If you’re a foodie, Barcelona can get spendy. To add insult to injury, it also has the unfortunate reputation of offering overpriced, mediocre meals. While there are some fantastic Michelin starred restaurants in the city, Cheapos in need of good grub require other options.
No te preocupes (Don’t worry!). Here are five cheap eats that will ensure a full belly, and plenty of extra pocket change for all those Gaudi postcards you’ll send back home. They may not be glamorous, but their fare is tasty and oh so inexpensive.
One of my all-time-favorites, Woki is located in the vibrant Gracia neighborhood, but also benefits from two other locations, one on the beach in Barceloneta and another in Borne (Carders, 6).
Simply select a noodle or rice base for €4 and then add ingredients (starting at €1.30 each). Finally, choose a free sauce, which can be anything from Thai, Hoi Sin or the “House Sauce.”
Hand in your order and the Woki team throws it all together on an enormous wok right in front of you. Since there’s limited seating at Woki, I usually get my noodles to-go, often eating them right out of the box while watching the tide come in.
2. Tallers 76
Calle Tallers, 76bis
Right in the middle of the city and on trendy Calle Tallers, this lavender-colored café and restaurant is a right-on choice for sandwiches. Made with artisan breads, sandwiches come in delectable combos like goat cheese with sun-dried tomato and smoked salmon with cucumber.
Hey, it’s a no-frills lunch, but tasty and under €6.00, though plan to spend a bit more if you purchase a drink or side.
3. Buenas Migas
Passeig de Gracia (with locations citywide)
With multiple spots around town, Buenas Migas is an easy-to-find—and yummy—Cheapo option. Choose from focaccia pizzas, ample salads, plus an array of sandwiches and pastries.
A focaccia pizza will run you between €4 and €5 (flavors include ‘meat-lovers’, tomato and basil, and four-cheese). Add a drink with your focaccia and you’ll have a delicious midday feast for around €6!
4. La Central
Calle Mallorca, 237 (with locations citywide)
Not everything offered on the menu at La Central—an eatery within a bookshop—falls under the budget category. However, during the lunch rush, they do offer reasonably priced deli wraps, sandwiches, and some pasta salads. All items range from €6 and up.
But, the real reason I love La Central is for their coffee and ambiance. The place benefits by being one of the city’s most eclectic book stores right in the heart of an old neighborhood. Grab a cup o’ joe, take a seat, and browse the wares.
5. Pans & Company
Plaça urquinaona, 12-13 (with locations nationwide)
In a way I hate to mention Pans & Company because, well, it’s a chain. However, it is also very cheap and the quality and quantities here is pretty good. Not unlike the U.S.-based Subway sandwiches, Pans is fast-food in style, but takes a healthy approach to eating.
The sandwiches and sides offered at Pans are geared towards the classic Mediterranean eater, with combos like melted brie and Spanish ham, or tuna and olives. They also serve large salads and occasionally offer hamburgers.
All sandwiches are under €6 and depending on what you order you will likely have a euro or two leftover to grab a drink, side, or opt for a meal combo (around €6 or €7.00). Pans also has an espresso bar that offers cheap, good coffee and tasty pastries and breads.
About the author: Regina W. Bryan is a Barcelona-based freelance writer and photographer. When not eating tapas and exploring Europe, she is tending her balcony veggie garden and practicing Catalan. For more of her thoughts on Spain, check: www.regwb.com and www.thespainscoop.com.