Most visitors to Spain are quite shocked to learn that locals sit down for a meal hours later than they’re used to!
Lunch isn’t typically served until 2 p.m. at the earliest, and don’t even think about dinner until at least 9 in the evening. While eating like a local is an essential part of experiencing Barcelona, sometimes it’s just not possible. Maybe your schedule doesn’t work with the local mealtimes, or maybe you’re just homesick and not used to eating quite so late yet. And that’s okay! While it may seem like many places to eat early in Barcelona are tacky tourist traps, luckily that’s not always the case. Here are some of our favorite places where you can eat early in Barcelona and still feel like a local.
Got a taste for seafood? You’ll find some of the freshest fish in town at Botafumeiro,which also happens to be one of our favorite places to eat early in Barcelona. This no-frills local favorite has been serving up delicious sea-to-table meals for more than 40 years. It’s not the cheapest option, but the price more than matches the excellent quality. The elegantly decorated restaurant is perfect for couples and families (we suggest sharing a seafood platter), or you can eat at the bar for a more informal experience.
Address: Carrer Gran de Gràcia, 81
Since opening its doors in 1836, Set Portes has earned its place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Not much has changed here in more than 200 years, and the traditional, old-fashioned atmosphere will whisk you back in time to the days before Barcelona became a bustling metropolis. If you’re wanting to eat early in Barcelona and also try Spain’s iconic paella, this is the place to be. Catalan and Spanish rice dishes are their specialty, but you can’t go wrong with anything you order here!
Address: Passeig d’Isabel II, 14
A must on any food crawl along Paseo de Gracia, Tenorio is easily one of the most innovative and modern places to eat early in Barcelona. Their creative dishes have roots in Mediterranean cuisine but take on surprising and inventive twists. The best part? You can enjoy their one-of-a-kind offerings all day long. They also have a beautiful terrace where you can sip homemade cocktails to your heart’s content.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 37
This Barcelona establishment leaves all pretentiousness at the door (which first opened in 1934) and focuses on simple, delicious, traditional food. At Casa Alfonso, you can enjoy everything from a simple bocadillo sandwich to elegant seafood dishes. As one of the city’s most emblematic and historic restaurants, it also happens to be one of the best places to eat early in Barcelona.
Address: Carrer de Roger de Llúria, 6
Sometimes all you really need is a good burger. That’s exactly what you’ll get at Oval, one of our favorite places to eat early in Barcelona. Build your own burger or try one of the recipes on offer—no matter what you get, it’s sure to be tasty. The relaxed, indie vibe of the restaurant is perfect for enjoying a glass of wine as well. Their wine list is short but excellent and fairly priced.
Address: Carrer de València, 199
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Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.