Paella, although traditionally a Valencian rice dish, is a very popular dish in Barcelona. Its seaside location makes seafood paella a prime choice. But with almost every restaurant offering this famous dish, each proclaiming that they serve the best, where can you really find the best paella in the city? Read our guide to find out.
Located in Port Vell, the harbor area in La Barceloneta, La Mar Salada is long experienced in the art of paella. La Mar Salada has a fantastic menu; their seafood paella is particularly delicious thanks to their expertise in fish preparation and locally sourced, fresh fish. Costing around €20 and serving at least 2 people, guests can choose from paellas with prawns and clams to shrimps.
Elche is located in the now up-and-coming neighborhood of Poble-Sec and is the result of more than 50 years of hard, family-run work. Serving traditional seafood or chicken paella, as well as noodle paella with fish and prawns, there’s a lot of choice. The restaurant is perfect for those on a budget, as there is slightly more of a cheaper range than in the other top paella restaurants. The name Elche refers to the hometown of the owners, which is located in the home region of paella itself: Valencia. So for an authentic paella with decades of work behind it, Elche is a must-visit.
Starting life as a friendly café, this now large and successful restaurant is one of the classic places to eat in Barcelona. Importantly, Set Portes is famous for its always perfect paella. Getting its name from its seven public doors, this is a large and brimming restaurant which offers dishes at reasonable prices, as well as numerous cultural activities. The paella in Set Portes comes in all kinds of varieties. Guests can choose from traditional paella made with rice and complete with meat, vegetables, or fish, or even some more innovative paellas served with noodles, or even more soup-like rice-based paellas.
Open since 1903, another fishermen restaurant in the Barceloneta quarter, Restaurant Can Sole, boasts thematic sailor-style decoration, and is famous for its classic paella. Restaurant Can Sole serves the traditional versions of this irresistible dish. High quality cuisine, served with passion and a true knowledge of how to cook traditional dishes, there’s no doubt that the paella here is among the best in the city.
Last, but certainly not least, undoubtedly one of the best places to eat paella is in the home. Making friends with locals is all part of the traveling experience and since paella is a traditional Sunday afternoon family lunch, it is not unheard of to be invited into someone’s home to enjoy this shared meal together. From experience, it is clear that grandma’s paella is always the best, so if you get the chance, enjoy the flavorsome cooking of a local, whose heart is always in their traditional dishes.