Barcelona is a city laced with restaurants catering for all types of budgets. And while most cuisines are represented, it is still eateries dealing in traditional Spanish/Catalan fare that outweigh all the others.
The best known Spanish food is ‘tapas’, a selection of savoury Spanish dishes that can be either eaten on their own as a snack or in a group as a whole meal. Various types of tapas to choose from include squid, cured ham, sun-dried tomatoes and sardines. Each variation is served together on one plate. Another local speciality is ‘Pan con tomate’ (pa amb tom`àquet in Catalan) – a slice of bread rubbed with tomato, olive oil.
If nit-picking at different snacks isn’t your cup of tea, you can still find a good selection of more familiar types of restaurants peppered throughout the city. The Barri Gotic district, as touristy as it is, is where you will find a good selection, as well as around the university on Ronda Universidad and Gran Via. When sitting down is out of the question, you’ll be able to find yourself a filled baguette somewhere along Las Ramblas up until the early evening.
C/ de Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain
If you're really broke, but still want a decent meal, locate this bar. Every night at either 7.30pm or 8.15pm you can get a particular meal (pasta, curry etc.) for a mere €1 (once you buy a drink to wash it down with).
Open daily from 10.30am-2am.
Ronda Universidad, 29, Barcelona, Spain
Specialising in 'all-you-can-eat' buffets, Fresco is great value for money. For €7.40 you can choose from an wide range of salads, while if you're looking for something a bit more substantial you can stuff yourself with pizza and pasta to your heart's content.
Open from 12.30pm-1am; buffet €9.20 after 8pm/weekends.
Plaça Sant Josep Oriol 1, Barcelona, Spain
Even though the selection of tapas here is limited, this is one of Barcelona's most famous tapas bars. Most tapas are under €3 and if you're lucky a pianist will be tickling the ivory keys of the downstairs piano.
Open Mon-Sat 9am to 11pm; Sun 9am to 10pm.
C/de la Reina Cristina, 7, Barcelona, Spain
Going for a bite to eat in this small champagne bar in La Barceloneta is extremely enjoyable but equally challenging. Specialising in cheap tapas and meat-filled bread rolls, hardly anything costs more than €3. Better still, they sell bottles of champagne for €4! Get down early.
Open daily from 9am-11pm.
Ronda de Sant Antoni, 32, Barcelona, Spain
When you're looking for a quick breakfast in nice surroundings you can't go wrong in this small eatery five minutes from Las Ramblas. For just €1.60 you can get a white coffee and a croissant/donut. For an extra €3 you can get tea and traditional Spanish sausage. They also have tapas from €1.50.
Open Mon-Sat from 8am-10pm.