Dining Planner

DESTINATIONS spain barcelona dining-planner-2


Dining Planner

Eating-Out Strategy

The selection here represents the best this city has to offer—from tapas bars to haute cuisine. Search "Best Bets" for top recommendations by price, cuisine, and experience. Or find a review quickly in the alphabetical listings by neighborhood.


Barcelona dines late. Lunch is served 2–4 and dinner 9–11. If you arrive a half-hour early, you may score a table but miss the life and fun of the place. The city is slowly adapting, however, to the imported eating timetables of tourists, and a number of decent restaurants now offer all-day and late-night hours. Hunger attacks between meals are easily resolved in the city's numerous cafés and tapas bars.


Barcelona is no longer a bargain. Whereas low-end fixed-price lunch menus can be found for as little as €10, most good restaurants cost closer to €40 or €50 for a full meal, when ordering à la carte. For serious evening dining, plan on spending €55–€80 per person, the most expensive places costing even more. Barcelona restaurants, even many of the pricey establishments, offer a daily lunchtime menu (menú del día) consisting of two courses plus wine, coffee, or dessert.

Tipping and Taxes

Tipping, though common, is not required; the gratuity is included in the check. If you do tip as an extra courtesy, anywhere from 5% to 10% is perfectly acceptable. No one seems to care much about tipping, though all parties seem to end up happier if a small gratuity is left.

The 10% Value-Added Tax (IVA) will not appear on the menu, but is tacked on to the final tally on your check.


Nearly all of Barcelona's best restaurants require reservations. As the city has grown in popularity, more and more receptionists are able to take your reservations in English. Your hotel concierge will also be happy to call and reserve you a table. Beware of taxi drivers and hotel receptionists who try to send you to other restaurants they claim are better.


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