One of the best things about having lunch out mid-week is being able to find a good menú del día – the affordable worker’s meal that was made law by General Franco’s government in the 1960s. While restaurants are no longer legally required to provide this wallet-friendly option, many continue to do so, and in some cases, it’s really what they’re best-known for. Here’s our local’s guide to some of the best restaurants for a menú del día in Barcelona.
Located on the famous Carrer Princesa, Nou Celler is proudly Catalan and proudly traditional (but not afraid to add the odd touch of modernity to the food here and there). You can tell the venue has been feeding hungry customers for decades, and it has a rustic charm only enhanced by its location in the heart of the Old Town. The menú del día at Nou Celler is a tribute to authentic Catalan cuisine, regularly featuring some of the region’s most emblematic dishes and ingredients.
Nou Celler, Carrer de la Princesa, 16, Barcelona, Spain, +34 9 3310 4773
Located at the very tip of the Barceloneta, bumping shoulders with the many seafood restaurants that run up and down the Passeig Joan de Borbó, Kaiku is one of the city’s best kept secrets. And ever more well guarded is its menú del día – the port workers know to head here for a hearty meal of humble, home-made food you’ll struggle to find elsewhere in the area. But you’ve got to know to ask for it if it doesn’t get offered to you when you sit down; it’s a well-kept secret not everyone gets to know about.
Kaiku, Plaza del Mar, 1, Barcelona, Spain, +34 9 3221 9082
Tell any local you’ve been to Cañete and you’ll be sure to get an air of approval, and just a touch of jealousy. The Bar Cañete is the cheeky, slightly more informal younger cousin of the restaurant located just next door. Both ooze sophistication and the feel of luxury that comes with crisp, white table cloths and polished bronze fixtures. But the busy, open kitchen at the Bar adds a sense of hype and modernity, which only adds to the feeling that this is the place to be seen. Nobody needs to know you’re eating from the €16 menu. Shhh…