WHERE TO FIND GREAT PAELLA IN BARCELONA
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!
To eat paella like locals would, plan it for lunch to start with: it’s a too heavy dish to have it for dinner. Also, take into account that even if the stoke has already been carefully prepared by the chef, the rice needs to be cooked the moment you order it and you need to allow at least 20 minutes before it’s served. Wise locals will order a light dish such as a salad or some (better non-fried) tapas to share, while they wait. Do the same!
Now here are our 5 favorite paella restaurants in Barcelona:
Old-fashioned restaurant that locals have been frequenting for over 100 years. It is said that here was created the famous “paella Parellada”, served without shells nor bones.
A fishermen restaurant in the Barceloneta quarter with a sailor-style decoration, famous for their rice dishes. Many locals will tell you they make the best paella in town. It’s not cheap, but their are glorious.
A personal favorite, from outside this restaurant doesn’t look like anything special but when they serve you the food… Ah! Don’t miss their smoked vegetable rice served with arugula salad on top. Sounds weird, it’s amazing!
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 Poblenou district, where a family of immigrants opened the first rice restaurant in town in 1959. You won’t find anything more authentic!
Back to the Barceloneta district, if you are looking for a great location outdoors you’ll love Can Majó. It’s a family-owned fish and paella restaurant serving fresh local dishes and it’s got one of the most coveted outdoor terraces in the area.
AND BONUS! Where to have a paella tapa:
La Ribera Taperia
Why order a whole paella if you have enough with a little tasting of it? But the truth is that it isn’t easy to find a small paella tapa in town. But we hear you and we have the solution! Head to the Born district to find this great tapas bar specializing in fish and seafood (but with enough meat and veggie options for the not-fishy eaters). They have two different paella tapas: the regular seafood paella and a black rice made with squid ink – yes! you wouldn’t order a full plate of black rice but what about a small portion to share with your travel mates for an adventurous foodie experience?
So what about you? Did you try paella when you came to Spain? Share your experience with us by leaving a comment below!