Close to the Roy Lichtenstein statue near the water. It's standing room only and a bit crazy when you first get in, but the more Cava you drink the less you care about the crowds. Plus, they also make AMAZING sandwiches here.
The Barcelona outpost of Basque virtuoso Martín Berasategui. Home of that legendary napoleon of smoked eel, foie gras, and caramelized apples, and the diaphanous mosaic of vegetable hearts and raw mackerel touched with seafood essence and dotted with lettuce cream—a dish so stunning it deserves to be framed.
This Art Nouveau space in Antoni Gaudí's 1898-1900 Casa Calvet, just a block from the Hotel Palace, is an opportunity to break bread in one of the great Moderniste's creations. The dining room is a graceful and spectacular display featuring signature Gaudí-esque ornamentation from looping parabolic door handles to polychrome stained glass, and wood carved in floral and organic motifs. The menu is Mediterranean, with an emphasis on light, contemporary fare.
The two most beloved tapas bars in the market are certainly El Quim de la Boqueria and this other tapas bar called Pinotxo. Go to both and tell me which one is your favorite! At Pinotxo (located to the right the main entrance), enjoy lamb stew, lentils, vegetable stew, cod, grilled lobster, clams and many kind of rice.
Stark, monochrome space, with punky artwork from local graffiti artists. It comes alive with DJs and studied lounging at night, however, and by day its terrace is a peaceful space for coffee or breakfast, given the proximity to La Rambla. I cannot say enough wonderful things about their spicy green peppers. SUBLIME.
After the truffled bikini (grilled cheese sandwich) of mozzarella and Ibérico ham, try a fragrant sauté of wild mushrooms, then silken anchovies laid on a slab of requeson cheese. Stop back in for a breakfast of a plush salt-cod tortilla, then return at midday for gently cooked duck eggs broken up over French fries. This restaurant was so outrageously delicious we came back a second time during our week in Barcelona.
A close second for favorite meal of the trip/all time. Simply charming, the menu is equally impressive, based on Catalan traditions but colored with French influence. Warm chocolate ganache with artisanal blue cheese ice cream for dessert was particularly exciting.
One of my most favorite restaurants and meals of all time - like dining in someone's boudoir. Manchego carpaccio drizzled with apricot and honey sauce, Iberian ham carpaccio with fresh olive oil, Chilean sea bass with fresh salsa and blackberry sauce, and cod with chocolate sauce.