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Where to eat in Barcelona

Chicken skin with octopus from Bar Mut in Barcelona

One of my favourite things to do on holiday is to eat! For me, there’s nothing better than having a fabulous meal, with chilled wine, preferably in a lovely setting. So when we go on holiday I love to get recommendations from others, who have been, on where to go as well as do some of my own research. We tend to book at least 70% of our restaurants in advance, just so that we won’t be disappointed. A case in point, Bar Canete had been recommended to us by lots of people but even with six weeks’ notice, we still couldn’t get a reservation!

Here’s a list of where to eat in Barcelona. I’ve only listed the restaurants that we really enjoyed. I hope it’s useful for planning your trip.

Mr Porter

Dinner at Mr Porter was absolutely my favourite meal in Barcelona. The restaurant is very trendy and definitely the place to be seen, but don’t let that put you off! Unless that’s your vibe, of course. It’s definitely not mine.

Sometimes when a restaurant is really trendy, the staff can be a bit offish or aloof. But when we visited we found everyone to be really lovely and our server was great!

We opted to sit at the counter and it was really fun as we could watch the chefs creating dishes. One of the chefs even asked us if we had any questions about the menu, which was a lovely touch.

Mr Porter is a steakhouse so obviously our expectations when we ordered the steak were high. And it did not disappoint! Our rib-eye was cooked to perfection, which was medium rare for us, and perfectly seasoned. We also ordered the skinny fries with with Parmesan & Basil Aioli and we had to stop ourselves ordering more because they were addictive!

Medium rare ribeye at Mr Porter in Barcelona

To top off an excellent meal, we had two fabulous desserts. One was the Thai coconut, which our server said was his favourite. It was coconut ice-cream with mango and Tom Yum caviar served in a shelled out coconut. It really was lovely and fresh and perfect to round off the meal.

Thai coconut dessert from Mr Porter Barcelona

The other dessert was very decadent and Heavenly … the warm chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice-cream. OH MY. Just look at that oozy centre! It was perfection.

Chocolate fondant and salted caramel ice-cream from Mr Porter in Barcelona

If you’re looking for an amazing steak in a cosmopolitan setting, then look no further than Mr Porter.

Bar Mut

Bar Mut was recommended to us by one of my husband’s colleagues who lives in Barcelona and you should always listen to the locals! It’s quite small so booking is essential if you don’t want to be disappointed.

The decor is fabulous and the lighting, for us, was perfect. We were originally sat at a really cute bar counter for two, but it was right by the door (which was opened often as there is seating outside) and was also a bit awkward to sit at as there wasn’t much space for our legs. We asked to be moved to the bigger bar counter, which was much better.

Decor and a glass of Port at Bar Mut in Barcelona

There are no paper menus at Bar Mut. The menu changes regularly and is written on gold picture-framed chalk boards, which your server will run through and explain (which is good as of course it was all in Spanish!). There’s also a small fresh fish and seafood counter where you can choose what you’d like – as part of a main or in an Arroz dish.

Bar Mut had, hands down, the BEST croquetas we had in Barcelona. The night that we went, the options were spinach croquetas as the vegetarian option and beef short rib. We ordered both and they were so insanely good that we ordered another portion of each! I’m honestly still dreaming about them.

Croquetas selection at Bar Mut

We loved all of the dishes we ordered, apart from one (the fish main), at Bar Mut. The food is creative and delicious, the restaurant is really lovely with a great vibe and service was good.

Boa-Bao

If you fancy something different from tapas, head to Boa-Bao, which serves food from around Asia – including Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Malaysia. Boa-Bao was recommended to us by our hotel, the Kimpton Vividora, when we asked for a restaurant suggestion when we checked in. This was the one night we’d not pre-booked a restaurant.

Was it the best Asian food we’ve ever had? No. Was it decent enough? Yes!

What we really loved about Boa-Bao is the decor and the ambiance. It’s beautifully decorated with lots of Asian artworks and knick-knacks – and it’s fun! The menu, for example, is designed as a passport, with stamps from different countries featured on the menu. At first I thought I’d brought my passport out with me by mistake – that’s how realistic it was.

The passport menu at Boa-Bao in Barcelona

What I really enjoyed off the menu was the crispy chicken bao with sweet potato and tamarind, as well as the sweet potato noodles with vegetables. This is a great option too if you’re looking for somewhere that stays open late in Barcelona. Monday to Thursday, and on Sundays, they are open until 12:30 pm and on Fridays and Saturdays they are open until 1:30 am.

Informal by Marc Gascons

If you’re looking for modern Catalan food in a sophisticated (but not stuffy) setting, then book a table at Informal by Marc Gascons, located at The Serras, a luxury hotel at Passeig Colom.

It was named, by CNN, in the list of the 10 Best New Restaurants in the World to Eat at in 2016 and is consistently named in ‘best restaurant’ guides. Whilst it doesn’t hold a Michelin star, at the helm is a Michelin-starred chef, Marc Gascons.

Expect beautifully plated dishes, such as this grilled aubergine dish with a romesco and yogurt sauce. It looked like artwork!

Grilled aubergine with yogurt sauce

I ordered the aged beef sirloin with baby potatoes and Padrón peppers as my main and it was perfectly cooked. We had wanted to order the Chateaubriand for two but unfortunately they had run out. Portions were a little on the small side, however this is to be expected at a more fine dining restaurant.

Steak and potatoes at Informal Barcelona

The service at Informal by Marc Gascons was very professional and attentive. I liked the elegant decor and the fact that you could see the kitchen – always a bonus for me as I like watching the chefs work.

Tapas La Bona Sort

Tapas restaurants are obviously a dime a dozen in Barcelona and many of them serve the same sort of food. Whilst Tapas La Bona Sort was one of those, the decor was quite modern and the food was very tasty.

The Jamón croquetas, for example, tasted like many we’d had before but they were really yummy, so no complaints! Interestingly the pan con tomato (tomato bread) looked like it was lacking in tomato but it was actually delicious. In fact, we ordered another portion! We also ordered fried artichokes, meatballs (they were very tasty!), Padrón peppers and Jamón.

Tapas at Tapas La Bona Sort in Barcelona

We chose to sit at the high tables opposite the bar but there was also a proper dining area. There are also outdoor tables in the enclosed garden, however it was a bit too cold for us to sit outside. I’m sure in summer its fabulous, and probably really busy!

The food was not particularly imaginative but very tasty, the Cava was perfectly chilled and the service was great. There were also quite a few locals dining, which is always a good sign.

La Gavina

Located at Port Vell, by the marina, is La Gavina. It sits alongside a line of restaurants which all face the marina and to be honest, they all look fairly similar. We liked the look at La Gavina the best so opted to go here for lunch.

We hadn’t booked a table but luckily they had one and seated us right at the front so we had a great view of all the fancy yachts.

The decor is really nice, all white and blue to match the marina/nautical theme. The service was also really good and we enjoyed the food. For our main we opted for the seafood paella and it was served in the traditional pan but then they plated it up for us as the pan would’ve taken up most of the table. I have to say it was very delicious! This was the only paella we had in Barcelona so I’m glad that it didn’t disappoint.

Seafood paella from La Gavina in Barcelona

So those are my recommendations for where to eat in Barcelona. If you’ve been and loved a restaurant, please share it in the comments!

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Where to eat in Barcelona

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.

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