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
  • September 9, 2019 at 5:55 pm
    Shalaby
    Hi there! I would like to make a paella restaurant in Egypt and i want any one to help me how to reach chefs who can make the best paella and what is the menu and how to reach the spanish atmosphere.
    • September 10, 2019 at 11:27 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Shalby, I unfortunately do not know any of the great paella chefs personally though I would urge you to get in touch with them via the social media pages of any of the restaurants above. Cheers and good luck, Ash
  • July 17, 2019 at 4:29 am
    Joanne Yi
    Hi! Does the Tasting menu offer work again?
    • July 17, 2019 at 5:10 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Joanne, I've put the offer back on :) Ash
  • July 10, 2019 at 7:03 am
    Rachel
    Hello! Headed to Barcelona this weekend, just for about 24 hours or so before departing on a cruise. Staying off of La Rambla and wondering where we should go for some good paella?? Also a decent coffee shop not from from La Rambla would be welcomed too! We are staying a bit south of La Boqueria. Thanks!
    • July 10, 2019 at 5:26 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Rachel, Near La Rambla you've got mostly tourist trap places so try and stay away! For paella and anything else Spanish I would recommend El Louro since it's amazing high quality modern tapas with great service. It's literally one of a kind on La Rambla because pretty much the rest of the restaurants there are tourist traps. I was so impressed when the owner came by to ask how my meal was (and showed a type of friendly service extended to foreigners rarely seen in Spain) that we got to chatting and I even asked him to help me set up a no money down reservation system for my blog readers... here is a link if you're interested: https://visitarebarcellona.typeform.com/to/rgus9G I should let you know that they give me a small commission per diner but that this money helps me pay for rising server costs and the time (which is now pushing 3-4 hours a day responding to requests! amazing) I invest. Again though, no pressure! You could also check out any of 7 Portes, Quinze Nits, or La Fonda... all fairly near La Rambls though not on it like Louro. For coffee within a 10-15 minute walk of La Rambla I like Satan's Coffee Corner or Cafe El Magnifico. Cheers, Ash
  • June 11, 2019 at 4:47 am
    Denzil
    Going to Barca in Sept 2019 and looking to do a group dinner in the Barceloneta area. Any suggestions on a restaurant that can accommodate such a number?
    • June 11, 2019 at 12:15 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Denzil, When I think of Barceloneta I think of hole in the wall places that don't exactly cater to groups... in fact, most if not all of the restaurants in that area that are on my blog are small and likely wouldn't play well with lots of people. Did you choose the area because you wanted some authentic paella or seafood? Or because it's just close to your lodging or another event? What type of place were you looking for? It's hard for me to suggest without knowing the number and what you're looking for... please let me know! Ash
  • April 28, 2019 at 9:30 pm
    Ola Utterlid
    Visit La Fonda tonight. It was realy a fantastic experince. Can rekomend this restaurant.
    • October 7, 2019 at 6:32 am
      RU
      Hello Ash, Regarding Paella Club cooking class. 3/4 of our group does not drink or drink very little wine. Is there a non-alcoholic beverage option for a discounted price?
      • October 7, 2019 at 10:15 am
        ashley
        Team Member
        Ash
        Hola RU, There no doubt is a non-alcoholic alternative... but keep in mind that in Spain oftentimes wine is cheaper than water or Coca Cola etc. so for them the idea of giving a discount for this would be a bit far fetched ;) I hope you can arrange to visit either way. The reviews I have gotten recently from readers have been outstanding. Cheers, Ash
    • April 29, 2019 at 10:48 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Thanks for the vote of confidence in my list Ola! :)
  • April 4, 2019 at 3:55 pm
    Mary
    A review about the rice in Bodega Joan’s paella being greasy concerns me. Is paella, by nature, a greasy dish or oily dish? I see that Bodega Joan offers a paella tasting menu. I guess this means smaller portions so you can sample tapas as well. So you have to order this for two people, not one? Is this tasting menu enough for two hungry adults? Thank you
    • April 5, 2019 at 10:50 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Mary, Olive oil is a big ingredient but I wouldn't say it's supposed to be greasy... I have had over 200 bookings made through my form at the restaurant in the last year and have only had one or two complaints, which is to be expected as even Michelin Star restaurants get the odd bad review every now and then. It says it's a tasting menu but it's a full sized by paella... it is more than enough for two hungry adults. Remember though that the minimum booking is two (€25X2) adults so you can't share one even if you wanted. Ash
  • March 25, 2019 at 9:07 am
    Sanjay Dixiy
    Ash, We did go last night to Bodega Joan. Loved it. The service was very nice. We were 5 of us and some of us do not eat pork so they gladly accommodated us and substituted fish dish and padron peppers instead. Their sangria was excellent. Thank you for keeping up the website with very good recommendations.
    • March 25, 2019 at 11:17 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Thanks so much for writing in Sanjay! It makes it much more rewarding to hear my recommendations go over well :) Please let me know if you need any more tips. Ash
  • January 8, 2019 at 6:40 pm
    Nurul
    Hey Ash, I'll be heading to barcelona in a month with my uncle and cousin. We are Muslims so just checking if paella has any alcohol in it? Also, do the restaurants serve pork too? We can surely go for the vegetarian and seafood paellas but we just want to know this and take everything into account.
    • January 24, 2019 at 5:19 pm
      Oinick
      Hi. Love your site. Two of us will be in Barcelona for two nights before leaving on a cruise. Want to spend a day seeing the Picasso museum and walking Las Ramblas. After that, we understand there is a place (or, perhaps, there are places) that combine flamenco with paella or other traditional Spanish meal. Do you know of it (those) and its (their) proximity to Las Ramblas? Do you know if they have food options besides seafood? Thanks.
      • January 25, 2019 at 9:01 am
        ashley
        Team Member
        Ash
        Hi Oinick, The place I stand by is the Palacio del Flamenco which is recommended by the Barcelona Tourism Board and it includes a variety of options, some with paella, some with seafood, some with basic tapas. It's about a 15 minute taxi from La Rambla. As far as other options I would suggest reading my post on the best flamenco in Barcelona... there are some other interesting options near or on La Rambla. Ash
    • January 9, 2019 at 9:07 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Nurul, Unlike Italian risotto as far as I know paella does not include a simple deglazing with wine... though once you're there you may want to check with the restaurant in case they try to add their own little flare to it. Pork is not a typical ingredient in paella though some of the "surf and turf" ones do... if you're getting the chicken and rabbit or seafood ones (the two most traditional) you shouldn't run into any problems. Ash
  • December 28, 2018 at 2:30 pm
    Brian B.
    I'm by myself in Barcelona. Any advice on restaurants that will serve paella to just one person (and not charge for two people)?
    • December 28, 2018 at 5:50 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Brian, Thanks for writing! It's a rare occurrence but luckily one of the ones that offers individual portions also offers one of the tastiest! Go to Arume in the Raval neighbourhood and you'll be glad you did :) Ash
      • February 25, 2019 at 6:36 pm
        Patel
        Hello! Does Arume have a vegetarian option?
        • February 26, 2019 at 10:20 am
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Hi Patel, As far as I know the paella options at Arume have meat... what you can do however is contact them directly (they've got great customer service) and ask if it's possible to simply make a stripped-down veggie option. I would do it via their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/arumerestaurant/ Ash
  • December 2, 2018 at 1:44 pm
    Ritzel Tuazon Boer
    Hi! I just discovered your page and what a find. We are heading to Barcelona for the Marathon and my question to you is: What are your top 5 restaurants that you feel represents Barcelona on a plate? We do not have any diet restrictions.
    • December 2, 2018 at 3:14 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Ritzel, No dietary restrictions! That's a first and certainly welcome because I can just fire away ;) For me off the top of my head I would go with Cerveceria Catalana because it does traditional Spanish with a local flare. I would also put La Flauta in that category. The restaurants in Barceloneta (the old fishing village) also have a certain local charm. La Mar Salada and La Bombeta are right up there. Finally I could not leave out La Boqueria Market and its many food stalls. The restaurants there are also classic, often dating back generations. One that jumps out is El Quim de la Boqueria. My wild card would also be one mentioned in this article: 7 Portes. This is a great way to experience the way the city was before people like you and I showed up :) Ash
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