Barcelona is full of incredible food options all over the city, but if you’re reading this post, it’s likely that you intend on spending time in the Gothic Quarter (as you should!). As someone who is obsessed with all things Barcelona, I get incredibly excited whenever people ask me where to eat. In fact, I love this part of the city so much that there was no way I wasn’t dedicating an entire blog post to the best restaurants in the Gothic Quarter.
Oh….and I added a couple of my favorite bars in here too. You know…because I got you 😘.
The more I visit Spain, the more restaurants I intend to try. Make sure to subscribe to my email list to get notified when this post gets updated with new restaurants that I’ve discovered and loved!
One of my life goals is to eat my way through the Gothic Quarter…actually, scratch that, it’s to eat my way through all of Spain…but we’ll start here. Keep reading to discover all the places I recommend whenever anyone asks me about my favorite restaurants in the Gothic Quarter!
Pro Tip: If you are planning a trip to Barcelona, it’s likely that you’ll be spending time in the Eixample neighborhood too. For more restaurant recommendations, be sure to check out my other post about my favorite restaurants in Eixample!
★ Pro Tip ★
Getting to Know Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter
Whenever you hear people mention the “ciutat vella” – or “old city” – of Barcelona, they are referring to the Gothic Quarter. But the old city is actually comprised of 3 main parts: Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter, and El Born.
- LAS RAMBLAS is very touristy and famous for its long pedestrian walkway with souvenir shops, street performers, and restaurants.
- The GOTHIC QUARTER is also very touristy and is centered around the Barcelona Cathedral
- EL BORN is the least touristy of the 3 and is where you will find a lot of romantic alleyways with string lights. This area is my favorite section of the ciutat vella.
However, because these 3 neighborhoods are all situated right next to each other and look very similar, whenever people talk about “The Gothic Quarter,” they are collectively referring to all 3 areas.
10 of The Best Restaurants in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter*
(*in my humble opinion)
1. The Benedict
Website: The Benedict Barcelona
What I Got: Their brunch special
The Benedict is one of my favorite restaurants in the world and is located right near Barcelona’s Gothic Cathedral. They were the first brunch restaurant in the city and are still known as one of the top brunch spots to visit.
Their brunch special includes a main course (usually a Benedict or omelette), a drink (coffee, tea, mimosa, or bellini), and a dessert (pancakes or yogurt), all for less than €20. WHAT?! Yes honey, it’s real. And it’s SO good!
If this sounds like entirely too much food for you, you can also order off of their a’la carte menu. Oh, and ps – everything here is homemade!
- Pro Tip: I found a restaurant in Madrid that has the same brunch special I mentioned above; must be a popular thing in Spain!
★ THE BENEDICT ★
– SOME PERSONAL NOSTALGIA –
The first time I ate here still plays out in my head like a movie scene. It was my first time visiting the Gothic Quarter, and I was lost…just aimlessly wandering around the city. I met a Spanish guy who worked at a scooter company while on his lunch break, and he offered to show me around. I jumped on his scooter and off we went!
He showed me the Gothic Cathedral and the Santa Maria del Mar. He drove me down narrow alleyways donned with string lights and hanging laundry. He warned me about the hustle and bustle of Las Ramblas. He took me to a cafe in Plaça Reial to grab a coffee. As we were zipping through the streets, I noticed The Benedict from the outside and thought it looked really cute. I also realized I was starving.
I never saw him again after he dropped me off in front of the Gothic Cathedral and went back to work. But now, I knew where to go and what to do.
I walked into The Benedict and was completely enamored by their decor. It was vintage and cozy, with a lot of hanging greenery and random knickknacks that reminded me of a (very stylish) wealthy grandparent’s house. “If I Knew” by Bruno Mars was playing over the loudspeaker. I sat down and just took all of it in – the atmosphere, the aesthetic, the impromptu scooter date, the fact that I was in Spain alone and happier than I’d ever been in my entire life. It was a moment I will forever remember.
2. Milk Bar & Bistro
Milk Bar & Bistro is located essentially right beside The Benedict and is another top-rated brunch spot that I found. Their website claims they are the “pioneers of recovery brunch” in the city, so you can thank me when you roll in after a night of too much flamenco dancing and cava. (They even have a drink called the Golden Screwdriver that is patented as their “hangover cure!”)
Even though Milk is known for its brunch, they also serve tapas later at night! If you find yourself there in the evening and indulge in their innovative tapas, LMK your favorite in the comments.
3. Cremat 11
Website: Cremat 11 Barcelona
What I Got: Pancakes with fruit
The first thing I’m going to tell you about Cremat 11 is there is a 99% chance there will be a line to get in. It’s a small restaurant located towards El Born, but it is one of my favorites (and clearly, a lot of other people’s too!). At the time of this post, they do not take reservations, so get there early if you don’t want to wait long.
Cremat 11 has a feminine, pink aesthetic that is perfect for a girls brunch (and all the Instagrammable photo ops that are sure to ensue). Their menu highlights “creative brunch, cocktail and tapas,” and they are especially known for their pancakes.
- Pro Tip: Since this restaurant is known for their brunch specialties, don’t plan on coming here for dinner; they close at 4pm!
4. A Vocados Ferran
Website: A Vocados Barcelona
What I Got: Smoked salmon eggs Benedict (with avocado…obviously!)
Whenever I am asked for food recommendations, I typically tell people to avoid restaurants in overly touristy areas as they tend to be not as good and overpriced. However, there’s always exceptions to this rule, and A Vocados Ferran is one of them. Their name is a play on “avocado,” so naturally I had to try their eggs Benedict with avocado and would 10/10 recommend.
Located 5 minutes from Plaça Reial, A Vocados Ferran has a wide variety of foods that don’t JUST involve avocados. They have phenomenal brunch and a ton of healthy yet delicious options. Did I mention the aesthetic is green, nature-focused and adorable?
- Pro Tip: Don’t get this restaurant confused with Avocados Barcelona, which is another restaurant located 23 minutes (walking distance) from Plaça Reial
5. La Alcoba Azul / El Bandoler by La Alcoba
La Alcoba Azul is a hole-in-the-wall, if-you-blink-you’ll-miss-it bar in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. The first time I ever sat in here during my first solo trip is etched so vividly in my head. It was one of those moments where I thought to myself, “out of all the places I could be in this world, I ended up in this tiny little nook on a barstool where no one would probably ever think to find me.”
El Bandoler by La Alcoba is the larger, sister restaurant located next to La Alcoba Azul that essentially serves a similar tapas menu. It has the same dark, moody vibe as La Alcoba, and can accommodate more people if you have a larger party. I make it a point to stop at one of these places every time I’m in the city; they have some of the best tapas in Barcelona’s Old Town. (Pro Tip: ask the waiters for their recs!!)
Website: I could not find an official website for Story at the time of this post
What I Got: A variety of tapas (and loved all of them!)
Tucked into the end of an alleyway in El Born, Story caught my eye not only because of its dark, moody aesthetic, but also because of the library vibes that I anticipated finding inside (and I was right). It’s incredibly cozy and the perfect spot for a quiet, romantic dinner (unless you come on a live music night!).
Story is known for its tapas, which is what I would recommend getting. They have a wide variety of dishes so you could try a bunch of different types of foods all in one setting. I also heard multiple people comment how great the service was, and I would have to agree; my waitress gave me the best recommendations, so if you’re on the fence about what to order, ask your server!
7. Mercat St Josep La Boqueria in Las Ramblas
Website: Mercat St Josep La Boqueria in Las Ramblas
What I Got: A sample of cheese, meat sandwiches, dessert, and wine
The Mercat St Josep La Boqueria (usually referred to as simply “La Boqueria”) is the largest food market in Barcelona and an incredibly popular tourist destination. In fact, Spain is famous for their “mercats” (markets) that sell everything from meats, cheese, fruit, and vegetables to sandwiches, tacos, wine, dessert, smoothies, and more. You can buy food that’s already prepared and eat it there, or you can buy food to take home and cook later.
This market will almost always be crowded, partially because of its location in Las Ramblas but also partially because its just that good. I have gotten food here before and had to eat standing up because there were no seats left.
Even if you don’t eat at Mercat St Josep La Boqueria, I would suggest at least walking through it. This was the first Spanish mercado that I ever saw and I was amazed by all of it: the size, the variety of food, the hanging slabs of meat, the colorful fruit and smoothie drinks, the wine bar, the seafood, the different types of gelato and cakes and other dessert all under one roof!
- Pro Tip: You will also see this written as “mercado” instead of “mercat” – both words mean “market”
Website: Cañete Barcelona
What I Got: A lot of seafood tapas (the grilled octopus and salmon tartare were my favorites!)
The first thing I noticed about Cañete was the sign that read “F*CK YOUR DIET” when I came in the door. Some may be appalled, but I love the confidence. Cañete is styled similarly to Vinitus from my restaurants in Eixample post in the sense that you can sit at the bar and get a front row seat of what you’re about to be eating.
This restaurant was recommended to me by a girl that I met in Paradiso bar, and it ended up being one of my absolute favorites. I got seafood tapas and loved everything, and their wine list is phenomenal. If you’re overwhelmed with options, the servers are very passionate and have great suggestions.
- Pro Tip: If you plan on eating here, make a reservation! Had I not been a solo traveler, I would not have been able to squeeze in here.
9. The Rooftop Bar at Hotel Colón Barcelona
Website: Hotel Colón Barcelona Panoramic Rooftop
What I Got: Champagne and a view
The rooftop bar of Hotel Colón Barcelona is NOT a place I would tell you to grab dinner – not because their food isn’t good, but because the vibe is “drinks with a view.” This is where I would tell you to come for your pre-dinner drink to watch the sunset and take in one of the best views in the Gothic Quarter.
Located directly across from the Barcelona Cathedral, the rooftop terrace has an upper and lower level, both with phenomenal views of the city. Their restaurant offers small bites, lighter fare, and a small list of beer, wine, and spirits.
- Pro Tip: They do not accept reservations, and there will likely be a line to get in. Plan on coming between 4-5pm
- (Another) Pro Tip: The rooftop terrace opens at 12 noon, but if you are a hotel guest, you are able to get in at 11:00 am.
★ hotel colón barcelona ★
– SOME PERSONAL NOSTALGIA –
I stayed in this hotel during my most recent trip to Barcelona and took full advantage of this rooftop bar. If you, like me, are someone who romanticizes your life, this is one of the best places to do it. It was giving me the best “Maria Maria” vibes (iykyk).
During my last day in Spain, I came up to this rooftop bar right at 11:00 am when it opened. I sat on one of the chairs directly in front of the cathedral and just took it all in – the scenery, the smells, the breeze, the noises from down below. I thought about my life 3 years ago and how different it looked now. I thought about all the things that had to happen for me to end up here at this moment.
As luck would have it, later that morning I met the sweetest girl on the rooftop who offered to help me capture the “angels and demons” vibes that I feel whenever I go to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. To this day, these photos and videos are some of my favorite memories that I have from any of my trips.
To view them, check out my Instagram page
I could not tell you about all the best places in the Gothic Quarter without telling you about Paradiso. Paradiso is more of a bar than a restaurant, but even beyond that, it’s an experience. The creativity they put into their cocktails is unlike any bar I’ve ever seen. In fact, I loved it here so much I went twice.
Paradiso was voted “Best Bar in the World” in 2022, largely because of their creative drinks, energetic staff, and moody-yet-beautiful ambiance. Located behind an unsuspecting fridge door of a pastrami shop in El Born, Paradiso is essentially the speakeasy of your dreams.
I could go on, but I loved this place so much that I devoted an entire blog post to the experience. Oh, and btw – you can’t just simply walk in. To know how to get in here, check out my other post: “How to Enter the Best Cocktail Bar in Barcelona.”
Love spain as much as i do?
Check Out My Other Spain Posts Here:
- The Perfect Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary (for Your First Visit!)
- The Best Restaurants in Barcelona’s Eixample Neighborhood
- The Best Ways to Avoid Pickpocketing in Barcelona
- How to Enter the Best Cocktail Bar in Barcelona
- Top Things to Do in Madrid (for Your First Visit!)
- 7 Unique Restaurants in Madrid, Spain