The Best Paella In Barcelona – Els Quatre Gats

T is probably the very best and very worst dinner companion for someone like myself to have, because he loves food just as much as I do, and he also has a problem with over-ordering, much the same as me. So, when we get together and go out for dinner, boy do we get carried away.

Obviously, for my first time in Barcelona, I couldn’t leave without getting my hands on some real, authentic delicious Paella. Despite popular belief, Paella is actually much more of a lunch dish than it is an evening dish. The typical way in which Spaniards eat is to have a very large lunch, and a much smaller dinner late at night, hence why Tapas is a popular choice.

At the weekend when T was off from work, we made our way through the Gothic Quarter to Els Quatre Gats. Els Quatre Gats (The Four Cats) is a popular cafe / restaurant which is famous for being the hangout spot of choice for artists in the 19th Century, including the likes of Pablo Picasso and Ramon Casas i Carbó.

It’s separated into a casual cafe space at the front of the building

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and a more formal section at the rear of the building, which is where we were seated

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We were served an amuse bouche while we waited and in all honesty, I have no idea what it was (as they didn’t tell us) but it was delicious.

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Then the first of our tapas-style dishes that we ordered, calamari with squid ink aioli arrived…

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followed by crispy cod fritters with a romesco sauce

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and then the pièce de résistance was, of course, the big dish of paella with chicken, herbs and Catalan sausages. Served from the side of our table from a large traditional iron pan…

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And yes, it was incredible.

They serve several types of paella at Els Quatre Gats, including a lobster paella and a paella negra (black paella) made with squid or cuttlefish ink, both of which looked equally as delectable as the other.

I really struggled with the decision at first, but eventually opted to go for the more traditional style paella first with chicken and sausage, and vowed to try the others when I inevitably returned to Barcelona.

5 Replies to “The Best Paella In Barcelona – Els Quatre Gats”

  1. I spent a few days in Barcelona last summer and basically just wandered around eating… it was AMAZING! Paella, calamari and cod fritters were firm favourites of mine while there so your photos have definitely taken me back and made me hungry. This restaurant just looks so Spanish too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is it weird that I practically live in Barcelona and I always take my international friends to SEE els quatre gats as it is an important place for literature and modernism but I have actually never eaten there? The food looks amazing, the paella is surely not as good as the one my grandma makes (I’m kidding, even though it’s true that grandmas always cook the best paellas!) but it looks yummy!!! Aaand now I’m hungry!
    Thank you for sharing!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No one can beat a good homecooked paella! Especially by talented mama’s and grandmothers! 😉 It’s a lovely building to look too so I totally get that haha! You should check it out for food some time though 😊


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