The fact I live in Spain definitely has its perks. One great example of this, especially for someone who considers herself a bit of a foodie, is that I’ve been lucky enough to have had the chance to explore the diverse culinary landscapes this beautiful country has to offer.
And out of all the tasty adventures I’ve embarked on, the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona holds a special place in my heart. Despite its touristy reputation, this vibrant part of the city still manages to captivate with its ancient alleys, historic buildings, and of course, an array of restaurants that offer some of the best options you’ll find in Barcelona’s food scene.
This article is for you if you’re planning a visit here and want to dive into its rich culinary scene, particularly in the Gothic Quarter. Trust me, I’ve spent countless hours in these labyrinthine streets, feasting on everything from traditional tapas to modern interpretations of Catalan cuisine to find the best restaurants in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.
Ready to embark on a mouth-watering journey through the city’s culinary heart? Let’s dive in, fork-first, into some of the best restaurants that Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter has to offer!
Best restaurants in the Gothic Quarter, Barcelona
1. El Salón
📍 LOCATION: Carrer Hostal D’en Sol 6-8, 08002 Barcelona
Let me introduce you to El Salón, tucked away right beside Barcelona’s ancient Roman walls and a delightful little bistro that brags about being the first to grace Barcelona’s streets. Stepping inside, you’ll immediately be greeted by an eclectic ambiance that smells like pure heaven wafting from their bustling kitchen.
El Salón’s menu beautifully balances meat and fish, offering dishes that range from mouth watering swordfish carpaccio to juicy duck confit bathed in a rich port sauce. Oh, and the homemade desserts are to die for, so make sure to save some room!
The vintage 80s British-style decor, mixed with a bohemian flair and recycled furniture, lends a unique charm to El Salón. The restaurant perfectly encapsulates the warmth of a home and the ambiance of a Mediterranean bistro.
And if you’re there on the weekend, dinners can extend into the late evening, featuring music, drinks, and good company till 2am, making for a real night out!
2. L’Antic Bocoi Del Gotic
📍 LOCATION: Baixada de Viladecols, 3, 08002 Barcelona
Let’s move on to a true culinary gem, L’Antic Bocoi Del Gotic. This adorable local spot is a refreshing escape from the internationalized eateries that dominate most cityscapes, choosing instead to honor its Catalan roots through its traditional, regional dishes.
Step inside, and you’ll instantly feel a sense of cozy warmth. It’s a small venue, but trust me, it’s brimming with personality and local charm.
The menu is a glorious smorgasbord of local produce, meats, and cheeses – and be sure to pair your meal with a glass of the region’s fantastic wine.
The traditional cocas – Catalan-style flatbreads – are a specialty here, with toppings like Gorgonzola cheese, Camembert, Sobrasada or arugula that’ll send your taste buds on a gastronomic adventure.
But the real star? Their homemade pastries, a delicious end to any meal that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Barcelona!
3. Can Culleretes
📍 LOCATION: Carrer d’en Quintana, 5, 08002 Barcelona
If your heart yearns for the charm of family-run establishments, then Can Culleretes will be love at first sight. Operating since 1786, this restaurant offers an authentic Catalan dining experience, making you feel like you’ve just sat down for a meal at a local’s home.
Their menu is impressively extensive, from their divine paella to the more adventurous dishes like wild boar stew or Catalan-style roasted suckling pig. The restaurant is mainly open for lunch, but also serves dinner on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Stepping into Can Culleretes feels like stepping back in time. The high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and traditional Catalan decor are a feast for the eyes, while your stomach rejoices in the traditional Catalan fare, which includes delicacies like grilled lamb chops, slow-cooked beef cheeks, and a myriad of traditional desserts.
📍 LOCATION: Carrer dels Mercaders, 10, 08003 Barcelona
Housed in a 17th-century building in Barcelona’s Born district, Arcano strikes the perfect balance between history and modernity. The stone walls and arches of this former stable create a magical setting for Arcano’s unique culinary offerings, perfectly complemented by friendly staff and a vibrant ambiance.
The menu at Arcano is a delicious journey through Mediterranean cuisine, featuring a variety of meat and fish dishes. From the lip-smacking chicken-empanada combo to the irresistible tuna tartare or the creamy burrata, everything screams ‘delicious’ here.
And for the main course, the beef tenderloin and tuna with a sweet mango chili sauce are simply divine. Seriously, if you’re looking for one of the best seafood restaurants in Barcelona that’s near some of the main tourist rights, Arcano should be on your list.
The crowning glory of Arcano is its innovative approach to traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Since 2012, it’s been serving both national and imported meats, along with dishes steeped in Mediterranean tradition.
The décor — mixing modern furniture with rustic elements — creates a warm, inviting atmosphere that is bound to leave you charmed.
5. Direkte Boqueria
📍 LOCATION: La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Direkte Boqueria can be found right next to the bustling La Boqueria market. With only eight seats around a kitchen bar, this tiny spot exudes an intimate, cozy, and irresistibly exclusive vibe.
You’ll be able to watch chefs Arnau Muñío and Shu Zhang – a chef with a “Chef of the Year” accolade – prepare your dishes with surgical precision, turning your dinner into a live culinary show.
This restaurant is the epitome of a secret food lover’s den, where Catalan cuisine meets Asian influence. You can select between a short (7 dishes + 2 desserts) or a long (10 dishes + 2 desserts) menu, each featuring local, seasonal ingredients, and a significant Asian flair.
Plus, the wine list is full of unexpected surprises, so don’t hesitate to ask for staff recommendations – they’re always spot on!
Every dish is a masterpiece, but the crowning jewel has to be the matcha cheesecake. This dessert will redefine your cheesecake standards.
It’s shaped like a small Camembert, crowned with a thick layer of matcha powder. Each spoonful reveals a sweet and surprisingly light interior, making for a memorable end to an extraordinary gastronomic experience.
6. Bistrot Levante
📍 LOCATION: Placeta de Manuel Ribé, 2, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Stepping into Bistrot Levante feels like a small journey to Paris. The café is two-thirds glass, creating a beautiful play of light and shadow amidst the array of plants inside.
Located in the tranquil Placeta de Manuel Ribé, the café radiates calm and sophistication, offering an aesthetic that beautifully translates into the menu.
Bistrot Levante’s menu is a feast for lovers of Mediterranean cuisine with a twist. Expect dishes in the mold of famed chef Ottolenghi, like mouth watering eggplant drizzled with tahini and speckled with pomegranate, or a whole roasted, spiced cauliflower.
The wine selection is no less impressive. There are always around 25 bottles open for sampling, and you can enjoy tapas-style plates alongside your chosen pour.
Try to stop by on a Friday night, when the place turns into a delightful social hub. The Vino & Co Friday nights have already achieved cult status, so prepare for great wine, incredible food, and even better company.
At the same time, this is easily one of the best spots in the Gothic Quarter to get breakfast in Barcelona, with an incredible Mediterranean-inspired brunch menu.
Experience delicious home cooking made from local seasonal produce, all while exploring a broad range of wines and gaining new gastronomic insights.
📍 LOCATION: Via Laietana, 49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Caelis, as one of the top restaurants in Barcelona with a Michelin star, is a shining beacon of culinary excellence in the city. Taking pride of place in the lavish Ohla Barcelona, a five-star boutique hotel, it offers an experience that goes beyond just dining.
The open-kitchen style allows you to see Chef Romain Fornell and his team at work, further enhancing your gastronomic journey.
Yes, dining at Caelis is an indulgence, but one that’s absolutely worth it. You can choose from multiple-course menus ranging between €95 to €140 (excluding wine).
Although it might not be an everyday dining spot, it’s the perfect place to splurge when you’re in a mood to treat yourself. And trust me, with the exquisite culinary offerings and top-notch service, you won’t regret it.
Situated in the middle of Via Laietana, Caelis boasts a refined, yet warm interior with a capacity bar seating for 14, offering a splendid view of the kitchen. The menu draws from Mediterranean tradition sprinkled with French nuances, resulting in such delightful creations like sea bass au beurre blanc with a tarragon veil or an irresistible Tatin.
8. La Plata
📍 LOCATION: Carrer Mercè, 28, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
At La Plata, the tapas are as authentic as they get. This old-school tapas bar prides itself on serving simple, unpretentious, and absolutely delicious Spanish staples, with the charismatic owner, Pepe, often claiming it to be the last authentic tapas place in the city.
You’ll find a regular crowd of locals here, making it a perfect spot for some local charm. The seating might be limited, and the menu short, but the quality of what La Plata serves is top-tier.
Picture fresh seafood tapas paired with wine poured straight from the barrel, served in an atmosphere buzzing with chatter about soccer games and politics. By the time you leave, you’ll have had an authentic Spanish gastronomic experience.
La Plata’s menu features only a few traditional Catalan dishes like grilled sardines, salted anchovies, and fried peppers, but each one of them is a culinary marvel. The environment is cozy and intimate, making it a must-visit spot in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter.
📍 LOCATION: Carrer de la Junta de Comerç, 11, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
If you’re looking for an authentic Italian experience in Barcelona, head to Bacaro. Tucked away on a side street leading to La Boqueria, this cozy Italian restaurant offers a range of culinary delights from the homeland, prepared with love and creativity.
Bacaro beautifully blends the ambiance of a typical Old Town eatery with the sophistication of Venetian cuisine. The menu is brief, no pizzas here, but each item, be it meat, fish, or starter, tells a story.
Highlights include the sensational eggplant parmigiana with basil mousseline, a must-try for any food lover, and the melt-in-your-mouth burrata.
The team behind Bacaro includes former staff from the prestigious Xemei, ensuring that the quality and flavors are exceptional. Their strozzapreti with Genovese ragù is a culinary dream that should be on every foodie’s Barcelona bucket list.
📍 LOCATION: Carrer de Bellafila, 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Pla is an intimate and elegant restaurant that embodies the essence of Barcelona dining. Before you know it after sitting down, you’ll have a friendly waiter pulling up a chair next to you to discuss the daily specials, guide you through the menu, and help you select a perfect wine from their extensive list.
With its Mediterranean-inspired cuisine enriched with Spanish influence, Pla is a food lover’s paradise. The menu is diverse, offering fish, meats, salads, as well as seasonal specialties and indulgent desserts.
At the same time, the setting is classy yet welcoming, making it a perfect spot for a delightful dining experience.
By offering traditional Spanish dishes with an unexpected twist, Pla adds a whole new level of diversity to the Barcelona food scene. The experience here goes beyond just dining – it’s a culinary adventure you won’t forget.
11. Tapeo Del Born
📍 LOCATION: Carrer de Montcada, 29, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Just a stone’s throw away from the Picasso Museum, Tapeo Del Born is the perfect spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Despite its modest size, this tapas joint offers a relaxed environment where the staff is always ready to attend to your culinary needs.
Tapas here take center stage, with traditional options like fried anchovies and patatas bravas complementing other exciting offerings like the succulent paella, tender spare ribs, and creamy burrata. And don’t forget to sip on the house vermut; it’s the perfect accompaniment to your tapas feast.
Tapeo is more than a restaurant; it’s a place of culinary worship. Chef Daniel Rueda artfully merges tradition and creativity, crafting his dishes right before your eyes.
The result? A tantalizing experience you won’t forget any time soon.
12. Zona D’Ombra
📍 LOCATION: Carrer de Sant Domènec del Call, 12, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Zona D’Ombra, tucked away in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, is a wine lover’s dream with its selection of over 300 labels. It offers an exceptional chance to explore local and less-known wines, all within a rustic, 14th-century setting.
But Zona D’Ombra isn’t just about wines; it’s a haven for food enthusiasts too. Whether you fancy jamón or foie gras, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
It’s the perfect place to unwind before dinner or to while away the entire evening, enjoying the bar’s relaxed vibe.
Zona D’Ombra modernizes the classic wine bar concept, fusing gastronomy and wines to perfection. It invites you to savor tables of smoked meats or cheeses, paired flawlessly with select wines and soft lights for a memorable evening.
📍 LOCATION: Carrer del Rec Comtal, 17, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Fismuler, the Barcelona offshoot of a successful venture in Madrid, brings together the talents of three El Bulli-trained chefs. With its expansive, tastefully designed space and a menu featuring Nordic influences, this restaurant offers a dining experience like no other.
Mediterranean ingredients meet Northern European tweaks in Fismuler’s culinary creations. From semi-cured sea bream with slivered almonds to red grapes meticulously shaped, the dishes here are a testament to the chefs’ creativity.
In fact, don’t hesitate to request half portions; the quality and ambiance warrant the price.
Since early 2018, Fismuler has been delighting Barcelona with its open space, modern aesthetic, and communal tables. The cuisine here centers around fresh market produce, and respect for the ingredients is evident in every bite.
And did I mention the live music during dinner from Wednesday to Sunday? It’s the cherry on top!
14. El Cercle
📍 LOCATION: Carrer dels Arcs, 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Perched on Els Arcs street and open to everyone, El Cercle is a hidden gem within the Reial Cercle Artistic. This restaurant serves exceptional Catalan and Japanese cuisine in an elegant setting that transports you back to the intellectual scene of the early 1900s.
Located in a stunning Gothic palace, El Cercle offers a dual culinary experience. Choose between a Mediterranean menu filled with tapas and traditional dishes or dive into the best of Japanese cuisine.
With several rooms and a non-bookable terrace, you can choose the ambiance that suits your mood.
15. Los Caracoles
📍 LOCATION: Carrer dels Escudellers, 14, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
The sight of roasting chickens against the backdrop of a stone wall at Los Caracoles is nothing short of mesmerizing. Nestled in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, this famous restaurant serves a range of Catalan dishes that will leave your taste buds asking for more.
Los Caracoles, or ‘The Snails’, has been dishing up delectable cuisine since 1835 and remains a family-run establishment. From the house special snails to the legendary roasted chicken and the comforting bouillabaisse fish stew, you’re in for a Catalan culinary extravaganza.
Don’t leave without trying the traditional crema Catalana for dessert – which, and I’ve had this argument with people before, is basically crème brûlée. But locals insist it originates from Catalonia…and who am I to argue when the dessert is this delicious?
16. The Green Spot
📍 LOCATION: Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
If you fancy a vegetarian meal, The Green Spot will win your heart in an instant. With its sleek interior, adorned with greenery and rustic wooden accents, the restaurant embodies a harmonious blend of modern chic and cozy vibes.
Each dish here isn’t only a vegetarian delight but also a work of art, aesthetically presented to elevate your dining experience.
The real magic happens when you delve into The Green Spot’s menu. From black pumpkin pizza to sweet potato noodles and tacos, every dish promises a flavor explosion. Plus, the menu has some of the best gluten-free options in Barcelona, so you’re also covered there if that’s what you need!
Don’t skip the vegan chocolate cake – it’s the sweet crescendo to a delightful dining symphony. Known for their mission to make you fall in love with vegetarian cuisine, the restaurant continues to impress patrons since its inception in early 2018.
Not far from the Barceloneta metro station, The Green Spot offers an enticing menu, punctuated with exotic ingredients and vibrant flavors. Whether it’s sweet potato tagliatelle, Moroccan vegetable tagine, or Vietnamese Pho, every dish is an invitation to taste the world.
Coupled with natural wines and craft beers, your visit to The Green Spot might just turn you into a converted vegetarian!
17. Restaurant Lounge My Way
📍 LOCATION: Passeig de Gràcia, 48, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
For a break from traditional offerings, Restaurant Lounge My Way promises a dining experience that’s a class apart. With its contemporary design, an extensive menu of Mediterranean delicacies, and a vibrant lounge scene post 11 PM, it’s a place where you can eat, drink, and dance the night away.
Offering a diverse menu that features traditional tapas, succulent meat dishes, and an array of seafood, My Way presents a delightful mix of Mediterranean cuisine.
But don’t stop at the food. Pair your meals with their killer cocktails – a decision you’ll relish long after your vacation is over.
18. Bodega La Palma
📍 LOCATION: Carrer de la Palma de Sant Just, 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Stepping into Bodega La Palma is like walking into a history book. With over 75 years of heritage under its belt, this authentic traditional cellar delights visitors with its old-world charm and delicious tapas, like their mushroom-stuffed red peppers and daily specials.
Bodega La Palma, a cornerstone of Barcelona’s old town, has hosted a colorful mix of locals, artists, and bohemians since its establishment 80 years ago.
The quality of its tapas and dishes have stood the test of time, cementing its reputation as a gastronomic hotspot and one of the best restaurants in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.
📍 LOCATION: Carrer de Palau, 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
When in need of a healthy culinary retreat, Rasoterra is your safe haven. This vegetarian restaurant in the heart of the Gothic Quarter delights locals and tourists alike with its assortment of wholesome soups, main courses, and tapas.
Tucked away in an alley, Rasoterra creates a warm and inviting ambiance for all. The charm of the place extends to its menu, which features a delectable array of dishes crafted from local organic ingredients.
Try their egg cassolettes – a crowd favorite that’ll have you coming back for more!
20. Els 4Gats
📍 LOCATION: Carrer de Montsió, 3, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Immerse yourself in Barcelona’s cultural heritage with a visit to Els 4Gats. Opened in 1897, this historic restaurant has preserved its original décor, reminiscent of a Parisian setting, and serves traditional Catalan dishes that have been delighting patrons for centuries.
Famed as Picasso’s favorite haunt, Els 4Gats has been at the heart of Barcelona’s artistic scene since its inception. Whether you’re indulging in grilled octopus, slow-cooked beef cheeks, or traditional Catalan desserts, each meal here is a nod to the city’s rich gastronomic heritage.
Bask in the artistic ambiance of Els 4Gats, where every corner whispers tales of the past. As you sip on a glass of wine, you can almost imagine Picasso debating art, his ideas echoing off the walls around you.
This blend of history, culture, and scrumptious food is what makes Els 4Gats a must-visit destination.
21. Capet Restaurant
📍 LOCATION: Carrer del Comerç, 21, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
For a unique gastronomic experience, Capet Restaurant awaits with its blend of Catalan market cuisine and French culinary finesse. Under the guidance of a Venezuelan chef, the dishes here are meticulously crafted to enthrall your senses.
Every dish at Capet Restaurant is a testament to thoughtful cuisine. The presentation of a simple rice dish with botifarra is elevated by ensuring an abundant “socarrat” – the crispy rice that forms around the edges of the pan (and that locals will tell you is the best part!).
This kind of attention to detail pervades the entire menu, making each dish a unique culinary adventure.
Seasonal produce is the star at Capet Restaurant, with a menu that changes with the bounty of the market. Amidst the ever-changing offerings, some classics have stood the test of time, like the artichokes with onion broth and smoked eel, Armando’s famous pigeon, chicken croquettes with kimchi, and the herd with black butter.
22. Les Quinze Nits
📍 LOCATION: Plaça Reial, 6, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Les Quinze Nits is an absolute delight located smack-dab in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. This ever-popular restaurant sees lines out the door nearly every day – a testament to their fantastic food and unmatched location.
Perched on the always buzzing Plaça Reial, you can indulge in delicious Mediterranean and Catalan cuisine while watching the lively performers that this place is famous for.
The vibrance of the square seeps into the restaurant, bringing a magical atmosphere that amplifies the dining experience.
Les Quinze Nits is a part of the prestigious Andilana Restaurant group, so while it might feel a bit touristy, there’s no denying the quality of food they serve. From classic tapas to elaborate main courses, every dish is a delightful exploration of local flavors.
With an unbeatable location, lip-smacking food, and a lively ambience, Les Quinze Nits is a Gothic Quarter gem. So, brace yourself for a memorable culinary journey under the star-studded Barcelona sky, surrounded by palm trees and fairy lights.
23. Café de l’Acadèmia
📍 LOCATION: Carrer de Lledó, 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
With an old-world charm punctuated with strains of classical music, Café de l’Acadèmia beckons you for a dining experience steeped in rustic elegance.
Located right in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, the restaurant offers a lively vibe that resonates with the energy of Plaza Sant Jus. Expect mouth-watering Catalan cuisine with a modern twist and a side of eclectic vibes.
The beauty of Café de l’Acadèmia lies in its simplicity. Wicker chairs, stone walls, and a menu that boasts new Catalan delights like chicken brochette, quail with soy and sesame, and paella in fish broth with prawns. It’s all about serving authenticity on a platter, amplified by a dash of modernity.
Casually cool, Café de l’Acadèmia is more than just a place to grab a bite. Its prime location surrounded by great bars makes it an ideal spot for an after-dinner digestif, ensuring a Catalan culinary experience that lasts well beyond your meal.
24. La Cova Fumada
📍 LOCATION: Carrer del Baluart, 56, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Stepping into La Cova Fumada feels like walking into a family dinner in Barcelona – cozy, welcoming, and absolutely delicious. Hidden in an alley of the Gothic Quarter, this unassuming gem has been serving authentic Catalan dishes since 1944, with a special emphasis on seafood.
Their grilled sardines, deep-fried artichokes, and the famous ‘bomba’ are all must-tries! Plus, old barrels, marble chairs, and an open kitchen lend La Cova Fumada an informal, homely atmosphere.
Their menu boasts homemade tapas and small plates, mostly highlighting the flavors of fresh fish. Don’t be surprised to find it packed with locals, which is always a good sign of a place worth your time (and appetite).
La Cova Fumada is not just about the food; it’s about the experience of diving into Barcelona’s culinary roots. Abuela’s cooking, chalkboard menus, and seasonal offerings like artichokes in spring and mushrooms in autumn make it a truly authentic experience.
Just remember, there’s no sign outside – so keep your eyes peeled for this hidden culinary treasure!
25. Sensi Tapas
📍 LOCATION: Carrer Ample, 26, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Sensi Tapas weaves together a fantastic blend of traditional Catalan flavors and modern culinary techniques. Set in a beautiful, light-filled space with exposed brick walls, this restaurant delivers a refreshing twist on the familiar tapas format.
Look forward to dishes like grilled octopus with truffle oil and crispy pork belly with apple puree. But whatever you order, with three establishments in Barcelona, the Sensi group has become a go-to recommendation for tasty tapas in the city.
What sets Sensi Tapas apart is its dedication to high-quality vegetarian tapas. They’ve reimagined dishes like ‘roasted chicken’ croquettes with a vegan spin, earning them rave reviews from vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
If you’re looking for a culinary adventure that won’t break the bank, Sensi Tapas should be on your list. With dishes starting at around 4-6 euros each, they offer value without compromising on taste.
Whether you’re a tapas aficionado or a newbie, Sensi Tapas is sure to deliver a culinary experience you’ll remember.