Best International Restaurants in Barcelona
Looking for the best international restaurants in Barcelona?
You’re in the right place.
I’m not exactly an obsessive foodie.
But I like eating, I got tired of cooking years ago, and generally (as someone who works from home) I’m looking for any excuse I can to get out of the house.
So I spend a lot of time and money in Barcelona’s finest restaurants.
And when I say finest, I mean best. Not most pretentious, not “kilómetro cero”, and not most expensive.
Just good food, from many different countries.
So read on for my recommendations. And if you know about something you think I’ve missed, drop me a line or leave a comment down at the bottom.
Best international restaurants in Barcelona, 2021
Here’s the list as it stands today.
I’ll be adding to this as I try more places around Barcelona.
I’m sure I’m missing out on some good places – especially the high-end ones that are surely out there.
But here are my favorites.
(Just a note: 2020, of course, has been the year of Covid. And now, at the beginning of 2021, we’re still feeling it. So call the places first before just showing up. Schedules are changing all the time.)
Best Chinese food in Barcelona
There’s probably a high end of Chinese food somewhere that I’m missing.
But at this point I’ve tried many or most of the cheaper Chinese restaurants around Arc de Triomf and my favorite is Yue Lai.
It’s got a bit more ambiance than your average Chinese restaurant, and the food is pretty good. They actually make their gyoza by hand. The Szechuan chicken is crispy, spicy and delicious, the prices are good and the portions are generous.
(The only negative about Yue Lai that I can think of is that their menu is in Chinese, with a really bad Spanish and English translation, and generally makes no sense. But if you can get around that, you’re golden.)
Yue Lai is at Passeig de Sant Joan, 44, between Arc de Triomf and Urquinaona. I can’t find a website.
I also like Oro de Mar – also known as Wenzhou II – at Ali Bei, 71. The sign is in Chinese – but it’s the one on the corner next to the bus station. They’ve got excellent handmade noodles and spicy squid legs.
And having said all that, if you’re into Chinese food like I am (read: stuffing yourself cheaply, a couple times a week) you should try all the places around the Arc de Triomf / Tetuán area.
See which one you like best.
Chinese Hot Pot at Spicy Soul
Not to overload you with information about Chinese food, but I’d say that hot pot deserves its own category.
There are a ton of places around Barcelona where you can have a good hot pot, but my favorite is Spicy Soul at Calle Girona, 51, close to Plaza de Tetuán.
The hot pot concept is a bit intimidating if you’ve never done it, but the basic idea is that they put a big bowl of broth on your table, and then bring you different things to cook in it: beef, dumplings, noodles, vegetables, mushrooms… there’s a lot of variety.
Another cool thing about Spicy Soul? They have robot waiter. It’s cool.
Honorable mention to Sabor Sichuan, who I believe have recently opened a new location near Passeig de Gracia.
Peruvian food in Barcelona: Barranco
I like ceviche a lot.
If I can’t get a good ceviche at least every few weeks, I feel like my life isn’t going as well as it should.
For these moments, the best place I’ve found so far is Restaurante Barranco. Their menú del día is very reasonable, and the ceviche is good.
They also have the rest of the typical Peruvian dishes: lomo saltado, ají de gallina, things like that.
Check them out at Carrer de Mèxic, 5, next to Plaça d’Espanya. Here’s their Facebook page.
If you want something a bit fancier and with more elaborate ceviche options, check out Lúcuma y Camote at Avenida d’Icària, 132. They also have a menú del día, but it’s a bit pricier.
Japanese food at Katsuo Sushi and Ramen
Full disclosure: this place is right around the corner from my house, and the people are great.
It’s my go-to sushi place, and I like the shoyu ramen a lot too. Also, the gyoza. Also, the fried chicken.
You can go for dinner, or check out their menú del día, which costs about 16 euros and is totally worth it.
They’re at Carrer de Ginebra, 20, in Barceloneta.
Here’s their Facebook page: Katsuo Sushi and Ramen.
And if you’re into ramen, I’ve also been to Grasshopper Ramen Bar. It’s literally just a long bar, with about 20 seats, where you can have ramen and craft beer.
It’s fast, it’s good. Check it out.
(The Grasshopper website, as of this writing, sucks balls, so I’m not even going to link to it. But you can find them at Plaça de la Llana, 9, very close to the Picasso museum.)
A bit of Italian food in Barcelona
For pizza, I really like NAP, which has a few locations around Barcelona – and one in Lavapies, Madrid, if that’s closer to your neighborhood.
I always get the same thing: diavola with added “speck” bacon. Because YOLO.
But they do all the classic pizzas, and also have a few brochetas and (I believe) salads.
For more about NAP, check out their Facebook.
Friends also recommend Sports Bar, near the central Correos office and at a few other locations around Barceloneta and Born, which neither looks nor sounds like a good Italian restaurant. But people insist that it is. So give it a shot and let me know.
And I’m sure there are a lot of other good Italian places. What with the large Italian population in the city and all.
International restaurants in Barcelona: Vietnamese
Is it me, or is Pho just not that great?
I’ve tried it many times in many locations, wondering if someday I’d just love it… and I haven’t.
But there are some reasonable Pho places out there. The one I like best is Bun Bo Barcelona, in Gótico right near the cathedral.
I guess if you’re an expert on Vietnamese cuisine, you can let me know which places you like best, and why. I’m still open to discovering how awesome Pho is.
Mexican food at Tlaxcal in Born
Tlaxcal isn’t cheap, and I have no idea how to pronounce the name, but if you want to get your taco on, it’s worth a visit.
I really like the “cabeza” tacos, or the “lengua”.
It’s a small place, and better to get a reservation. They’ve got a second dining room downstairs, but it’s often full.
Tlaxcal is at Carrer de Commerç, 27, in Born. Here’s their Facebook page.
Other than that, I’ve been to a few Mexican restaurants around town and none of them were memorable. But I’m hardly a fair judge. I grew up in Arizona, and not much is going to compare to what we had back there.
Colombian food at La Fonda Paisa
La Fonda Paisa is pretty small, but the google reviews were great, and I went to check it out a couple of weeks ago.
I had the bandeja paisa, which is what was recommended to me as a good place to start with Colombian food.
First off, it was huge…
A bandeja paisa is a big plate of rice and beans with other stuff. That’s a fried banana of some kind, a sausage, some bacon, ground beef, an egg, avocado…
Make sure you’re hungry if you’re going to attempt it. They’re at the corner of Diagonal and Carrer de Sicilia, close to metro Monumental.
Ethiopian food at TAiTU Sabors d’Etiopia
I know nothing at all about Ethiopian food, but I’ve had it several times and never been disappointed.
If you’re new to the game, it’s basically some little piles of meat (if you want) and vegetables served on their spongy flat bread.
As far as I can tell, TAiTU only has 4 options: two vegetarian platters, and then spicy beef or chicken. Whatever you order, you get a couple of sides, and the bread. Good stuff.
Actually, I said vegetarian, but most of it’s actually vegan.
Here’s their web: taitu.es
(I’m a man of many and varied interests, but veganism is not one of them. Luckily, Caitlin at The Vegan Word has a complete Vegan Guide to Barcelona. Check that out if you’re into… uh… vegetables.)
Lebanese food in Barcelona at Karakala in Gracia
I remember being a broke college student from the middle of nowhere, about a million years ago now, and having my mind blown by grape leaves at a Lebanese restaurant near the university.
Since then, I’ve only had Lebanese food two or three times, but I’ve enjoyed it every time.
Here in Barcelona, most of the Lebanese restaurants seem to be up in the Gracia neighborhood.
I’ve recently tried the tasting menu at Karakala at Calle Torrent de l’Olla, 136, and I have to say it was pretty good. They’ve got one tasting menu for about 25€ per person – the one that I had – and another one for a bit more, which has a total of eleven plates.
The picture is the suite of six starters they served us, and I have to say it was all pretty good.
But the best part was the squid cooked in heavy cream that was one of the mains. It didn’t originally sound great, but it was.
They also serve Lebanese wine, which is pretty good, and the menu comes with dessert. Give it a shot.
And if you like that kind of thing, Greek food is a bit similar. Try Dionisos, with several locations around town. The one I go to is in Born, right outside Ciutadella park. I’ve been there several times now, and I’m never disappointed. Plus, it’s cheap!
Korean food in Barcelona: Hana Grill and Bowl
By this time, I’ve been to plenty of Korean restaurants at different price points.
And so far, my favorite is Hana Grill and Bowl at Calle Diputación, 309. They’ve got the regular Korean dishes, plus the Korean barbecue, and it’s all great. The price isn’t bad either.
Also recommendable is Manbok, at Ausiàs Marc, 79. For me, Manbok is just as good as Hana, but my girfriend has some strong opinions about Chap Chae (a kind of glass-noodle stirfry) and she prefers the one at Hana.
I usually just get the barbecue: panceta and entrecotte, or maybe some squid legs, cooked on a little grill right on your table.
More international restaurants in Barcelona… coming soon!
I’m looking forward to expanding this list with more restaurants.
But for now, that’s all I’ve got.
Like I said earlier, if you have a favorite international restaurant in Barcelona, let me know in the comments.
I’m always looking for new places to try.
(And if you’re buying, even better!)
P.S. Coming soon: restaurants serving food from Nepal, India, Indonesia and probably more. Y’all come back now, y’hear!