The sleepy barrio of Poble Sec is not the first place you might add to your list of must-sees in Barcelona. Located in the eastern part of the city between Montjuïc mountain and the Avinguda del Paral·lel, this predominantly residential area has no cultural landmarks to speak of, and little in the way of traditional tourism. However, the Poble Sec district is not about ancient monuments or architectural accomplishments, it’s about something all-together more human. There’s just one thing that’s on everyone’s lips when they head to this unassuming corner of Barcelona—the amazing tastes of Poble Sec.
Here then, we take a look at the celebrated gastronomy scene of the barrio and point you in the direction of some of the most talked about restaurants and tapas bars that are lighting up Barcelona with their culinary delights. Read on and discover the very best Poble Sec has to offer.
Casa Xica on the Carrer de la Franca Xica is an Asian fusion restaurant that gets glowing reviews from anyone who likes to try something a little different. Mixing tastes from around the world, Casa Xica presents many of its dishes in a “tapas” style, allowing you to sample a huge range of local ingredients cooked in exciting and innovative ways. The menu changes every three weeks to keep things fresh and take advantage of seasonal produce. To top it off, Casa Xica has an extensive menu of natural, organic wines to complement your meal.
La Tasqueta de Blai
Located on the Carrer Blai, the La Tasqueta de Blai is a pincho restaurant that’s big on taste and low on price. Pinchos are small snacks that are traditional in Norther Spain and the idea behind La Tasqueta de Blai is that you relax with a glass of homemade vermouth, help yourself to what’s on offer, and eat until your heart’s content. The staff will give you a numbered shot glass to fill with your spent sticks and you pay at the end depending on how many are in your glass.
Owned and run by the Adrià brothers, two of the biggest influencers of the Poble Sec scene, Pakta’s menu might seem like an unlikely concept at first glance, blending Japanese and Peruvian cuisines to create something quite delicious. Peru has the second largest Japanese population in South America, and a so-called Nikkei cuisine has developed because of this. Pakta brings the unique Nikkei taste to Barcelona, and it does it with style. Make sure you reserve a table, as the restaurant is small and very popular.
A heady blend of traditional and contemporary cuisines, Palo Cortao features delicious grilled dishes that combine the owner’s Andalusian heritage with a fresh Catalan twist. The name of the restaurant is taken from a sherry produced in the Marco de Jerez region, and the legendary personality of this unique tipple also informs the restaurant’s approach to its cuisine. Iberian pork and truffled Parmentier are particular favorites, while the range of tastes expands further with Japanese and Peruvian influences.
No trip to Poble Sec would be complete without a healthy afternoon enjoying some typical Catalan tapas. Ingredients are locally sourced and seasonal, so you can always expect a variety of tastes and combinations at La Platilleria. They also have a range of vermouth, including a house vermouth that’s well worth trying. There’s no menu so to speak, so just take your pick from the daily specials board and enjoy some truly delicious tapas that will keep you coming back for more.
Naturally, Poble Sec’s reputation as a gourmand’s garden of delights is not down to these five restaurants alone. To really experience the barrio, take a pica-pica tour of Poble Sec and learn about the vibrant cuisine-culture and dive into the amazing tastes of the district.