Breakfast at a café in El Raval. Photo: Lander
Is spending €10-€15 for breakfast a good value?
This depends on how much you usually eat in the morning. If you’re on a Euro-diet of croissants and coffeer, then spending €10-€15 is clearly a bit of a rip off.
Look over the breakfast menu at the hotel, which is most likely to be served buffet style. If you see quite a few dishes you think you’ll enjoy, then maybe it’s worth it.
Conversely, you could eat outside the hotel. You’ll see signs around town offering "English Breakfast," which is sure to be some combo of beans, fried tomatoes, toast, eggs and sausage. An English breakfast usually costs just under €10.
Budget breakfast options
The best budget option is always to eat elsewhere. Luckily, this is an easy task in Barcelona where cafes and bakeries are as common as mopeds. The typical breakfast for a local in the city is a coffee with milk (think latte) and some sort of pastry such as a croissant or a doughnut.
On the savory side it’s all about sandwiches, or "bocadillos." These are usually half a baguette smothered with olive oil, tomato and perhaps a pinch of salt. Fillings can be anything from Manchego cheese slices, to cured ham, to sausage, to Spanish omelets ("tortilla").
One delightful perk that you can count on in every Barcelona cafe is fresh orange juice, squeezed on the spot. Oranges are a staple in Spain and a tall glass of O.J. should cost you less than €3.
A word on breakfast schedules. It’s a joke with Spanish friends that Spaniards are like Hobbits. They have "first breakfast," but then they also have "second breakfast." First breakfast may be little more than a coffee or tea at 8 a.m. before work, while second breakfast is a bocadillo, another coffee or even a Coke at 10 or 11 a.m. Pay attention and you’ll see the cafes and bars fill up at these times.
Here are a few eateries, by neighborhood, for breakfast in the city:
Santa Marta: Unfortunately, Santa Marta opens at 10 a.m., which is a bit late for some. However, it offers croissants, bocadillos, and other simple continental breakfast items along with excellent coffee. The real perk here is the view of the Mediterranean, as Santa Marta is right on the waterfront in La Barceloneta. (Grau i Torras 59)
Café del Born Nou: Located near Hostal Nuevo Colon, this spacious cafe has indoor and outdoor seating and a relaxed atmosphere. Again, expect pastries, strong coffee and sandwiches. (P. Comercial 10)
El Mos: Cheap, easy, central and serving a large variety of sandwiches and pastries, this cafe and bakery is a no-brainer in the Gothic Quarter near Plaça Catalunya. (Comtal 12). This cafe is not far from Pension Mari-Luz and many Rambla hotels.
Laie: A popular book shop and cafe, Laie is a favorite in downtown. Expect sandwiches and pastries here in a calm, oasis setting. The tables in the back room are especially nice. (Pau Claris 85) This eatery is nearby the Fashion House.
El Raval/Left Eixample
Federal Cafe: Those who might still feel hungry after a croissant and coffee should instead eat at Federal Cafe which offers ample, English/American/Australian-style breakfasts. They do a nice brunch. Apart from eggs and French toast, Federal also offers up a delicious selection of pastries. Hostal Centric is located near Cafe Federal.
Also in our guide
Read more articles to help you plan your trip -- and your budget:
• Expect to spend in Barcelona. What can you expect to pay?
• Barcelona Budget Tips. Simple ways to keep it cheap.
• Budget hotels in Barceona. Our picks for the best cheap hotels in Barcelona.