Are you planning a trip to Barcelona on a tight budget? Don’t worry, because enjoying the delectable cuisine of this vibrant city doesn’t have to break the bank. With its diverse food scene, Barcelona offers numerous options for eating cheaply without compromising on taste or quality. From bustling markets and local tapas bars to hidden gems and budget-friendly eateries, this article will guide you through the best ways to eat affordably in Barcelona while still savouring the rich flavours of Catalan cuisine. So grab your appetite and get ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure that won’t strain your wallet!
How do you eat cheaply in Barcelona, is a question we are frequently asked.
Keeping within our travel budget helps us to travel longer. We can’t afford to blow it. Parts of Europe can be expensive to eat out in and we are always looking for tips on how to keep within our food budget.
You can easily blow the budget when eating out in Barcelona, Spain. Spain is still one of the cheapest countries in Europe but you do need to be careful with your Euros if you want to stay within your budget.
Whether you have one day in Barcelona or a week you will want to return time and time again. It is vibrant, with lots to see and do and the local cuisine is the best. Maybe it is the Catalan influence!
Over the years we have stayed with family in Barcelona and we have enjoyed our time eating and drinking where the locals eat and drink, away from the over-priced tourist areas.
Unfortunately due to Covid, many establishments have closed.
We share with you our best places to eat in Barcelona on a budget, also share with you where we have stayed each time we visited Barcelona.
Tapas, paella, wine, Spanish omelette and our favourite pa amb tomàquet (bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil) and more make Barcelona one of our favourite foodie places to visit in Europe.
If you are a vegan you are well catered for in Barcelona. Here are our tips for the best 13 Vegan Restaurants in Barcelona.
Read our article on A Weekend in Barcelona – the perfect city break.
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Where to Eat in Barcelona
Breakfast in Barcelona
What do locals eat for breakfast in Barcelona?
Locals seem to have two stages when enjoying their breakfast in Barcelona. They start the day with a strong cup of coffee and then an hour or two later enjoy a doughnut or a bocadillo (a small sandwich) or a bikini (a cheese and ham sandwich) with orange juice and coffee.
Don’t be surprised if you see the locals standing at their local bars having a beer, anis or even a coffee with brandy. This is a tradition.
If there are locals eating in a small cafe at breakfasttime – join them! They know all the best places.
There are many small cafes in the back streets around the Gothic area of Barcelona that offer specials for breakfast.
Top Places to Enjoy Breakfast in Barcelona Without Breaking The Bank
- Federal Cafe – Calle Parlament 39 08015, 08015 Barcelona, Spain – Great for brunch!
- Tapas Rambla 92 – Rambla de Catalunya 92, 08008 Barcelona
- La Boqueria Market – La Rambla, Barcelona -For Euro 1.00 you can enjoy a large range of fruit juices e.g.raspberry and coconut, strawberry, kiwi fruit etc and for Euro 1.50 you can enjoy a cup of freshly cut fruit. Read our article here
- Hansel – Carrer de Provenca 237 L’Eixample
Lunch in Barcelona
Head away from La Rambla down the back streets of the Gothic and Born area and you will find many little cafes selling pizza slices from Euros 2.00 and a variety of sandwiches as well.
Our favourite is Made in Sicily located at: Carrer dels Escudellers 35
Local Tip: Self-Catering in Barcelona for lunch?
If you are self-catering and want to purchase fresh produce, to the right side of La Boqueria Market outside the building itself, you will find local growers selling their own produce at a lower price than you can purchase inside the market.
A must lunchtime visit is to La Boqueria Market off La Rambla.
You can’t travel through Spain and not try the Tapas Menu and La Boqueria Market has many small tapas bars that are very busy at lunchtime. Find a spot, order small tapas bites and enjoy a glass of chilled Spanish wine. Nothing is better than a tapas lunch.
Our favourite lunchtime spot for a cold pint of beer and small tapas snacks that won’t break the bank 100 Montaditos.
They have several locations in Barcelona:
- Plaça d’Urquinaona, 1
Rambla de Catalunya, 11
Passeig de Sant Joan, 77
Rambla del Poblenou, 76
Rambla del Raval, 41
Avinguda de Rio de Janeiro, 42
Cerveceria 100 Montaditos located on Rambla de Catalunya 11.
A pint of beer will set you back Euros 2.50 and small tapas snacks start from Euro 1. It is a great place to sit and people watch.
A choice of two of our local favourites.
The first is La Champaneria located at Carrer Reina Maria Christina 7 Barcelona.
Can Paixano, best known as “La Champañería”, is an old bar in the old Barceloneta neighbourhood. This bar is famous for its “cava” (typical Catalonian sweet sparkling wine, similar to champagne) and also for its big and tasty sandwiches.
Our second choice is La Plata Bar – for traditional tomato bread and sardines and exceptional wine. La Plata has been awarded Barcelona’s best Tapas Bar by the ABC Daily. It is located at Carrer de la Merce #28.
Dinner in Barcelona
If you are still hungry we can recommend the following for light meals.
Gusto de Born for very tasty pizza slices whilst enjoying the El Born district of Barcelona. Slices range from Euros 2.00 per slice.
Address: 16 Paseo del Born.
For strong flavoursome Mojitos and a varied menu try La Republica at Carrer de la Mercè, 13.
A local’s tip:
- Pizzeria Da Nanni Barcelona – Calle Llibreteria 10 08002 Barcelona (excellent pizza and Italian fare)
Where To Stay in Barcelona
Over the years we have stayed in various hotels and locations. Some of our favourites have been:
Som Nit Trimf has single, double and family rooms, most have a balcony overlooking the city, and maintain the characteristics of the typical Catalan house of the nineteenth century, with traditional modernist tiles.
Som Nit Triomf has air Conditioning and Wi-Fi Connection Free and offers elegant rooms with a smart TV with an Internet connection and a private bathroom with shower. Many restaurants, bars, fashion shops and supermarkets are within 1 minute’s walk.
Latest guest review: “excellent location, walkable distance to all scenic spots and restaurant. Beautiful room with balcony, stunning and sunny view. Helpful and welcoming staff and cleaning every day”
Address: 4º, Trafalgar, 39, 08010 Barcelona
Hotel Oasis is located just a minutes walk from Barceloneta metro and meters from França train station, and is home to the famous Barceloneta beach, beautiful parks and has plenty of great bars and restaurants.
Just a short walk away are its neighbouring districts, El Born and Gothic Quarter where you can wander through the narrow streets stopping off at one of the many authentic tapas bars, shopping in it´s boutiques and taking in some of the many great cultural and historic landmarks such as Barcelona Cathedral and the Picasso Museum.
Latest Guest review: The location of the hotel was quiet central to both the beach and the inner city. It took 12 minutes approx to walk to Plaza de Catalunya and the beach. The tram station was exceptionally close which was very handy. The decor of the room was modern. The staff at the reception were extremely kind, friendly and helpful.
For Budget Accommodation:
This guest house is 100 m from Liceu Metro Station and Barcelona’s famous Ramblas. Hostal Europa offers basic rooms in a central location and has free Wi-Fi in public areas. There are rooms available with private ensuite bathrooms, others have shared bathroom facilities.
More Options on Where to stay in Barcelona
General Travel Information Barcelona
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In conclusion, eating cheaply in Barcelona is not only possible but also a delightful culinary experience. By following these tips and tricks, visitors can savour the city’s vibrant food scene without breaking the bank. From indulging in local street food to exploring bustling markets, there are endless opportunities to taste authentic Catalan cuisine on a budget. Additionally, taking advantage of daily menu specials and seeking out local neighbourhood eateries can further enhance the affordability of dining out. With Barcelona’s diverse gastronomy and affordable dining options, travellers can fully enjoy all that this captivating city has to offer without compromising their wallets. So pack your appetite and get ready to embark on an unforgettable culinary adventure through the streets of Barcelona!