travel tip from barcelona

How to find a good, reasonably priced local restaurant!

– Walk away from the tourist strip until you don’t see any other tourists.

– A good sign – if the restaurant doesn’t have an English menu.

– Check price list. Could be tricky when you don’t understand the language of the menu. Starters/appetizers can give the illusion that the restaurant is cheaper than you might anticipate. In my case today at lunch, I read in my guidebook about a “menu del dia” or set menu that is often offered in Spain at lunch time.

– Peer in through the window. Full of locals? Walk right in!

– Point at items on menu or on others’ tables along with asking the waiter (hopefully he knows some English) and pray it works out.

For a set price of 10.50 Euros I got a two course meal, bread, fruit salad, drink and coffee! My first plate was arros negre, rice made black with cuttlefish ink, a dish listed in the Lonely Planet guide. Tasted much better than it sounds – it was a really creamy risotto-like dish with clams, scallops and tiger prawn. My second plate wasn’t nearly as good – chicken cutlet and french fries – as I had no idea what it was from just pointing to something at random on the menu. Couldn’t finish all my food, though I tried. For my coffee, I ordered a “cafe Americano”, which I guess was an extra 1.15 Euro. So, this method isn’t fail-proof, but if you don’t want to take any risks, may as well stay home and eat at McDonald’s right? 🙂

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