I’ve been keeping an eye on menu prices around Barcelona. Over the past six months I’ve noticed that the median cost of a fixed-price lunch menu has dropped from around €9.50 to €8.80. That’s good news for Cheapos.
Here’s a brief list of budget-friendly restaurants that offer great lunch deals. I’ve tried to cover all the central neighborhoods, so that no matter where you are in the city, you can always find something good to eat.
Lunch near Las Ramblas
If it’s lunchtime and you’re walking down Las Ramblas, you will want to avoid the ridiculously over-priced drinks and
over-cooked food that lurks nearby. Instead try:
• El Convent (Carrer Jerusalem, 3): Set behind the famous Boqueria market in a former convent, this place serves traditional Catalan and Spanish food along with good wine in an historic environment. A snip at €9.90.
• Fonda de España (Carrer Sant Pau, 9): This restaurant, located inside the Hotel España, sparkles with an ornate, tiled, and chandeliered Modernista dining-room designed by architect Domenech i Muntaner. It’s a wonderful backdrop for a substantial €11.90 (inc. tax) lunch.
Lunch near Passeig de Gracia
• La Rita (Carrer Aragó, 279): Given its consistent quality, service, and value, La Rita (pictured above) is my favorite lunchtime restaurant. The menu costs just €8.90 (including tax) for a three-course lunch with bread, wine, and water. Desserts are excellent. The restaurant is very popular with local office workers, so expect to wait in line for ten minutes or so.
• La Gramola (Carrer Aragó, 277): Immediately next door to La Rita is an excellent Japanese-Mediterranean restaurant. The menu here is €8.80 (including tax). Closed Sundays.
• Madrid-Barcelona (Carrer Aragó, 282): Finally, just across the street from the two above-mentioned restaurants is this traditional Spanish cafe serving excellent food. The menu here is a great value at €10.50.
Lunch near Plaza Catalunya
• Xaica (Calle Jovellanos, 5-7): For a cheap and cheerful meal at a set-price, with self-service menu, check out Xaica. They serve three-courses, wine, beer, or a soft drink, from €8.50.
Lunch near La Sagrada Familia
By all means, avoid all of the fast food joints and head for…
• Origen 99’9% (Avinguda Gaudí, 8): Just across the street from the unfinished majesty of the Sagrada Familia, you’ll find Origen 99’9%.
• Els Pollos de Llull (Carrer Nàpols, 272): Els Pollos serves a delicious two-course lunch for €6.95 (three-courses for €7.95). The pickings often include organic chicken with rice and a variety of organic yogurts. It’s a five minute walk from Sagrada Familia.