Els Tres Porquets – A tapas place off the normal tourist routes on the Rambla de Poble Nou. It is run by the owners of the well-known Can Pineda restaurant. This was the best tapas I’ve eaten in Barcelona. The highlights here were the beef carpaccio, and the foie amb setas (mushrooms) . The secreto (pork cheek) was also fantastic. The seafood is another (pricey) standout. This is great for a special occasion as it is on the expensive side: expect to pay 25-40 euros depending on your wine and selections. It is open in August, which is a big plus. Thanks to my friend Vanessa for the tip.
Quimet & Quimet – This is a well-known tiny hole in the wall bar specializing in canned seeafood. The highlights here are the montaditos, small bite sized sandwiches. The best are the smoked salmon with cheese and honey and the mussels with caviar. Expect it to be crowded and to push yourself in to find space to stand. They also serve house belgium style beer and Vermut Roja. Both are the best I’ve had in Barcelona, grab a bottle or two to take home. The best part is that the prices are very reasonable: expect to pay 15-20 euros per person.
Bar Pinotxo – A famous small bar near the entrance to La Boqueria. The patient server, Juanito, is a character that shouldn’t be missed. At B ar Pinotxo, the highlight for me was the flawless Xuxo, a cream filled donut traditional to the region served with a cortado coffee. A great cheap breakfast, roughly 4 euros. The hot food, like chickpeas with murcilla (a blood sausage) are also well-known.
El Quim is another bar burried in the middle of La Boqueria. It is known for it’s less traditional, simple preparations of food. I had the huevos con chippirones (fried egg with baby squid). It is topped with two fiery red peppers, unusual for Spanish food. Served with a glass of cava, it is the perfect brunch. It is a bit pricey at about 20 euros for a dish and a glass of wine.