Where to Eat and Drink in Barcelona’s El Born Neighborhood

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Posted November 27, 2017

El Born is the most historically relevant of all of Barcelona's neighborhoods—not to mention the most beautiful to visit.

El Born, near the Port of Barcelona on the eastern edge of the city, is the most historically relevant of all of Barcelona's neighborhoods—not to mention the most beautiful to visit. Most of the buildings here are centuries old and have no elevators; many streets are so narrow that there is a no-cars-allowed policy in most of the area. The Catalan resistance in the 1714 war is reflected in sites like El Fossar de les Moreres and El Museu del Born. As well as being home to the breathtaking Gothic Cathedral of the Sea (Santa Maria Del Mar), El Born is packed with delightful little restaurants — some of the best of which are listed here. It’s by no means a comprehensive list, but rather, a jumping off point on a culinary tour of one of Barcelona’s most fascinating neighborhoods.

Cal Pep

Pied piper Pep Manubens has been pulling off culinary magic in this slender slot of a restaurant for the last quarter century. The formula is simple: squeeze through the door and enjoy a bottle of Albariño while you wait for some of the city’s best tapas. Pep and his staff are gifted at figuring out who’s next and which party fits where, and when your time comes, which it will (once they let you in, you’re on), you will soon understand why so many savvy foodies go through this process for a shot at Pep’s mouthwatering seafood served in small portions to share. The counter’s the place to be, with the burners six feet away, in the heat and excitement of the kitchen.

Llamber

You really can't go wrong with Llamber. Great food, delicious cocktails, elegant decor and excellent service have made it one of Barcelona's most popular destinations since it opened in 2012. Don't miss the Iberian ham with tomato bread, or the Parmesan fondue with shrimp and asparagus.

Picnic

There are lots of brunch spots in Barcelona these days, but none is more popular than Picnic. Maybe it's the size of the mouthwatering chipotle and horseradish Bloody Marys, or the Spanish-American twist on all its traditional brunch dishes. Either way, the Barcelonians can't get enough. Be prepared to wait in line on weekends.

Collage

A tiny bar hidden down one of El Born's back alleys, Collage is run by a group of passionate Italians who prepare bar bites with the same attention they give to every cocktail on the extensive list.

Skybar

The Skybar on top of the Grand Central Hotel enjoys one of the best sunset and nighttime views of the city. It also has a spectacularly lit infinity pool, tasty bar bites, and a great cocktail menu. It's quite simply a stunning place to go for a drink before or after dinner.

Where to Stay:

Mercer Hotel Barcelona

The Mercer offers one of the most exclusive hotel experiences that can be found in Barcelona. Opened in September 2012, it combines historical heritage with contemporary design and exceptional service. Uniquely set within the structure of Barcelona's original Roman walls and medieval arches, the Mercer was built on top of a section of the walls of Barcino, the ancient Roman city, and it retains features from historical periods stretching from the 1st century AD up to the 19th century. It has a patio with orange trees, a gourmet restaurant, and a fantastic private terrace with a plunge pool.

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