Located on Carrer de Balmes, Taqueria Tamarindo is a hole-in-the-wall, Mexican food gem located in the trendy L’eixample neighborhood. I happen to live on the same block as this restaurant, and I have to stop my self from getting take-away every single day. My personal favorites are the quesadillas with aguacate (avocado) and the classic Catalan dish patatas bravas with three different spicy sauces. The menu also features tacos, nachos, cervezas, and other Mexican staples.
The atmosphere is fun, it is two-stories with papel picado (Mexican flags) hanging from the ceilings, and various Mexican trinkets placed throughout the restaurant. I love this place because of the value of the food, location, and cleanliness.
BRUNCH & CAKE
The most clichéd spot on this list, Brunch & Cake is a study abroad student staple. There are four of these brunch restaurants in Barcelona, and two Cup & Cake bakeries which serve pastries and cupcakes. I have gone to two of the locations, Brunch & Cake in L’eixample and Brunch & Cake by the Sea by Barceloneta Beach and the marina.
The decor is as breathtaking as the plating of the food: white beachy decor with pops of color. Every food item features some kind of hot pink food coloring or purple edible flowers, it is an instagram-foodie’s dream. My favorite is the yogurt and granola, served with various bright-tinged fruit. You’ll usually have a wait time of at least an hour, so don’t come too famished. The food and experience are well worth the wait.
I had my first hamburger here and perhaps this is why I have such a sweet spot for this coastal spot. Indoor seating is small, but the main event is outside overlooking Barceloneta beach. Again, usually a wait time here but well worth it. The menu features burritos, burgers, brunch food, smoothies, salads and much more. This fun thing about this place is that they hold weekly events: they offer paddle boarding, beach workouts, ladies happy hours, and much more. The vibes were great and I could have stayed all day after lunch, drinking and hanging out with friends, but they try to have fast turn-over as there is always a line down the block on nice spring and summer days.
This find is the best bang for your buck. La Padella is located on Carrer de Balmes in L’eixample and features a menu starting at 3.80 euros. It is a pasta bar where you pick the type of noodle, sauce, and toppings. My favorites are fusilli agli olio with chicken and spaghetti pesto with spinach. They also offer salads, pizza, and nice desserts. The staff is extremely friendly and they have a punch card system (I’ve already gone through 2). It is an informal setting but still nice to sit down and get a quick bite to eat for lunch or dinner.