Barcelona is undoubtedly home to some of the freshest and finest seafood in Spain given that the Catalan capital is synonymous with the Mediterranean Sea, and what better seafood dish than the famous paella.
Paella is an authentic Spanish rice dish infused with various other ingredients including vegetables, beans and of course, the freshest of seafood, meat or poultry. However, when visiting Spain, choosing where to enjoy paella is trickier than it sounds. With practically every restaurant offering it, there are many that perhaps don’t put as much care into their cooking as the dish rightfully deserves.
Paella should be an indulgent dish bursting with flavour and fresh, delicious ingredients, but panic not – here’s a list of a few places in Barcelona that definitely do paella and other seafood dishes justice, so you can avoid those that don’t!
Where to Eat Paella in Barcelona
Located in a building of national architectural interest and just a short walk from Port Vell, 7 Portes is a timeless establishment that boasts over 180 years of experience of Catalan cuisine. Both locals and tourists alike enjoy 7 Portes’ famous paella and other seafood dishes. This restaurant has developed through years of family history and incredible food and ambience, meaning that it is highly recommended amongst Catalan locals when asked where authentic and delicious paella can be found. With many famous faces including the likes of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí having eaten here, 7 Portes is definitely a dining experience that shouldn’t be missed! To avoid disappointment, make sure you book in advance on their website.
Address: Passeig d’Isabel II, 14, 08003.
La Mar Salada
If incredible seafood is what you desire, then La Mar Salada is the place for you. With the freshest produce from the local fish auction, combined with incredible flavours created by Marc Singla and the rest of the kitchen team, eating at La Mar Salada is undoubtedly a gastronomic experience that you won’t forget. Some of their popular dishes include spectacular stews and paellas, such as their black rice with cuttlefish and their ‘de senyoret’ rice with razorfish, monkfish and prawns. Located on Port Vell in the Barceloneta district, this establishment offers a menu that changes with the seasons to ensure seafood dining of the highest quality, all year round.
Address: Passeig de Joan de Borbó 58-59, 08003
El Suquet de l’Almirall
Located in the Barceloneta area – which was once a fisherman’s village, El Suquet de l’Almirall is all about organic and local produce. This restaurant is owned by chef Quim Marqués, who puts his own signature on classic and traditional seafood cuisine. Some of their most desired dishes include cod fritters, fisherman’s macaroni and undoubtedly, their Paella Catalana. With their traditional, fisherman’s work-shop style décor and variety of seating areas including an open-air terrace, El Suquet de l’Almirall is the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy some delicious seafood and paella whilst taking in the panoramic Mediterranean views.
Address: Passeig de Joan de Borbó 65, 08003
With 10 years of culinary experience, La Muscleria is a traditional seafood restaurant that excels when it comes to the preparation and cooking of mussels, as their name so directly suggests. Their love for mussels derives from inspiration based upon traditional Beligan cuisine, and the restaurant offers the crustacean cooked in over 50 different ways. As well as this, the menu also offers salads, tapas and other exceptional seafood dishes; you will be spoilt for choice. La Muscleria is a prime example of being able to enjoy fresh, flavoursome seafood whilst being in the heart of the city, in the trendy Eixample neighbourhood.
Address: Carrer de Mallorca 290, 08037
Located nearby Parc de la Ciutadella in the sophisticated El Born neighbourhood, this much-loved establishment offers an extensive menu of delicious seafood dishes including, of course, paella. The chic venue is situated within an arched building with exposed brick, and soft lighting creating a perfect ambience to relax and enjoy some incredible food. La Gambeta’s aim is to offer fresh fish and seafood prepared in the traditional Catalan and Mediterrean way. The menu is complemented with daily suggestions from the fish market ‘La Parada’, which is located by the restaurant entrance in order to offer the freshest products of the season.
Address: Carrer de la Fusina 3, 08003
The Iborra family share the taste of their home in Elche, in the Alicante Province through their restaurant, which is located in Barcelona’s Poble Sec district. Defined as a ‘temple for paella lovers’, Restaurant Elche offers an extensive menu filled with plenty of paella varieties, soups and many seafood and meat dishes. And if vino is on the agenda, the restaurant has a wine list with a vast amount of reds, whites and rosés for you to choose from. Restaurant Elche has gained a great reputation in the city over their 50 years of experience and continues to be one of the most popular paella restaurants in Barcelona.
Address: Carrer de Vila i Vilà 71, 08004
Travel tip by Lauren Regan at AB Apartment Barcelona