Barceloneta Barrio is a famous neighborhood in Barcelona, where young (and not so young) crowd heads to enjoy tender sunbeams, marvelous views of the sea and lovely absence of clothes on tanned bodies. When they get hungry and start looking on where to eat in Barceloneta, they look into my guide and find the answer.
The former fishermen’s village has turned into a district with a laid back vibe, a huge number of cool eateries and the right place to spend a whole weekend. If you walk along a Passeig de Joan de Borbo you will definitely won’t stay hungry. A plethora of locations with a different ambiance, food (seafood prevailing) and price range will make it easy to find what you are looking for.
But since this is the main road for all the city visitors, I would like to recommend some alternatives spots in the area, more popular among the local crowd. Here we go:
El Vaso de Oro
Their website is much more refined than the place itself. When you enter the bar, you realize how narrow, busy and noisy it is. But those who want an authentic experience, should stay and go for it.
This beer house has more than 50 years of history and it was one of the first bars to change the concept of table sitting. Some visitors claim to be customers of the bar for a lifetime! What an excellent marketing move!
Most probably you will have to wait to be seated, but it usually takes less than 10-15 minutes. Despite curious tourists, who seek to explore hidden joints and bounce into Vaso de Oro from time to time, the staff doesn’t speak a word in English. A demonstrative set out of food is of much help in this case.
If you want something traditional, have croquetas, (fried cheese and ham balls), Pimientos de Padron (little green peppers), and all these Calamares, Anchoas and Jamon. My friends enjoyed grilled tuna there since I’m not a tuna devotee I was passionately devouring a sirloin steak with foie. The guys have fish of the day too.
The bar also stands out because of oodles of beers they have; some people claim they are the best in town. So, crawl up the bar stool and order an oatmeal stout any other draft or craft beer from an extensive selection. Depending on your preferences a good lunch/dinner may vary between 17 and 30 Euro per person. Vaso de Oro is worth for stopping in at least once.
Where you can find it: Carrer de Balboa, 6
Only ten mins walk from Barceloneta metro station, just off touristic Passeig de Joan de Borbo you will bounce into a weird place, stuffed with people and a huge crowd waiting outside, sipping beers and gossiping.
It is certainly not the place for a “fine dining” but really nice catch if you are on a budget or a fierce predator.
Run by Uruguayan family this steakhouse offers a versatile choice of meat: from simple sausages to good old sirloin steak. For a side dish, you may ask either fries or a vegetable salad. A lunch like this with a bottle of Argentine beer will cost you around €9, and trust me, the portions won’t disappoint you.
It is impossible to book, and most probably you will have to queue. Just say your name to the guy at the bar and be ready to be seated in 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, make friends at the entrance while sipping a beverage.
The service is fast and friendly. But don’t plan a long lazy lunch, and the bustling rhythm around won’t make you feel relaxed. Come there for food and have a coffee afterward in one of the cafes the seashore embraces.
Where you can find it: Calle Almirante Cervera Numero 5
Enough with sirloin steaks and juicy sausages, let’s figure what should veggies do while in the area.
BarCeloneta Sangria bar
Creative BarCeloneta owners decided to be in trend with a vegetarian flow and expand it to tapas. The place offers elaborated bites with a selection of dips with the whole universe of flavors to be discovered. We had “vegan aliens” zucchini with sundried tomatoes and vegan cheese. The presentation was great, and the taste was even better! Guys also have a variety of vegan burgers and some strange raw food options. For my taste, it was too raw, but I could see happy faces of my greenish friends.
It was astounding to find paella with vegan shrimps and prawns! They looked so real and tasted so good that I got genuinely suspicious about good intentions of the bar towards little sea creatures.
As you may figure from the name, there is also a good choice of sangrias, and this is something you should take into consideration. They all have female names and differ one from another a lot.
Fruity and fresh, based on organic wine or non-alcoholic, all depends on your preferences. I would stick to Juliette: an irresistible contrast of cinnamon and mint and an unexpected and overwhelming touch of cider. Ask a bartender to add some wild berries, to make your palate have it all…
The place is decorated in its unique a little weird way, has cozy warm light and it is almost always full. But they take reservations, so make sure you have one if you go there on purpose. Prices are a little bit higher from an average but quite affordable.
And yes, get a raw brownie with goji berries!
Where you can find it: Carrer Sevilla, 70
It is a horrible lie that you can’t find something both veggie and refined at the same time. More and more fat cats are joining the trend of conscious eating. And this is the point where a just veggie menu is not enough; they want it fabulous, they want an excellent, attentive service and nice relaxing ambiance.
So, the owners of Green Spot managed to make it come true. When you enter a spacious hall with wood clad walls, low sofas and oodles of plants, you will understand: it is the place to be. At night the restaurant gets even cozier. Desk lamps on wooden tables and lighted up walls make a perfect scenery for romantic dinner. A splendid add up to that is live blues every Thursday night.
Okay, these all good, now let’s figure what’s on the menu. As the website suggests, Green Spot is a veggie for veggies and veggie for non-veggies. And I can’t agree more. While the previous place has this veggie vibe everywhere, and the majority are real veggies there, with their attitudes and looks, here the crowd flocks for good food, no matter how passionate they are about meat in real life.
The menu is very abundant. You can feel an Asian touch in some dishes, while others carry within them Indian flavors, Mediterranean textures or Mexican motives. You can nibble some appetizers: beetroot tartare with avocado, grapefruit, and horseradish or bruschetta with smoked burrata, but leave some space for the main course.
Guys have very elaborate salads, with fresh ingredients and interesting combinations, a number of pasta and rice dishes and lovely bowls of fresh vegetables. No vegan place do without veggie burgers. Here you can have one of the following: black bean burger or Spinach and chard burger.
I really enjoyed curry with black rice and Fattoush Salad With Israeli couscous.
Portions are quite generous, so don’t overestimate yourself, especially when you want to finish up your meal with a mouthwatering dessert. Ask a waiter to recommend you a drink. The guys have a crazy enjoyable list of cocktails very healthy, very fruity no matter with or without alcohol (I was consuming vodka with fresh carrot juice, feeling happy about vitamins and beta carotene my body was receiving).
The check is higher than the average, but all in all price/pleasure ratio is worth dropping by.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
Where you can find it: Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 12
Map with all places pinned
Beware of places with a high price and low-quality food. This area has the most of them in the whole city and doesn’t skip good ones though. Follow your premonitions why exploring the city, good vibes and good company will help you.