Located just south of the Ramblas, the Raval is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood well worth exploring. The Raval has a definitively gritty, urban edge to it, and while it might not be home to Barcelona‘s most up-market venues, it is home to some of its most treasured and most popular ones. Read our guide to where to find the best tapas in the Raval.
Located in the heart of the neighborhood, just off the Rambla del Raval, La Monroe is a popular establishment serving an excellent selection of dishes to share, including croquetas, patatas, padron peppers, and chorizo cooked in cider. The venue boasts a large terrace that is very popular on the weekends, and in the evening it has a lively, laid-back atmosphere, helped by the fact that the staff are remarkably friendly and helpful. The food at La Monroe comes fresh and there is plenty to choose from (including a relatively decent choice for vegetarians, too). Finally, the venue’s name hints at the fact that it shares its walls with the Filmoteca de Catalunya, a great place for film lovers.
Located on the infamous Rambla del Raval, best known for its large bronze cat and the diversity of crowds that gather there, Palosanto is a friendly neighborhood haunt serving well-priced tapas and a great selection of beers, wines, and cocktails. The croquetas are homemade and the fillings change regularly, and don’t just expect to find ham or mushrooms. Other popular dishes include black-pudding terrine served with piquillo peppers or meatballs in squid ink. The staff are friendly and welcoming, you’ll be a regular in no time!
If you thought that tapas had to involve meat, think again. Sésamo is one of Barcelona’s most popular vegetarian places, most famous for its tasting menu composed mainly of tapas. Enjoy some of the classics, such as mushroom croquetas, padron peppers or papas con mojo picón (Canary Island-style potatoes with sauce), or opt for something a little different with one of the specials from the board. The latter change regularly but have featured dishes such as fresh figs with Brie cheese and a balsamic reduction, and roast cauliflower with pomegranate seeds and coriander. Booking via telephone is recommended to avoid disappointment.
If the name sounds familiar, it may be because you’re familiar with the British-based Brindisa group, importers of fine Spanish produce and owners of a handful of popular tapas venues across London. Barcelona is the city that inspired Brindisa’s founders nearly 30 years ago, and today La Bellvitja is the first venue opened by the group in Spain, a coming-home in many ways. The food clearly draws its inspiration from traditional Spanish and Catalan cuisine and shows great respect for traditional ingredients and techniques. But there is also a refreshing sense of modernization and innovation from the kitchen, a desire to adapt dishes to the expectations of 21st century diners. Some might suggest that after having brought a little bit of Barcelona to London, Brindisa is now bringing a little bit of London to Barcelona.
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La Taberna del Suculent is the slightly less formal sibling of nearby restaurant, Suculent. Both bear the mark of renowned Catalan chef Carles Abellan, owner of other Barcelona favorites such as Tapas 24 or Bravo (located in the prestigious W Hotel). La Taberna is the perfect place to sample high-quality tapas without the formality of sitting down at a table (in fact, there are no tables). Instead, perch at the bar and order a serving of chicharrón (crispy pork rind) with lemon and pepper, buñuelos de bacalao (cod fritters) or even a few oysters with sherry wine. The wine list offers some great Spanish varieties to choose from, including a selection of sherries and vermouths.
A popular tapas bar located just off the Ramblas, Elisabets is a wholly unpretentious venue serving food for locals. Do not expect fancy service or sophisticated presentation, but do expect to find authentic Catalan fare served at decent prices. This is the place to eat local food, the way locals eat it. The choice of dishes on offer is located on large boards, and there will usually be some specials to choose from alongside all the classics,patatas bravas, Russian salad, stuffed olives, Andalusian-style squid and a selection of local charcuterie.
Located just across from the MACBA, Barcelona’s world-famous contemporary art museum and prime practice ground for the local skate-boarding scene, KINO is very popular with the local urban crowd and its terrace is usually full most days, summer or winter. The kitchen offers a selection of tapas, including meat, seafood, and vegetarian options, and there are plenty of cocktails to choose from at the bar to accompany your meal. A popular choice during the day or night, KINO is the perfect place to relax and watch the world go by in the heart of the Raval.