One dish that is on most peoples list when visiting Barcelona is Paella. Almost every restaurant offers Paella on their menu, however, finding authentic Paella can be quite the challenge.
We have scouted Barcelona for the most authentic Paella. Here are some of the best restaurants offering traditional delicious Paellas, from the highly rated to locals favourite and also a hidden gem in Europes largest food market and a few handy tips to help you get the best Paella experience.
Few tips on eating Paella like a local in Barcelona:
- There is an unspoken rule when it comes to Paella in Barcelona. Ask any local and they will tell you it is frowned upon to eat in Las Ramblas despite its popularity
- Lunchtime for locals is around 2 pm and dinner is around 10 pm
- It is socially acceptable to have wine with lunch even on a weekday – we could certainly get used to this
- If you see a photo of Paella on the menu – run the other way!
- The rice at the bottom of the pan has the most flavour be sure to scoop it out
THE MUST-TRY IN BARCELONA
7 Portes started serving its famous Paella Parellada ( translates to ‘Rich mans Paella’ ) all the way back in 1940’s and to this day it is their speciality. 7 Portes has been popular amongst important political figures, writers and artists. It used to be frequented by Alexander Flemming, Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and many more – yes, THE Pablo Picasso.
It is one of the classic places to eat in Barcelona and is known for getting Paella perfect every time. All different types of Paellas are offered on the menu from meat, vegetarian, fish to soup-like Paellas, you will be spoilt for choice. The retro interior will make you feel like you have travelled back in time.
Given its history and title of perfect Paella, it is very popular so make sure you make a reservation in advance.
Address: Passeig d’Isabel II, 14, 08003 Barcelona
La Mar Salada
La Mar Salada is a seafood heaven in Barcelona. The fish is sourced from a local fish auction and this is evident in the flavours across all dishes on the menu. The exquisitely fresh seafood is what makes their Paella extra special. One of their unique dishes is the black rice with cuttlefish. The menu changes seasonally so you are guaranteed the highest quality of seafood throughout the year.
Address: Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 58-59, 08003 Barcelona
Restaurant Elche was started by the Iborra family who wanted to share the taste of their native town Elche in the Alicante province. Located away from the bustle of Las Ramblas the menu on offer here is extensive offering traditional Paella including meat, fish and the innovative noodle Paellas along with traditional Mediterranean meat and seafood dishes.
Be sure have a look at the extensive wine list – you won’t be disappointed. The hard work of the Iborra family and 50 years of experience has simply created a gem in Barcelona.
Address: Carrer de Vila i Vilà, 71, 08004 Barcelona
Restaurant Can Solé
With a rich history of 112 years, Restaurant Can Solé started off cooking for the fishermen at the Barceloneta port and today without a doubt offers one of the best Paellas in the city.
The interior has the charm of a seafood restaurant with sky blue walls and hundreds of photos framed on the walls. Located over two floors the restaurant is known for its classic Paella. They offer a variety of different rice dishes from traditional, black rice Paella to rice soup.
Address: Carrer de Sant Carles, 4, 08003 Barcelona
Barraca is relatively new on the food scene in Barcelona having only opened in 2013 it has already attracted a lot of dinners and impressed them with their authentic Paella. Contrary to most traditional Paella which tends to be seafood based, the house speciality here is the vegetarian Paella. The concept at Barraca is to keep food fresh, light and healthy… and it is simply delicious! With views of the beach of Sant Sebastia, it is the perfect spot for a lazy lunch.
Address: Paseo Maritim Barceloneta, 1, Barcelona
LOCAL’S FAVOURITE IN BARCELONA
Restaurant Cheriff is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You will immediately get the homey feel as you enter. It is classic family owned restaurant which has been named after the founder and has been passed down generations.
Many locals claim Restaurant Cheriff offers one of the best Paellas in Barcelona. If you are after a proper authentic Paella make sure you give Cheriff a whirl. The dishes revolve around seafood made with freshly caught fish. It is very popular with the locals so make sure you book in advance.
Address: Ginebra, 15-17, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Can Majó has been around since 1968, it remembers the time when La Barceloneta was just a fishing village. One of their standout dishes and recommended by Can Majó themselves is the mouthwatering Lobster Paella – ‘ Caldero de arroz con Bogavante’ on the menu. The lobster Paella is rich in flavour with deliciously fresh seafood. Pair it with a glass ( or bottle ) of dry wine on their terrace overlooking the picturesque seafront and enjoy this traditional dish like a local.
Address: Almirall Aixada 23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
PAELLA BAR IN THE BOQUERIA FOOD MARKET
Paella Bar Boqueria
One of Europe’s largest food market La Boqueria is based in Barcelona. It sells everything from fruits, vegetables, meat to fish. Dotted around the market are stalls and bars selling various food and snacks. If you are after delicious Paella in a unique setting Paella Bar Boqueria is the place to be.
If you want to indulge further and get in on the action of making Paella, there is also a Paella cooking workshop which takes place right in the central Boqueria Market.
Address: Portics de la Boqueria Locals 6-7 | Mercat de la Boqueria, 08001 Barcelona
BY TIA SEJAL