Things to do in Barcelona

Where to Get the Tastiest Paella in Barcelona

These paella restaurants in Barcelona will have your taste buds dancing and begging for more.

No matter where you go in Barcelona, evocative performances, sights, and sounds inundate your eyes and ears. But what about taste? There's no reason your time in the city can't be a full sensory journey.

Between exploring things to do in Barcelona, you'll need a pick-me-up — and little can make your taste buds dance and cheer as much as paella. This iconic Spanish dish is a fantastic choice for tourists who want to get a true taste of authentic local cuisine.

Paella was named after the Valencian word for the frying pan it's prepared in, and it's brimming with flavor in every bite. The dish is made from a combination of meats or seafood and veggies cooked with bomba rice. Saffron gives it its signature golden hue.

Traditional Valencian paella is a feast of meats, such as rabbit and chicken, alongside tomatoes, beans, and saffron atop a bed of seasoned rice. There are also numerous variations, with paella de marisco (seafood paella) being the most well-known.

Don't be afraid to dive right in for a culinary treat. When in Spain, do as Spaniards do. Paella is typically a lunch dish, meant to be savored in a group; we love to grab a heaping helping to fuel ourselves up before a performance. Join us as we embark on a culinary journey into the best paellas in Barcelona.

Beachfront and Seaside Locations

The ambiance where you eat can completely alter your mealtime experience. There's something idyllic about sitting in front of a delicious dish, gazing out at the sea. As you dive into some outstanding paella in these beachfront and seaside locations, you might just find your personal slice of paradise.

1. Xiringuito Escribà

With over 30 years of experience in expertly crafting delectable dishes, Xiringuito Escribà sits right on the city's beachfront and is known for cooking up authentic paella.

The restaurant sits beneath a sheltered patio, offering floor-to-ceiling views of the Mediterranean Sea. Meanwhile, cooks work diligently to deliver culinary excellence behind the scenes. With such proximity to the ocean, the restaurant primarily serves seafood dishes alongside some truly unforgettable paella.

Xiringuito Escribà's signature dish, paella de l'Escribà de pescado, is a seafood-based option, melding the rice’s aromaticswith the flavors of fresh cuttlefish, clams, mussels, shrimp, and crayfish.

Alongside that, try diving into the daily ceviche, made with fresh sea bass and Andalusian squid, for a treat your taste buds will give two thumbs up.

Be prepared to be impressed as soon as your food arrives. If you've ordered a paella dish, the server will bring you a massive pot with the ingredients tastefully presented. It's a feast for the eyes as much as it is for the nose and tongue, so don't be afraid to snap a quick picture before digging in.

As delicious as the paella is, remember to save room for dessert. The restaurant is well-known for its amazing sweets. For something truly unique during your time in Barcelona, try the crema Catalana — orange sponge cake served with seasonal fruits and burnt Catalan cream.

Photographer: TonyPrats

2. Can Majó

For a more laid-back experience that still gives you a glimpse of those stunning ocean views, give Can Majó a shot. The terrace overlooks the sparkling sands of Barceloneta Beach, providing a phenomenal backdrop while you enjoy some of the best seafood the city has to offer.

The restaurant has served up delectable delights since 1968, when the current owners' parents founded it. The restaurant carefully selects all ingredients from local ports. Once they arrive at the restaurant, they receive a personal touch. Family recipes such as truffled black honeydew with prawns and clams enthrall guests.

The extensive menu offers numerous meals to accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions, including lactose-free, gluten-free, and vegan rice dishes. You'll even find vegetarian paella here.

Keep in mind that paella is an intensive dish to create, so the restaurant requires a minimum order of two servings. Come hungry, bring some friends or family members along, or prepare to take the leftovers with you after you finish dining.

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Une publication partagée par Can Majó Restaurant (@canmajo)

3. Pez Vela Chiringuito

Located on the ground floor of the W hotel, Pez Vela Chiringuito serves up catch-of-the-day dishes in a classic beach bar setting. The restaurant feels somewhat unassuming and industrial at first glance, which works well considering the backdrop. After all, it's hard to compete with the Mediterranean Sea in all its glory right outside your establishment.

If you're looking for a casual dining experience, you'll get it at Pez Vela Chiringuito. The food, however, is far from simple. Despite the casual atmosphere, the food tastes amazing and arrives quickly after ordering. Tuck into some delicious paella right on the beachfront patio.

Expect massive portions if you order the paella. It's a dish that's meant for you to share and savor. Don't shy away from other dishes on the menu, either. Every dish is a charming culinary delight in its own right.

If you happen to be in Barcelona over the holiday season, stop by on New Year's Day for paellas at noon. You might catch a glimpse of the locals carrying out a traditional polar plunge into the Mediterranean Sea. New Year's is one of our favorite Barcelona festivals.

Traditional and Historic Establishments

If you're more interested in a traditional dining establishment, Barcelona's streets have plenty. Experience dining like a local at these historic venues.

4. 7 Portes

Since 1836, 7 Portes has delighted the city with traditional Catalan and Mediterranean cuisine.

With a nearly 200-year history, it's undergone a lot of changes, but the culinary excellence 7 Portes exudes remains. It's served some of Barcelona's most prominent artists over the years, including Picasso and Miró, and some paintings lining the walls are testaments to its long-lived glory.

7 Portes sits in the historic Pòrtics d'en Xifré building, the first in Barcelona to have running water installed. The moment you step inside, a welcoming dining area and bustling staff ready to meet your every need greet you.

Sip on a glass of cava or some of Spain's best wines while perusing a menu rich with classic dishes, including several takes on paella. Manolete paella, a surf and turf option that contains chicken, sausage, pork, cuttlefish, shrimp, muscles, and crayfish, is one of our favorites.

Photographer: NinoDonkervoort

5. Bodega Joan

For a taste of tapas with your paella, check out Bodega Joan. It opened in 1942 and quickly established itself as a Barcelona staple. Although it's famous among the locals for offering generous portions and culinary excellence, it wasn't always dedicated to serving meals.

Bodega Joan initially focused on bulk wine sales, but within its first decade, it transformed into the magnificent restaurant it is today. The menu features a bit of everything, from traditional dishes, such as paella, to more unconventional dishes for a Spanish restaurant, such as pizza.

This Barcelona treasure offers something for everyone, but the seafood paella draws a lot of attention. The presentation is excellent, with vibrant orange rice topped with shrimp, lemon, and mussels. Pair this decadent and savory paella with sangria and prepare for your tongue to celebrate.

6. Casa Amàlia

Since 1950, Casa Amàlia has welcomed hungry Barcelona residents and tourists with excellent service, provided them with unforgettable dishes, sending them home satisfied. Here, innovative culinary techniques transform the finest and freshest locally sourced ingredients to create an unparalleled dining experience.

Dining at Casa Amàlia is an intimate affair, perfect for a date night or a family meal. The cozy bistro exudes class from the moment you're seated at a table with expertly folded cloth napkins to the second you take your first bite of gastronomic genius. Choose from a wide assortment of wines to accompany your dish and prepare to be wowed.

While anything on the Casa Amàlia menu is worth trying, the paella shines. Try the Màgia Negra, a black rice seafood paella darkened by cuttlefish ink for a more adventurous approach, or consider the arróz de muntanya, a delectable rabbit paella made with seasonal wild mushrooms and savory pork sausage.

7. Can Solé

Once upon a time in 1903, Can Solé served the hungry fishermen coming into the Port of Barceloneta after a long day of hauling nets. Four generations later, this family-owned restaurant continues to serve traditional Catalan seafood cuisine to all who walk through its doors and ensure they leave fully satisfied.

Despite its age, Can Solé gives off a light, homey ambiance with a classic touch as rows of tables with white tablecloths wait for guests to be seated. For a personal touch, photos, newspaper articles, and artwork adorn the walls, serving as a testament to Can Solé's rich history.

Adding to the charm, the restaurant features an open kitchen at the back. Watch in awe as the cooks work, preparing fresh dishes as if it comes as naturally to them as breathing.

Depending on the time of day, you might even see them bring fresh seafood in from the nearby fish market. You can't go wrong with the lobster paella, served with the whole lobster nestled into a bed of delectable rice.

Photographer: Sandra Wei

8. Restaurante Salamanca

Restaurante Salamanca sits on Barceloneta beach, one of our favorite spots for al fresco dining. With the sea practically in its backyard, it serves the freshest seafood you can get without catching it yourself.

Restaurante Salamanca hand-picks the ingredients each day at the local port market, earning the restaurant a reputation for excellence. Since they only select the best products, the menu changes frequently. It’s a good idea to check the daily menu before you go — especially if you have food aversions or preferences.

The restaurant serves all sorts of paellas, including paella de marisco, a seafood paella prepared and served homestyle. If you're in the mood for more of a feast, try the Paella Especial Salamanca, which features lobster, crayfish, monkfish, clams, and prawns. We've searched the world over, and we've never tasted anything like it.

Trendy and Modern Options

Restaurants are usually trendy for a reason. Something causes people to flock toward them and share like wildfire on social media. Amid all the restaurants in Barcelona, one in particular takes the cake as a trendy, modern option, taking the city by storm.

9. Restaurante Arume

Located in Barcelona's Raval district, Restaurante Arume has its own charm that draws people to its location in droves. Founded by Galician friends, the restaurant brings traditional cuisine with a Catalan flair to Barcelona.

The restaurant is housed in the same building where writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán was born. When you first walk in, it seems like a simple tavern, but the dishes they serve are anything but ordinary. Everything on the menu is carefully crafted, balancing flavors and presentation.

You can't go wrong with the Galician seafood paella, but we're wild about the duck paella, served with mushrooms and padrón peppers. Expertly served, the peppers offer a splash of contrasting color to the otherwise brown and gold dish. The best part? It tastes even better than it looks, especially when paired with a blackberry mojito.

Unique Dining Experiences

Sure, there are plenty of places to dine throughout the city, but if you need a break from the hustle and bustle, try venturing up Montjuïc. While you won't usually find as much seafood away from the scenic shores, one restaurant proves you can enjoy paella and seafood anywhere, even halfway up a mountain.

If you're still raring to go after indulging in paella, stop into one of Barcelona's rooftop bars. Nothing beats reflecting on the day's activities with a savory drink in hand and a panoramic view of the city skyline. It's also a great way to unwind while you wait for the curtain to open on one of our shows.

10. Martínez (Terraza Martínez)

Nestled in Montjuïc, Martínez promises spectacular views of the city. You might not feel like you're in Barcelona anymore when you arrive, but little can beat an evening meal on an aesthetically lit canopied terrace as you look down at the glimmering lights of the city.

While tapas make a great starting point for your meal, it's the drinks and paella that keep Martínez busy. In addition to beer and wine, the venue features an array of cocktails, as well as massive gin and tonics served in a fishbowl for a unique twist.

You don't want to miss the Arroz Martínez de Conejo y Pollo. A unique rendition of Valencian paella with rabbit and chicken, it's a definite must-try. If you're ordering a rice dish, keep in mind that you must order at least two servings, and tables with less than six people can only order one rice dish.

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Une publication partagée par Terraza Martinez (@terraza.martinez)

A Culinary Journey Through Barcelona's Paella Paradises

If you want authentic local cuisine, look no further than these paella paradises in Barcelona. Each has its own unique charm and serves up delicious paellas that are sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

Visit a different one each day so you can compare notes and advise your friends on the best places to get paella in Barcelona. You may even find a paella paradise you want to visit again and again, trying everything on the menu.

If you need something to entice your other senses, come to one of our shows in Barcelona. You'll be filled with awe and wonder as our dazzling performers weave fantastical stories you'll be thinking about for weeks to come.

Discover otherworldly settings, characters who evoke emotions, and chilling performances as our compelling stories unfold in front of you. While we can't get your taste buds dancing for joy, we can give the rest of your senses an unforgettable experience.

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