As good as the Paella and tapas are in Barcelona (and believe me, they are excellent) sometimes you’re in the mood for something a little more familiar. Certainly nothing low quality or, god forbid, from a fast food restaurant. Such situations give Barcelona’s multinational population an opportunity to shine. Barcelona is renowned for vibrant and varied food culture.
The following is a list of my favorite spots in the city to find some excellent standards of world cuisine in Barcelona. If you’re looking for a meal that is a little more familiar, but you don’t want to forfeit quality, this list is for you.
Sushi- Gokoku, Carrer de la Diputació, 172
Given that Barcelona is known for its seafood, it should come as no surprise that you can find some truly excellent sushi in the city. Frankly it’s easy enough that choosing the sushi joint I was going to write about in this post was somewhat of a challenge. I have yet to eat sushi that wasn’t fresh, delicious, and reasonably priced (or at least reasonably priced for sushi). But what sold this place for me was the service.
From the mini-martini they give you when you first take your seat to the last bite of fish I had. Gokoku showed a level of hospitality that is relatively unknown in European restaurants. That gives it the edge over the other places I’ve been. But if you’re willing to spend sushi money, Gokoku is really a complete package.
Pizza- Les Dues Sicílies, Carrer dels Carders, 22
Les Deus Sicílies is everything a Neapolitan pizzeria should be: cheap, fast and delicious. Aside from offering a truly quality slice for 2 euros, you can also find some more hefty Italian dishes. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and even if the restaurant is a little crowded you’ll find plenty of places to sit down and enjoy a slice in the plazas nearby. I really cannot say enough good things about this place, so you’ll have to just take my word for it and go grab yourself a slice.
Kebab- Picarn, Judici 13 bajos
I won’t be the first person to tell you that, like most European cities, you can definitely find Kebabs in Barcelona with little to no effort. Not only that, the Kebab is such a fundamentally good food that it’s pretty difficult to find a genuinely bad Kebab. That being said, there are a few things that will make me drag myself down to Picarn for lunch when there are at least 4 Kebab shops on my block alone.
The first is the sauce. Meat and veggies, in my opinion, is really hard to get wrong, so a well-made sauce can really set you apart and whatever recipe they’re using at Picarn is frankly great. The second is the cleanliness of the place. Kebab shops often have an ambiance to match the low prices of their food. Thankfully Picarn doesn’t give this impression. The last thing that brings me there on a biweekly basis is the location. Its right next to the beach.
Tacos- El Pachuco, Carrer de Sant Pau, 110
This was another tough one. There are a LOT of places to get tacos in Barcelona most of which serve tasty food for very little money. That being said, of all the taco joints I’ve tried in this city El Pachuco really takes the cake. During peak hours this little hole in the wall restaurant will often have a crowd of people. And many are waiting for a table outside. I know that’s a bit discouraging, but they are willing to wait for a reason. The tacos are made from scratch right behind the bar and are truly to die for. The restaurant itself has a great atmosphere.
Ice Cream- Sweetaly, Ronda de Sant Pau, 39
I know this doesn’t technically count as a meal, but what’s a nice dinner without an equally nice dessert? For this I suggest Sweetaly. One of the best ice cream shops I have ever been to. Aside from the excellent assortment of flavors from the staples to some more unique options. However, what makes this place great is that they make all of their ice cream the same day it’s sold. It meets the perfect balance between the refreshingly original and the comfortably familiar. But more than anything, it’s just a great way to relax and enjoy something sweet in one of the best cities in Europe.
Continue reading if you’d like some recommendations on typical Tapas & Pintxos Restaurants