend too much time in as I work in tourism, not finance. (That is not to say it is overpriced, but that I could happily spend my monthly salary there.) Grab some household essentials or a sandwich to go—the Emporio is always welcoming.
29. Grasshopper Ramen
In Barcelona you are never short of a place to get pizza or ramen, but where is the ramen place that you will happily travel out of the way to go to? Ours is Grasshopper Ramen, conveniently located just off Via Laietana so you are never actually that far away from it.
Grasshopper is part of a small group that also includes Mosquito and Red Ant, among others. The small unit seems to have the best encapsulated ramen in Barcelona. The prices are very reasonable and the quality is high. Among our favorites are the Tan Tan Men Vegan—spicy broth with creamy tofu.
Sant Antoni and Poble Sec
30. Bodega Rafel
Rafel is always ready to chat, as are all of the staff at Rafel’s. Sat on Carrer Manso not more than one minute from the market, Bodega Rafel is open all day every day except Sundays, and is full of character and great food.
Rafel always has a smile on his face, even more so now as he has been allowed to have tables outside for the first time. Good luck getting a seat, though—the popularity of Rafel’s has never dipped.
We visit Rafel’s on our Tapas Like a Local Tour.
31. Celler Florida
Eveli and his family run Celler Florida in a very traditional way. This is a bodega like bodegas used to be: wine barrels sit to one side with local offerings in red, white and rosé. There is food too, but nothing cooked: everything is “pica pica,” to have with a glass of wine, cava or vermouth.
Opened in 1999, it is now an institution in Sant Antoni. If you go on Sundays you may well see Eveli’s parents lending a hand behind the bar. This is a true family venture.
We visit Celler Florida on our Tapas Like a Local Tour.
32. Bar Ramón
Yolanda and David are two of the warmest people you will ever meet. Bar Ramón was opened by their parents and today the brother and sister team runs the show.
Bar Ramón has a character all of its own. David chose the decor (an homage to 1950s rock ’n’ roll and jazz from the U.S.) and mans the bar during service. Yolanda is a whirlwind, taking orders, serving food, doling out advice and occasionally, when required, barking at a guest.
Their food is a bit idiosyncratic. It is clearly Catalan but with their own twist. Bravas with sweet chilli sauce? Yes, if you’re at Bar Ramón.
Bar Ramón has been here for decades and hopefully will be for decades to come.
33. Els Sortidors del Parlament
Visiting Els Sortidors del Parlament is always a good idea. The wines and tapas are excellent, and manager Eva is an overflowing presence of joy. You can find her family enjoying lunch there (easy to work out who her kids are) and that is the kind of welcome you get: you are being welcomed somewhere homely and caring.
The tapas are a cut above other places in the area, with ingredients you may not normally find and presented in a very familiar way. We love going to Sortidors and hope to return with guests once travel is possible again.
We visit Sortidors del Parlament on our Tapas Like a Local Tour.
34. Horchatería y Turronería Sirvent
The Sirvent shops celebrate their centenary in 2020—what a year.
It started with a family-run unit by Mercat Santa Caterina where they made turrones. In the 1940s, the son took the business to Carrer del Parlament and they gradually diversified into horchata, ice cream, iced drinks and sweets.
Whether it is a hot summers day and an horchata feels like a good idea, or Christmas and you are buying turrones, Sirvent has something for you. It is hugely popular with locals and regularly has queues stretching into the street.
If you have a need for turrones, visit their online shop and get some delivered. They are excellent value!
35. Jabalí de Ronda
Jabalí de Ronda (Carrer del Parlament, 5) is a piece of cultural heritage in Sant Antoni. Part of the family that used to own the restaurant of the same name on Ronda de Sant Pau, Jabalí specializes in cured meats. It is a tiny unit with jamón and fuets hanging from the ceiling.
Nuria is so sweet and always attentive. Her family has owned numerous locations and this is the oldest, longest standing of them. Carrer del Parlament is full of great places, but make sure to wander down to the Parallel end and take a peak around Jabalí.
Oihana and Reinata have developed a much-loved pintxos bar in Sant Antoni. Originally from the north of Spain, they moved here a few years ago and set about developing a true pintxos offer. The pintxos are fantastic as well as the longer menu. We love the desserts, especially Reinata’s chocolate, oil, salt and bread, which must be one of the city’s best.
We visit Anardi on our Tapas Like a Local Tour.
37. Barna Brew
Opened by a Brit, Alex, and a Cypriot, Dimi, at every turn Barna Brew tries to remain a local business. They source local ingredients, including some of the best bread baked in the city, and use other local suppliers such as Rooftop Smokehouse for the pastrami in their famous sandwich. They even promote local musicians, local designers and use the same color paint inside as is on the exterior of Mercat de Sant Antoni.
Barna Brew makes some of the best beer in the city. During COVID, they have been selling bottled beer for takeaway and are starting an online shop. Be sure to check out their offering.
We visit Barna Brew on our Tapas Like a Local Tour.
38. Celler Cal Marino
There are many important elements to Barcelona’s cuisine and food and drink heritage. Bodegas sit at the heart of Barcelona’s love of going out for food and drinks.
Celler Cal Marino in Poble Sec is a great example of a traditional bodega. The drinks offered are, as you can imagine, excellent. But the thing that makes Cal Marino stand out are the croquettes. The fillings are not seen elsewhere (sobrasada and honey, anyone?).
Edu welcomes everyone to his bodega as though it were his home. There is a family feel to Cal Marino that can’t be faked. Sunday morning here with some vermouth or cava and a plate of croquettes is hard to beat.
39. La Chana
Seville is a beautiful city. Andalucia is great in general: with deep-fried seafood, great sherry, and a relaxed vibe, what is there not to like?
One thing to not like is that it is so far away from Barcelona. But if you are in the mood for some cazón, ortiguillas, and sherry all delivered with punk rock stylings, then La Chana in Poble Sec is where you need to go. The unit is tiny but kind of perfect, and right now it has a terrace. La Chana really is Andalucia meets Barcelona in all of the best possible ways.
40. Taverna Can Margarit
We don’t know about you, but if we go to a restaurant and, while we are waiting, they give us a wine glass and unlimited access to a row of wine barrels, importantly full of wine, we are happy. If you agree, then going to Taverna Can Margarit (Carrer de la Concòrdia, 21) should be on your list of to-dos.
The food is very traditional and a mix of Catalan and Andalusian. The star is their rabbit, but the snails are also popular. Can Margarit opened in the 1970s but you could easily think you are in a centuries-old masia in the country, all while you are actually only five minutes from Parallel.
Carrer Blai is well known for average to poor pintxos. The terraces are nice for locals to sit on and one or two of the pintxos bars are decent, but it is not a gastronomical heartland. However, when Sergi from Bar del Pla told us he was leaving to open Denassus we got very excited. Sure enough, we were right.
Denassus is the kind of place where you can spend way too much money in, have a great time, and return a couple of weeks later, happy to spend the money all over again. The wine list is superb. The food is amazing. Highlights include the peking duck bomba, carpaccio of scallop with kimchi, and the tocinillo—oh, the tocinillo—served with popcorn ice cream and perfect if washed down with their signature dessert wine.
42. Can Ramonet
Sat in its home of over 60 years, Can Ramonet peeks out at the Barceloneta market. Can Ramonet is located in one of the oldest buildings in Barceloneta and it feels like every year of experience has been put into the food.
The paella at Can Ramonet is one of the best in the city. It is not bright yellow, and not bursting with ingredients. At Can Ramonet, the rice is respected above all other ingredients. A great socarrat and deep flavors make the rice the star, as it should be. Open every day of the year from 12 p.m.–12 a.m., Can Ramonet is one of the hardest working, most reliable restaurants in Barcelona. We love it.
We visit Can Ramonet on our Tastes and Traditions of Barcelona Tour.
43. Bodega La Peninsular
Part of a small group of sustainable, slow food restaurants, Bodega La Peninsular is a treasure trove of great food. The bomba is great, the tortilla is always impressively deep, there is seafood bursting out of the counter and so much more. Marta and Natalia run a tight ship with ever-present smiles.
The building is classic Barceloneta. You can enter from the street on either side of the bodega. The walls are decorated with pictures celebrating Barceloneta’s history and that of Barcelona. Peninsular is a great place to call in for a vermouth and some tapas or something more substantial.
We visit Bodega La Peninsular on our Tastes and Traditions of Barcelona Tour.
Good bread is something we all enjoy. Bread brings people together and is ever-present.
Baluard is one of the finest bakeries in Barcelona. Its original home is down in Barceloneta. Nowadays there are stores in Eixample and Poblenou too, and you can get your Baluard goods delivered. They do a wide range of pastries and cakes, but at Baluard, bread is king. Next time you have some friends over, consider ordering a Baluard delivery to take the meal up a notch.
45. Cervecería el Vaso del Oro
El Vaso de Oro is a Barceloneta classic that many people may just walk past. It has been open since the early 1970s when Gabriel Fort Siscart decided to open a new style of bar: no tables and barely a chair, but with good tapas and good beer.
When you are sat at the bar you are simultaneously also sat right by the pavement. There is almost no space, but if you are standing at a bar, or perched on a seat, with a good beer and tapas, what more do you need? Oro will hopefully go on for many more generations.
46. Bar Leo
Barceloneta has not always been the uber-trendy district it currently is. Look carefully and you can find signs of a Barceloneta almost forgotten by many of the city’s residents.
Bar Leo (Carrer de Sant Carles, 34) is one place that has seemingly carried on completely oblivious to the gentrification around it. Señora Leo has turned Bar Leo into a shrine to Miguel Vargas Jimenez (also known as Bambino). The walls are covered in pictures of Bambino and other flamenco artists.
Bar Leo does classic tapas grandma-style (the bravas sauce is actually spicy) to a soundtrack of flamenco. It was a hangout for Catalan flamenco artists and still has live music. It’s also a popular place to continue your night once night has turned to day.
Bar Leo is the kind of place that needs your support to stay open. Without it we will lose the connection to the past.
47. Bar Electricitat
Bar Electricitat is situated in one corner of the main Barceloneta square. Long tables are full of happy locals and tourists. The menu is classic tapas—nothing fancy here—with their signature potato, crab and egg tapas flying out of the kitchen.
Called Bar Electricitat because it used to supply the area with electricity, the bar is still central to the functioning of the area, but in a different way.
Everyone we know loves going to Bar Electricitat. We hope you will too!
48. Llar de Foc
Diego and his brother never stop talking. Trying to have a conversation is impossible as they literally never stop talking.
Younger brother in the kitchen, older brother out front, Llar de Foc serves up country-style food in a setting that could trick you into thinking you were in Lleida: dark wood walls and furniture, terracotta tiling on the floor, and classics on the menu. If you are missing heading to a country masia you could do a lot worse than visit Llar de Foc in the heart of Gracia.
49. Granja La Nena
This is the epitome of a neighborhood granja. Walk in at any time of the week and you will find every generation in there. Children playing in the back room, people reading the paper, chatting, playing chess, Granja La Nena is somewhere everyone feels welcome.
La Nena has great chocolate and some fantastic cakes (apple!) and the best thing about it is that every cake comes with a generous helping of their homemade cream. If you need a sweet pick-me-up in a down-to-earth setting then there is nowhere better than La Nena.
They also do savory food, and during Covid have been offering a daily menu from their obrador. You can collect it or have it delivered.
We visit Granja La Nena on our Gracia Neighborhood Tour.
50. Can Tosca
Rosa, Inma and David serve the best butifarra sandwich in Barcelona. That is quite a claim, but we have yet to have one that is better: butifarra de perol, cooked just enough to be safe but no more, with butter or tomato in a crusty baguette. Want to go up a notch? You can have a bocata de tortilla de butifarra.
Can Tosca sits unassumingly below the junction of Travessera de Gracia and Torrent de l’Olla. Open Mondays to Fridays, not much has changed, except now, for the first time ever, they are doing takeaway food.
Going into Can Tosca is taking a step into the past. An old favorite of the local Roma community in Gracia, their pictures adorn the walls. They also have a daily menu: three courses for €10 (drinks not included). I now know what I am doing for lunch.
We visit Can Tosca on our Gracia Neighborhood Tour.
51. Pastisseria Ideal
In 2019, Ideal celebrated their centenary. Brothers Luis and Miguel Angel are the third generation of the family to bake in and run Pastisseria Ideal. Their mother also sometimes works, and she lives upstairs.
They make a great range of pastries and cakes, the most famous being the cremat. Invented by their grandfather, the cremat is a marriage of crema catalana and pastry. Gorgeous crema catalana sits on top of a light, delicate sponge. They are even better than they sound and well worth a visit.
We visit Pastisseria Ideal on our Gracia Neighborhood Tour.
52. Bar Canigó
One of Gracia’s most famous bars, Canigó is known for its sandwiches and always being busy. This is a true local hangout that we would love to work with, but who do their own thing and probably don’t even have space to take us.
The Canigó terrace is one of the most in-demand terraces in Gracia. But head inside and the high ceilings create an airy feel. If you want a more intimate experience you can head to the section with low ceilings where you can feel wrapped up in a warm environment.
The wait staff and the chef bring the food around in an efficient manner and the food is why you come. In particular, the sandwiches. The Canigó special is a must have. A mix of blue cheese, dates and onion, it is best on the toast. They have the full range of Catalan classics, too, such as escalivada or mallorquin. Canigó is a must if you are in Gracia.
53. Cal Pep
Like so many great bodegas in Barcelona, the key to Cal Pep’s success is family and community.
Opened in 1939 by Pep, it was run until very recently by Rafa with his step-daughter Griselda. Rafa has retired, so Griselda is in sole charge, and we can’t think of anyone we would rather have welcome us.
If you go to Cal Pep you can find locals having a morning glass of cava being serenaded by one particular regular. The food offer is simple, but that is not really why you go to Cal Pep. You go for a drink and a chat, or simply to read the paper or watch TV, again with a drink. There aren’t many bodegas left like this anymore. We hope Cal Pep is around for another 90 years.
We visit Cal Pep on our Gracia Neighborhood Tour.
54. La Botigueta de Menjars
José is not like most people. José is, though, representative of people that work in food, which is why we love him.
A biker who does a lot of charity work, with a mischievous glint in his eye at all times, José is part of the collective soul of Gracia’s food community. At La Botigueta (Carrer de Santa Àgata, 18), he makes fantastic dishes to take home. This tradition started during the Industrial Revolution when women started to work, but were also expected to do all of the cooking.
José’s food is Catalan home cooking at its best. His romesco sauce is especially good, as are his meatballs. You may have to queue on the street, but it is worth the wait.
We visit La Botigueta de Menjars on our Gracia Neighborhood Tour.
55. Ibèric Travessera
Javier didn’t want to be tied to his contract. He wanted to show the best jamón in the way he wanted to. So he bought himself out of his contract and took ownership and 100 percent control of his jamón shop. He is now able to show his jamon and sell it as he wants.
This means there is a big focus on the customer. The staff have clearly been told to be overly nice to customers. When we go on our tours, our guests are allowed to try slicing jamón and can take photos behind the counter. The products are fantastic, and with amazing customer service, too, we are sure Ibèric Travessera (Calle Travessera de Gracia, 138) will be around for a long time.
We visit Ibèric Travessera on our Gracia Neighborhood Tour.
56. Rooftop Tea Barcelona
At Devour, we love a good afternoon tea. The sandwiches, small cakes, beautiful, delicate teas, conversation and floral decorations are a perfect combination. But outside of the UK, these can be hard to find.
Luckily, in Barcelona we have an afternoon tea pop-up specialist. Angela of Rooftop Tea Barcelona has been hosting afternoon tea events for a few years now: cakes and cava and repeat. It sounds like a great lifestyle and because of her talent and passion you can indulge too. Check out her website and join her mailing list to be kept up-to-date with the latest events.
57. Forn de Sant Jaume
As residents of Barcelona know, Rambla Catalunya is not just the bit below Plaça Catalunya. It also happens to stretch up to Diagonal. The stretch from Gran Via up is particularly beautiful, and it has one of Barcelona’s oldest and most characterful bakeries, Forn de Sant Jaume.
One side is a cafe (plus a terrace), the other side is a pastisseria. Their windows are some of my favorites to peek in. You’ll see croissants of all hues, pain au chocolat, pelo de angel, palmeras, and when in season or festive, there will be panellets, roscón de reyes, tarta de Sant Joan, little dragons for Sant Jordi, and much more.
58. Orxateria La Valenciana
Eixample is a vast area, and the bit around Plaça Catalunya and a few streets on either side has a real big-city vibe to it. So much so that it can be surprising to find somewhere like Orxateria La Valenciana.
Metal framed doors, bright lights and decor and lettering that suggest it has not been revamped for a while put you at ease. If it has survived here, for this long, without a facelift, they must be doing something right. And they are. The horchata is great, the ice cream is solid and they have a range of sweet treats that are always sweet. There are far worse places to spend 30 minutes than in Orxateria La Valenciana.
Not all places that we like are Spanish or Catalan, or old and traditional. We love all food, and if somewhere is run in the right way, with care and love for the product, then we are on board.
Fermentum on Carrer d’Enric Granados is one such place. The offer is Italian, with pizzetas taking center stage. There are loads to pick from; you can go weekly and not repeat. Personal recommendations (if they are available) include burrata and mortadella, porchetta, and pumpkin. They also do some great, simple desserts. The terrace is always a nice spot for an Aperol. There are so many reasons to go!
60. Fleca Balmes
Their coca is incredible and hands down the best we have tried. Their selection of bread is almost unparalleled and changes daily.
Fleca was opened in 1908 and has remained in the same spot for over 100 years. The fourth generation of the Crespo family are now in charge. Sustaining a family-run artisanal bakery for over 100 years in a city that has changed as much as Barcelona has is an amazing achievement, and one that we want to support. If you can’t make it there in person, you can order their amazing baked goods online.
61. De La Crem
De La Crem has two locations in Eixample, and a place in our hearts. Their ice creams have to be some of the best in Europe. For us, they are the best in Barcelona and very few of our guides can remember ever having anything better anywhere in the world.
Hazelnut, pistachio, banana, peach sorbet, sweet potato and honey, and melon are just some of our favorites, and to be honest, we probably forgot another 15 that are even better. Coca de Sant Joan, beetroot and red fruits, Parmesan, basil and lemon, all the chocolate…okay, we have to go now. Maybe we will see you at De La Crem in the future.
Owned by Sussie Villarico and Sebastián Mazzola, Arigato is a Japanese-inspired café, and one of our favorite new places to eat in Barcelona! We’ve loved literally everything that we have tried on their menu, but I especially recommend the coliflor asada con salsa cremosa de miso y piñones (roasted cauliflower with creamy miso-pine nut sauce) and whatever seasonal udon is on the menu—the tan-tan udon is divine, plus they make their own noodles. Just be sure to save room for dessert—they’re famous for their creative gelato flavors!
Thanks to Ali, the Barcelona-based blogger behind the popular site Gimme Some Oven, for sharing Arigato’s story with us.
63. Bar Mendizabal
You can’t write about places to eat in Barcelona without mentioning Bar Mendizabal. Widely known as “barra de Raval,” Mendizabal shows there is an appetite for sandwiches beyond the normal fare.
Spanish sandwiches tend to offer about six different fillings, but Mendizabal shows there is no need to be restricted in your choice. Their sandwiches are inventive and super tasty. They are also very reasonably priced for what you get. Take a seat on the terrace, lean on the bar, or grab it to go—their sandwiches and smoothies make Raval go round.
64. Granja M. Viader
Ever wanted to know where Cacaolat was invented? Would you like to visit it? Have some chocolate in the birthplace of Catalonia’s favorite quick chocolate drink? Well, you may have walked past it behind La Boqueria.
Granja M. Viader sits on a narrow alleyway and is an ode to all things dairy. Most famously, Cacaolat was born there.
The counter is full to bursting with delicious creams, milks and deserts. Our favorite is the flam de mató.
65. L’Antic Forn
A good daily menu is a great thing. A great one is good value, with a decent range of options for each course, in a nice environment. L’Antic Forn has all of these.
Sitting on the corner of Pintor Fortuny and Carrer del Dou, L’Antic Forn is based in an old bakery. The tiled floor, high ceilings and lots of natural light make it a fantastic place to take lunch. The daily menu here has four courses and still only comes to about €16. It is full of Catalan classics and is a great place to show a guest to the city real Catalan food for not a great deal of money.