Ash
Written by Ash

10 Restaurants You’ll Find the Best Damn Paella in Barcelona

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A simple rice dish said to have been made by servants with the leftovers from royal banquets in Moorish Spain, paella is easily Spain’s most famous culinary export and tourists devour it by the pan.

But don’t pick up the fork just yet!

There’s a lot of pricey pre-made paella fleecing tourists daily.

Allow me to point you in the right direction – here are some tips for the best paella in Barcelona.

Also! If you’re visiting and don’t know left from right in the city please consult my Barcelona guide for all sorts of cool hacks, attraction discounts, and tips on where to stay.

7 Tangy Tips for Eating Paella in Barcelona

  • Spaniards eat dinner at around 10 so you probably won’t need a reservation around 8/830.
  • Prices on menus are usually per person (minimum two people).
  • Paella is traditionally eaten on Thursday so restaurants may be more crowded then.
  • The soccarat (‘singed stuff’) or toasted rice at the bottom of the pan contains the most flavour.
  • Avoid picture menus! Many Barcelona paella restaurants like this serve it previously frozen.
  • Bomba rice can be swapped for fideua noodle, one of Catalonia’s classic dishes.
  • Learn how to cook it yourself at a unique culinary workshop with bottomless wine!

The Best Paella Restaurants in Barcelona

Bodega Joan

Area: Eixample | Carrer Rosselló 164 | Metro: Diagonal (green line, blue line)

This affordable paella restaurant covers all the bases. Take one bite of their made to order mixed paella (a type of ‘surf and turf’) and you’ll know it’s their specialty dish.

There’s also meat, seafood, and vegetarian options.

It’s got the friendliest waiters in the city and is ideal for a bustling local atmosphere. If you want to eat, drink, and be merry as they do in Spain this is my suggestion.

Here’s what a reader had to say:

UPDATE: I’ve worked out a deal with Bodega Joan to offer readers an exclusive 25% discount on a paella tasting menu including three classic Spanish tapas plus wine and coffee.

Click the banner below for more info:

a pan of seafood paella at bodega joan restaurant in barcelona spain a pan of seafood paella at bodega joan restaurant in barcelona spain
Get a paella tasting menu at the legendary Bodega Joan!

The Paella Club

Area: Raval |  Carrer del Dr. Dou 5 | Metro: Liceu (green line) | Booking

Why not eat top quality paella in Barcelona that you made yourself under the guidance of a top chef?

The slick decor, fancy aprons, and Masterchef-like work stations may make this look a TV competition but I assure you this experience is all about learning how to cook a gourmet version of Spain’s iconic dish – without pretense.

Did I mention it’s 5 courses and bottomless wine with one of the desserts being a frozen gin and tonic?

For more info on the workshop that’s got a 5 star rating on Tripadvisor check out my Paella Club page.

Xiringuito Escribà

Area: Barceloneta | Avenida del Litoral 42 | Metro: Llacuna (yellow line) | Website

Some of the best paella in Barcelona with a sea view to match.

It’s right on the beach so you won’t have to walk far after a day in the sun. Seafood lovers will marvel in its famous paella negra (paella with squid ink) but careful! Be careful with the generous portions to make sure you have room for dessert.

Reservations are a must or you’ll be waiting at least 30 minutes.

Ideal for a post beach meal or romantic night out.

7 Portes

Area: Barceloneta | Passeig Isabel II 14 | Metro: Barceloneta (yellow line) | Website

Here it’s all about old world charm.

Picasso was a regular at this classic Barcelona paella restaurant opened in 1836. Named after the spacious restaurant’s seven entrance doors, it’s not only home to some of the best paella in Barcelona but the piano players create a Casablanca-like vibe to add an impeccable touch of class to the meal.

Ideal for a couple’s night out or business trips on the company card, it’s a tad pricey.

HOTEL RESTAURANT LA CIUDADELA

Area: Eixample | Passeig Lluis Companys 2 | Metro: Arc de Triomf (red line) | Website

This new entry on the list made it not just for the quality of the paella, but for the different rice specialties available for people who don’t like fish (wait, who doesn’t?).

The duck paella really hits it out of the park here. You’ll also love the appetizers like their melt in your mouth bellota ham. There’s also some amazing shrimp carpaccio if you just have to have seafood.

The two medium-sized dining rooms have a family atmosphere ideal for groups.

The Catalan wine list is also one of the best in the city if you want to sample local vineyards.

L’Arrossería Xàtiva

Area: Gracia | Torrent d’en Vidalet 26 | Metro: Fontana (green line) | Website

Finally, a Barcelona paella restaurant outside the tourist nonsense.

This family-run gem is something to behold – they recommend the house special paella de mar y montaña (surf and turf paella). It’s a menu apt for celiacs – all the fried food is battered in gluten-free chickpea flour.

The entire menu is allergen sensitive so whether you’re celiac, lactose intolerant, or vegetarian you know you’re playing it safe.

Ideal for a night out in the picturesque Gracia district or a low-key family dinner.

Barraca

Area: Barceloneta | Paseo Maritim 1 | Metro: Barceloneta (yellow line) | Website

Their slogan is ‘Rice and Sea’ – enough said.

This so-called urban beach restaurant in tourist central at Barceloneta beach is overseen by double Michelin starred chef Xavier Pellicer. It naturally serves some of the best paella in Barcelona – just make sure you get a seat in the upstairs dining room because the view from there is incredible.

Expect to pay 30-35 euros, which is a great price-quality ratio for the neighbourhood. The organic vegetable paella is a great vegetarian option.

Ideal for beach lovers and people watching.

tourists listening to tour guide alvaro garza in the gothic quarter barcelona spain tourists listening to tour guide alvaro garza in the gothic quarter barcelona spain
Discover the secrets of the old city with Alvaro!

La Fonda

Area: El Gotico | Carrer dels Escudellers 10 | Metro: Liceu (green line) | Website

With great prices usually reserved for previously frozen paella, this Barcelona paella restaurant offers ridiculous lunch menu specials that’ll have you full for about a tenner a head. They’re also one of the few places with a full kids menu.

It’s a stone’s throw from the famous Rambla but don’t let the touristy appearance fool you – locals chow down here daily. The traditional paella valenciana (paella with rabbit and chicken) is a favourite.

Ideal for bargain hunters and those ready for a night out in the Gotico.

Can Solé

Area: Barceloneta | Calle Sant Carles 4 | Metro: Barceloneta (yellow line) | Website

This place has been recommended to me by more than one local – if you don’t trust them then I can only say that a hundred years of history doesn’t lie! It’s a bit pricey because of the location but the big portions and Master-chef-like presentation are second to none.

A little place occupying a two story house that’s a real throw-back to a time when Barcelona was more than tourism. The owner came by for a chat which was a personal touch not seen in more touristy options.

Ideal for a bit of real Barcelona with a modern touch.

RESTAURANTE ARUME

€€€ Area: El Raval | Carrer d’En Botella 13 | Metro: Universitat (L1/L2) | Website

I said at the top that most places serve paella for a minimum of two people: so I’m putting Arume because it’s the best place to eat paella for one in Barcelona.

If you’re dining alone or simply with somebody who doesn’t want rice this is a great shout. You’ll have a choice between Galician seafood paella or duck paella with padron peppers.

It’s also a fantastic tapas restaurant in its own right. Here you’ll find a modern execution of classic Galician dishes with eye-catching presentation.

Do yourself a favour and grab the crunchy octopus and a blackberry mojito.

Please Bother Me in the Comments

You now know where to get the best paella in Barcelona but maybe something isn’t quite clear? If you need help on paella or any of the best things to do in Barcelona then get at me in the comments below with any questions.

And don’t be afraid to join the paella discussion by first giving me a like on Facebook and then joining my group I’m Off to Barcelona – here you can ask any questions, air out grievances, and chat with thousands of Barcelona travelers.

Anything goes!

And don’t forget to let me know… how was your Barcelona paella experience?

56 comments
  • February 26, 2020 at 10:28 pm
    Kristen Finnemore
    My boyfriend and I just returned from Barcelona last night. Visited my youngest daughter who's studying abroad. Your hints on local places to eat were great. Hit up Bodega Joan for paella. Super! Nice place, great food! I'm glad I found your site!
  • February 9, 2020 at 11:07 pm
    Amanda
    Currently in Barcelona. On a medication that has severely reduced my appetite. I’d love for my husband and I to check out the paella at Bodega Joans, but would it be acceptable for us to split the paella tasting menu and order an additional beer?
    • February 10, 2020 at 10:39 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hola Amanda, Unfortunately the menu is only on offer if two people are purchasing and splitting isn't allowed :( I would recommend booking at Louro (instructions in my restaurant article) and getting a personal sized paella there and then getting a couple other things to split but hopefully not the beer ;) The paella there is excellent and it's probably my favourite restaurant in the city right now, plus it's right on La Rambla which is rare to have such a good position for a restaurant of quality. Cheers, Ash
  • February 5, 2020 at 7:57 pm
    Sue
    We went to Bodega Joan twice during our 3 day stay in Barcelona. We loved the food and atmosphere so much, that after a disappointing paella dinner at La Fonda, with very little seafood and watered down sangria we returned the next night back to Bodega Joan. The tapas were delicious, the paella was loaded with seafood, and the sangria was “on the money”
    • February 6, 2020 at 10:12 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hola Sue, Wow, thanks so much for the review! Always glad to hear that my tips work out :) Cheers, Ash
  • January 25, 2020 at 5:23 pm
    ashley
    Team Member
    Ash
    Hi Andrew, Apologies it didn't live up to your standards. In all fairness, I do promote is as a friendly and lively place with good sangria, a good place to watch some sports and get a typical Spanish atmosphere. For those looking for something a little more upscale for a date etc. I would recommend something like Season, Louro, Arume etc. That said, you're certainly free to your opinion! :) Cheers, Ash
  • January 2, 2020 at 5:05 pm
    Carmen Hernandez
    Hello, I’ll be in Barcelona in a few days, I’ve heard a lot about paella and I’m glad I found this website! I do have a question though, how does the 25% work for the Bodega Joan restaurant?
    • January 2, 2020 at 6:03 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hola Carmen, Great to hear, I welcome you in advance ;) The 25% discount is simply a calculation made on what it would cost you to order these items individually from the menu. You simply need to book using the form linked above (by clicking the banner) and then putting a small deposit down. It will be deducted from your bill at the end of the meal. Cheers, Ash
  • December 28, 2019 at 9:43 pm
    Fabrizia
    Hi Ash! Any tips for the 31st december celebration? We have children of 8 and 11. I didnt want anything too expensive but very authentic with good view?
    • December 29, 2019 at 10:39 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Fabrizia, It's a bit late now so most of the best spots have sold out their time slots for NYE. If you check out my post on visiting Barcelona on NYE you'll see the option to book at Bodega Joan (a reasonable price comparatively) which is authentic and tasty. If you're looking for a view it's unfortunately going to be expensive. I would however try some of the restaurants at the top of Las Arenas like La Botega or Quinto Quinta... they have reasonable quality though are a bit more touristy than others. Again, being so late though it may be tough to find a spot. Cheers, Ash
  • December 26, 2019 at 7:07 pm
    L
    Thank you so much for all your time and tips. This website is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • December 27, 2019 at 10:38 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      No problem at all :)
  • December 15, 2019 at 9:06 pm
    Heather Edwards
    Unfortunately relied on your very big call of best Paella in Barcelona - very ordinary & disappointing. A good reminder to stick with our own finds. Stumbled on a place in touristy Les Ramblas yesterday - Casa Lola - divine sangria with beautiful fruit including strawberries & delicious paella - choice of no seafood and no bones included.
    • December 16, 2019 at 11:43 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Heather, Which restaurant were you referring to? I have many in the list here and I don't see any reservations under your name. That said, I have heard nothing but positives about the restaurants above. It's funny that you mention it but I was invited to collaborate with Casa Lola but just couldn't finalize anything, or bring myself to promote such a product because the restaurant is a large chain operation with tourist turnover as its highest priority. There is nothing authentic about it and I couldn't imagine any local going there. This blog is about local tips. All the restaurants we deal with take your custom very seriously. In the event a dish isn't cooked up to their (and your) standards I like to bring it up with them personally. Please let me know what you're referring to and I'll get to the bottom of this. Cheers, Ash
  • November 3, 2019 at 1:17 pm
    Anna
    Hey! I am going with a friend to Barcelona in a week. Do you know if we can get 100% dishes with your offer at Bodega Joan? Thanks!
    • November 4, 2019 at 11:54 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Anna, What do you mean by 100% dishes? Haha. Cheers, Ash
      • November 4, 2019 at 2:08 pm
        Anna Nordeide
        Sorryyyy vegetarian dishes
        • November 4, 2019 at 4:04 pm
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Hi Anna, No problem! Yes you can :) Once you've booked please send me a message and I'll get in contact with the restaurant and tell them of your wishes. Cheers, Ash
  • October 24, 2019 at 9:41 pm
    Jessica
    Hi, we'll be in Barcelona over Christmas and I'm having a hard time finding places that aren't super fancy or touristy that will be open on December 24. Prefer avoiding price fixed menus and that sort of thing, just hoping for good, local, rustic food. Do you know if any of your favorite spots will be open?
    • October 25, 2019 at 10:42 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hola Jessica, Yes indeed... it is a tradition in Spain to have set menus on December 24th so it'll be a bit hard to find something a la carte. I would try places with special set ups that aren't likely to change. La Paradeta for example has their seafood counter format or the pintxos bars like Tasqueta del Blai. Also, I know that Arume is open that day and won't have a set menu. It's probably my favourite restaurant in the city. You should definitely contact all these places via social media though just to be sure, ask for a table etc. Cheers, Ash
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