20 best restaurants in Tarragona, Spain
BEST IDEAS FOR WHERE TO EAT IN TARRAGONA, BY DISTRICTS
Tarragona is a little known destination just over one hour drive South of Barcelona. It has a bunch of fascinating Roman ruins that have been declared Human Heritage by UNESCO, and a lovely Old Town (also known as Part Alta) with quaint alleys that remind you of Italy. It is also located by the Mediterranean Sea, and very close to the Port Aventura World theme parks.
Today we want to share with you some great places to eat if you are planning a vacation there, a weekend scape or even a one day trip. But first you’ll need to choose where you’ll want to eat. The obvious choice for one-day trip goes is the Old Town or Part Alta: that’s where you’ll be sightseeing and you don’t want to waste your precious and limited time in Tarragona heading somewhere else.
The next favorite Tarragona restaurants are located in El Serrallo, the port district: it’s a scenic area that smells of sea and salt, with the sound of the seagulls in the background. The perfect place for paella and seafood! It’s harder to get to, because it’s separated from the city by a mass of railways (so… taxi it is!). A more central area with an exciting food scene is the Eixample, a more modern part of the city where locals go about their lifes. Finally, the beaches of El Miracle and l’Arrabassada are worth exploring if you have several days in Tarragona and don’t mind going a bit further or have a car.
Places to eat in Tarragona Old Town (Part Alta)
AQ goes for Ana and Quintin, the owners, who met each other when they were students in the Cooking School of Castellon and have been together ever since. They went through their education and their professional life in renowned restaurants of Barcelona, then a hotel in Reus, before creating AQ to have entire freedom to do what they really wanted to do. Having worked for the Ritz Cartlon for some years, the idea of quality and service is deeply impregnated in Ana's soul, and that shows in their restaurant.
The rumours say that after fighting for a Michelin star for years, they gave up and decided to transform their venue from a place for special occasions to a place to hang up with your loved ones. Their menu changes very often, but expect seafood to have an important role and to see traditional recipes revisited with fun touches.
El Llagut is your option in the Part Alta if you are longing for some fish rice but don’t have the time to head to the Serrallo. But don’t expect to find the classic paella all tourists want to try: this place is about discovering traditional recipes you never heard of before, that speak of the local catches: calamari, shrimp, beach crabs, rockfish, clams… Over a dozen choices of rice dishes: “dry” rice, “juicy” rice (melós) and masquetes, a traditional rice pot made by the fishermen of El Serrallo.
First of all, make sure to head to the right address: it’s the one on Misser Sitges street, not the one with a similar name on Rebolledo street in the Eixample. The one on Misser Sitges (Part Alta – Old Town) is a gorgeous eat-down restaurant for fine dining, located in a medieval mansion with Gothic arches from the 1300’s. They do a fusion of contemporary and traditional cuisine, combining local recipes with new textures and innovative cooking techniques. They have some dishes that stay on their menu year-round, while some other change according to the season.
Palau del Baró
If the setting is important to you, don’t miss this restaurant! Its name translates as the Palace of the Baron, because it occupies a restored medieval mansion. You can eat in one of their rooms decorated with vintage furniture, or in the shaddy patio that still preserves the old laundry sink. They specialize in the cuisine from the Ebro River Delta: mostly seafood and rices (and yes, they do paella here!)
Solric Alta Taverna
Tapas are the way to eat in Spain. And Solric Alta Taverna is my go-to place for tapas in the Tarragona Old Town. Located in the Plaça de la Font, the square in front of the Town Hall, there’s nothing better than enjoying some tapas in their terrace and watch people. They have a wonderful variety of high quality classic tapas, and an assorted tap station that will delight beer lovers.
Restaurants in Tarragona Port & Serrallo
Located in an inner street of El Serrallo, la Xarxa is your choice for fine dinning in the area. A modern elegant setting, and a menu that combines local catches and traditional recipes with luxury ingredients such as foie, Kamado, aged steak and oysters. A great place for a holiday treat.
El Taller is the creative cuisine restaurant of the Serrallo. A young team o of chefs play with the local products and traditional Catalan cuisine, fusioning it with Asian and Peruvian techniques. Seafood is the start of their menu, but you’ll also find some veal and pork choices, and a limited but tasty vegan offer.
El Pòsit del Serrallo
El Pòsit is located in the old fishermen guild headquarters, right in front of the fishermen pier. They are proud to display their Blue Seal certifying them as a sustainable kitchen for their use of green energy, sustainable business practices and commitment to sustainable fishing. Their menu is what you’ll expect of a restaurant in a fishing district: beaufitul tapas, rices, seafood and fish platters. Vegetarian will also find a few options here.
Varadero has been open for over 45 years in a premium location by the fishermen pier and the water fountains of El Serrallo. They also specialize in Mediterranean and Catalan food, with an emphasis in seafood and rices. No frills: just good fresh food.
Restaurants in the Eixample of Tarragona
Even if they haven’t been awarded a Michelin star, the prestigious gastronomic guide mentions them as one of their only two recommendations in the city.
El Terrat restaurant is the epitetom of the Tarragona experience: art by local artists decorating the venue, wines from the nearby Priorat wine country, farm to table produce, and of course the catches of the Serrallo fishermen. The young chef Moah Quach treats the ingredients with utmost respect transforming them in creative and surprising ways. Their tasting menus have won them a mention on the Michelin guide, becoming one of the two best restaurants in Tarragona.
De Vins is one of the best wine and tapas restaurants in Tarragona, having won several local prizes. No frills, no creative design, no unusual tricks… Just fresh quality products that represent the landscape of the area. Their wine list can be tasted by the glass, thanks to a special refrigeration system that guarantees the preservation of the wine characteristics after the bottle is opened. They have an outdoor terrace in a quiet pedestrian street.
Find possibly the longest rice menu in Tarragona: over 20 different specialties, plus 3 different types of fideuà (noodle paella). The downside is that you must order maximum 2 different specialties per table, and at least 2 people per specialty. What forces you to agree with your mates before ordering, but it’s well worth it! They also have an extense choice of seafood tapas and half a dozen different salads as starters.
And if you like exploring and eating in a more informal way, this elegant building designed by Josep Maria Jujol, the right hand of Antoni Gaudi, in 1915, was restored some years ago to make the architecture stand out and improve the shopping experience. You’ll find the normal food stalls, but also several tapas bars and cafes. Many vendors also sell food to go as part of their offer, that you can eat on the high tables located in the center of the building. Fun!
Tarragona best restaurants near the beach
Mas Rosello is located almost right in front of La Caleta, in another modernist vila but with a more luxurious feel. It’s separated from the sea by a Mediterranean pine and palm tree park, so you don’t have sea views from the restaurant either. They do modern Mediterranean cuisine perfect for a special dinner.
Restaurant Solric is located in an old masia (Catalan farmhouse) by the road, and the interior has preserved its ancient rural decor. Their food is simple but well finished: grilled meats, local fish and seafood, a handful of rice dishes, and in the winter season, the possibility of enjoying a traditional calçotada barbecue. It doesn’t have a view over the sea either, but it’s just 200m/656ft from the Arrabassada beach.
Only the railways separate the restaurant La Platja from the beach, accessible from the street through a tunel under the elevated tracks that block the see view. This place is a great option for families with kids: plenty of space to park, a playground and a deck decorated with sails that remind you of pirat ships. Their menu is full of classics: some tapas, some salads, a couple of paella options, some fish and some grilled meats. And when in season, they also have calçots.
So there’s really no restaurants in Tarragona with views over the beach? Unfortunately the train tracks make it impossible: they are too close to the sand. But you have one last option: there are a couple of “chiringuitos” (Spanish beach bars) on the Platja de l’Arrabassada, serving snacks, sandwhiches, some tapas and even a decent paella. Maybe not the best gourmet experience, but a fun option for a holiday meal.
Are there any Tarragona Michelin restaurants?
Unfortunately, there’s no Michelin star restaurant in Tarragona city yet, even if the Michelin guide singles out Barquet and El Terrat for their food offer (even if they aren’t granted any particular Michelin distinction). But if you have the means to drive (or are happy to take the suburban train), there’s three 1-star restaurants nearby: Deliranto in Salou , and Rincon de Diego and Can Bosch in Cambrils.
A bit further away, in the Priorat wine country, there’s another 1-star: Quatre Camins, in the village of Cornudella del Montsant (you’ll have to drive there, as public transportation isn’t convenient). And in the Ulldecona village near the Ebre river, you’ll find two more: Les Moles and L’Antic Molí. Not far, the restaurant of Hotel Villa Retiro in Xerta is another 1-star.
What are your favorite Tarragona restaurants?
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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