When I was studying with EF in Barcelona, I often went out to eat with my friends in the same couple spots. The school was right in the Eixemple neighborhood of the city, next to the tall white Sabadell tower. Our go-to street for lunch was Carrer d’Enric Granados, plus we could walk all the way down to get to the Universitat area which is a chill spot full of students skateboarding and hanging out. So here’s a few addresses I kept in my notes on my phone to recommend to others and to you!
Best place for on-the-go sandwiches:
El Fornet – It’s a bakery chain and can be found in many places around the city. This is what I recommend to tourists planning on walking around and not sitting for lunch, although there is nice seating in here too. Their tuna sandwich and the tomato pesto mozzarella sandwich are divine and the croquetas are great as well!
Lunch and Coffee:
Brunch and Cake – Carrer d’Enric Granados, 19, Metro: Universitat – I went here once by myself to see what the hype was about. I enjoyed the omlette bagel with guacamole but the place itself is very small. Most days it’s full of people and there’s even a line going outside. I would recommend it if you need a snack, just don’t come with a huge group. There’s also Cup and Cake which is more desserts and Travel and Cake which has doughnuts.
Cosmo – Carrer d’Enric Granados, 3, Metro: Universitat – We used to go here for our carrot cake and chai latte fix. It’s a really cozy place with contemporary art exhibits on the walls, plus it’s a great spot for meeting friends over a huge slice of cake. Trust me, one piece can be shared between at least two people. The red velvet is the best.
Pudding – Carrer de Pau Claris, 90, Metro: Passeig de Gràcia – I went here with my best friend for some coffee and cake. This place is adorable! It’s like stepping into Alice in Wonderland. The lower level is kid-friendly, with books, puzzles and board games at your disposal.
Flax & Kale – Carrer dels Tallers, 74B, Metro: Universitat – This place is pricey but their vegan menu is varied and dense. They use fresh organic ingredients and they also press their own juices. I remember having the delicious vegan tacos where I tried vegan cheese for the first time. Maybe it’s the French cheese snob in me, but it was the one thing I didn’t like.
Green and Berry – Carrer d’Enric Granados, 153, Metro: Diagonal or Provença – I used to come here all the time for lunch. Their avocado toast is really good because it’s topped with feta cheese. They also have a version of the toast with activated charcoal so it’s a strange gray color though still yummy. They also press and bottle juice here.
BON – Carrer d’Enric Granados, 135, Metro: Provença – We came here very often because it was so close to the school too. They make various salads (kale, pastas, etc.), quiches and soups that change every day. It’s all super healthy fresh organic food and the atmosphere is laid-back, plus they have long tables to accommodate all your friends!
Trópico – Carrer del Marquès de Barberà, 24, Metro: Paral-lel or Drassanes – I went here once with one of my roommates and another friend. We each had one of their outrageous smoothies, all delicious. Again, pretty expensive but definitely nice to treat yourself to once in a while.
I can offer you one great paella restaurant. I only ate paella about three times (it’s honestly not my fave, I hate seafood so I always went for the veggie one) and the other place I went to, although more expensive and fancy-looking, was far less than satisfactory. So here’s the place I recommend: El Rey de la Gamba – Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 53, Metro: Barceloneta. The person who recommended this to me was actually my roommate from Switzerland who was very familiar with the city and it was a tradition of hers to eat paella at this place with her family when they would visit. The area where it’s located is the super touristy Barceloneta beach area and it’s easy to be lured into a paella restaurant that’s way too expensive for what it is. Instead, El Rey de la Gamba is good and well-priced.
Literally anywhere like, honestly it’s all delicious. I did go to Tapa Tapa once with my family on a different trip, it’s on Passeig de Gràcia. However if you have time and you’re looking for somewhere authentic and off the beaten path, try Fragments Café. It’s number 12 at Plaça de la Concordia, a beautiful square farther from the center in Les Corts. My favorite tapas dish they had was the seared tuna.
In terms of food, Barcelona has a wide selection to offer. Coffee shops and vegan cuisine are becoming more and more popular, but the original Catalan dishes are still everywhere for you to enjoy Spanish cuisine. These addresses are only the ones I went to, there are always plenty more to discover! I’ve been recently using Instagram as my resource for food when I travel. It’s just really great and people post lovely photos that make your stomach grumble!
Have any good foodie suggestions in Barcelona? Leave me a comment!