Poblenou is one of Barcelona’s most up-and-coming neighbourhoods, and as it burgeons, so does its food scene.
Positioned away from the city’s main tourist spots, and characterised by quiet, tree-lined streets, Poblenou has experienced something of a revolution in recent years. Once characterised by its tranquil, tree-lined residential streets, today it’s become a haven for creatives and artists who have set up galleries, recording studios, and independent shops throughout the district. In keeping with the area’s growth, Poblenou is also now home to some of the city’s best restaurants. Hear are 10 of our favourites.
This Asian fusion restaurant is full of snug and welcoming charm giving the look and feel of walking into someone’s warm and inviting living room. The decor has been tastefully designed, with walls decorated by photographs and well-stocked bookshelves adding to the homey aesthetic. The menu features Asian dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients and serves on exquisite ceramic plates. Those in the know go for the succulent homemade curries, authentic ramen, and creative takes on Asian small plates, like edamame hummus, homemade kimchi, and fresh and tangy Thai mango salad.
C. de Pujades, 133
Bodega Mendoza is a cosy artisanal wine, vermouth, and beer shop that serves over 300 brands from across Catalonia, Spain, and Latin America, all available either as takeaway or to be enjoyed on-site. The menu is designed for sharing, from its cheese and meat boards to local olives and meat or spinach empanadas. Staff are knowledgeable and on hand to help you find a wine to your liking and pair it with one of their mouth-watering small plates. The bodega also has an outdoor terrace where you can take in the views of the bustling Poblenou streets while you eat and drink.
C/ de Ramon Turró, 181
The Brazilian owner of Can Dende has made this small and inviting restaurant into one of the city’s most popular brunch spots. Here you can find late morning/early afternoon favourites such as eggs benedict with your choice of pulled pork, bacon, salmon, or avocado, all served with a velvety hollandaise sauce. They also offer free-range egg scrambles and omelettes, fluffy pancakes, burgers, and bagels, and a traditional Brazilian dish, pão de queijo, a savoury cheesy bread. Their homemade pink lemonade is not to be missed, and if you want to make it a cocktail they are happy to add a splash of vodka.
C/ de la Ciutat de Granada, 44
Boasting a sleek, modern and minimalist interior, T.44’s Gleaming communal tables are set against white-painted brick walls. Locals flock to the hip cafe with laptops in hand to enjoy the soothing ambience and aromas of freshly-baked goods wafting from the kitchen. Their coffee is expertly made and each cup is served with a fortune cookie. Upon entering, patrons are greeted by an almost hypnotic display case of homemade croissants, cakes, and other daily delicious surprises. There’s also an extensive choice of lunch items including kimchi grilled cheese, smoked salmon with zucchini pancakes, and green toast served with spinach, pumpkin seeds, fresh herbs, and scrambled eggs.
Carrer del Taulat, 44
A traditional Argentinian eatery, meat lovers can satisfy their cravings at La Tavernicola, which serves up a variety of cuts in true Argentine fashion. They also offer homemade empanadas in all the classic flavours including caprese, ham and cheese, plus a vegan option. The menu also includes classics like provoleta (grilled provolone cheese topped with caramelised onions), milanesa, pasta, and fresh salads. The atmosphere is warm and food can be paired with a glass of rich and hearty Argentine wine.
Carrer de Roc Boronat, 70
The owners of Desoriente wanted to create a vegan restaurant that stood out from the crowd and steered clear of too many processed industrial meat substitutes – and they’ve certainly achieved that goal. Using plant-based Asian-inspired ingredients to create inventive and original vegan dishes, this is vegan cuisine at its finest. Tuck into teriyaki gyoza, Oishi broccoli with cashews, vegan sushi, and even a jackfruit tikka masala bao bun. For dessert, the creamy passionfruit and mango mousse has received rave reviews.
C/ de Ramon Turró, 209
A hipster joint in a modern industrial setting, Vrutal is another plant-based restaurant that has received wide acclaim, and specialises in vegan burgers. Using fresh and organic ingredients, patrons can indulge in such patty-based treats as the “Chik’n Burger”, overflowing with tofu-based ‘chicken’ agave mustard sauce, pickles, and coleslaw; the ‘El Chingon’ a Mexican-style burger with grilled pineapple and guacamole; or the classic ‘French Kiss’ burger with a classic meat-free patty and truffle vegan mayo. They also have a long list of speciality cocktails that offer a spin on classics like sangria.
Rambla del Poblenou, 16, Bajos 4
Just a couple of blocks from the sandy shores of Bogatell beach, entering Blubar is akin to walking into a shrine to surfing. The walls are painted a sea blue and adorned with surfboards, and the ambience is suitably laid-back. Blubar also happens to be another one of Poblenou’s vegan restaurants. The menu focuses on time-honoured favourites like nachos, patatas bravas and sandwiches, all made with fresh plant-based ingredients. This is a perfect place to stop in and fuel up on fabulous food and cocktails before heading out for a day at the beach.
Rambla del Poblenou, 11
Xorús is a classic Barcelona restaurant serving traditional Catalan and Galician tapas. Located on the ‘Rambla’ or main street, of Poblenou, their terrace offers perfect people-watching opportunities and is a popular spot to assemble with friends for casual dining in an informal setting. The menu includes classic tapas dishes such as patatas bravas, croquetas, and shrimp and they also have a selection of meat, seafood, and vegetarian rice dishes all made with a homemade broth.
Rambla del Poblenou, 105
Bar Nuri has been serving traditional, seasonal dishes in Poblenou since 1962. Also located on the Rambla de Poblenou, you can enjoy their terrace seating or dine indoors in their hospitable and cosy dining area with its charming red-painted walls. Here you can find tapas such as crispy ham croquetas, juicy olives, or creamy Russian salad. They also serve a wide choice of meat dishes and authentic paellas. Be sure to leave room for dessert as their chocolate pie with raspberries is said to be divine.
Rambla del Poblenou, 34