Considered to be Barcelona’s hip, bohemian neighbourhood, Gràcia is known for its ethical clothes stores, organic food shops and great nightlife. It’s also home to some of the city’s most popular restaurants and is very much the kind of place where locals like to eat out. Here are some of the best Catalan restaurant to try in Gràcia.
A family-run, traditional restaurant that has been offering uncomplicated Catalan food since 1986, Cal Boter is still a neighbourhood gem. The dishes on the menu are all Catalan classics: escalivada (marinated grilled vegetables), esqueixada (salt cod salad), braised pork cheeks, black pudding sausage, grilled pigs feet, and roast rabbit. There’s no fuss or pretense to the dishes, just hearty home-cooking that never fails to please.
A Gràcia institution, this odd-sounding restaurant has been around since the 1970s and has remained pretty much unchanged since then. A traditional Catalan restaurant with red brick walls, dark wood chairs and checkered tablecloths, these days the restaurant attracts a mix of local and foreign clients. The menu is very much your typical Catalan offering, with grilled meats and fish but also a selection of paella dishes – the local version of paella is usually wetter and less elaborate than Valencia-style paella, but just as tasty when done well.
Located on one of Gràcia’s most popular streets, La Caleta de Gràcia is a traditional Catalan restaurant that specialises in seafood – caleta means ‘small bay’. The red brick walls of the intimate dining room are complimented by a subtle nautical theme, complete with old photos of local fishing scenes. On the menu you’ll find a wide range of fresh fish and seafood dishes, often cooked a la plancha or in the oven, with generous seafood platters being a great way to discover some of the local delicacies. There’s also a range of traditional meat dishes too, such as roast lamb shoulder, or steak with Roquefort sauce.
Founded in 1982, this popular eatery has the air of a French bistro, with its black-and-white checkered tiles and marble top tables. A casual place where visitors come as readily for vermouth and a catch-up with friends as they do for a meal. The weekday lunch menu is a steal, at just €9.90 for three courses and a drink, while there’s a respectable selection of homemade tapas that include such comfort foods as chicken croquetas, patatas bravas, and Spanish tortillas.
Far from your traditional Catalan restaurant, Con Gracia – a play on words also meaning ‘with humour’ – is a fine-dining restaurant that likes to surprise diners with its creative dishes. Basing itself in the flavours and ingredients of Catalunya but borrowing from other countries as well, the dishes are playful, elegant and often rather elaborate. There are just two menus on offer, both of which cost €65 per person and come as a tasting menu – one of them is the chef’s choice.