By Neil Durham
We’ve regularly visited the Raval district of this Spanish city a stone’s throw from Las Ramblas since the early 00s and what surprised us on our return post-pandemic was how some real culinary delights had sprung up in the neighbourhood since we’d been gone.
- Read on for reasons including how a Barcelona restaurant has been named the 3rd best in the world
On my last trip to Barcelona I explained that I was to visit Carlota Akaneya in Raval, the 1st sumibiyaki in Europe and one of the five restaurants in Spain that serves wagyū certified as Kobe Beef. It was fun to cook one’s own food but didn’t quite make the top 5 below.
1 Tapas 2254, Consell de cent 335, Barcelona Reservations
Medium range in price, this inventive take on tapas incorporating Italian and French influences reflects chef’s Nuncio Cona’s 2254km journey from Palermo to Barcelona. Pictured above is the smoked sardines with guacamole (9.5 Euros) but other stand-out dishes included the miniature take on patatas bravas with bacon and basil Caviaroli as well as the sumptious dumplings stuffed with Spanish oxtail and gorgonzola cheese sauce with walnuts.
Special mention too to the blue fin tuna wrapped in bacon which melted in the mouth (pictured below, 15.9 Euros), light as a feather Iberico ham and filling yet delicate pork belly sandwich.
The food was of a quality so high it ranks with some of the best meals we have ever eaten in Michelin-starred restaurants in London.
2. Compartir, Valencia Street 225, Barcelona Reservations
We’re here because sister restaurant Disfrutar was recently named the world’s 3rd best restaurant and the earliest we were able to book a table there was March 2023. Compartir means to share in Spanish and that is the ethos behind the array of beautifully presented and tasty dishes presented to us as part of an impromptu tasting menu here. Especially noteworthy were the veal carpaccio with Port, foie-gras and Idiazabal (7.5 Euros) pictured immediately below and Tuna cannelloni with Mediterranean flavours (19.75 Euros) pictured far below.
3. Rubi Bar, Carrer dels Banys Vells, 6, Barcelona
We stumbled across this classy gin bar after visiting a flamenco venue opposite the Museo Picasso in Born and we liked that the menu matched gins from around the world with their ideal tonic and they were mixed for us and in front of us by the attentive staff. A place to indulge in a long, cool relaxing drink rather than expect immediate service because the drinks take time to mix but this was stylish and fun.
4. Tosca del Carme, Carrer del Carme, 40, Raval, Barcelona Reservations
The best review we can give this restaurant is that it’s always packed with locals. The prices are great value and the food always presented simply and effectively while tasting authentically Catalan.
5. Petra, Sombrerers 13, Born, Barcelona Reservations
Another brilliant value, authentic Catalan restaurant where the welcome is always warm and the food reliably filling. Our main course was the gorgeously meaty octopus (16 Euros) pictured above.
- Picture via Facebook courtesy Tapas 2254. Reservations
- Have you been to any of these top 5 destinations? What did you think? Is there somewhere better in Barcelona to go? Let us know in the comments below.
- Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email email@example.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook