Barcelona is known for its amazing food, but I was unsure whether my budget would allow me to experience the city without stressing about money. Through research and good ol’ fashion exploration, I found that you can eat very well on a budget in this wonderful Mediterranean city. So if you’re looking to visit Barcelona on holiday, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, don’t fret! Barcelona is a great city for the budget traveller. Here are some tips and approximate figures on how to eat cheaply for every meal:
Breakfast is a very simple affair as it’s usually small and light (probably not what you’re not used to!). Many hostels offer free breakfast as an incentive to stay, so be sure to take advantage of this! Food is always better when it’s free, right?
If you don’t have this as an option, don’t worry because there are many budget-friendly cafes around the old city, offering a typical breakfast for under €3. A favourite of mine is Alsur Cafe, where you can get a croissant and coffee for €2.10 if you sit inside, or you can sit on their terrace from 9am-12pmon weekdays for €2.35, They’ve got various locations across the city, which is a huge bonus!
Lunch is the largest meal of the day, and usually isn’t served until at least 12.30pm. Starting from just under €10. Many restaurants will serve you 3 hearty course meals. At El Balista – located near the Sant Andreu metro stop – you can choose from 4 starters, 4 mains and deserts for a nice total of €9.90. This restaurant is out of the tourist area of Barcelona, so not all the servers speak English, but try to go and step out of your comfort zone a little because they serve amazing Argentinian and Catalonian food! Closer to the touristic action is Bocca di Bonifacio near Sagrada Familia, a Sardinian burger joint which offers different lunch specials.
Dinner is usually had much later in the day, and you probably won’t be too hungry after what you had for lunch! Tapas is the go-to dinner choice for Catalonians because it is bite-sized, shareable, and cheap. It’s not one specific dish, but rather a collection of little items which you enjoy with a good strong drink – Sangria anyone?
You should visit Tosca in El Born right across from the beautiful theatre. This place is a gem because it is a local and traveller’s favourite: they offer larger sized tapas dishes, so you may only need 1 dish for your meal. As an alternative, The Benedict BCN and Milk bar both offer a good selection of tapas and are located on the same street in El Born, and they serve some pretty great drinks too. If all else fails, Les dues Sicilies in El Born has some of the best pizza in Barcelona, selling slices for just €2. Not bad for a dinner bill!
You may have noticed a trend: El Born is definitely the place to be. This area has it all: cheap eating options, unique shops and cultural vibes. I hope this travel hack has convinced you that enjoying food in Barcelona doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg*. Stray off the beaten path and you’re bound to find something that tastes good and is great for your wallet too.
* If you do stay within your budget, live a little and buy yourself a drink. Check out LimeHouse in El Born, of course, for cheap mojitos. Cheers!
Any awesome restaurants/cafes that you think I missed out? Tell me below!