Deciding where to eat in Barcelona is both wonderfully exciting while also somewhat overwhelming at times: there are just so many places to choose from. Aside from the gastronomic institutions that will seemingly always withstand the test of time, there’s a permanently evolving list of hot new spots to eat out. Here’s our pick of the trendiest restaurants in Barcelona right now.
Frankie Gallo Cha Cha Cha
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
By the ovens at Frankie Gallo Cha Cha Cha
Located in El Raval, not far from Barcelona’s somewhat infamous La Rambla, Frankie Gallo Cha Cha Cha is a buzzing pizza joint whose hip décor, niche music and laid-back service wouldn’t be out of place in London’s tendy Shoreditch. Large by Barcelona standards, the restaurant serves classic and signature pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven, along with wine by the carafe and local beers. If you don’t take our word for it, Forbes has named it one of the ‘10 Coolest Places to Eat in 2018’.
Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary, Middle Eastern, European
Answering the call for a modern Middle-Eastern restaurant in Barcelona, Bistrot Levante is a stylish eatery offering brunch, lunch and dinner menus packed with exotic flavours. Homemade flatbreads are served with hummus and zaatar – a blend of herbs and spices – and the baked egg dish shakshuka is a brunch-time favourite. One of a small number of new foodie spots reclaiming the Old Town – along with places like La Cometa del Pla – Bistrot Levante is just the excuse you’ve been looking for to wander through the Gothic Quarter’s ancient streets again.
If Gresca has been around for a while now, the recent addition of a more casual wine-bar area has seen it suddenly catch the attention of the local foodie crowd. The menu features a number of offal-based dishes such as grilled sweetbreads or coarse pâtés, but also locally-caught fish and dishes in which vegetables are the star ingredients – all served simply yet tastefully on vintage plates. The wine selection is a treasure trove of natural and-low intervention wines from across Europe.
In recent times Barcelona has been gripped by a street-food craze that shows no sign of receding. Gringa is the first permanent home for the team behind Eureka, a food truck known for its mouthwateringly-good sandwiches. Tried-and-tested favourites such as the fried chicken bun or the carnitas tacos have got foodies going loco. The venue’s hip décor doesn’t hurt either: a breeze-block bar, some neon lights, a couple of large plants and a jukebox.
To say that Barcelona has something of an obsession with Asian food would be an understatement. The local foodie crowd have been slurping on ramen for a while now, but FAN-Shoronpo adds a touch of something new in the form of the eponymous shoronpo dumplings. These little balls of yum are dumplings stuffed with meat and broth, such that the shoronpo should be eaten in one bite if you don’t want to risk an explosion of liquid down your face. Of course, you can also get a bowl of ramen, which comes made from a range of different broths including miso, tantanmen and shoyu.
This little Poblenou gem is hot out of the oven having opened just a few months ago, but has already attracted the attention of the city’s food bloggers. Daytimes is all about the New Zealand-style brunches – expect the best flat whites you’ll find in the city – with things like kimchi pancakes, homemade muesli, corn fritters and buttermilk chicken burgers. In the evenings the pace changes and dumplings steal the show along with a selection of local and imported craft beers and dangerously easy-drinking cocktails.
Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary, European, Spanish, $$$
Retro-chic at Rilke
Perhaps a testimony to the aforementioned Gresca’s rise to fame in recent years is the fact that chef-owner Rafa Peña was asked to co-design the menu for Rilke – a stylish new restaurant housed within a completely refurbished Eixample flat. Those with a taste for lavish interiors will enjoy the vintage feel of the venue, with its wooden floors, plaster columns and antique-inspired furniture.