From Paella to Paella, in Barca, where do I find the best Paella?
Surely Paella is one of my favourite dishes. Partly because as an Asian, I am fed with a variety of flavourfully cooked rice since young. But yet, the unique seafood flavour and insanely delicious taste of my first Paella in Barcelona had truly swept me off the ground.
A classic Spanish rice dish that originated from Valencia, Paella has today evolved into a dish of many variants and tastes of different ingredients across Spain, including Barcelona. You can say that Paella across Spain can almost represent the different cultures and denominations that arrived here through history and has made the whole of Spain a ‘literal’ cultural melting pot of the Mediterranean. Paella is a definite item on the menu of almost every dining place and some of these claim to be the best paella in town.
Paella may look like a simple dish but it’s not as simple as you may think. It is one of the easiest ‘mess up and no return’ dish. The principle ingredients, Sofrito, fish fumé and seafood freshness are of top importance and if not executed correctly, the paella will end up in the bin instead.
Often than not, when a visitor comes to Barcelona, one of the very first things they’ll want to fill their hungry stomach with is Paella. Thus, having tried out the different Paellas in town, here’s five of my favourite Paella spots.
1. Can Solé
Housed in a cute little classic, hard to be missed triple storey building in the Barceloneta neighbourhood where there is no shortage of great Paella and restaurants, Can Solé definitely stands out with an exceptional reputation for its top notch quality food and impeccable services that will make you want to return for more.
A place where the locals dine, this is my number one spot to go for my seafood Paella fix if I’m lucky enough to secure a reservation. Can Solé experiences full house every lunch and dinner throughout the day everyday. So please make your reservation at least three days in advance or even earlier to avoid disappointment.
2. Can Majó
Besides being popular for its Caldero de Bogavante, Can Majó has a big menu offering a wide range of typical Spanish dishes at an affordable price. Where the local families gather for meals, this homely restuarant is a comfort dining place totally off the tourist track with a breezy al fresco sitting area overlooking the sea.
Situated along the beach, this is fantastic place for lunch before dipping your toes into the deep blue Mediterranean sea. As the restaurant can get pretty crowded, do head there early if you do not have a reservation.
If you don’t see me hanging around the Gothic Quarter during the evening, you are sure to find me here. This is my all time favourite roof top bar where I will lounge into one of its cushion seats on the outdoor area with a strawberry mojito, catching the beautiful Barca sunset.
Nestled at the top of Museu d’Història de Catalunya in a charming and breathtakingly beautiful ambience, 1881 is a perfect locale for a romantic dinner or for some after dinner drinks. More than a bar that serves innovative cocktails overlooking the stunning view of Port Vell, its hearty local rice dishes as well as the vast menu of inventive cuisines are sure to impress both your palate and sight.
Prices here are on the higher end. However, given its excellent food quality and service, and not to forget its gorgeous scenery, it’s totally worth it.
Located along the infamous shopping belt of Passeig de Gràcia, Citrus is a super reasonably priced fine dining gem in the city. A simple yet tasty Paella rice that warms up your heart in a fancy atmosphere costs no more than 12.20 Euros. This is way cheaper than many of the other restaurants sitting around its corner.
Whichever type of traveller you are, this is a great place to have a satisfying meal without having to rob the bank at the end of a long tiring day. A fantastic place for couple’s dates and for men who want to impress your date with a sumptuous fine dining meal; look no further.
Tired of rice Paella? Time for a change. Noodle Paella. Known as Fideuà and similar to rice paella, this dish is made with pasta and seafood cooked in fish broth.
Highly recommended by a local friend, I had my first Fideuà at Restaurante Ferran and I’m hooked by it. As the name says it, yes, Restaurante Ferran is located along the busy Carrer de Ferran in the Gothic Quarter.
A posh restaurant with a distinct entrance and great menu choices, this is one of my favourite place for dining out with friends while hanging out in the historic city centre.
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