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Useful tips about Barcelona cafes and restaurants

Acquaintance with national cuisine and drinks is one of the most important components of any trip. Barcelona is doubly concerned, because the local cuisine is considered one of the best at least in Europe. But to fully enjoy visiting Barcelona restaurants, cafes and eateries, you need to know a few important nuances.

List of the best restaurants in Barcelona by ” Secrets of Barcelona»

1. Schedule
Life in the Mediterranean flows relaxed and unhurried, but at the same time has a clear schedule, in which each activity has its own time. If you are a resident of a metropolis like Moscow, accustomed to the fact that everything works 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, you will initially be hard. Having missed the meal hours formed for many centuries, you risk to remain without a lunch, or you will be compelled to have a snack with a sandwich. To avoid this, learn and remember the schedule of Barcelona restaurants:

restaurants in Barcelona
Queue for a good lunch

Breakfast (not available everywhere) – from 8:00 to 11:30.
Lunch is from 13: 00 to 16: 00. Most restaurants will not serve you after 15:30. We recommend to sit down for lunch around one o’clock, because closer to two restaurants are filled at 100%, queues can form, and the most delicious dishes from the menu tend to end.
At 16:00 most restaurants close before dinner, and a small part remains open, but in the mode of tapas bars, offering drinks, sandwiches and cold or heated snacks. In the interval between lunch and dinner will be open all the bars, cafes and pastry shops, they can have an afternoon snack with some sweets or hot sandwiches, coffee or a glass of wine.
Dinner in Barcelona is late, it starts at 20: 30 and lasts until about midnight.

2. Atmosphere
restaurants in Barcelona
In close quarters, but not offended: lunch in Barcelona

Spaniards in General and barcelonians in particular are very sociable people. They like to sit shoulder to shoulder, crowded into a tiny institution and actively communicate, shouting over each other. If you see a spacious, half-empty restaurant with large tables covered with white tablecloths, be careful. It will be either very expensive, pretentious institution, or tourist catering with all its minuses. But the queue or just a crowd with glasses at the entrance to the restaurant is a good sign: it means that the institution is appreciated by the locals.

3. Service
On one of the streets of the Gothic quarter of Barcelona there is a ceramic fresco depicting the virgin Mary and the inscription:”the mother of God tells us that time passes slowly.” This Covenant Barcelona time observes very strictly, and the citizens themselves in every way to help him in this. So when you will 40 minutes bear menu, and then still so much same time to accept made to order — not be angry on waiters. It’s not their fault, it’s our lady. Try to relax and enjoy communicating with each other – as do the barcelonians themselves, whose lunch takes an average of about two to two and a half hours.

restaurants in Barcelona
Barcelona waiter at work

Special promptness and helpfulness from the Catalan waiters, too, do not expect. They will drop plates on the table, bring you beer instead of coffee and snails instead of steak, and they will not think to pour wine into your empty glass. Not because they do not like you – it’s just a different culture and tradition, pathos and glamour are not in fashion, and the creative side of the individual clearly dominates the organization and performance. Treat it as a feature of the local mentality and everything will be fine.
But in Spain and Catalonia there is no obligation to tip. If you at the end of the dinner will take all the change to the last penny – you will smile and say thank you. You have already thanked them with your visit. If you leave some little thing, as does most of the local-will also be grateful. For a tip of 10-15% of the bill on you, too, no one, of course, will not be offended — you never know what strange habits are these foreigners.

4. Menú del día (set lunch)
restaurants in Barcelona
Typical lunch menu

Lunch in Spain is made on the principle of a set meal. It is called “Menú del día”, is offered in the vast majority of restaurants and consists of:
– first course that you can choose from several options: salad, soup, pasta, sliced sausages, paella, traditional soup, etc.;
– second course: usually several types of meat or fish, grilled or fried, again a choice of several options;
— dessert’s;
– bread and drinks (water, beer or table wine) are also usually included in the price of lunch.
Such a lunch in Barcelona costs about 10-12 euros in ordinary establishments, 15-18 in higher-level restaurants. It is advisable to dine in this menu, as it includes dishes made from the freshest ingredients, and characteristic of the region and this particular institution. A separate story – set meals in rural restaurants in the Catalan province. There it’s just a gastronomic holiday! A lot, very tasty and incredibly cheap.

5. What NOT to do
Never, for anything and under any circumstances, do not sit down to eat and drink in institutions on the Boulevard Rambla. You will be deceived and poisoned, and your place will be immediately taken by the next stupid tourists.

restaurants in Barcelona
Hamburger-Barcelona — crab

Try to avoid restaurants with English-language menu at the entrance (not to mention Russian). Do not be afraid to be misunderstood, it is better you order something at random in a good restaurant than in a bad one everything will be clear to you, but it will not taste better.

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