Barcelona’s Food Scene Through An August Lens: 18 Hotspots For Authentic Catalan Food And Priceless Atmosphere

Published on  

July 11, 2024

You would be hard-pressed to find a restaurant or canteen without a buzzing atmosphere in Barcelona, but there are some in particular that August always seeks out to delight our gastronomic senses.

Few can resist the vibrancy of the Catalonia capital. Culturally, architecturally, and gastronomically, it calls for a fiesta in every season, and the Barcelona food scene is arguably one of Europe’s most effervescent. The proximity of the glistening coastline means that fresh fish, tartar and more will adorn every menu throughout the seasons, while quality produce and regional wines punctuate many a table too. From nestled-away canteens that are loved by locals and utterly delighted last-minute visitors, to now Michelin star-studded restaurants that you will not want to miss (and that you should book well in advance of your stay), it is clear why this gastronomical scene is one to dive into.

Effortless fine dining in Barcelona

To seek out the most ambiance-filled spots for true foodies, August caught up with those that have been sampling Barcelona’s culinary offering for many years. Speaking with Max Lozinski, Head of brand development, alongside our Barcelona-born designers and local property managers, we have created an August pocket guide to eating out in Barcelona for a truly delicious and memorable experience, every time.

Rounding up recommendations in the effortlessly cool Eixample neighbourhood (where two of our beautifully renovated properties live, including our latest Pied A Terre apartment), alongside some of our favourite spots to visit nearby in Gràcia too, delicious menus and priceless dining experiences awaits.

1. Lluritu in Gracia

Carrer del Torrent de les Flors, 71, Gràcia, 08024 Barcelona, Spain

To jump straight into Barcelona’s fine dining scene, the authentic warmth and ‘savoir faire’ spirit of Llurita is a must for 2024 says Max. We had the pleasure of connecting with Gerard Lluritu, one of the three restaurant partners too.

There are currently two Llurito restaurants to enjoy in Barcelona, with a third set to open in August of this year. This first of the former fishmonger’s, in Gracia (Torrent de les Flors) came to flourish in July 2017. It is not just a sublime place to enjoy beautiful and assured fish dishes, but the location is characterful and rich in history. 

“Gracia neighbourhood is where we, the 3 partners, live,” Gerard Lluritu, one of the three restaurant partners, shares. “We love and know the neighbourhood since we were kids. Besides, Gracia is one of the most interesting neighbourhoods in Barcelona.”

What to order: Gerard’s favourite dish is Sepia tartare. The cuttlefish sandwich is also very popular a particularly memorable choice. Locals also love Eel salad, Zamburiñas/babe scallop, cuttlefish sandwich, prawns or sepia tartare shares Gerard.

The restaurants’ offering changes seasonally too. “Yes, the cuttlefish sandwich is always on the menu but we have an “out of the menu” dishes that vary depending on the seasons:  Lluritu fish, mushrooms, etc.”

If you are visiting for the first time, Gerard recommends: “Trio de montaditos, prawns omelette, anchovies, the turbot fish, or any of our out of the menu selection of the day.”

Wine pairing is easily conquered here too with a succinct menu that is perfectly paired to the menu:

“We have selected the best references that match with our food, from cavas to red or white wine from almost all the regions of Spain.”

2. Besta

Carrer d'Aribau, 106, L'Eixample, 08036 Barcelona, Spain

With two Michelin-stars 2024, Besta Restaurant Barcelona is on our list and we can’t wait to sample the tasting menu.

3. Soma

C/ de Provença, 179, L'Eixample, 08036 Barcelona, Spain

Steeped in ambiance and historic in design, Soma is a relaxed choice with a warm vibe serving innovative mediterranean food. It is on our watch list for its characterful interiors and adventurous, authentic menu. 

Vibrant and polished Tapas Bars

While it is “Near impossible!” to conclude on one favourite tapas restaurant, there are some names that stay front of mind on every visit. They are worth wandering to on a balmy afternoon or evening, impromptu or not. Although they are not all bookable, when you can make a reservation, we would recommend doing so as it is difficult to improvise nowadays, especially if you happen to be holidaying in peak-season or only for a matter of days.

4. Gresca

C/ Provença 230, 08036 Barcelona

Gresca in Eixample is vibey, with beautiful people, an extensive wine list and Catalan food with contemporary twists and Asian flourishes - a dish of anchovies with a soy marinade springs to mind,” shares Max.

5. Colmado Wilmot

C/ de Calvet, 28, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, 08021 Barcelona, Spain

For a dose of gastronomical flair in a chic dining setting, we love Colmado Wilmot. Here you feel the seasonality of the menu and authenticity of the produce, with lots of delicious wine to add zest to your evening too.

6. Bar Omar

C/ d'Amigó, 34, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, 08021 Barcelona, Spain

A modern and vibrant spot with a terrace, while the entire menu is inspiring gastronomical, we are obliged to mention our particular affection for the cheesecake at Bar Omar.

7. Bodega Borras

Carrer de Casanova, 85, Eixample, 08011 Barcelona, Spain

For beautiful produce, biodiverse wines and some of the best croquetas in Barcelona, visit Bodega Borras. Sampling their artisanal menu, punctuated with contemporary flair, will see you trying squid ink or iberian ham croquette and much more as you soak up the convivial and welcoming atmosphere. 

8. Casa Alfonso 

C/ de Roger de Llúria, 6, L'Eixample, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

We praised  Casa Alfonso in a previous talk about Barcelona and it is still a spot that we love to recommend for its flavoursome menu and special 1930’s-style atmosphere. Like most of the tapas bars, words cannot describe. This is also the perfect spot to go if you haven’t got a reservation.

9. Bar Cañete

Carrer de la Unió, 17, Ciutat Vella, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Bar Cañete has been on the hot list for years and is still an August go-to destination for guaranteed delicious tapas in polished settings.Though well-known, it always serves a wonderful ambiance and so is worth booking in advance. For the full experience, sit at the bar.

10. Bar Mut

C/ de Pau Claris, 192, L'Eixample, 08037 Barcelona, Spain

Bar Mut is a lively and suave restaurant with impeccably presented tapas dishes to be elevated by a beautiful wine list. From full-bodied, 60-day macerated wine from Montsant, to mineral fresh bottles, the sommeliers will find something to quench your thirst. 

11. Bar Betlem

C/ de Girona, 70, L'Eixample, 08009 Barcelona, Spain

A trendy and relaxed eatery where a cocktail on the patio served with a seafood plate can recharge the soul, Bar Betlem near the Girona Metro station, is as wonderful by day as it is by night. “I always find myself there for a quick lunch at some point, the staff are great and the recently pedestrianised street makes for a lovely spot to watch the world go by and get into the rhythm of the city,” shares Max. 

12. Queviures Múrri

C/ de Roger de Llúria, 85, L'Eixample, 08009 Barcelona, Spain

Queviures Múrri is a traditional Catalan deli-cum-restaurant, whose alluring facade has been gathering crowds since 1898, even more so over the past few years.We would recommend booking in advance to enjoy a long lunch on the terrace or dinner. 

For the table: This is a historical delicatessen, where wild seabass tartar, oysters and flamed Wagyu adorn the menu. Alternatively, pick up an array of delicious ingredients for a simple, restorative and memorable meal back at your own Pied À Terre.

13. El Xampanyet

C/ de Montcada, 22, Ciutat Vella, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

As recommended by August friends, for evenings where a little exploration is on the menu, El Xampanyet is a stone’s throw away from the Picasso museum in El Borne, and 25 minutes from Eixample neighborhood. Though you cannot book here, expect nothing but a buzzing atmosphere and authentic taste of Catalan. 

For the table: Order El Xampanyet’s classic: Anchovies and a glass of their signature sparkling wine. You will need little more for a memorable evening.

Catalan canteens for priceless atmosphere and exceptional tapas

For an authentic low-key and authentic Catalan gastronomy moment that might even be lighter on the budget (with no detriment to the quality of its menu) there are a couple of traditional canteens to seek out in L'Eixample and a little further out of the neighbourhood depending on your mood. To make it even more laid back, Gelida and Cal Boter can not be booked ahead. 

14. Gelida

C/ de la Diputació, 133, L'Eixample, 08015 Barcelona, Spain

A more recent discovery for the team, Geldia is a cheerful canteen that will keep you coming back for more. The space is adorned with Spanish vibrancy - think barrels of wine, football memorabilia and blackboards scrawled with the day's dishes.” It was such fun, I went twice in five days!” Shares Max.

For the table:

“Everything was great - ask the team what’s good that day - it’s been in the hands of the same family for generations, so they know what’s good. A delicious lentil soup or stew, a pork knuckle, some sausages with chickpeas, nothing fancy, but utterly fulfilling.”

15. Cal Boter

Carrer de Tordera, 62, Gràcia, 08012 Barcelona, Spain

“A little further north on the edges of Gracia is Cal Boter - which has a superb set lunch - the kind of spot full of old local boys quaffing lunchtime Rioja and taking a long, leisurely lunch. It also has beautiful traditional tile work.”

16. Terrassa Martínez

Ctra. de Miramar, 38, Sants-Montjuïc, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

A little further out of the neighbourhood, Terrassa Martínez is one to book for a special view that will stay with you beyond your visit.. Should you want to soak up the ambiance with the architectural delights of the city in the distance, enjoy what the kitchen has to offer here. 

17. Portoles

C/ de la Diputació, 375, L'Eixample, 08013 Barcelona, Spain

For hearty Catalonian food, specials listed on a chalkboard atmosphere, visit Restaurant Portoles to feel like a local. 

18. Bodega Marin

Carrer de Milà i Fontanals, 72, Gràcia, 08012 Barcelona, Spain

For a hearty platter of ‘Gambones XL gratinados’, 24-month cured Ibérica de cebo and a glass of Vermú, Bodega Marin in Garcia is a fun and lively hole in the wall.

A few final tips for your Barcelona escape...

What is a wonderful time to go to Barcelona?

“As a year round city, I don’t think there is a bad time to go to Barcelona,” says Max Lozinski. “Spring and autumn always feel delightful - warmer than the UK (not hard) but still not too stifling. I was last there in May which felt almost perfect.”

Which are the best neighbourhoods to visit for food in Barcelona, for a truly authentic meal?

Eixample and Sant Gervasi serve a priceless atmosphere. El Born neighbourhood or Enrique Granados street also have plenty of restaurants and vibrancy to explore and find your own favourites.

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