Barcelona is a big city with a lot to do and see, so you can be sure you will work up a great appetite by the evening. As the sun sets and the city lights come on, the streets become more romantic as the night deepens. Sitting in a perfectly proportioned plaça or enjoying a great view from an old city terrace, the best time to dine is the evening. In Barcelona, the typical eating hours are from 8pm-12am, so you’ll certainly find company with the locals if you’re dining late. Here is a range of some great spots to eat out at until the small morning hours.
One of the first things you’ll think of when you go to Spain, particularly to the coast, is of Paella and seafood. 7 Portes (Seven Doors in English) is the place to go for this. It is located close to the port and is a restaurant that has stood the test of time. It first opened its doors in 1836, and has since been the place to go for many of the worlds greats and goods. The restaurant itself is grand, with multiple dining rooms. Yet it still maintains an air of cosiness and romantic warmth.
The food is traditional, keeping to the timeless recipes and hearty portions. If you are a culinary virtuoso, you won’t be disappointed as the chefs are always inventing new twists on the classics. With an eloquently curated wine list to boot, Set Portes is set firmly on the city’s gastro-circuit. The excellent waiting staff do their bit to keeping it there. Open from 1pm-1am daily, you can visit whenever you’re admiring the port.
Elsa y Fred
For a charming gastro bar that can round off a warm Catalan night, you couldn’t choose better than Elsa y Fred. Close to the Arc de Triomf in the Born district, come here for Catalonian cuisine alongside more international favourites. Served at the right size for a decent price, with a decor as stylish as the best places of Paris. Think of perfectly cooked croquettes with a juicy burger, alongside grilled mediterranean veggies and a stunning Catalan pa amb tomàquet. Top it off with an innovative dessert, such as raspberry and matcha tea ice cream, and an exotic cocktail. It is the perfect way to really begin the party and make you mood for the rest of the night. Open daily until 1am.
In the Eixample district, just off the Passeig de Gràcia is Citrus, a classy restaurant hot spot for a romantic evening. There are multiple floors and large windows that look out over the street below, and a stylish interior. With excellent lighting, you will be happy and enjoying the ambience before you take a look at the menu. The food will not disappoint, with a curated assortment of perfectly crafted dishes. There are mains, hot and cold starters to suit any palette. From dishes based on cheeses of near and far, to quality local seafood and a fantastic meat selection. This is the perfect place to come and meet the crossroads of Catalan cuisine with the rest of the world.
Els Quatre Gats
Whilst twisting through the winding streets of Barri Gòtic, you might just come across the fabulous building that houses the 4 Cats restaurant. Built by Puig i Cadafalch, one of Gaudí’s contemporaries, it is famous as the place Pablo Picasso used to frequent. With an exquisite modernist interior and boho chic decor, you’ll be enchanted before the food has come.
Menu choices include either tapas or a la carte, so you can come for something lighter or the main event. In true Catalan style, there’s an emphasis on great seafood, cheeses, good wine and elegance. There are also some delightful surprises, like mini doughnut tapas filled with roasted chicken and caesar sauce. There are also the best patatas bravas in town- dished up in their own quirky way, on fancy patterned tiles! Prices are a little higher than average, due to the location in the historic centre, and its reputation from over 120 years of service.
This one is a bonus because it is perfect for a night out, but also for any other time during the day. Spain acquired a lot of influence from the Moorish occupation of the country. So many iconic cultural aspects have incorporated Arabic style. Bistrot Levante takes this history and exquisitely blends it into a contemporary culinary experience. You will leave wanting to return the next morning. Located on a beautiful square right in the heart of the gothic quarter.
There are a variety of dishes that clearly reflect their Arabic origins, but have been innovated upon to please the modern foodie. The spectrum of colours on the plates commingle, creating an explosion for the eyes to match the beautiful range of flavours. Try the burnt aubergine with tahini and pomegranate and a sweet of orange-nutmeg reduction with rose-petal jam. A light wine paired with your meal and excellent waiting staff will certainly brighten up your day.