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Restaurants and tapas

Barcelona: Where the Locals Eat

Written by Emily Elwes

There is no shortage of bars and restaurants in Barcelona. The center is absolutely crammed with places to indulge yourself. However, the locals never visit a lot of these places, so where do they go to eat?

La Cova Fumada

Situated in the center of Barceloneta, former town and a warren of little streets full of places to discover, is La Cova Fumada or ‘The smoked cave’. It’s a homely bodega, crammed with workers and a great place to go if you’re a fish lover. The serve up homemade bombas (meat and potato balls), morcilla (black pudding) and fish straight from the Harbor. Get in early for space as it becomes more lively at the end of the day.

La Bombeta

La Bombeta, Meaning the little bombas, is an authentic Catalan eatery through and through. With many locals and, unavoidably, tourists and the bar you know that you’re in for a good time. Like plenty of the food in Catalonia it’s made for sharing, be prepared to pile up the plates on the table and delve in together.

Related article: Michelin star restaurants in Barcelona

Doner Kebab 1881

Raval is an oft-neglected barrio in the guidebooks; as such it’s a hold out from the tourists for locals and home to a large immigrant population. This has given birth to many excellent curry houses, kebab shops, vintage stores and an exciting artistic community. Doner Kebab 1881 serves up exceptional Kababs, with crunchy, fresh salad and meat that actually tastes how it should. Locals can often been seen pouring in and out during their late night excursions and it’s a great cheap eat.

Blai Tonight

Situated by the aforementioned Poble Sec, Carrer Blai is a local hangout lined with bars and restaurants foremost of which is Blai Tonight. Serving pinxos, a Basque, specialty this is a fun place to bring friends. The beer is supplied by Moritz, the famous Barcelona brewery, and each pinxos at a euro. The price is counted at the end by tallying up the number of sticks you have accumulated. Get ready to stuff your face and laugh the night away amongst the young Barcelonan crowd.

Casa Lucio

Near Poble sec, an up and coming nightlife hub is Casa Lucio. Not too cheap but everything you pick explodes in the mouth and its and absolutely authentic for Spanish food. A small place often with some grumbling old men to give the place a real deal stamp of approval. If the choice is too much, wonder in the chefs selection and eat your heart out.

Related article: Quick bites in Gràcia

Taverna de Llesca

IMG_5601-1Taverna de Llesca is situated in the most Catalan of Barcelona’s Barrios, Gracia. This place is a classic example of purist Catalan food and often has the locals cramming into the place for a lunch. With Grilled artichoke that is divine and a killer menu for 10 euros this is a brilliant steal and the staff is very friendly.

Cal Pep

A quality tapas bar Cal Pep serves up small taste sensations, each perfectly crafted leaving you with an intense sense of satisfaction as you leave. Frequented by the great and good of Barcelona and a sophisticated international crowd Cal Pep serves forward thinking tapas a far cry from the standard fair offered around the other parts of El Borne. Being so popular, its often best to be prepared and queue early for dinner. Later on in the evening waiting and be quite long and although you’ll often get some wine at the bar to help you along, it can get quite tiring.  Be prepared for the bill however as it can be a little expensive. However don’t be deterred this is really an excellent place to eat.

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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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