Where To Get The Best Paella In Barcelona?
DISCOVER THE BEST BARCELONA PAELLA RESTAURANTS
Paella is THE dish all visitors want to try when in Spain. However, it’s not so easy to find a good one. Too many places serve a frozen pseudo-paella heated in the microwave. That’s not paella, that’s blasphemy!
If you are new to paella, make sure to learn the basics in our post about what is paella rice. You want to make sure you can tell apart the tourist traps from the real thing, and understand the rituals so you are not caught by surprise when you order it. And when you are ready, come back to this post to decide where to go eating paella in your next trip to Barcelona (Spain).
This post has been written in the winter, when artichokes, green garlic and mushrooms are plentiful. Some restaurants might substitute them by other types of produce when they stop being in season.
These are the best paella restaurants in Barcelona:
It is said the idea was born when a regular client who’s last name was Parellada complained about his hands getting dirty removing the seafood shells. Because of that, you’ll often see other restaurants callin gtheir shelled paella “Paella del Senyorito” (of the gentleman or the rich kid, depending on the connotation you want to see in the name).
Elegant and old School style, with black and white dressed waiters, checker floors and heavy curtains, many seats boast a metal plate indicating what famous people have seated precisely there.
Their menu varies a lot depending on the season, since they love featuring the foodie treasures of each time of the year. And while you’ll always find a handful of classic paellas in their menu, depending on the season you can find there up to 12 varieties!
LOCATION: In the limit between the Born district and the Barceloneta neighborhood. Check reviews and book a table.
And it’s away from the tourist traps along the port. Recommended for people who can appreciate good food and don’t mind paying for it. Great paella and great place.
They feature 18 rice specialties, only one of them being technically a paella (seafood or black rice). The rest are 8 varieties of “arroz a banda” – cooked in a deeper pan, with the ingredients separated from the rice, and 10 varieties of “arroz caldoso” – seafood soupy rice.
LOCATION: In the heart of the Barceloneta neighborhood. Check reviews and book a table.
Paella is actually a dish from the region of Valencia. If you want to be a purist, then you’ll have to venture off the beaten path into the Poblesec district, where a family of immigrants opened the first rice restaurant in town in 1959. You won’t find anything more authentic!
Their menu features 5 paellas (including their unique codfish and porcini mushrooms), 4 more rice specialties and one fideuà.
LOCATION: In the Poble Sec neighborhood, between Montjuic Hill and El Raval. Check reviews and book a table.
They serve 7 rice specialties, from one one is the seafood paella, another is a truffled black rice and another is a vegetarian paella. The rest are other juicy seafood and rice delicacies, plus a seafood fideua noodle paella.
LOCATION: In the Barceloneta district, overlooking the sea but from a distance. Check reviews and book a table.
With over 25 years of experience in town serving paella and other rice dishes, this group features now 3 venues in town that will allow you to explore areas off the beaten path.
Their original one is located in the district of Les Corts (combine it with a visit to Camp Nou by taking the tram from Palau Reial to L’Illa). The second one is a great place to end a stroll around the Gracia Plazas, and their newest restaurant adds up to the formidable food scene of the Sant Antoni District.
All 3 venues share the same menu, with 18 rice specialties, conveniently classified by type of ingredients (vegetables, meat, seafood and mixed). They also have 6 fideuà options!
“Our family has been proving we know how to make great cakes for decades. Now it’s time to show everyone that we can also have fun”. He was talking about the spectacular performances they put up for VIPs and special events, but that could also apply to his Xiringuito.
Because what can be more fun than eating by the beach? And if the Escribà are behind it, you can be sure the food will be just gorgeous. They have 9 paella varieties, two of them vegetarian paella.
LOCATION: Promenade over the Bogatell beach, near the Poblenou District. Check reviews and book a table.
Arume is not the place to eat your first paella ever. Arume is a place where you go when you’ve already had your good share of paellas and are ready for adventure, surprises… and great seafood.
Adventure because you’ll have to cross the sometimes scary alleys of the Raval district. Surprises because the restaurant is located in the house where the writer and gastronomist Manuel Vazquez Montalban was born. And because this is not a Valencian restaurant: it’s Galician cuisine. And seafood, because the best seafood in Spain comes from Galicia.
They only have one paella, the Galician seafood one. But there’s also another rice dish that will water your mouth even if it isn’t technically a paella: their creamy duck rice with mushrooms, roasted garlic foam and padrón peppers..
LOCATION: Raval district, just a few blocks from Sant Antoni. Check reviews and book a table.
Born in Onda (Castellón), in the region of Valencia, paella was an inherent part of his childhood. And of course he knows what he is doing when he achieves those perfect “socarrat” crusts that paella experts know to be the best part of the dish. Actually, “cruix” evokes the “crunch” sound of the rice crust stuck in the pan.
They have 4 paellas in the menu: one of them vegan, another is black rice, one is meat (Iberian pork with eggplant) and the other is shrimp and garlic. Yum!
LOCATION: Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample, close enough to Plaça Espanya and the Montjuic Magic Fountain. Check reviews and book a table.
La Barraca belongs to a chain of organic supermarkets that started serving wok to go, then opened their first organic informal restaurant near Plaça Catalunya and finally decided to go for a seafood and paella restaurant in a prime location of the Barceloneta district.
With views over the Mediterranean, I think it’s the only place to eat organic paella in Barcelona. They have 4 paellas in their menu – 3 of them seafood paella, and one a mix of meats, seafood and artichokes. And if you ask in advance they can make a vegetarian one for you (I wasn’t too fond of it, though).
LOCATION: In the elevated promenade overlooking the Barceloneta Beach. Check reviews and book a table.
Ca la Nuri
Nowadays they own several restaurants: a central venue in Eixample (Ca la Nuri Terra), two beach paella restaurants (Ca la Nuri Platja and Sal Mar), a cocktail and creative food restaurant with several paellas in their menu (Xiroi Ca la Nuri), and a menu restaurant for the workers of the Barcelona Port.
All of their restaurants feature at least half a dozen paellas in their menu, that keep changing depending on what’s in season. I just saw a mushroom, squash, green garlic and artichoke chips rice in the Sal Mar menu that’s making me want to book a table ASAP.
Martínez (Terraza Martínez)
Would you rather have views over the city? I have you covered! Martínez is a restaurant located in the Hill of Montjuic, overlooking the Barcelona Port. You can get there by taxi, with the Aeri del Port cablecar (but beware of the long lines) and it’s a 10 minute walk from the upper station of the Funicular de Montjuic.
They source their products from the Boqueria Market, the local fish mongers and farmers from nearby towns. Although paella isn’t their only specialty (tapas and charcoal-grilled dishes also come to the game), their rices are one of their strenghts.
They have 4 permanent rice dishes (shelled seafood, black rice, Valencian paella and vegetarian), plus three more that depend on their availability in the market: red prawns, lobster and… Costa Brava sea cucumbers!
LOCATION: Hill of Montjuic. Check reviews and book a table.
What I like about Camping Mar is that you feel like you left Barcelona to go have paella in Sitges or another nearby seaside town. The restaurant faces the marina at the foot of the W hotel, away from the city noise, and the greenery around the restaurant makes you forget about the stress of the day.
Their menu features 5 paellas: one black rice, one pork sausage and mushroom paella and three seafood paellas.
LOCATION: Marina of the W Hotel, at the end of the Barceloneta district. Check reviews and book a table.
What about a restaurant with over 100 years of history? Cal Ros was founded in 1908 in the Barceloneta fishermen district. When Lucía, the original owner, retired, a young team of chefs took over to continue the tradition of sailors cuisine. It couldn’t be otherwise, since they are located really close to the Barcelona Fish Mongers.
They have 6 paella and rice varieties and one fideuà. One rice is black rice, 3 are seafood rices, and the two meat options are quite unique: “capipota” offal with prawns, and quail with oyster mushrooms.
Their sister restaurant La Mar Salada also has 6 paellas and one fideuà in their menu, all of them in a more traditional line.
El Racó de l'Agüir
They feature 5 rices in their menu: a seafood paella, another seafood rice with artichokes and green garlic, a black rice, a pork sausage, veggies and mushroom rice (Arròs del tros), an a specialty rice that follows a recipe from their hometown: Arròs al forn estil Quatretondeta.
“Quatretondeta” is the name of the hamlet where the owners are from, down in Alacant. The dish is a baked rice with chorizo, pig ribs, blood sausage and chickpeas. Is that adventurous enough?
LOCATION: Sant Antoni District. Check reviews and book a table.
Can you mix paella and soccer and still feel authentic? Definitely! That’s what happens at Bodega Joan, a wine shop turned into neighborhood bar, still run by the same family who opened it back in 1942, and that preserves the original wooden decoration. And since 1999 it’s been the headquarters of the Penya Joan Gamper – a fan club of the FC Barcelona.
The restaurant specializes in classic tapas, charcuterie platters and grilled meats, but paella is also part of their offer with 5 classic choices (mixed paella, seafood, black rice, vegetables and meat) and one fideuà option.
LOCATION: Antiga Esquerra de l’Eixample. Check reviews and book a table.
Paella Bar Boqueria
And that’s what the guys of Pepa Tomate, a popular tapas bar in Gracia, thought when they opened their Paella Bar under the porticos around the Boqueria Market.
Their bar had to be fun, but the food had to match the level of quality they served in their other venues. They offer not less than 8 paella varieties and 2 fideuàs. You’ll find there black rice, vegetarian paella, seafood, meat, mixed… even the recipe that Valencians swear to be the original (with chicken, rabbit and beans).
LOCATION: Center of La Rambla, in the Raval side of it. Check reviews and book a table.
When I heard my beloved Kaiku hadn’t survived the pandemic, I almost cried. I was so in love with their smoked rice! But the good news is that one of their chefs has moved to the Poblenou district and in their new Minyam they serve not one but three smoked rice paellas, which they have named “Vulcanus”!
They have 5 paellas: one black, one seafood and three Vulcanus. The smoked Vulcanus rices are their classic veggie with seafood, a vegetable and mushrooms and a gourmet one that you won’t be able to resist: duck, black trumpet mushrooms and black garlic aioli sauce. They also have 2 fideuàs: one fish and one veggie.
LOCATION: Poblenou District. Check reviews and book a table.
And here are some more unusual ways to eat paella in Barcelona:
The Paella Club
But if there’s one that specializes in Paella, that is The Paella Club. They organize three different culinary experiences: a 45min crash course, a 2.5 hour class and a 3 hour full menu experience.
Marta Amb Tu Cuinem
Staying in an apartment? Make your own paella from scratch, the easy way!
You don’t really need to take a cooking class to learn how to make your paella. You can just order a pack online from “Al Grano“. They have 6 paella dishes to share from. They send you the ingredients, the instructions and even the paella pan! Can there be a more fun bonding activity with your travel mates?
You can keep the paella pan as a souvenir, or take it back to their mother restaurant, Teleférico and get €20 back. And you can stay for a great tapas meal, since you are there!
Are you planning to eat paella in Barcelona, Spain?
Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.
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