Perfectly positioned between the the mountains and the sea, in Barcelona fish is definitely not in short supply. Indeed, seafood features as the main ingredient in many traditional Catalan recipes such as suquet de peix, arròs negre and esqueixada. It is therefore no surprise that the city is home to many excellent fish and seafood restaurants which use the finest and freshest local ingredients. Here are three of the best:
Suquet de L’Almirall
Where? Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 65 (Metro: Barceloneta)
Suquet de L’Almirall is an authentic fish restaurant situated in Barceloneta just 20 metres from the beach. The restauraunt was opened up in 1996 by chef Quim Marquès and has since established itself as one of the city’s best fish and seafood eateries. The decor in the main dining room is traditional and in keeping with the nautical theme and there is also an open air terrace looking on to the beautiful Paseo Port Vell. What you’ll find here is simple traditional food cooked well and bursting with flavour using the freshest ingredients possible. Indeed, the fish is bought daily from the fish market located just around the corner. Everything on the menu is exquisite but the crispy cod fritters, punchy paella and baby squid come highly recommended. An evening at Suquet de L’Almirall doesn’t come cheap, costing around €50 per head but the portions are generous and the quality is excellent, making it worth every penny.
La Mar Salada
Where? Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 58-59 (Metro: Barceloneta)
Located in Port Vell, La Mar Salada offers up elegant fish and seafood dishes with a modern twist for reasonable prices. If you visit after 12pm from Monday to Friday, you can enjoy three courses on the weekly menu for just €17.50 – the perfect way to try what’s in season without breaking the bank. Chef Albert Enrich and former El Bulli chef Marc Singla offer a different and refreshing take on traditional dishes such as paella, seafood stew and arròs negre that are well worth a try. The restaurant boasts an excellent selection of local wines and cavas to complement the food. La Mar Salada‘s bottom floor is the ideal spot for informal lunch after a morning at the beach while the top floor is perfect for an evening out with idyllic views of the port. The restaurant also has a terrace area if you fancy sitting outside and soaking up the sun.
Xiringuito de l’Escribà
Where? Avinguda del Litoral, 62 (Metro: Cuitadella)
If you are after a delicious and authentic paella, Xiringuita de l’Escribà is the place to go. The restaurant, owned by the Escribà family who are renowned for their exquisite pastries, opened in 1992 and quickly became a favourite amongst locals. The restaurant itself is stylish and inviting with stunning views of the beach and the service is impeccable. Xiringuita de l’Escribà specialises in rice dishes inspired by Catalan cooking with a modern twist – ask for the ‘sea and mountain’ paella – it’s to die for! If rice isn’t your thing, they also have a wonderful selection of other fish dishes including clams à la marinière, baked hake and grilled sardines. Be sure to leave room for dessert – you won’t want to miss out on the sweet treats prepared by the Escribà family’s patisseries. Owing to its popularity, it’s advisable to book a table in advance, especially if you want to secure a spot on the terrace in the summer months. If you are a seafood lover, a meal at Xiringuita de l’Escribà is a must – you will not be disappointed!