Some parts of the Barri Gòtic may be awash with offers of cheap paella and litres of sangria but there are still some fantastic places to eat in the neighbourhood. We'll tell you our favourites...
Pla C/ Bellafila 5
Intimate, warm and lit by candlelight, Pla is a restaurant that was made for long, leisurely dinners and romantic rendez-vous. Found on a small side street in the Barri Gòtic, Pla focuses on fresh, Mediterranean flavours, changing the menu seasonally and including, where possible, local 'kilometre 0' produce. The menu is mainly inspired by local flavours and dishes with touches from other world cuisines to add a distinct twist, such as baked octopus with yakisoba or witty takes on classic dishes such as the caballa en vermut (Vermouth mackerel) featuring the typical dishes eaten with a vermouth such as crisps and olives. Don't be fooled by the cosy interiors, Pla is a serious restaurant with some seriously good food.
Can Culleretes C/ Quintana, 5
The oldest restaurant in Barcelona and the second oldest in Spain, Can Culleretes has seen off war, bombs, and revolutions to still be serving its traditional Catalan cuisine today. Opened in 1786 as a bakery, it was converted into a restaurant in 1890 as was a popular place for traditional cuisine. After the Civil War it was taken over by the Guild of Hospitality and lost some of its former quality and style. After Fransesc Agut read in a newspaper that Can Culleretes was to be sold he bought it and restored it to its former glory, attracting the great artists, writers and musicians of the time. To this day Can Culleretes serves traditional Catalan cuisine as it has done for over 200 years. To dine in Can Culleretes is to dine in a piece of Barcelona history.
Koy Shunka, C/ Copons, 7
Awarded its first Michelin star in 2013, just four years after it opened, Koy Shunka (meaning 'intense seasonal flavour' in Japanese) is quite simply one of the best Japanese restaurants this side of Tokyo. After Chef Hideki Matsuhisa's success with the more informal Shunka, he opened Koy Shunka and focused on creative Japanese food with Catalan and Spanish touches. The restaurant offers two tasting menus and à la carte as well as an open kitchen where you can see the chefs preparing everything; a treat for sushi lovers. A particular highlight on the menu is the Japanese Wagyu beef, known for its beautiful marbling, low saturated fat content and relatively pampered life before reaching the plate. The décor is minimalist as you would expect from a Japanese restaurant and the service excellent as you would expect from a restaurant that has just retained their Michelin star for the third year running. Koy Shunka is a special treat for Japanese food lovers in the heart of the city.