One of the best things about Barcelona is there variety of fish and seafood available. Fish is cooked everywhere, from taverns to starred restaurants, and is always included in the various menus of the day in all places. Given the high competition, the quality is generally decent, and knowing where to go you can get a fresh fish lunch at very affordable prices.
Eat fresh fish without spending money? At Paradeta you can. Born in Born as an original idea of self-service restaurant, given its success it has expanded to 5 places, scattered throughout Barcelona, as well as one in Sitges. As basic as it is good, the idea behind it is very simple: you choose fresh fish or seafood at the counter, pay, get a number and sit at the table. When they call your number go to the counter and take what you ordered.
There is no table service and forget a menu, in addition to bread and salad, nothing is served other than from the sea. The other side of the coin? The places are extremely spartan and quite noisy, and expect long lines if you don't arrive before the premises open, especially in the one of the Sagrada Familia, where instead you could try a similar place, the Maris & co. (listed below). I count around 15-20 euros per person.
Where and when
- Sants: Carrer Riego, 27 (Plaça de Sants metro, line 5)
- Born: Carrer Comercial, 7 (metro Jaume I, line 4, or Arc de Triomf, line 1)
- Sundial: Carrer Pacific, 74 (La Sagrera metro, lines 1 and 5)
- Sagrada Familia: Passatge Simó, 18 (Sagrada Familia metro, lines 2 and 5)
- Sightseeing: Carrer Consell de Cent, 318 (Passeig de Gràcia metro, lines 2 and 4)
- Sitges: Carrer Sant Pere, 24-26, Sitges
- Working Time: from Tuesday to Sunday, for lunch from 13:00 to 16:00, for dinner from 20:00 to 23:00 (Friday and Saturday closes at midnight). Closed on Mondays.
Outside the tourist routes (however it is very close to the Modernista Recinte), to see it it does not seem anything special, but you know, the dress does not make the monk. Open since 1953, the Ginés is one of those typical family-run neighborhood restaurants with a slightly old-fashioned look that is dedicated exclusively to preparing fish and seafood. There is no menu of the day, you can only order a la carte, but it's really affordable.
Il fish comes from the homonymous fish market, in front of the restaurant, and it is always fresh, cooked simply, but delicious. I count on 20-25 euros per person, to try the parrillada de pescado (mixed grilled fish), or the arroz con bogavante (rice with crab). To enter, you definitely need to book, leaving Friday and Saturday alone, because the waiting list is very long. If you really can't, try to arrive before 12:30 and cross your fingers.
Where and when
- Carrer Castillejos, 373 (metro line 5 Sant Pau - Dos de Mag)
- Working Time: from Monday to Saturday, open only for lunch from 12:30 to 16:00.
Located in Barceloneta, Can Mano is one of those taverns where you will certainly have an authentically Iberian experience: a decidedly spartan environment, a very noisy place with the tables practically attached to each other, you will have a hard time hearing each other, but you will probably be too busy enjoying their wonderful fried fish. Osteria without frills, simple and functional, makes of freshness of the ingredients its strong point.
The bill is very cheap, with € 15-20 you can go out full and happy, however the problem is to enter: try to arrive half an hour before the opening, and you should do it without problems, otherwise plan to make a decent queue. There are no shortcuts: Can Mano does not accept reservations.
Where and when
- Carrer del Baluard, 12 (Barceloneta metro, line 4)
- Working Time: from Tuesday to Saturday it is open from 8:30 to 16:30 and from 20:00 to 23:00. Monday open only for lunch, closed on Sunday.
Maris & co.
Not far from the Sagrada Familia, the Maris & co. it's a marisqueria asporto, exactly like the Paradeta: you choose at the counter which fish or seafood you want to eat, the product is weighed, paid, and you wait to be called to collect the ready meals. Unlike the Paradeta, however, the Maris & co has not yet become fashionable, so you can get in within a reasonable time, provided you don't arrive too late, especially for lunch.
The fish is cooked in a simple way, so that it can be savored in all its freshness. At lunch it is best to arrive before 14:00 pm to find more choices at the counter. Account around € 15-20, you will not be disappointed.
Where and when
- Carrer de Aragó, 497 (Sagrada Familia metro, lines 2 and 5, or Glòries, line 1)
- Working Time: Tuesday to Sunday, from 11am to 00pm for lunch, and from 16pm to 30am in the evening. Closed on Mondays.
The Sailor's Corner
Reaching the Racó del Mariner will be difficult, but if you succeed, you will discover a treasure! Located in the quay of the clock, in Barceloneta, to get there you will have to pass the police checkpoint, where they will ask you for your documents. Once this is done you can reach the actual restaurant, located in a shed next to the tower. Spartan but rather quiet, it is a restaurant frequented mainly by fishermen and locals, definitely a rarity in Barceloneta. You will find true luxury in food, it couldn't be fresher: the fish goes directly from the fishing boats to the restaurant kitchens.
Difficult to recommend anything in particular, the mixed fry is spectacular, and the paella marinera is one of the best in Barcelona. If you want to try paella or other rice-based dishes you have to book, in which case you should spend the day before or early in the morning, in any case if you arrive before 12:30 you should not have difficulty finding a place. A paella for two costs € 32, the bill can vary from € 20 to € 40 depending on what you choose.
Where and when
- Carrer de l'Escar, 30 (Barceloneta metro, line 4)
- Working Time: open only for lunch, from Monday to Friday, from 05:00 to 17:00, closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Have you tried one of these restaurants, or have you found some other interesting places to add to the list? Write your experience in the comments, any suggestion will be welcome!