There are a few polemic topics in Spain such as politics or football, but the number one thing that is the center of all the arguments is the best paella in Barcelona. Everyone thinks they know where to eat the best one and what are the essential ingredients it should have but no one is ready to admit that they might not be right at all. In this post we will answer all these questions, and we will give some restaurant recommendations so you can enjoy the best paella in Barcelona.
What defines the Best paella in Barcelona
Paella is a Spanish dish original from Valencia. Nowadays it’s possible to enjoy a superb paella almost in every part of the country but there is a huge discussion about what the original paella recipe is supposed to have and what not. Let’s have a look at the 5 basic ingredients that a proper paella must have:
Rice: the main ingredient of the paella, the star of the show. If the paella you ordered has noodles you better assume that you are not eating paella.
Vegetables: usually artichokes, pepper and onion. They are the perfect complement for the rice.
Meat: when you think of a paella you probably think of rice with fish and seafood and that’s fine, but the original recipe used to have meat instead, usually rabbit or chicken.
Seafood: as we said, there are meat paellas with no seafood at all, but we encourage you to try them both to see which one you prefer. The typical seafood you should find in a paella would be calamari, squid, mollusks and prawns.
Saffron: a basic ingredient that sometimes people forget. Saffron is what gives this special color to the paella and it’s quite easy to distinguish between a high quality paella or an average one just by taking a look at the color. The more paellas you have eaten, the easier it will be for you to tell the difference.
Best paella in Barcelona: top 10 restaurants
1. Can Solé
Since its foundation in 1903 this local restaurant has been serving the classical paella recipe with a unique personal touch. Located in the fishermen neighborhood, La Barceloneta, Can Solé offers fresh and high quality products as well as a special feeling of charm and authenticity.
≫ Carrer de Sant Carles, 4, 08003 Barcelona
Their founders came from the town that names the restaurant, Elche, and opened their first establishment in 1960 where they used to serve rice, fish and local dishes at any time of the day. Times have changed now but the Vicente family -the owners- keep serving exquisite paellas, black rice, and all kinds of seafood with the uniqueness of their hometown.
≫ Carrer de Vila i Vilà, 71, 08004 Barcelona
3. Xiringuito Escribà
From pastry chef to mastering the art of the Best paella in Barcelona, the prestigious chef Joan Escribà has been reinventing himself and his cuisine to be able to offer one of the most tasty paellas in Barcelona. You can also enjoy other rice recipes at Xiringuito Escribà such as their famous mar y montaña or their veggie paella.
≫ Av. del Litoral, 62, 08005 Barcelona
4. La Mar Salada
Its name says it all, La Mar Salada (“The Salty Sea”) offers top quality fish and seafood with a marvelous presentation of all their dishes. Located close to the harbor this restaurant is one of the best options to go for a paella before or after having a walk around La Barceloneta and booking a photographer in Barcelona for example.
≫ Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 58, 59, 08003 Barcelona
One of the newest restaurants in the list, Barraca is the perfect evolution of the gastronomic culture in La Barceloneta. Modern but simple decoration, great service and an innovative interpretation of the traditional paella recipe that will definitely impact your senses.
≫ Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 1, 08003 Barcelona
6. Casa Agustí
This restaurant is the perfect definition of tradition and history. An emblem for the neighborhood, Casa Agustí will captivate your palate with its classical paella style and also you heart with their friendly and charming staff.
≫ Carrer de Bergara, 5, 08002 Barcelona
7. Terraza Martínez
Located in a privileged area, Terraza Martínez is the perfect spot to enjoy the smell of the sea from a quiet and stylish terrace. This restaurant has been combining the traditional fish and seafood cuisine with a spark of contemporariness. Their remarkable red prawns from la Lonja and the rice with small squids and piparras are two of their must-try dishes.
≫ Ctra. de Miramar, 38, 08038 Barcelona
8. Pez Vela
You don’t need to fly to Ibiza to get the feeling of a perfect summer because you can also have that at the Barceloneta beach. Pez Vela is that place where you will want to spend all your time in Barcelona, not only because of their astonishing decoration but for their creative and different cuisine. Pay attention to the dish suggestions for the day and enjoy with their delicious creations.
≫ Passeig del Mare Nostrum, 19, 21, 08039 Barcelona
9. 7 Portes
We have recommended this restaurant several times in this blog, and we have to do it again. 7 Portes is part of the history of the city and a reference for all the restaurants that have been following its path. More than 100 years serving the best that the Catalan gastronomy can offer (paellas included, of course) are the proof of its excellence.
≫ Passeig d’Isabel II, 14, 08003 Barcelona
10. Can Ros
In this restaurant they are still buying their fish directly from La Lonja choosing the pieces personally to make sure they get the top notch products for their cuisine. They have something special that any other restaurant in La Barceloneta has and huge passion for what they do best: Best paella in Barcelona.
≫ Carrer de l’Almirall Aixada, 7, 08003 Barcelona
Thoughts about the Best paella in Barcelona
As you have seen, Barcelona is the perfect city to enjoy a tasty paella by the sea while you pair it with a local white wine, for example. All the restaurants listed above will delight your five senses and make you want to try to master the art of the paella by yourself. You can try, but remember that every chef has his own secrets that will not reveal under any circumstance. Good luck!