Even though the original Paella was born in the Spanish region of Valencia, Barcelona has made a name for itself by adopting the dish themselves.
Barcelona is located right on the Mediterranean Sea, a prime spot for seafood, so all toppings here are bound to be fresh and local. However, the paella the locals eat and the paella the tourists eat is not always the same paella. There are tell-tale signs for the best of the best, and we’re here to clue you in.
Paella is a golden orange rice dish, with various toppings, usually seafood or other meats. And when cooked right, paella will come to the table in a large iron skillet, where the rice has spent upwards of hours soaking in all the flavor and simple ingredients that give the rice it’s sticky texture and unique taste.
PRO TIP: If you like a little burnt flavor, scrape the bottom of the skillet to get the extra crusty rice known as ‘socarrat’– the best part!
In Barcelona specifically, just about every restaurant claims to have the “best” paella in town. Spoiler: those places probably don’t have the best paella.
1. La Mar Salada
Located right off the water, La Mar Salada is touted to have some of the freshest seafood in Barcelona, and the paella definitely does not disappoint. The ambiance is lovely, and the food is authentic. It’s a little pricey, but worth!
To find more information about the restaurant, visit their website at lamarsalada.cat.
2. El CruiX
If you want more of a tapas-bar vibe, this is the place to go for exquisite and authentic Spanish dishes of every type. The service here is top-notch, and their paella is also raved about from locals and tourists alike. It was even featured in Time Out online!
To find more information about the restaurant, visit their website at cruixrestaurant.com.
Paella is a Spanish specialty for a reason, so don’t ruin your chance to try the most authentic that’s out there.