Exploring Hidden Culinary Treasures in Barcelona as an Expat

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Barcelona is known worldwide for its rich culinary scene. However, for expats who have moved to this beautiful city, the culinary landscape can be quite different from what they were used to back home. While the obvious choices might be crowded and mainstream, the real culinary treasures are often tucked away and impossible for tourists to find.

Expat-Owned Restaurants

Barcelona is filled with expats who have brought with them a taste of home. From burgers and barbecue to Indian curries and sushi rolls, these restaurants cater to a variety of tastes and preferences. Many of these establishments are family-owned and operated, giving them a warm and welcoming atmosphere that appeals to expats looking for a sense of community.

Insights and Experiences

Expat Couple: "Katherine and Mark"

Katherine is from Australia and Mark is from the United States. They met in Barcelona when they both moved there for work. They love trying new restaurants and exploring the local cuisine. When they heard about a new restaurant owned by an American woman, they were excited to check it out.

"Surprise for the American: "I realized with Barcelona's vibrant culinary scene, I could craft dishes that can perfectly fuse the flavors of Mexico with the seafood in Barcelona."

Insight: "Fusion cuisine can be really exciting, as it takes familiar flavors and combines them with unique ones. For Mark, Katherine played host and helped share some of her love for hosting parties and cooking with friends."

From Appetizers to Desserts

Barcelona's culinary scene offers a wide variety of dishes that appeal to all taste buds. From Mediterranean classics like tapenade, croquettes, and patatas bravas to international favorites like sushi rolls, tacos, and falafel, you can find it all in this bustling city. Many expat-owned restaurants also offer innovative fusion creations that combine the best of both worlds.

Favorite Hidden Restaurants

  1. Taqueria Brava: Located in the Gracia neighborhood, this taco joint is loved by expats and locals alike. With a menu that features creative tacos, a lively atmosphere, and delicious margaritas, Taqueria Brava is a must-try spot.
  2. Sushi Restaurant O: Located in the El Born district, this sushi restaurant is known for its high-quality sushi, fresh seafood, and beautiful presentation. The restaurant's chefs take great pride in using only the freshest and best ingredients, creating dishes that are both visually stunning and delicious.
  3. Rioja Bar: This cozy bistro in the El Born district serves a variety of Spanish and international dishes accompanied by a selection of local wines. Rioja Bar's menu includes hearty stews, delicious paella, and fresh seafood. The restaurant's friendly and welcoming staff make patrons feel right at home.


Barcelona's culinary scene is a testament to the vibrant and diverse expat community that has made the city its home. From authentic Spanish dishes to fusion creations and international favorites, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city. Whether you are looking for a quick snack or a place to dine with friends, expat-owned restaurants are an excellent way to experience the unique flavors of Barcelona and the international community that has made it what it is today.