Europe, Spain, Travellers

2019 Update: Top 7 restaurants in Barcelona for lunch, brunch, tapas, or dinner!

Do you want to avoid the touristy pitfalls when it comes to food in restaurants in Barcelona? #Explorers Tip 1: Avoid Plaça Reial. It is a pretty sight, but the restaurants are low quality for a high price. Alright, now we have that settled, read on.

Back in 2015, I spent three months living and working in Barcelona for my internship at EF Barcelona. As a Marketing & Sales Intern I lived with a local family in the heart of Eixample, befriended fellow internationals, and discovered the local cuisine. I have always had a weak spot for tapas and I can tell you, Barcelona didn’t let me down.

Ever since, every time someone visits Barcelona I tell them all about my favourite restaurants. Therefore, I will now share my cuisecrets (HA! I just made that up!) with the world!

Unfortunately, in 2015 I wasn’t very active in taking great pictures. And once you taste the food I am going to recommend to you, you will understand why it was hard to wait and take a great picture before you can get a bite of that. Therefore, I am using a mix of my own lower-quality (Instagram) photos, official pictures from the restaurant’s websites, and Instagram photos published on either the restaurant’s page, or posted using their respective hashtags.

Moreover, I have categorised the restaurants in breakfast/lunch/brunch, tapas, and dinner places.


1. Brunch & Cake

Looking for the best brunch in town? Head to Brunch & Cake. Quite frequently, I visited the one located on Rosselló, but I believe they are all equally awesome. They are scattered all around the city.

As a result, you shouldn’t have to look too far to find one. Just check out their website and Instagram page and you will understand why I came back here over and over again.

Get your hands on their fresh orange juice, it’s delish! There are plenty of vegetarian options here as well. Check out their Instagram page to see what kind of delicious options they have.

Address: Carrer del Rosselló, 189

Barcelona Brunch & Cake BCN lunch sandwich Hashtag Explorers
From left to right: My own picture @explorermelissa; the store front by @ariadnagasull; a much tastier-looking photo of the food than mine by @young_wild_and_full_

2019 Update: I visited Barcelona again in 2018 and 2019. During these visits, I went to Brunch & Cake by the Sea. I ordered the breakfast platter and loved every minute of eating it.

Brunch & Cake by the Sea terrace is always packed with Instagram girls and their hubbies
Brunch & Cake by the Sea is always packed. There was a queue of about 15 minutes outside. But trust me, it is worth it
Brunch & Cake by the Sea breakfast platter
The Brunch & Cake Breakfast Platter

Address: Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 5

2. Flax & Kale

At three different location through Barcelona, you will find Flax & Kale restaurants. My favourite is the very first one they opened, at Career de Tallers. On a sunny day you can sit outside, in front of the restaurant, but it is even better to enjoy their delicious menu from the rooftop terrace.

The building that this Flax & Kale is in is simply stunning, and the attention to details, in combination with the great food, is a feast for the eyes and stomach.

Address: Carrer de Tallers, 94b

Flax & Kale Tallers Brunch by Hashtag Explorers
Be prepared for a brunch feast when you pay a visit to Flax & Kale


3. Cervecería Catalana

By far the best tapas restaurant in town -and everybody knows it. Therefore, it is close to impossible to get a table here in the evening. As you probably know, Spanish people tend to eat late. Preferably after 9pm.

If you want a seat at Cerveceria Catalana, make sure to be there around 6pm. Or, hack the system and have tapas for lunch. If so, you can even sit outside and enjoy a sunny Spanish afternoon on their small terrace.

Make sure to get the patatas bravas (fried potatoes with a typical spicy sauce), a platter with jamón and manchego cheese, and their delicious pan con tomate (bread with tomato).

Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 236

Cervecería Catalana Hashtag Explorers Tourist Tips Instagram Barcelona Spain Restaurant Tapas
From left to right: Tapas night by @turistoss; the outside seating area from; view of the food display inside by @xiaoru920203

4. Bar Lobo

Are you hungry and looking for good tapas close to La Rambla? Don’t worry, I got you covered! Even in the tourist centre and close to La Rambla there is good tapas. Again, don’t skip the patatas bravas. Want to try something that I have seen on a lot of tapas menus, but be warned, you need to be seriously hungry to finish these? Then go for the berenjenas fritas con miel de caña (fried eggplant with some special kind of honey). 

When I went here for the first time in 2015, I fell in love with it. Every single time I have been back in Barcelona, I bring other friends to Bar Lobo and they all love it.

Address: Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 3

Bar Lobo restaurant Barcelona Spain tourist travel tips hashtag explorers #explorers digital nomad
From left to right: Food by @zhcaro; the beautiful interior of Bar Lobo by its official Instagram account @grupotragaluz; tapas by @n_markotic.


5. Makamaka Burger

Burgers? Check. Beach? Check. Best fries? Check. When in Barcelona, don’t skip Barceloneta beach. Not only to tan and take pictures of the W Hotel, but also to get one of the best burgers (and garlic parmesan fries!) in town.

The entrance of Makamaka Beach Burger Bar is so much fun. The cut out in front is ideal for pictures, so make sure to take one!
The main entrance of Makamaka, with its infamous cutout for pictures
Makamaka Beach Burger Bar's terrace would be perfect, if it were only bigger. There's a high chance you have to wait in line for a while before you can sit down, but their burgers and fries are worth it.
Makamaka’s terrace is always fully packed. Be prepared to stand in line for a while before you can indulge in your favourite burger

Back in the day, I usually had the “Dirty Chick”, the chicken burger. There are also several vegetarian options, a few salads, and even GTs. Also, on the weekends, you can get breakfast at this beach bar as well.

Address: Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 76

Makamaka burger Barcelona Spain Restaurant Travel Tourist Tips Hashtag Explorers #Explorers
From left to right: Vegan burger from @ornellabertanibeatrisini’s point of view; the store front by @andreafellman; the burgers me and my friends had, by my friend @betty.neubert.

6. 100 Montaditos

Cien Montaditos is not exactly one of these restaurants that you HAVE to visit because of their amazing food. Instead, it is one of these places where you go to on your last night when you are broke and just want some cheap, quick food that is not too unhealthy. Montaditos means (small) sandwiches, and they have 100 different kinds (hence the name). Best part is, this place is very cheap. A selection of the baguettes is only €1, the most expensive ones are €2. And… every Wednesday and Sunday, all sandwiches are just €1 each! There are also some salads and platters to share, such as nachos.

Address: There are several in the area, but this one on Rambla de Catalunya, 11 is in the middle of the touristic centre.

100montaditos cien montaditos sandwiches Barcelona spain hashtag explorers #explorers restaurant tapas travel tourist tips
From left to right: Several ‘montaditos’ by @100montaditos; the inside of one of the restaurants by; more food by @100montaditos

7. Surf House

Last but not least, I need to talk about Surf House. This restaurant is close to Makamaka Burger, and hence also on Barceloneta Beach. Unfortunately, I only tried the (delicious!) nachos here, but I was told by close friends that their whole menu is to die for.

The outside terrace of Surfhouse Barcelona by Hashtag Explorers

Not only do they have poké bowls, burgers, salads, and wraps, they also have smoothies, cocktails, and much more. Thus, they have something tasty for everyone.

Address: Carrer de l’Almirall Aixada, 22

Surf House Barcelona Spain Tourist Travel Tips Hashtag Explorers #Explorers hashtagexplorers restaurant
From left to right: Nachos!; the outside terrace overlooking Barceloneta Beach; more delicious food, all pictures by @surfhousebarcelona

Where are you going to eat next time you are in Barcelona? Do you have any favourite restaurants that I should eat next time I visit? I am curious to know! Therefore, let me know in the comments where you are headed next!

Visiting Madrid soon? Check out this blog about the Top 10 Tourist Highlights of Madrid!

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Melissa is the founder of Hashtag Explorers. She is a Dutch, enthusiastic, and open-minded world traveller. Melissa enjoys her time researching new travel destinations, kickboxing, singing or horse back riding. Her strong desire to experience new cultures and meet new people has led to creating #Explorers. If you cannot find her in The Hague, where she is working as a civil servant, she is probably exploring the rest of the world, where she is reliving memories from the times she lived in Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, and Malta.