Where to Get the Best Paella in L'Eixample, Barcelona

© Charles Haynes / Flickr
© Charles Haynes / Flickr
Photo of Tara Jessop
14 January 2018

Located just outside the historic Old Town of Barcelona, the Eixample is a 20th century expansion characterised by its wide, grid-pattern streets and its Modernist architecture. Both a residential and a commercial area, the Eixample is home to many of the city’s best restaurants including these top places for authentic paella.

El Fumet de Letamendi antigua Casa Julia, Barcelona

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$

This well-known Eixample restaurant, formerly known as ‘Casa Julia’, now goes by the name of Fumet de Letamendi. ‘Fumet’ is in fact the Spanish word for the fish stock which is used in the preparation of paella and which gives the rice its depth of flavour. The restaurant is famous for its rice dishes and there are eight different kinds to choose from, including fish, seafood, meat, lobster and vegetable options. The traditional dining room is complete with white table cloths, wooden chairs and authentic tiled walls, although there are certain modern touches which save it from being too fussy.

Bosque Palermo

Restaurant, Spanish, Seafood, Mediterranean, European, $$$
Seafood paella
Seafood paella | © EnGuillem

Locals and tourists alike know that the paella at Bosque Palermo is good, which is why you’ll often find a queue outside at weekends. What’s more, the paella is rather affordable compared to some of Barcelona’s fancier restaurants, starting at just €10 ($12.20) per person. The rice comes piled high in a pan and is generously garnished with vegetables and whatever meat, fish or seafood you ordered. The wine is also reasonably priced making the whole experience a rather cheap and cheerful one.

El Puchero de Baralantra

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$

If you like a restaurant with an atmosphere you’ll be taken with El Puchero de Baralantra and its welcoming, traditional décor. Brightly patterned tile floors, red brick walls and dark wood furniture give it the air of an old Spanish tavern. The menu too is an homage to traditional Spanish cuisine, offering a wide selection of hot and cold tapas as well as a choice of vegetable, fish or ‘special’ paella. For something different try the fideuà or traditional noodle alternative to paella.

Artespañol, Paellas & Tapas

Restaurant, Spanish, Tapas, $$$
Tapas | © Julia Lindsay 줄리아 린지

If you like choice then the paella choice at Artespañol will not disappoint: there are over ten different paellas to choose from – including a rather original meat paella with melted cheese on top (not one for the purists). The rice and fideuà paellas are all cooked to order to give the rice the right texture, not overcooked or swimming in stock. Over on the tapas menu you’ll find a wide selection of dishes hailing from across the Iberian peninsula, from Andalusia to Galicia.

Terra Ca La Nuri

Restaurant, Spanish, Mediterranean, $$$

Behind this truly Catalan sounding name is a small group of restaurants, two by the beach and one in the Eixample neighbourhood. Serving a choice of hot and cold tapas as well as gourmet paella dishes, Ca La Nuri is bright, modern and elegant. What’s more, if you’re dining by yourself or only one of you wants paella, the kitchen will prepare paella for one – something not all restaurants are prepared to do.

Marisquería MariscCo

Restaurant, Spanish, Seafood, $$$
Arroz caldoso
Arroz caldoso | © Hotel Meira

The Marisquería MariscCo has a sibling restaurant located in the iconic Plaça Reial, though the Eixample restaurant is a lot more popular with locals. Specialising in seafood – mariscos is seafood – the restaurant serves paella as well as arroz caldoso, or stewed rice, served in rich broth which can be sipped with a spoon as opposed to the traditional Valencian paella which is cooked until nearly all the stock has disappeared.

Bodega Joan

Restaurant, Spanish

The English website tells you that the Bodega Joan is a ‘beer-house and grill’ which, while not quite the description you’d expect of a traditional Spanish eatery, isn’t too far off the mark, really. The choice of paella dishes is rather straightforward, with either a surf-and-turf, seafood or ‘black rice’ paella made with calamari and squid ink to give its rich flavour and colour. Aside from the paella, the house specialises in grilled meats including cuts such as picanha steak (sirloin cap) and entrecôte steak.

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