This blog post was originally posted on May 12, 2014, and was updated on August 31, 2017.
We bet the first food that pops into your head when you think of Spain is paella, right? Of course it is! This rice dish is world-famous and delicious, so you can’t leave the city without trying some of the best.
While paella originally comes from Valencia, the region just south of Barcelona, the Catalans have cooked up many delicious versions of the dish. Unfortunately, many tourist traps try to lure you in with the promise of a taste of the good stuff. To be sure you sample the best of the best, check out our guide on where to eat paella in Barcelona.
Check out the video below to get a crash course in how to spot paella that’s actually worth your time.
El Xiringuito Escriba
One of the most special things about Barcelona is that it allows you to enjoy paella right by the sea. This beautiful restaurant located on the beachfront in Poble Nou claims to serve the best paella in the city. Their menu is crammed full of delicious varieties, all based on seasonal and local produce. Pair any of the tasty paellas on offer with their homemade sangria de cava and you’re in for a treat. If you’re looking for where to eat paella in Barcelona, look no further than this great spot! Paella typically takes about 30-40 minutes to arrive after ordering. To keep the hunger at bay, they have a terrific selection of tasty starters to choose from! Not to mention their house special patatas bravas, which are served with a unique hazelnut sauce and are definitely one not to miss on!
Salamanca is located in La Barceloneta, the famous beachy neighborhood, and serves up some of the best paella and rice in the city. Here you can choose from a few different kinds of paella, as well as the Catalan version called fideuá. Fideuá differs from paella in that the base is made of tiny, thin noodles instead of the traditional bomba rice. For a taste of Catalan culture, venture out and try this special version of paella! Looking to go all out? Why not try their house special paella served with lobster? We’re sure you won’t be disappointed!
Address: Calle Almirall Cervera, 34
Another gem in the Barceloneta neighborhood, Can Majó opens up their beautiful terrace for guests to enjoy their fantastic paella in the sunshine or warm evening breeze. Here you can sample all sorts of different seafood mixes as well as the fideuà. If you are a vegetarian, this family-run spot will whip you up some vegetarian paella without a problem. When looking for where to eat paella in Barcelona, if beach, sun and great service are important to you, you can’t go wrong here.
Address: Almirall Aixada, 23
Marina Bay is one of the Moncho’s restaurant group’s many Barcelona gems. Located right on the beach with sweeping views of Barceloneta and the Olympic Park, it’s the perfect place to go with a group of friends for a relaxing seaside meal. The rice here is made extra-special thanks to the exquisitely fresh seafood, and everything tastes even better when washed down with a wine from their excellent selection. Ask your server for a great Catalan bottle to go with your perfect Barcelona paella.
Address: Calle de la Marina, 19–21
If you’re looking to try some traditional Valencian paella, Barcelona’s got something for you too! Head to the less-touristy neighborhood of Poble Sec where you’ll get to see how the locals really live and ask for a table at Elche. This place has been around for over 50 years and offers the most authentic paella Valenciana you’ll find north of Valencia itself. Paella in Barcelona tends to favor seafood as its featured ingredient, at Elche, they’re traditionalists and include all sorts of regional versions on their menu.
Address: Plaça de la Bella Dorita, 71
The people behind 7 Portes are passionate about food and bring you 6 different types of paella to choose from. Another Barceloneta spot, you can head over after a luxurious day at the beach for even more indulgence. They also offer a traditional but lesser known black rice dish, similar to paella but cooked with squid ink. Be sure to make a reservation and dress the part, this place is all about fine-dining. If you’re wondering where to eat paella in Barcelona, wonder no more, this place is definitely one not to miss!
Address: Paseo Isabel II, 14
Want to try making Spain’s most iconic rice dish for yourself? Learn the tips and tricks of a perfect paella in The Spanish Paella Experience, an online cooking class led by Devour Tours guide and professional chef Arantxa!