WHERE TO EAT NEAR PARK GUELL (and not be fooled)
There are no restaurants inside Park Guell, just one quite expensive café with touristy reheated food and sandwiches inside the paying area (there used to be another one overlooking the Plaça de la Natura, but it closed in Spring of 2016). And most of the restaurants around the main entrance of the Park are tourist traps…
I’m afraid that if you expected to enjoy and idyllic meal in the area after visiting this amazing Gaudi work, that won’t be easy… You need to know where to go, and you’ll have to be prepared to walk a bit to find a decent spot. But don’t worry! We are here to help you. In today’s post we’ve selected our favorite eateries in the area, so you don’t have to starve on the way back to the city center after visiting the park.
These are our favorite restaurants near Parc Guell:
If you take the exit at the top of the Park that goes behind the big white mansion (Casa Trias), a short walk through a Mediterranean pine tree wood will take you to the Carmel neighborhood: a working class quarter famous for a Park Guell restaurant that attracts locals for their huge plates of patatas bravas with two sauces (a garlicky mayonnaise and a spicy tomato one).
They also have other tapas such as Galician octopus, squid or cuttlefish, as well as an “à la carte” menu of simple Spanish cuisine. They might not speak much English, so it’s a great opportunity to practice your Spanish (or international sign language, lol) and feel surrounded by “true” locals. Come early or be prepared to wait outside until they have a table available for you.
There are two interesting restaurants near Antonio Gaudi Park Guell if you exit the park on Carretera del Carmel: this Catalan restaurant is less than 5 minutes down the street, inside a pretty old modernist vila with stone walls, and it specializes in “cargols a la llauna”: snails cooked in a tin, a very appreciated Catalan recipe (you guessed it right: Catalan cooking receives a strong influence from French cuisine, and if they love their escargots, we have our own earthier version of them.
The menu also includes other traditional dishes, specially grilled meats and a variety of omelets. Adventurous eaters will definitely want to give a try to dishes like pig trotters or roasted rabbit. By the way, the menu hasn’t changed in this house for 3 generations – and their local clients don’t want it to change, ever!
Jardí de l’Àpat
Our other favorite restaurant, just a bit further away specializes in calçots (the Catalan spring onion), and during the calçot season Barcelonans flock here to enjoy pantagruelic family meals and dip their onions on Romesco sauce. December to end of March, if you are planning to come for lunch on a weekend make sure to book a table in advance: despite having 2 indoor dining rooms and 2 outdoor table areas with heating, it books up quickly.
The calçots season stretches a bit longer in this restaurant, so you might be able to taste them in you come in April as well, but in any case, you’ll always be able to taste decent traditional Catalan food. And you’ll be particularly pleased if you like large portions. Vegetarians will also find enough choices to satisfy their palate.
Ta Tung Asian Restaurant
If you leave the park by its main entrance on Olot st., good Park Guell restaurants are scarce unless you are willing to walk. If you’ve eaten enough Spanish and Catalan food during your trip and are longing for a change, here you’ll find one of the oldest Asian restaurants in town, mostly frequented by locals.
It was opened in 1980, by chef Kav Ly, an it specializes mostly in Chinese and Cambodian cooking, with some additional Japanese and Indian dishes to choose from. As opposed to many Asian restaurants in town, they are proud to avoid the use of preservatives, colorants and artificial flavors in their kitchen.
La Panxa del Bisbe
The name of the restaurant translates as “The belly of the bishop”. We don’t know if bishops often eat in this place, but what we know is that if you go your belly will be full and satisfied at the end of the meal. They serve great tapas and Mediterranean dishes: salads, meats and rices.
The chef Xavi Codina says he cooks ” Rumbera cuisine”, a funny way to say that his creations are informal, fun and with a multicultural touch (Rumba is the music style from Catalan gypsy community derived from flamenco rumba and Cuban music). This Park Guell restaurant is 10min walk from the Park’s main entrance.
What restaurants near Park Guell are your favorite?
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