Lunch in Barcelona, when done right, can be both very affordable and of tremendous quality.
Here in Spain, lunch is the main meal of the day, so many restaurants offer a “menú del día”—a fixed-price lunch deal that usually includes a primero (first course), a segundo (second course) and postre (dessert) and is typically cheaper than choosing off the menu. If you get lucky, it’ll also come with wine.
Ironically, though the menu was created in the 60s to jumpstart the tourism industry, most tourists today don’t actually know about it. To make sure you don’t miss out on any Barcelona lunch essentials, we’ve compiled a list of the best spots the city has to offer.
1. La Pubilla
La Pubilla is a Gracia neighborhood classic. Located right in front of Mercat de la Llibertat, it’s a vibrant spot known for serving up one of Barcelona’s best menús de día. For €16, you’ll get three generously portioned—and very creative—market dishes, like leeks confit with ibérico and bearnaise sauce, mar i muntanya rice with chicken and razor clams, or a homemade tarte tatin. Get there early or reserve beforehand—it’s usually packed.
Insider’s tip: They also offer esmorzars de forquilla, which basically translates to “absurdly hearty Catalan breakfasts” every day from 8 a.m.–12 p.m.
2. Pa’ Finolis
Pa’ Finolis is Sergi Muñoz and Alex Amat’s brainchild of a Catalan-Japanese fusion taverna. During the day, they offer a combo including two dishes that highlight both Mediterranean and Japanese flavors and techniques. At night, they kick out the fusion and go fully Japanese.
Both are great options, but we recommend going during the day to try their original mash-ups. They change the menu daily, but they’ll always surprise you, whether it be with a miso-Caesar salad, a more Catalan-leaning butifarra with samfaina, or their edamame-stuffed bomba. The best part: You’ll only drop €10.50 for a starter and a main.
Tucked into a side street of Gràcia, Goliard is another local institution that can’t be missed. For €13.90 you can taste creative Catalan-inspired dishes like duck confit croquetas, octopus with pancetta and parmentier, or the classic mel i mató—a traditional fresh Catalan dessert cheese paired with honey. The deal also includes a glass of wine.
Insider’s tip: At night, they offer an outrageously good nine-course tasting menu, which might just be the best affordable menú de degustación in Barcelona.
4. A Pluma
A Pluma is El Bulli alum Eugeni De Diego’s take on the classic Catalan pollo a l’ast, or roast chicken. Inspired by a joint in the town of Empuriabrava, where De Diego and his El Bulli colleagues used to go after work, A Pluma’s concept elevates the traditional rotisserie and gives it a gourmet twist.
Come hungry and share everything. Start with the tomato salad and eggplant miso, and work your way to the mains: the pollo a l’ast con salsa and the fried chicken strips. For dessert, you can’t miss the balsamic pineapple.
5. Hawker 45
Craving something other than tapas? Hit up Hawker 45, chef Laila Bazham’s ode to South American and Southeast Asian street food. This Arc de Triomf spot features a daily menu that varies from €12–15. You can jump from continent to continent with dishes like Colombian arepas, kinilaw—a Filipino dish similar to ceviche—or romeu y julieta, a Brazilian dessert made with fresh cheese and guayaba.
6. Casa Xica
If you happen to be in Poble Sec, Casa Xica is an essential stop. Chefs and owners Marc Santamaria and Raquel Blasco keep it interesting by fusing local flavors with dishes inspired by their trips across Asia and beyond.
Their calamari tartare, for example, takes cues from the traditional Japanese version but is paired with an Andalusian ajoblanco that features coconut milk and lime, giving it a Thai twist. At lunchtime, they offer an exceptional €10 dish of the day, which includes a drink and dessert.
7. Quimet i Quimet
Open since 1914, Quimet i Quimet is one of Barcelona’s most traditional tavernas. The only problem is that it’s nearly impossible to get a spot at night, so we recommend going during lunchtime, when it’s a lot less crowded.
This family-owned spot is famous for its montaditos, open-faced sandwiches served on crispy baguette slices. They offer more than 30 varieties, as well as an excellent selection of traditional tapas and conservas—traditional gourmet preserves that come canned or jarred.
8. La Tere Gastrobar
When you’re looking for lunch options away from the swarms and masses of La Rambla, Sants’ La Tere Gastrobar is the call to make. This sleek and airy eatery offers an excellent midday deal for €14.50 as well as an impressive selection of creative tapas.
Insider Tip: Don’t miss their creative riff on the traditional pulpo a la gallega—two succulent legs of grilled octopus on top of what’s arguably Barcelona’s creamiest potato parmentier.
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Vera is a writer and content creator currently based in Barcelona. When she realized she could legitimize her passion for food through academia, she moved to Barcelona to get her master’s in culinary patrimony studies. While writing a dissertation on the city’s street food scene, she also developed a ranking of the city’s best napolitanas de chocolate. Find some of them here: @mordisco.monster