For what, you ask?
Time to talk about the best restaurants in Barceloneta, my new neighborhood up in Spain’s frozen north.
I can already hear your next question forming:
Who the hell is Mr Chorizo to be reviewing restaurants?
Just some guy who likes eating.
But I feel like I’ve been to at least a few of the best restaurants in Barceloneta at this point, so I’m gonna give this thing a go.
If you want, you can also head by Google Maps for an answer to this question. Or I suppose Trip Advisor’s got something.
But if you want the opinion of a guy who loves food (maybe a little too much), and lives in the neighborhood, this is the article for you.
The Best Restaurants in Barceloneta neighborhood
This list isn’t complete, or anywhere near it. I’ll add more with time.
And I’m not a food critic in any real sense. I wrote for Lonely Planet for a while, and have also been in (or on) Esquire, El País, the BBC, El Español…
I’ve got a long list of qualifications. But that shouldn’t mean much when it comes to food.
Honestly, I kinda hate restaurant reviews (and travel writing in general, if you wanna go there). But I love eating.
In any case, taste in food is personal. If there’s something you absolutely love that I’ve left off this list, hit me up in the comments. I’ll go try it out.
Anyway, let’s see the first restaurant…
NAP – Neapolitan style pizza
This was our first discovery here in Barceloneta.
It was a fine, warm June day – our first while looking for flats in Barcelona.
We’d seen some real shitholes, and my “middle class preferences” were a bit offended by the smell of cat piss, the junkies living in the stairwells, and the conspicuous lack of basic amenities like washing machines or actual windows.
(Guess I’m one of the people who’s gentrifying this place with my bizarre middle class tastes, but goddamn… No washing machine? Really? The 19th century was, like, decades ago. Get with the program, Barceloneta.)
After a walk on the beach, and looking for something to eat, Morena and I stumbled upon NAP.
Fuck this place is good.
The pizza is very thin crust (as Neapolitan pizza-style guides dictate) and it’s made in a wood-fired oven.
(Normally, I’d make a wood joke here, but not today.)
You can probably get anything on the menu, but I’m such a huge fan of Diavola (with an extra of Speck) that I have no need to look elsewhere.
Morena’s had something – maybe ham and mushroom – with truffle oil (or truffle paste, or cream of truffle – I forget) that was totally on point as well.
And if it wasn’t for Morena’s worries about her abs (and mine) we’d probably be here twice a week. It’s not expensive either. We get out for about 12 to 15 euros each, most times.
I’ve tried other pizza restaurants here in Barceloneta, and they don’t even come close to NAP’s level.
They have other locations in Madrid (Lavapies) and elsewhere in Barcelona… I guess the quality could be comparable there. But the one I’m talking about is at Carrer del Baluard, 69.
Moving on, another of the best restaurants in Barceloneta is…
Rangoli: a taste of India
I’ve never been to India, and haven’t eaten much Indian food outside Spain.
But Rangoli has the best Indian food I’ve had anywhere.
Warning: it’s a bit expensive. (Maybe 30 to 40 euros a person, depending on if you get wine, dessert, etc.)
But for me, totally worth it.
Morena (who’s a bit more of an expert in Indian food than I am, incidentally) always gets the Biryani, which is rice and meat or prawns baked in a little dish with a covering of flatbread.
I usually get something with more protein, and tell them to dial up the spice. They don’t really make things super spicy – even if you ask – but it’s definitely better than the usual Indian places you find around Spain.
Sometimes I go for the lunch menu during the week, which is also good – and only costs about 14€.
Here’s the website – they’re at Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 78 – right at the end of the street, next to the beach and the cable car to Montjuic.
Another great restaurant in Barceloneta…
Can Ramonet – best restaurants in Barceloneta since 1753
I’ve only been at Can Ramonet twice…
Once with Morena for dinner, and once on my own for the lunch menu.
Lemme say: the escalivada was off the hook.
(Escalivada is a typical thing from this part of Spain – I’ve had it in Valencia and Barcelona, and it’s basically roasted vegetables stacked on top of each other. Sometimes accented with a bit of sardine or anchovy. At Ramonet, they serve it on toast. Balla.)
Talking about mains, I’ve had both meat and fish at Can Ramonet, and it’s all been way above par. I’m looking forward to going back for the suquet, a type of traditional fish soup with tomatoes and almonds.
Service is pretty good, even though they’re often busy.
The only thing I didn’t like much was the dessert that came with the lunch menu – not that it was bad, it just didn’t live up to the standard set by the other dishes.
Anyway, they’ve been there since 1753, way back when you could still die of cholera or something – without even leaving the neighborhood. So they must be doing something right.
And for more typical Iberian cuisine, try…
This is your typical bar with grumpy old men working as waiters, simple Spanish cuisine, and lots of fried fish.
It’s like a Casa Toni in Barcelona – which is good, because I miss the shit outta Casa Toni and their pork ear back in Madrid.
Try the chipirones – baby squid – or anything else, really.
I’ve had the callos (tripe stew) and several other things and never been disappointed.
They have some tables on the sidewalk, and the old guys are really nice.
The only problem is they seem to close pretty early. Once we went at 10 PM – right in the middle of what most people in Spain consider to be “dinner time” – and they told us they were already closing.
Anyway, the times we’ve caught them open have been great.
Check it out!
They’re at Carrer de l’Almirall Churruca, 4, just off the big plaza with the market.
Kokedama Sushi Restaurant in Barceloneta
Also a bit expensive – because nearly everything seems to be expensive up here in Barcelona – but damn…
The gyoza were awesome.
And so was the sushi.
It’s small plates. You might not leave feeling “full” as the saying goes. But it’s all really good and well-made. Quality ingredients and great taste all around.
Kokedama is a tiny place, but I haven’t seen it too packed, either.
I can’t remember exactly what we ate, but there were definitely a lot of good things on the menu, as well as people with neck tattoos enjoying the food at neighboring tables.
(I remember when neck tattoos meant you were a lowlife who couldn’t possibly afford good sushi, but apparently those were the old days.)
Anyway, if you’ve got a favorite less-expensive sushi place in Barcelona, I’d be happy to know about it. I miss stuffing myself with relatively inexpensive sushi on Friday evenings.
Honorable mention: Baluard bakery
This is not exactly a restaurant, but I feel I should mention it anyway. It’s one of the best bakeries around.
Turns out Baluard Barceloneta has lots of locations around the city…
Even one in the Corte Inglés supermarket.
(Fancy, I know.)
But the original seems to be Baluard Barceloneta, right up the street from my house (on the plaza next to the market).
I don’t eat much bread, but I’ve had some of the pastries, which are pretty good. The service is both professional and polite, and they have people lined up basically every morning to buy whatever (non) gluten free thing they have in stock.
(If you’ve got a line of people waiting to give you money on a random Wednesday morning, I guess you’re doing pretty well…)
Anyway, check them out at Calle Baluard, 38 – the official name is Forn de Pa Baluard.
More of the best restaurants in Barceloneta – and the rest of Barcelona
I’m still not an expert on Catalan cuisine – or anything else, really – but I’ve got a couple of other restaurants around town that I like a lot.
First one is my new favorite Chinese restaurant: Sabor Sichuan at Carrer de la Diputación, 172.
OMG OMG OMG.
Get the hot pot, or whatever you want, but the regular menu is pretty limited. It’s mostly about hot pot up there.
It’s (once again) off the hook.
And full of Asian people. The only time we had any problem getting in was on a Monday, when the waitress explained that all the other Chinese restaurants in town were closed, and the staff were eating at Sabor Sichuan.
I’d say that’s a good sign. So if you’re into spicy Chinese, it’s the place for you.
And finally, for typical Catalán cuisine – read: very fresh, high quality ingredients prepared simply – check out La Flauta at Carrer d’Aribau, 23.
It’s about what you’d get at Can Ramonet (mentioned above) but with a bit more of an upscale vibe and a bit less of the modern flair.
Depends on what you’re into, I guess – or whether you feel like travelling from one neighborhood to another.
In the end, I’m looking over my list of the best restaurants in Barceloneta and wondering: are there more cheap places that are great?
Most of what we’ve had up here has been a bit expensive, but (for me) good enough to be worth it.
But if you’ve got budget restaurant recommendations in Barceloneta (or anywhere else in the city, really) I’m happy to go and try them.
Thanks! And leave me a comment below.
Mr Chorizo (AKA Mr Daniel).
P.S. I’m not sure if I have a good postscript today. But if you’d like to know more about life in Spain, check out my article about hot sex (sometimes in public) and this one about the pros and cons of living in Barcelona. Thanks!
P.P.S. So far, I think that none of the best restaurants in Barceloneta are located in “chiringuitos” on the beach. They’re actually on the mean streets of the neighborhood. I’ve had all kinds of bad service and awful drinks at those beach bars… for the most part, I’d recommend you give them a miss. What do you think?
P.P.P.S. If you’re more into cocktails, Ben over at Driftwood Journals has a guide to the best cocktail bars in Barcelona. I’ve been to a couple of them, and I’ve gotta say… he knows his cocktails!