Located on the shores of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is a city whose gastronomy has been shaped by its proximity to the sea. Whether it’s bright red Palamos prawns or the finest Galician mussels – the Atlantic coast is not that far away either – there’s plenty on offer in these outstanding Barcelona seafood restaurants.
This is one of the great classic restaurants of Barcelona, located in the Gràcia neighbourhood and within close proximity to the upmarket Sarrià neighbourhood. The restaurant opened in 1975 and has since made a name for itself as one of the best seafood restaurants in the city, serving fresh fish bought at auction in Catalonia and Galicia each morning. The setting is traditional with a certain feeling of pomp and grandeur offered by the white table cloths and brass fittings.
This concept-restaurant offers diners the experience of ‘shopping’ for their meal at a market stall counter, where they can choose what they want to eat. The person behind the counter explains the various types of fish and seafood on offer, as well as the ways in which they can be cooked: roast, grilled or fried. Order by weight and then wait until your number is called before collecting your cooked meal from the kitchen counter. One of the most original seafood dining experience to be had in the city.
Named after the old fisherman’s neighbourhood in which it is located, La Barceloneta is another of the most well-regarded seafood restaurants in the city. Situated away among the docks of the Marina Port Vell, the restaurant is a favourite for families at weekends and businessmen looking to impress clients during the week. The restaurant offers both grilled fish, fresh seafood and rich seafood paellas prepared the authentic Catalan way.
What better way to enjoy a seafood meal than with the sight of the open water in front of you. Located on the beachfront of the Bogatell beach in Barcelona, the Xiringuito Escribà is famous for its paella dishes, which are prepared both with rice or with a small noodle called fideuà which is typical in Catalonia. Be sure to leave room for dessert as they belong to the same family as the Pastisseria Escribà on la Rambla – one of the city’s most renowned patisseries.
An exposed red-brick dining room contrasts with crisp white table-cloths to set the atmosphere of this stylish seafood restaurant. Located in the city’s trendy El Born district, just a short walk from the Ciutadella Park, La Gambeta or ‘the little shrimp’ is best-known for its lobster stew known as Caldereta de Bogavante which comes with chunks of tender lobster cooked in a flavoursome fish sauce.
The Passeig Joan de Borbó in the Barceloneta is lined with seafood restaurants but not all do justice to the city’s reputation for good food. El Suquet de l’Almirall stands out for its commitment to quality ingredients – much of its seafood is caught locally – and reliance on traditional recipes. Try the ‘suquet‘ – a rich fish stew prepared with saffron and stock – from which the restaurant gets its name, for an authentic Catalan meal.
The central bar at El Nacional | Courtesy of El Nacional
If the thought of a fresh oyster and a glass of something bubbly is your idea of a seafood feast then the Oyster Bar at El Nacional is sure to be a treat. Housed within a former garage and decorated in Catalan art nouveau style, El Nacional is five restaurants under one roof, including a meat restaurant, tapas bar, seafood restaurant and the oyster bar. Get comfy on your stool and choose from a selection of different oysters and accompaniments.