On the hunt for Barcelona’s best paella in Barcelona
The most well-known culinary symbol of Spain is paella. A dish originally from the region of Valencia, there are many different ways to prepare paella, since it can be made from almost any ingredient. Barcelona boasts a fantastic coastline and high quality fish, a fact which is reflected in its fish and seafood paellas. To avoid getting lost in the maze of restaurants promising to offer you the best paella in Barcelona, we suggest our top 10 restaurants where you can taste the best paella in Barcelona. Here, you’ll find a wide range of restaurants, whose popularity depends on their comfort, service and of course on the quality of their food, which after all is what matters most.
Restaurant Can Majó(Almirall Aixada 23). After 40 years of experience, this popular restaurant on Barcelona’s seafront is a truly family business, since the founder’s sons are now in charge of this typical restaurant. The owner personally selects the products to be used in the delicious dishes on offer. Rice with lobster and the wide variety of seafood-based starters are highly recommended. The terrace is cosy and welcoming, which makes enjoying a 100% Mediterranean meal even more attractive.
Casa Varela (Plaza Molina 4)-This used to be a seafood restaurant, with excellent fish dishes prepared in the Galician style. However, after a thorough reform, the result is the Restaurant Varela. The founder’s son has taken over and has broadened the horizons of this restaurant. Their specialities are the paella sin trabajo (shell-free paella) and black rice with fish and shellfish. This restaurant offers popular recipes at relatively reasonable prices, as well as a profuse wine cellar and wine selection, all with the best quality possible.
Restaurant 7 Portes(14 Passeig d’Isabel) – Barcelona’s historic restaurant was opened in 1836 and declared a site of national interest. Illustrious figures such as Orson Welles, Federico García Lorca and Picasso have passed by its dining rooms. It offers an extensive menu full of typical Catalan cuisine and specialises in paella. If you want to enjoy a great paella in a legendary location of Barcelona, this is the place for you.
Restaurant La Barceloneta (L’Escar 22) – Open since 1996, this restaurant has managed to establish itself as a benchmark in Barcelona, thanks to the quality of its seafood and paella, as well as its excellent service. Located in the Barceloneta district, it offers its guests a fantastic view of the port. All dishes, including desserts, are home made. Here, you will be delighted by scrumptious fresh seafood, paella and "arroz caldoso" (thick rice broth).
Restaurant Roig Robí (C / Seneca 20) – After 25 years of experience, this restaurant has emerged as a classic in Barcelona, where traditional Catalan cuisine has been combined with more modern tastes. Their stores are filled twice at day with seafood and fish direct from the port, and with meat from the Pyrenees and the Southern region of Huelva. A must here is the rice with artichokes and asparagus, as well as the paella with shrimps. Every dish you find on the menu is a delicious example of the owners’ overwhelming expertise in the kitchen. The general quality of the place is enhanced thanks to the delicate and careful service they provide in a completely renovated ambience. You’ll be made welcome in this cosy restaurant, so relax and simply enjoy its superb food.
El Suquet de l’Almirall (Passeig Joan de Borbó, 65) – This Port Vell restaurant combines traditional and modern. Its fame goes back decades and you’re unlikely to spot an empty table at the weekend. The secret to its paella is said to be its fish fumet, which gives the rice a unique flavour. Chef Quim Marquès belongs to a long line of cooks who’ve been working in the kitchens there for over four generations. They make one of the best paellas in Barcelona and their terrace is great in the summer.
Arrosseria Xàtiva (Bordeus, 35) – Another specialist in paellas in Barcelona. Although they also make delicious noodle dishes, their menu boasts over twenty rice dishes. They opened over a decade ago and their fame has grown and grown. They now have a second restaurant in Gràcia. Book beforehand. They serve generous portions and if you’d rather enjoy your paella in your own home, they also do takeaways.
La Mar Salada (Passeig Joan Borbó, 59) – La Mar Salada has recently made a name for itself as one of the best seafood restaurants in Barcelona. This comes as no surprise, given that their chef is no less than Marc Singla, who invented the liquid tortilla at El Bulli. Here the star dishes are paellas, seafood and fish. Their menu might not be that extensive, but their dishes are cooked with great care and creatively presented.
Restaurante Elche (C/ Vila y Vilà, 71) – Located in Poble Sec, Restaurante Elche opened in 1959. It’s an elegant family restaurant where you can eat paellas, rice dishes, fish and other Mediterranean dishes. They also have a restaurant in Maremagnum shopping centre. They’re open till late, so it’s a handy option if your sightseeing goes on longer than expected.
Restaurante Barraca Barceloneta (Passeig Marítim, 1) – Another Barceloneta restaurant, with an informal, modern feel and sea views. It specialises in seafood and its star dishes are paella and rice dishes. Here you can find rice with cuttlefish and traditional fish paella alongside original dishes such as their delicious rice with artichokes, sausage and cuttlefish.
What do you think? What’s your favourite paella restaurant in Barcelona?