10 Things to Eat in Barcelona Old Town


 

Barcelona’s Old Town district is also known as Ciutat Vella. While the actual center of it sits on the northwestern side of the Gothic Quarter, the Old Town district technically spans across el Raval, through Barceloneta and up behind Ciutadella Park, including the Barceloneta peninsula.

For those with just two or three days in Barcelona (or less) this would be the district to explore for a great overall fall for the Spanish city. It’s filled with authentic Catalonian food, great shopping, multiple tourist attractions, free guided walking tours, museums and more bars than you can imagine.

Barcelona – by Alban Martel – Unsplash

Here are ten things you can eat around the center of Old Town.

1. Basque Cuisine: ORIO BCN Gòtic in Barcelona Old Town

Basque cuisine is the food of Basque country, which lies in the north of Spain. They have a very distinct cuisine, vastly different to the rest of the land.

You can eat authentic Basque food in a number of places in Barcelona, but this spot in the Old Town is definitely the most popular. This is higher-end dining, expect prices to reflect this.

A great spot for a romantic dinner after a stroll through the Old Town streets. Afternoons are for beers and snacks amongst friends!

ORIO BCN Gòtic – by ORIO BCN – Uploaded by them

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 10am to 12:30am
Address: Carrer de Ferran, 38, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Urquinaona

2. Mediterranean: Restaurante Ateneu Gastronomic in Barcelona Old Town

If you want great street dining in the Old Town then Mediterranean food  at Restaurante Ateneu Gastronomic is the best you’ll find. It’s close to the Picasso Museum, a space responsive for thousands of visitors into Old Town every day.

The space is simple and the ambiance reminds me a lot of dining in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto neighborhood; street vibes where beer and wine flow freely and the occasional busker appearing to turn out some melodies while you eat. If you’re lucky you’ll hear some Spanish guitar!

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Unknown
Address: Plaça de Sant Miquel, 2, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Urquinaona

3. Tapas: La Alcoba Azul in Barcelona Old Town

It wouldn’t be Barcelona’s Old Town with some authentic tapas dining.

La Alcoba Azul is Old Town’s best kept secret. It’s literally a hole in the wall bar that has a tapas menu that you’d never have expected. Every single dish melts in your mouth, and the staff are only too happy to spend some time with each customer explaining each dish & working with dietary requirements.

I’m blown away by this spot every single time I visit. Show them some love, especially if you need somewhere to late-night dine.

La Alcoba Azul in Barcelona – by La Alcoba Azul – Uploaded by them

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 12pm to 1:30am
Address: Carrer de Salomó ben Adret, 14, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Urquinaona

4. Wine Cellar: La Vinateria del Call in Barcelona Old Town

The age old infrastructure of the Old Town in Barcelona has left spaces that are the perfect hosts for wine cellars.

The Vinateria del Call is near the Plaza del Rey. It’s a tiny, romantic little space where you’ll sip fantastic Spanish wines alongside small plates of mouthwatering tapas. To my delight they make homemade fig ice cream for dessert which was just the cherry on top of the entire evening.

A great spot for a first Tinder date, dinner with a lover or an intimate catch up with an old friend. I wouldn’t bring big groups to dine here as the space is small and not really appropriate for loud crowds.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 7:30pm to 1am
Address: Carrer de Salomó ben Adret, 9, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Urquinaona

5. Catalonian Cuisine: El Pintor in Barcelona Old Town

Authentic Catalonian cuisine is a must during your time in Barcelona. The dishes come from a time when the eight states of what is now Spain were actually individual countries in Europe. Thus, the cuisines are both similar and different all at once.

El Pintor has one of the most beautiful restaurant interiors in all of Barcelona. It has been featured in numerous magazines and blogs.

Come hungry and ready to treat yourself. Experiencing Catalonian cuisine in its entirety is best done with a starter, a main, a dessert and Spanish coffee to seal the deal.

El Pintor in Barcelona – by El Pintor – Uploaded by them

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 1pm to 4pm // 7pm to 10pm
Address: Carrer de Sant Honorat, 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Urquinaona

6. Paella: El Beso Y La Lluna in Barcelona Old Town

Catalonian food and paella go hand in hand, and while the other Spanish restaurants mentioned in this roundup will all offer great renditions of this dish, my favorite spot in the Old Town for paella remans el Best y la Lluna.

You’ll eat with live jazz playing in the background. The paella can be portioned to serve one person, or multiple people; it’s a great dish for shared dining. Booking on weekends is essential, though if you show up around 11pm for late night dining you should always get a table.

El Beso Y La Lluna in Barcelona – by El Beso Y La Lluna – Uploaded by them

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 11am to 12am
Address: Carrer del Pas de l’Ensenyança, 2 Bis, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Urquinaona

7. Bakery: El Fornet in Barcelona Old Town

Not everyone needs to come into Barcelona’s Old Town for a free guided walking tour, some choose to live here in Airbnb’s or classic hotels.

Those that do become quickly aquatinted with the el Fornet bakery. It’s one of few in the Old Town center, and it opens early enough for fresh morning bread and warm croissants.

El Fornet is actually a bakery chain with many, many branches scattered across the city. There is a small menu of lunch and dinner foods that can be ordered through until 9pm. People also like to come here after their dinners to get a batch of churros as dessert.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 7:30am to 9pm
Address: Carrer de Ferran, 30, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Urquinaona

8. Pizza: Focacceria Toscana in Barcelona Old Town

A lot of locals regard Focacceria Toscana as the best pizza in Barcelona; if you’re into thick based pizzas you’ll probably agree.

This is more of a grab-&-go joint rather than dine in. The pizzas are ready made and held behind the counter. You can purchase by the slice or entire pies if you so desire; they are dense meals, usually two or three slices is more than enough.

Interestingly Focacceria Toscana also does a fabulous patatas bravas dish as a side. An impressive interpretation of the dish by the Italians of Barcelona’s Old Town.

Focacceria Toscana in Barcelona – by Focacceria Toscana – Uploaded by them

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 12pm to 12am
Address: Carrer de Ferran, 41, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Urquinaona

9.  Ice Cream: Dino in Barcelona Old Town

Authentic gelato is easy to hunt down in the Old Town. There are actually three Dino branches within the Old Town district, but this one is in the center and the most popular.

The variety of flavors at Dino is impressive; kids love coming into the store to taste all of the options and the staff are always happy to accommodate them. There should always be vegan ice cream available, but I’ve noticed it does depend on the branch.

There is nowhere to sit inside of the ice cream shop. This is an “eat while you walk” treat; perfect for that evening stroll through this historic part of the city.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Unknown
Address: Carrer de Ferran, 27, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Urquinaona

10. Cafe: La Granja 1872 in Barcelona Old Town

The Old Town is filled with little cafes and one could debate for hours as to which is the best of the best. La Granja is historic and has been here since 1872, which has to count for something, right?

It’s a charming little cafe that specializes in baked treats and hot drinks. Those with a sweet tooth will be in heaven, particularly for their churros.

La Granja 1872 – by La Granja 1872 – Uploaded by them

The space is tiny, and a lot of travelers try to come here in big groups but end up being rejected at the door due to lack of space. I recommend intimate dining with just one or two other people.

This is another great spot for a first Tinder date; you can easily escape after a quick cuppa, or spend hours chatting over teas and cakes. A safe space!

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday – 9am to 9pm
Address: Carrer dels Banys Nous, 4, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Urquinaona