Despite its fabulous weather and charming streets, Barcelona can prove tricky when trying to find a restaurant with a terrace. Fortunately, there are some top notch restaurants offering both fantastic food and desirable outdoor seating. Here’s our pick of the city’s best restaurants with outdoor seating.
Restaurant, Asian, Fusion, $$$
Thai-style razor clams | Courtesy of Dos Palillos
This Michelin-starred restaurant is run by an ex-El Bulli chef who fell in love with Asian food long before it was all the rage in the Catalan capital. The restaurant’s Catalan-Asian fusion cuisine combines the basic produce of the region with touches of Asian influence both in terms of flavour and technique. The cozy outdoor terrace boasts just a handful of tables in the shade of an old stone building and metal gates that offer a pleasant intimacy. Perfect for a romantic dinner.
This mid-range Catalan restaurant is located in La Barceloneta and is popular with locals thanks its reliable home-cooking and reasonable prices. The menu features traditional dishes such as artichokes vinaigrette or marinated anchovies, but also some more contemporary dishes with a subtle Asian influence. The outdoor terrace lies on a large open segment of the waterfront and offers clear views of the sea amid the buzz of passersby.
Situated on the edge of Montjuïc hill, Martinez offers dramatic views of the city’s port area stretching out beneath it. The restaurant boasts a large outdoor terrace which is open all year round and is always full at weekends. The menu offering is rich in popular local dishes, especially fish and seafood, as well as hot and cold tapas for sharing. The lobster rice stew is outrageously good.
This historic restaurant has been around for some years and although it’s no longer the family-run neighbourhood gem it once was, its decor and setting on one of the Born’s most iconic streets makes it still worth visiting. The food offering consists of traditional Catalan and Spanish dishes such as cod and chickpeas, fish soup, fried sardines and Spanish cured ham. The terrace overlooks the busy pedestrian street the Passeig del Born and the Modernist Born market building.
Far from the typical tourist trail, Xemei is a Venetian-inspired restaurant in the heart of Poble Sec. Run by a pair of restaurateur brothers who are well-known in the city, Xemei offers traditional dishes such as home-made pastas and risotto, roast leg of lamb and oven-baked fish. There are just a handful of outdoor tables, but their white tablecloths and the shaded canopy create a rather idyllic impression.
The Xiringuito Escribà is owned by the same family as the eponymous patisserie located in the city centre – suffice to say you’ll want to to save space for dessert. However, most people frequent Escribà for the paella which is cooked to order from the large open kitchen in the back. The entire dining area is covered with a removable roof which is pulled open as soon as the weather permits it. The restaurant is located on the edge of Bogatell beach and offers charming views of the sea.
One of the many restaurants lining the Passeig Joan de Borbó which overlooks La Barceloneta marina, La Mar Salada offers contemporary Catalan cuisine in a bright, modern setting. Classic Catalan dishes are given a modern twist and presentation is both elegant and creative. The outdoor terrace overlooks the marina and is the perfect place for watching the world go by on a busy weekend afternoon.