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Bueno, Bonito, Barato

Written by Emily Elwes

The title of this article refers to a saying recently developed in Barcelona by locals that have been affected by the global financial crisis and are looking for the best cheap eats in the area. If you are a tourist, local or consistent visitor to the area there are different ways that you can eat on a budget and still enjoy Catalan or Spanish food.

Local Fast Food

Although you may not think that there are local fast food chains or restaurants, in fact there are. Obviously staying away from multinational fast food restaurants is preferred so looking at local fast food places can often be a great way to experience local flavours inexpensively. One of the most often reviewed and talked about local fast food places is a couple of local restaurants, Bacoa and Little Bacoa. Although this little hamburger joint may seem inconspicuous it is provided locals with fresh and locally sourced gourmet hamburgers at a great price with a Spanish flair. If you are looking for great Bocadillos, essentially Spanish and Catalan sandwiches; Conesa Entrepans is the place to go. Fresh ingredients prepared before your eyes with a ton of special ingredients and sauces to make it a true delight. At €3-€4 per sandwich it will be one of the cheapest and best meals you could have. For the best cheap eats local fast food places such as hamburger or sandwich joints will be your best bet

Weekend Brunch

Another local tradition is to attend a weekend brunch at one of the many places offering such meals. Although this tradition is more an Anglo-Saxon, it has started to catch on in the Catalan capital it without as much grease as you find in English establishments. The Tonka Bar, provides a healthy mix of fresh fruits, yogurts, juices and homemade pastries and desserts will round out a perfect Sunday brunch, and at a reasonable price usually under €15. Milk provides another excellent Sunday brunch with a multitude of options from healthy to traditional aptly named “Recovery Brunch” with most menu items under €10. Whether you need light and healthy or heavy and greasy to recover from a night in La Ramblas, Milk can help you achieve recovery at a reasonable price.

best cheap eats elisabets catalanTraditional Meals

Finding traditional Catalan food can sometimes be a challenge at the right price point. Although they will generally be more expensive than sandwich shops and breakfast stops there are still some gems that offer great local food at reasonable prices. Elisabets is one such gem featured prominently with great reviews in Yelp and travel books for its great local eats, off the beaten path at very reasonable prices. Tapas and traditional Catalan food fill the menu. El Jardi de L’Apat, probably the most authentic Catalan food reasonably priced with set menus between €20-€30 per person. With items that include steak, fresh vegetables and fresh seafood it is one of the best values available. Take a stroll and enjoy great cheap eats off the steps of your luxury apartment in Barcelona.

Please let us know what your favorite best cheap eats in Barcelona are by posting them in the comments below.


About the author

Emily Elwes

Emily is a freelance content editor & manager living & working in Barcelona. She's passionate about food, drink, language and collaborative consumption.

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