Barcelona and Spanish gastronomy over the past few years have enjoyed a renewed fame. With such a mixed population in the cosmopolitan Capital of Catalonia, any visitor is spoilt for choice when it comes to kitchens of the world. Additionally, Ferran Adrià's restaurant in Northern Catalonia, near roses, "El Bulli" has been voted the best restaurant in the world for the past three years, and Barcelona itself boasts 5 Michelin Starred restaurants, too. But eating the best food in Barcelona doesn't have to break the bank.
What is clear is that the average visitor to Barcelona will be out and about visiting the many sights and attractions the city has to offer, so eating out is something that everyone will be faced with. One of the best ways to save money when eating out is to choose a midday meal in any of the restaurants in the city. All Spanish restaurants are required by law to provide a "Menu del dia" or a Menu of the Day, which is a 3 course meal, at a reduced price - normally between 7 and 12 Euros in most restaurants. This is by no means a meal which strays away from the actual menu of the restaurant and often features dishes directly from the menu itself, combined with specialities in season, or chefs' specials. This really is a fantastic way to save money, although those people who are not used to eating such a large meal at lunchtime (obviously washed down with a bottle of wine or a beer included in the price) may need a little "siesta" at their hotel in Barcelona
So if a full menu is not the thing for you, then there are still some economical options for just as good value. Many locals eat "bocadillos" as an elevenses snack - long baguette style bread, usually rubbed with tomato and olive oil, and filled with a selection of ingredients like any sandwich. All bars sell these light lunch snacks, and there are fast food chains such as Pans & Company and Bocatta who have strategically placed restaurants around the city. However, it's just as easy to make your own bocadillo! Pick up a bread stick from any bakers or supermarket and then head down to one of the many markets or deli's in the city, and get some cured ham, cheese and anything else that takes your fancy. Eating Tapas is also another idea for those not used to eating so much at midday, although Tapas being strictly from the south of Spain, be careful not to get stung with a tourist price tag if you choose this option.
In the evening, eating out can also be a chore to decide on a reasonably-priced meal. Well, a great option for one night is to forget the Spanish and Catalan dishes and head to a Chinese restaurant. Almost all the Chinese restaurants in the city have a similar fixed price menu in an evening, which is often only just a couple of Euros more expensive than the midday menu, and the servings are always generous, too. If you have self-catering accommodation such as an apartment or studio with a kitchen, then cook in! Take advantage of the local produce on offer and save money making your own paella, for example!