The main artery of Barcelona’s multicultural El Raval neighbourhood, the Rambla del Raval is home to a number of great tapas bars and restaurants. From authentic Middle-Eastern eateries to contemporary Catalan cuisine, here are some of the best places to check out.
Suculent is one of the more upmarket eateries in El Raval, yet it has the relaxed atmosphere of an old-fashioned bodega. Fashioned on a traditional tapas bar, where guests can eat at the bar and enjoy the company of the waiters, Suculent serves a selection of contemporary Catalan and Spanish dishes with a modern veneer. If you’re not in the mood to choose, let the chef do the hard work for you and opt for one of the two tasting menus instead.
In recent years, El Raval has become home to a growing Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi community, which has given rise to there being some fantastic Asian eateries in the neighbourhood. Maharaja is one of the best curry houses in the area and serves a variety of different curry dishes, including tandoori, as well as having a wide choice of vegetarian dishes. They have adapted their recipes to the local palate – usually not so fond of hot spice – so be sure to ask for it to be extra spicy if you like a little heat.
If vegetables take centre stage at 4amb5 Mujades, don’t be fooled: this is by no means a vegetarian restaurant. Instead, the chef’s original concept is for a restaurant where animal protein appears only ‘in subtle ways’ to enhance the dishes. Named after an old Catalan measure used in the orchards of days gone by, this restaurant pays homage to seasonal vegetables and the rich variety of produce found in the local countryside. There are three tasting menus available to choose from, with the smallest starting at just €35 per person.
Palosanto is a cosy, casual tapas restaurant that offers unpretentious cooking at affordable prices. The venue has all the feel of an independent eatery and is a favourite with many of the younger locals in the area. The menu includes sandwiches, warm and cold sharing dishes, salads and more. The restaurant also serves cocktails and a range of local spirits perfect for an after-dinner tipple, and the outdoor seating on the Rambla del Raval is great for sunny days.
If you like a good hamburger, then be sure to check out La Informal, as they specialise in gourmet burgers with a tantalising selection of meats, toppings and breads from which to choose. While some of the combinations are quite classic, others show a sense of imagination and culinary adventure. There are also other dishes on the menu, such as spicy chicken wings and nachos, and if you have a sweet tooth, be sure to save space for a slice of homemade cake afterwards.
Not technically on the Rambla del Raval, but so close that it would be wrong to leave it out, Robadora is a modern bar and restaurant located just around the corner from the Filmoteca de Catalunya. They serve a choice of homemade tapas, including crispy croquetas, hearty meat dishes and fresh seafood such as oysters and octopus. The venue is stylish and modern, attracting a young crowd of mostly locals who give it a relaxed but trendy atmosphere.
A neighbour of the aforementioned Robadora, the Magraner Boig is a casual, contemporary Greek restaurant that serves authentic homemade Greek food without the usual over-the-top décor. The venue is modern and minimalist, giving very little away about the nature of the cooking, but the food tastes every morsel like a trip to your favourite Hellenic island. The tzatziki is fresh and fragrant, as is the Greek salad, while the musaka is meaty and rich, and the halloumi – a rare find in Barcelona – is as mouth-wateringly crisp as it should be.