established restaurants/bars/cafes in Madrid/Barcelona
September 5, 2012 4:35 AM   Subscribe

I will soon be in Madrid & Barcelona for a long week. I'm looking for established/trusted restaurants/ bars/ cafes in central areas that don't suck, places that aren't too touristy/a rip-off, but enjoy a good reputation for whatever reason, even if expensive. open to any type of cuisine. thank you
posted by mrmarley to Travel & Transportation around Matamoros, Mexico (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You should look at prior Asks for those two cities. All of the reccs fit your requirements.
posted by JPD at 6:31 AM on September 5, 2012

I"ve always eaten great food in Barcelona - great local food. But I can't think of any particular restaurants its been years. - The little eaterys in the Markets are usually quite good. And up towards Avenue Diagonal there are more local places that look promising.

If you are looking for upmarket and quality I'd probably pick up a copy of the Phaidon Wallpaper City Guides for both cities. they are cheap and usually have good restaurant recommendations. (often expensive though)
posted by mary8nne at 6:35 AM on September 5, 2012

thank you - i'm realizing i need to do a little more legwork on this and probably dropped the ball on this question - mods you can delete
posted by mrmarley at 6:37 AM on September 5, 2012

you might check out the relevant sections on trip advisor--if you spend some time on that site you can often dig out the good from the lame and touristy.

I will add that I recently returned from a trip to Barcelona and the most memorable places that I ate at were:
1. Restaurante Somorrostro in Barceloneta with a terrific fixed price menu for dinner (3 courses for about 17 euros). Kind of avant garde but fresh, market-availability driven spanish/catalan food.
2. Mariscco in Eixample has great, fresh seafood that's not too expensive. You pick the seafood you want to eat by weight and they cook it for you. For a generous meal, the bill came out to be about 30 euros per person.
posted by scalespace at 7:55 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

My favorite meal ever. You can reserve exactly two weeks in advance.
posted by troywestfield at 9:34 AM on September 5, 2012

In Barcelona:

I loved Quimet & Quimet, a small (standing-room only) tapas place near the Parallel metro stop. We were renting an apartment near there, and went back more than once over the course of our stay. It gets crazy crowded, though. The first time we went, we asked one of the people behind the bar to just pick stuff for us, and that worked out deliciously. (My personal favorite was probably the salmon with yoghurt and honey, but ymmv.)

On the other end of the spectrum, we also really really enjoyed our meal at Tickets, run by Albert Adria with some input from his brother Ferran (of El Bulli fame). We had utterly failed to get a reservation (it books up well in advance), but we happened to walk by the place one day (a bit later than usual for lunch), asked if they'd happened to have any cancellations, and were lucky enough to get a table. So maybe that's worth a shot. Totally worth it. (Apparently you can also get some of the tapas at 41 degrees, the bar next door -- which opens around 11 pm for walk-ins. Alternatively, I guess you could spring for the €250-ish tasting menu at 41 degrees. Dinner at Tickets costs much less than this, though.)
posted by chalkbored at 10:01 AM on September 5, 2012

I had a (much too short) business trip to Madrid a few months ago, and upon some trusted recommendations went to the Mercado San Miguel for a late lunch. Here's a NYT review.

It kinda has everything you want in a little package: tapas, fresh fruits, seafood, ham, wine bars. I had a fun time there roaming around sampling great food and drink, there are definitely tourists around but as far as I could tell it tips toward a local clientele.
posted by jeremias at 10:08 AM on September 5, 2012

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