Barcelona might not have the street food of New Delhi or London’s East End Indian restaurants but there are still a few surprises for Indian food lovers. For a city that boasts a big Asian population, some of them have to get it right… and they do. I am a big Indian cuisine fan, cooking it on a daily basis and even owning my own tandoor oven. Our office is located in the heart of El Raval, a multicultural neighbourhood and the best place to stock up with spices and other essential Indian cooking ingredientes. After many meals in the city, this is a selection of my favourite Indian restaurants in Barcelona.
My favourite Barcelona Indian restaurants
SWAD, THE INDIAN RESTAURANT
I put this great little place at the top of the list for 3 simple reasons: it is a small family-owned business, like our own tour company; offers a warm personal service; and it has the best Indian food in Barcelona city. The fact that it is located only a few blocks away from my house makes it very tempting to pop in here quite often.
A few months ago they renovated the interior which used to be quite bland. Now it has a lovely atmosphere in a very small room filled with the aromas of Asian spices. The food is to die for. They have a great value fixed-price menu for vegetarians (€17) and another one for meat lovers (€19) but eating “a-la-carte” is when you really appreciate this little gem in Barcelona.
OUR FAVOURITE DISH: Murgh Malai. These are yoghurt marinated pieces of chicken cooked in the tandoor oven. Their version is delicate and juicy at the same time.
Address: Carrer de Sancho de Ávila, 167
Website: SWAD, The Indian Restaurant
In a more formal setting, this is a place to indulge yourself in the flavours of Indian cuisine. Chef Anand Negi learned his trade in India and London and it shows. We even dined here for the annual Runner Bean Tours Christmas party last year and we couldn’t be happier with the organisation.
It is a bit more expensive than other Indian restaurants in Barcelona but they offer good menu deals. If you prefer to try a bit of everything, go for one of their tasting menus for about €30 per person. They have a sister restaurant called Rangoli in Barceloneta that also serves excellent food.
OUR FAVOURITE DISH: Saag Paneer. A classic vegetarian Indian dish that here is prepared beautifully and with real paneer.
Address: Carrer del Consell de Cent, 377
MASALA 73 CURRY BAR
This fantastic Indian restaurant in Barcelona was actually born out of a food truck that was so successful that they decided to turn it into a diner. And what a restaurant it is! If you are expecting to have the traditional Indian dishes here you won’t be disappointed. Or will you? You might as the idea here is to recreate the Indian hits but with a twist. The Pork Vindaloo is served as as a Mexican taco on top of a home made chapati; a duck magret can be tandoorized; and they even created their own Indian version of the traditional Bomba de la Barceloneta. It is also great for gluten-free options.
OUR FAVOURITE DISH: Green Vegetable Korma. Crunchy seasonal green vegetables (think asparagus, baby courgette and broccolini) served on a light sauce with cashews and coconut milk.
Address: Carrer de Muntaner, 152
Website: Masala 73 Curry Bar
VEG WORLD INDIA
Vegetarians know that they always have a reliable source of fantastic food at Indian restaurants. In Barcelona, the reference is this little place located in the trendy neighbourhood of Gràcia. Even if meat is your game, the way they prepare the paneer will make you forget your meat cravings very easily.
Thali is a popular choice here to have a complete meal. They claim to be 90% vegan but also remember that, if you want wine or beer, it will have to be one of the 0% alcohol options.
OUR FAVOURITE DISH: Masala Dosa. Few places in Barcelona offer this traditional South India dish. Here, not only they do it but it is their speciality.
Address: Carrer de Bruniquer, 26
Website: Veg World India
I might be cheating a bit here because it is not really in Barcelona but in Badalona, a town nearby and only a quick 15 minute metro ride. However, I couldn’t leave this amazing place behind. If you think that a pakora is a deep fried greasy pastry or a kulfi is a kind of a frozen ice-cream, be ready to change your mind.
They call themselves Indo-Pakistani cuisine but all the classics are there: Chicken tikka, Rogan Josh, Saag Paneer, Lamb Madras… The restaurant is only around the corner from our accountant so it has become a tradition to have lunch whenever we visit them. Excellent is an understatement.
OUR FAVOURITE DISH: Vegetable pakoras & pistaccio kulfi. The pakoras is a melt-in-your-mouth experience. I promise you would never have tasted anything like them. And don’t forget to end the meal with one of their pistaccio kulfis. I was never crazy about them until I tried this one.
Address: Carrer de Baldomer Solà, 3 (Badalona)
Website: Tariq Badalona
I know that any Indian food lover will always have a craving every so often, even when they are on holidays. These are my very honest recommendations for now. I haven’t listed any Indian restaurants in Barcelona that didn’t impress me (like Tandoor and Swagatam). Also, there are still some left to try that I have heard good things about (Chennai Masala Dosa and Maruya come to mind). So here is hoping that you find this post helpful…. from one Indian food lover to another ;-).
Photographs by Bembi Barcelona and Trip Advisor