La Royale La Royale

Plazas and Passageways: Secret Barcelona

Some of Barcelona’s less familiar locations offering evocative sights and flavours.

Barcelona isn’t an overwhelming metropolis by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s still rewarding to find a clearing among the city’s buildings, in the form of a plaza, or a quiet little passageway prohibited to cars. It is in these spaces – plazas (or as they are more commonly called here, ‘plaças’ in Catalan) and daintier passageways (‘passatges’) – that some of the most pleasant restaurants are to be found.

PassatgePassatge de la Concepció

Passatge de la Concepció

In the heart of the city, just off Passeig de Gràcia, Passatge de la Concepció has some of the finest restaurants in Barcelona. The pebbled street, which is beautifully lit up at night, makes a nice break from the bustling Passeig de Gràcia. You can find a number of sophisticated restaurants, including Boca Grande, el Japonés, Mordisco, Petit Comité and Sushi Shop. Head to Boca Grande for quality service and cuisine, which includes top-end fresh fish and seafood. Try one of the city’s finest cocktails while you are there. At the new sushi shop you can choose from a wide variety of Japanese delicacies. What’s more, along this little alley you may well find yourself dining next to top celebrities who live in the city. 

Plaça del Camp

Situated in Sant Gervasi, an area well known for its tiny squares, gardens, parks and stately homes, this tranquil square is just off Bona Nova. It has a number of cafes and restaurants that are worth trying. Sarrieto offers some of the best pasta dishes in Barcelona, with a daily selection of different homemade sauces. Temps de Terra is a chic café with seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, everything is homemade and it has a pleasant bohemian and rustic feel. La Royale gourmet hamburgers are also not to be missed, a creation inspired by five continents, accompanied with one of their special G&Ts. 

El NacionalEl Nacional

El Nacional

In a passageway off Paseo de Gracia, the new El Nacional has become a culinary point of reference in the city. In the heart of Barcelona, it is an ideal space for lovers of gastronomy and traditional flavours. Of course, being in Barcelona, it is also architecturally interesting. A variety of culinary experiences are on offer at this large, elaborate Food Hall, which gathers the Iberian peninsula’s entire culinary heritage under one roof. There are four culinary areas and specialised bars to choose from. The 1930s-style La Taperia area is the most informal of the hall, where you can enjoy some light tapas and a cocktail if you would simply like to soak up the atmosphere. 

Plaça de Prim

If you would like a break from the bustle of central Barcelona, make your way to Poble Nou, a small village area just a five minute walk from Mar Bella beach. Plaça de Prim is the most emblematic square of Poble Nou. It was constructed in 1851, once a meeting place for fisherman and now famous as one of oldest squares in the area. The tranquillity of this tree-lined square gives you a feel of the old coastal fishing villages. It is the location of one of the finest fish restaurants in Barcelona. Els Pescadors is an excellent option for fresh fish in a sophisticated old tavern with marble tables and floors, and traditional wooden rafters on the ceiling. 

1 Plaça de Prim
2 Passatge de la Concepció
3 El Nacional