The 10 Best Restaurants In Poble-Sec

Tara Jessop

Only a few years ago, Poble-sec was a mostly residential area known only for its cheap and cheerful bars. Nowadays, you’ll find that Poble-sec is in fact home to some of the most talked about restaurants in the city – and for good reason. Here’s our guide to some of the best.

Bernat Bermudo and Oswaldo Britto

1. Casa Xica

Bar, Asian, Spanish, Fusion

At Casa Xica the food is influenced by the chefs’ time in Asia but also by the availability of produce at local markets, which is why the menu changes about every three weeks. Aside from the food, the wines make the visit worthwhile; the wine list is composed of natural wines which rotate regularly to match the menu. If you’re not familiar with natural wines, ask the staff, and they’ll gladly help you choose something to your taste. Xemei | © Mariano Herrera

2. Xemei

Restaurant, Italian, Mediterranean, European

Xemei is a perfect combination of classic Italian restaurant and your favorite neighborhood haunt: crisp, white tablecloths contrast with the graffiti on the back wall. The food is sublime, using only the finest produce to create simple but expertly executed dishes which really pay tribute to the owners’ Venetian heritage. Think gnocchiwith rabbit ragù, or hand-cut steak tartare. The wine list will delight anyone with a taste for classic Italian wines and natural wines are also a regular feature. Malamén | © Humberto Cruz Peralto

3. Malamén

Restaurant, Bodega, Spanish, Mediterranean, European, Wine, Beer

Malamén only seats about 20 people, so you might want to book in advance. Cozy as it may be, it still manages to squeeze in a DJ on Friday nights, so expect a warm atmosphere and some good tunes.

4. O Meu Lar

Restaurant, Spanish, Mediterranean, Gluten-free, Vegetarian

People come from far and wide to try the chuletón atO Meu Lar, which is cooked in traditional Galician fashion over an open, charcoal-fired grill. If you like your meat aged, then you’re in luck, as this is one of the rare places in the city where you can find it. Be sure to ask for the buey; it won’t be anywhere on the menu, but it will be hanging in the window.

5. Pakta

Diner, Restaurant, Japanese, Peruvian, American, Spanish, Sushi

La Platilleria
© Mariela Distefano
Ever heard of nikkei cuisine? One of those great culinary fusions, nikkei is a blend of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, a style which likely emerged as a result of the large Japanese community living in Peru. Expect to be amazed by the flavors and textures at Pakta as Japanese-influenced raw fish meets native South American ingredients. The restaurant only seats 32, so be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

6. La Platilleria

Bar, Restaurant, Tapas, Cocktails, Wine, Beer

La Platilleria is more of a tapas bar than a restaurant. There is no menu, just a board with a selection of small dishes which change almost daily. Expect to find classic dishes with a bit of a twist, based on what has been locally sourced and is in season. If you’re in on a Sunday and going for vermouth, ask about the specials (although the vermouth de la casa is well worth trying, too).

7. Box Social

Restaurant, Spanish, European, Mediterranean

If there’s one thing that you wouldn’t expect to see on the menu in Barcelona, it’s a Sunday Roast. Well, Box Social has gone and changed that. Frequently selling out of the traditional Sunday staple, expect roast beef with all the trimmings. For those of you looking for something a little sweeter, they also serve a selection of homemade bagels, pastries, and cakes. The restaurant is located inside the Hotel Brummel, a modern and elegant addition to Poble-sec’s popular Calle Nou de la Rambla.

8. La Chana

Bar, Spanish, Seafood, Pub Grub

This tiny venue’s tagline is ‘Fried fish and Rock & Roll,’ and that is exactly what you can expect from La Chana. The kitchen is no more than a corner behind the bar, but it suffices to produce some of the best fried fish in town. The soundtrack is a mix of rockabilly, rhythm & blues, soul making this the perfect place for an upbeat atmosphere on a Sunday afternoon.

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