A Dish with Rich History and Bold Flavors
Though there's lots of things to do in Barcelona, one can’t miss out on paella, one of the vibrant and iconic dishes of Spain. Paella is an aromatic rice dish originating in the mid-19th century in Spain’s southeast coast. Its defining feature is the flat pan in which it's cooked it. The rice is seasoned with saffron, a spice which gives it a wonderful aroma and its characteristic golden hue.
While all paella dishes share a common base, there are many variations, and cooks can get creative with their ingredients. Mussels, shrimp, chicken, tomatoes, onions, peppers, chorizo, and more. One can find a variety of meat, seafood, and colorful vegetables to adorn their pans.
The classic dish can be found everywhere around the city, from high-end restaurants to humble local eateries. However, with so many places claiming to serve “the best paella”, it may be difficult to discern which spots are really worth checking out. That’s why we present to you the 6 Best Paella Restaurants in Barcelona. The following restaurants may have different histories, specialties, and ambiance, but all serve flavorful paella that is sure to please.
Enjoy, and make sure to stick around for a surprise!
Old World Charm and Casablanca vibe
Looking for a classy restaurant, for business dinners or maybe for a romantic night out? Check out 7 Portes, one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona. Opened in 1836, the restaurant has a rich history and features elegant 19th-century decor.
The house specialty is the famous paella Parellada, named after the owner, which comes with monkfish, mussels, squid, lobster, minced pork, sausage, and rabbit. Locals love it, and so do the famous. The restaurant is a favorite of notable politicians, writers, and artists-- even Pablo Picasso!
Address: Pg. Isabel II, 14 – 08003 Barcelona
Seafood Paella and Seaside views
Enjoy the beach or people-watching? Why not do that while tasting incredible food? Located right on the beachfront, La Barraca’s location is prime. Diners can sit on the terrace and enjoy the amazing view of Sant Sebastià beach.
The seaside location says a lot about the quality of their food. La Barraca is known for their fresh and locally-sourced ingredients. The paella and seafood dishes are enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. There are also delicious vegan options-- all organic!
Address: Lluca 56-58, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Traditional Marine Cuisine
Another restaurant that serves amazing seafood paella is Can Solé. Opened in 1903, the eatery began serving the local fisherman of Barcelona’s ports. Now operating for over 100 years, it’s known for its traditional marine cuisine.
The restaurant has a cozy and homely feel, with a nautical theme throughout. On the menu is a wide range of seafood options, from mini calamari, baby squid, red prawn, and clams. Though all look tempting, some say to just skip the starters and order their paella. The lobster paella and squid paella are especially delicious.
Address: Calle Sant Carles, 4, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Duck Paella to Die For
Restaurant Arume is a vibrant and quirky place down the alley, with a young crowd and eclectic decor. The eatery is known for its excellent staff and amazing food, which is evident in the long queues stretching out the door.
Good news for those with seafood allergies! It seems like with all the seafood paella offerings in Barcelona, those allergic are left out. If you’re one of them, have no fear! While diners at Restaurant Arume love the seafood paella, all agree that the specialty duck paella is a must must try. Many even swear that it’s life-changing.
Just remember to save yourself some trouble and book a reservation!
Address: Calle Botella, 11-13, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
A Taste of Authentic Paella
It doesn’t get more authentic than Elche. The restaurant is named after the owners’ hometown, in the region where paella originated. Family-owned and run, the place has been serving traditional seafood and chicken paella for over 50 years.
The atmosphere is classy, white tablecloth. Though not the cheapest option, it offers great food and service for a more affordable price than other high-end spots. Of course, you’re also paying to taste genuine traditional paella that’s freshly made to order, which we think is totally worth it!
Address: C/ Vila I Vilà, 71, Barcelona 08004
THE Place for Paella
As a traveler, it’s easy to end up at these tourist-trap eateries that claim to have the “best paella”-- all while charging tourist fares. To really find the best spots, ask the locals. They’ll say that Cheriff serves the best paella in Barcelona.
Away from the glamour of the beach and tucked within the narrow streets of the city, the restaurant is easy to miss. However, the establishment easily offers one of the most authentic and delicious food in town. Stop by for fresh seafood, an excellent wine list, genuine staff, and some good ol’ paella.
Address: Ginebra, 15-17, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Done! And here's something extra...
Hope our guide helped you discover some great spots for paella when you stop in Barcelona! Feeling more adventurous? Why not learn how make your own paella? Cookly offers many authentic, hands-on cooking classes to choose from.
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