Where to eat a “menu del dia” in Barcelona
Our favorite restaurants with menu of the day
In Spain, there is an interesting tradition in restaurants during weekdays: every restaurant offers a “menú del día” (a “menu of the day”): a set menu consisting of a variety of starters, main dishes and deserts to choose from for a set price. Some restaurants also include coffee and drinks, or let you change desert for coffee, or have two starters instead of one starter and one main dish if you didn’t see any main course that you like. Menú del día is only available for lunch, though (it’s a la carte for dinner), and mostly on weekdays although some restaurants will have a bit more expensive weekend menu del día available as well.
Going for a “menú del día” will get you out of the routine when you go to the same restaurant daily (and that’s something that office workers having to eat close to the office really appreciate). And even if you don’t always go to the same restaurant, trying to go to different places in Barcelona to eat their different menus of the day may be a very fun and tasty way of getting to know the city. Plus it’s way cheaper than eating à la carte, and also much faster because the plates have been pre-prepared that morning so they can be served in less than one hour (again, good thing for the local workers getting one hour break for lunch). Because of all that, today we’ll share with you our favorite restaurants with “menú del día”.
These are the best restaurants with day specials in Barcelona:
Mama Cafè. Mamacafé is a fun restaurant located in the Raval district near the MACBA museum and walking distance from La Rambla. They have a quite nice menu of the day that always includes vegetarian options (and almost always, gluten free as well). The venue is decorated with paintings and photos by local artists (one of the waiters is actually a quite good photographer), and it’s mostly local people working in the area or meeting friends, who eat there. Customers praise how welcoming are the waiters, as well as the quality of the food. We recommend you to make a reservation in advance or arrive early, since it is a very popular place.
Raso Terra. This gourmet restaurant will make you forget you entered a vegetarian restaurant: their food is so appealing it doesn’t have anything to do with most of the kind of boring vegetarian options in town. They make their own bread and filtered water, and when possible they use organic or km-O produce. Their carrot cream is awesome, as well as their egg dishes. Plus they have a very nice list of organic wines. A great place to eat in the Gothic Quarter… away from the tourist crowds! But make sure to arrive early or book your table in advance as it’s usually packed with locals working in the area coming for a healthy and yummy lunch.
El Diván. In the district of Gracia, very close to Gaudi’s Casa Vicenç, you’ll find this restaurant serving international food (mostly French with some Spanish, Catalan and Asian touches). Their menu usually includes some vegetarian options as well, although it’s not their main specialty. One thing we like is that they’ll allow you to book a menu del dia for a large table: most restaurants won’t take groups eating menu del dia as they want groups to book a special (and more expensive) group menu. That’s not like this here, which is great if you are traveling with a group of friends or large extended family. The ForeverBarcelona team has celebrated company lunches here and we loved it.
Granja Mabel. This Spanish and Mediterranean food style restaurant has a great variety of dishes and a very homely environment, praised by its quality-price relation. All the plates are done with passion, and they have great desserts. They also sell prepare breakfast, so you should try going in the morning too, and get your stomach full and your body energized before your daily sightseeing. The atmosphere is informal and fun, and their menu of the day is quite rich: local stews, meats and fish that will definitely satisfy you. By the way, they always post what’s on for the day in their facebook page (in Spanish, though – but you can always use Google Translate), which can be useful so you can plan better what day to go.
Llamber. Located in the Born District, this is a really good restaurant serving Spanish dishes with a touch of the culinary tradition of the North of Spain, where the owners are from. It’s a good choice for special occasions and business meetings that don’t require a very formal setting. They serve gluten-free food, for the people who need it. They also have a great selection of wine, that you can drink at the bar counter if you aren’t hungry enough to get a table. They also have an outdoor terrace and if the weather is good you should take a table outside: Barcelona is a beautiful city that will definitely enhance your plate.
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Gresca. Gastrobars also can offer their own day specials! A great way to sample author cuisine at an affordable price. Here you’ll find Mediterranean and Spanish food style, with modern environment and concept, giving you excellent plates with unique touches. Customers agreed on the quality of the service, as the food is served with great timing, and the waiters always assure you feel at home. It is a great place for more formal business meetings as well as romantic dates. By the way, there are two Gresca restaurants in town: the one we are talking about is the one in Provença street: the other is just cheap toasts and traditional Catalan food with no special uniqueness.
So what about you? Head to the comments below and tells us: did you know what a menu del dia is and have you ever tried it?