- Tasting the cooking of Catalonia's Top Chef: And oddly enough, that's Basque cooking. In late 2016 Lasarte became the first restaurant in Barcelona to be awarded three Michelin stars. It's an honor chef Martín Berasategui has garnered before, for his dining mecca of the same name in the suburbs of San Sebastián.
- Partaking in a Sunday Dining Tradition: The lines say it all: 7 Portes, one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona, is a Sunday institution. Extended families dine on excellent meat and fish dishes in a turn-of-the-20th-century atmosphere.
- Sampling the Finest Regional Dishes: In spite of its Italian name, the Via Veneto is traditional to the core, serving up some of the finest Catalan cooking in the land. The restaurant exudes old-fashioned class. The serving methods, such as the sterling-silver duck press, seem to belong to another century — as do some of the clients.
- Eating the Freshest Seafood in Barcelona: You'll find it at Els Pescadors in the atmospheric working-class beachside suburb of Poble Nou. People come here for the food — not the view — to sample prawns, whitebait, or dorada (bream). They serve whatever has been caught that day.
- Best Tasting Menu: Roca Moo has the most "symphonic" tasting menu we've ever had the pleasure to try. In the hands of chef Felip Llufrio, every note is struck at least once, on a menu that jumps from light and airy, to toothsomely meaty and back again, often throwing in molecular gastronomy sleights of hand just for the fun of it. Dine here for a meal you won't soon forget.
- Best Place for a Business Lunch: "The incomparable haute cuisine of the elegant La Dama in L'Eixample has long attracted civic dignitaries and top executives.
- Best Wine List: You're spoiled for choice at La Vinya del Senyor, a gorgeous wine bar opposite the towering Santa María del Mar. Mull over the 300 vintages on offer while taking in the facade from the outside terrace; then order some of their delicious tapas to accompany your choice.
- Best for Paella: A paella on the beach is a quintessential Barcelona experience and there is no place better to do it than Can Majó. Right on the seafront, this restaurant prides itself on its paellas and fideuàs (which use noodles instead of rice) and is an established favorite among the city's well-heeled families.
- Best for Molecular Gastronomy: At the avant-garde Alkimia adventurous chef Jordi Villa puts on a magic show of a meal. It's mighty tasty and (sometimes) mighty weird.
- Best Traditional Catalan Cuisine: Via Veneto exudes old-fashioned class and serves up some of the finest Catalan cooking in the land. Some of the serving methods, such as the sterling-silver duck press, seem to belong to another century (as do some of the clients).
- Best for Kids: Children are welcome almost everywhere in Spanish restaurants, but why not give them a real treat by heading for La Paradeta? This is the Catalan version of a British fish-and-chip shop, with all kinds of seafood laid out on ice greeting you as you walk in. Pick what you want and bingo! Out it comes, hot and steaming, in a cardboard box.
- Best Fusion Cuisine: Born in Catalonia but raised in Canada, chef Jordi Artal instinctively knows how to fuse old- and new-world cuisines. The five-course tasting menu in his upscale Cinc Sentits is a memorable way to sample this expertise.
- Best for Tapas: Taller de Tapas was conceived to take the mystery out of tapas. Multilingual staff and menus ensure you don't get pig's cheeks when you order green leeks, and the rest of the delectable dishes are a perfect initiation for the tapas novice.
- Best Outdoor Dining Area: As well as being one of the best-value restaurants in the city, the Café de L'Acadèmia is blessed with one of the prettiest settings: A charming square in the Old Town flanked by Gothic buildings and an ancient water fountain. At night the warm glow of the table candles bounces off the stone walls, ensuring you linger long after the last drink.
- Best View: Dine on top of the world, or at least 75m (250 feet) up, in Torre d'Alta Mar located in a cable-car tower. The view couldn't be more mesmerizing, allowing you an almost 360-degree view of the city's skyline and the surrounding sea in one swoop.
- Best for Seafood: Although good seafood is abundant in Barcelona, many swear that the best catches end up in Cal Pep, a tiny bar near the port. Mountains of the stuff are prepared in front of your eyes by lightning-quick staff, and your dexterity is put to the test as you try not to elbow your neighbor while peeling your prawns.
- Best for a Sweet Tooth: Sweet but never sickly, Espai Sucre, the world's only restaurant that offers a menu made up entirely of desserts. Foodies rave about it and its reputation has spread far and wide as a once-in-a-lifetime gastronomic experience. Some savory dishes are available.
- Best for Morning or Afternoon Tea: Granja Dulcinea's hot chocolate is widely acknowledged to be the richest and most delicious of them all.
- Having a Paella Overlooking the Harbor: Ignore the pushy neighboring eating spots on Barceloneta's main portside boulevard and give yourself to a seafood treat at the homely, laidback Puda Can Manel. The succulent paellas and fideuàs (seafood with noodles instead of rice) are the genuine article and also excellent value, which is why you see so many locals here, especially on Sundays.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.