Paella is by far the most typical dish in Spain and so in Barcelona. It is also by far the most preferred dish of Spanish people, specially prepared for celebrations or family meeting on weekends.
There are different kinds of paellas:
Paella vegetales. It is mostly made by vegetables (peas, tomato sauce, pepper, artichoke…), meat (could be pork, rabbit,..) and rice. In Valencia area, where they are proud to cook the original one, they cook this kind of paella.
Paella mixta. It is made by vegetables, meat, fish (prawns, crayfish, squid, mussels,…) and rice.
Paella de marisco. It is probably the most typical and valued paella. It is made by some vegetables, fish and rice.
Arroz caldoso. It is basically made by fish and rice.
Arroz con bogavante. It is basically made by lobster fish and rice.
Caldereta. Only made by fish (without rice) and optionally some slices of toasted bread.
It is very common to take some starter first like salads or some tapas and then the paella as a second dish. We use to eat at lunch time but could also be taken at dinner if leave some time before go to sleep as it is a dish of slow digestion.
There are two key aspects to cook a good paella:
– The quality of the ingredients, specially the fish. It is basic to buy a good quality and fresh fish.
– The broth you use to cook the rice. This is where every chef gives special and personal touch.
These two keys aspects are about money, time and knowledge so it is very difficult to find a good & cheap paella. Also, avoid the pre-cooked paellas served in the most touristic places. A reasonably good paella should cost in a restaurant about 10-15 €/person and a very good one about 20-25 €/person, starters, drinks and desert apart.
In labour days, restaurants make the menu offer about 10-12 €/person and on thursdays they use to include a paella as a starter but it is difficult to find a good quality one in this kind of offer.
TOP PAELLA RESTAURANTS
As we did with Barcelona tapas restaurants recommendations, we recommend here below the restaurants we personally think that cook good paellas. Of course, there are many more but this is our particular list:
CAN SOLÉ (€€-€€€)
Sant Carles, 4 (Barceloneta). +34932215012. web
CAN MAJÓ (€€-€€€). Almirante Aixada, 23 (Barceloneta). +34 932215455. web
CAN RAMONET (€€-€€€).
Maquinista, 17 (Barceloneta). +34 933193064. web
7 PORTES (€€-€€€).
Passeig Isabel II, 14 (Barceloneta) +34 933193033. web
Avinguda Litoral, 42 (Villa Olímpica) +34 932210729. web
Del Call, 17 (Gòtic) +34 933023003. web
Plaça Reial, 8 (Gòtic) +34 4124536 web
Còrsega, 272 (Eixample) +34 932922816. web
Consell de Cent, 303 (Eixample) +34 93 3300303. web
ARROSSERÍA XÀTIVA (€€).
Torrent d’en Vidalet, 26 (Gràcia) +34 932848502. web
Gran de Gràcia, 81 (Gràcia) +34 932184230. web