Restaurants in Barcelona and Madrid
I recently visited Spain for the third time, which I don't think I can say about any other country. My first visit was in during high school in 2007 for a 'history' trip, and the second time was in 2012 when I was working at an English summer camp. I had been to Madrid during both those trips, but I had never been to Barcelona before, so I was excited to visit a new city with my friend Jess.
The main activity on the itinerary this time? Food. And sangria.
Of course I had a few sights on my list (Park Güell, Casa Batlló, La Sagrada Família), but mostly I wanted to eat yummy food and catch up with my friend. I began to browse Instagram for restaurants in Barcelona, and there were so many amazing options to choose from! Barcelona Food Guide was super helpful, and it turns out that they have a fun little app that's like Tinder, but for food!
Travel tip: Whenever I'm visiting a new city, I like to save the places I want to visit in my Google Maps app before I travel. This makes it much easier to plan out my day if there are specific restaurants I want to go; I can easily see them on my map and plan my walking and/or transit route. I also save any unexpected places that I find in case I want to come back to them later.
Here is a list of the restaurants (in chronological order) that we visited with a few notes about each place. Some were just okay, but we didn't have a single bad experience, and most were pretty amazing. I also did features about Eat My Trip and BRO Room in Barcelona, so make sure to check those out as well. Oh, and be aware that most restaurants in Spain charge an extra fee for outdoor seating!
This was one of those meals where we just randomly picked somewhere because we were both so hungry and the prices looked decent. They had a set menu deal, which included a starter, main course, drink, and dessert. We both ordered the squid ink paella, white wine, and also a jug of tinto. It worked out to be approximately 20 € each, which I thought was a pretty good deal. The food wasn't anything special, but the tinto was super yummy!
This was one of the spots I found via Instagram - seriously check out their account because it's beautiful. We went for cake and tried the Red Velvet which was incredible (5 € for a piece big enough to share). The presentation for their other dishes also looked gorgeous, but unfortunately we didn't make it back for brunch. The place is really cute and the staff are very friendly, so it's definitely worth adding to your restaurant itinerary.
I wasn't able to snap a good photo at this place, and the food was only okay. I thought the portions were small considering the prices, and none of the dishes were amazing. We also felt pretty rushed by the waitress, who seemed quite disinterested in serving us. The decor is cool and the place was packed, but I don't think I would go back. We paid about 20 € each for a bottle of wine and three small shared dishes.
I found this place on Instagram and was so excited about it. I've always loved cereal, and although I knew it was going to be a bit of a novelty, I loved every minute. They have tons of options to choose from, so I went all out and chose extra toppings, pink milk, and a Pop-Tart. It came to 6 € and was worth every cent.
I was literally searching 'cheap tapas in Barcelona' and this place came up.
IT WAS SO GOOD in every way.
The staff was super friendly and attentive, their sangria was delicioso, and every dish we tried was unique. We had a salad (I can't remember which one but it was big enough for both of us to share), the oxtail, and the octopus. With two huge glasses of sangria our bill was 20 € each. We were still a bit hungry afterward though, so I think we probably should have ordered one more item on the menu. This was definitely my favourite spot for tapas in Barcelona, so make sure to add it to your list!
Several people recommended this place to me - and by the end of the trip I was in desperate need of some vegetables - so I figured I would check it out. I wasn't really expecting it to be a big as it was, and I certainly prefer to visit places that aren't part of a chain.
That being said, their menu was awesome. I was actually a bit sad that I didn't have more of an appetite because their pastas with vegan 'cheese' all sounded really good. They have really extensive allergy info in their menus, so this place would probably be great for someone with complicated dietary needs. I ordered the kale salad, which had a mango curry dressing, and it was delicious. The salad and a water cost me 12 €, which was reasonable compared to other similar restaurants. Although I didn't love the overall vibe of this place, I would probably go back to try other things on their menu.
I don't know what else to say about this place other than it's amazing. Every single thing is beautiful - the cakes, the cookies, the truffles, the doughnuts, the cupcakes - and I spent about 20 minutes deciding what I wanted. In the end I decided on a 'cronut' topped with blueberry jam, a salted caramel truffle, and a passionfruit truffle. I debated on getting a fourth item, but seeing as I was by myself at this point, I decided that would be unwise. It came to 5 €, and everything was delicious.
This was a last-minute decision; I arrived on an early flight, couldn't check-in to my hotel yet, and needed food asap. Thankfully my snap decision ended up being a good one! The food was simple, but in a tastes-like-it's-from-grandma's-kitchen kind of way. I had eggs, salmon, fresh bread, greens, and a pot of mint tea. It was healthy and not too heavy, which is exactly what I wanted after overindulging in Barcelona. My meal came to 12 € and was served on a cute tin plate. They also have larger brunch meal sets and vegan options.
My hotel was pretty far from the main area and I was in need of a snack, so I figured I would give this place a try. I liked the vibe they were going for - including the menu items named after famous people - and the staff was very friendly.
I was hoping to order a croissant but they were all out, so I had toast with jam instead and a blueberry tea, which came to 5 €. I wouldn't go out of your way to visit considering it's not really close to anything, but it was a nice quiet spot to read my book during the afternoon.
This might be one of the sweetest little places I've ever been. There are only a few seats, and I loved how the ingredients and the kitchen were visible; it makes you feel like you are at someone's house rather than a restaurant. The owners are lovely, and you can tell they are really passionate about what they do. We each ordered a coconut water, the Quinoa & Fresh Herb Salad with Cashew Feta Cheese and Walnuts, and a little piece of chocolate bread for dessert. Everything was delicious, especially the salad, and I would definitely come back to try other things on the menu. We paid 24 € for two people.
I'm sad I wasn't able to get a photo at this place because we really enjoyed it. This was the result of another random 'good tapas near me' Google search; clearly a very popular spot because it was packed and quite loud. We had the Spanish tortilla, prawns, bruschetta, and stuffed mushrooms. It was all really delicious, but the mushrooms were definitely my favourite. We also had a bottle of wine, so our total came to 24 € each. A little more expensive than other places, but we were definitely full afterwards!
What are your favourite restaurants in Madrid and Barcelona?