I remember the first thing that caught my attention when I began paying for my own expenses was just how expensive food was.
It still bewilders me that so much of my salary goes into supermarket shops and dinners out. And so, when I travel – although I enjoy a good meal as much as the next girl – I tend to seek cheap places to eat. But all in all, it’s quite hard to find a place that beats a supermarket sandwich run in terms of price, so if I’m eating out not only do I look for a cheap option, but I crave a little something else, be it good decor, vibe or friendly staff. So without further a due, here’s a list of places to eat for cheap without compromising that little flare that I always crave.
Los 100 Montaditos
Sandwich bar | Various locations including Gràcia & L’Eixample | $ | Instagram: @100montaditos
Suitable for vegetarians, vegans and GF | Best for those looking for really cheap food!
This place right here is a Spaniard’s mecca. Growing up in the south of spain, los “cien-mon” (aka 100 montaditos) were a classic eatery after a long day out and about. 100 little sandwiches for around 1 euro, cheap beer and inexpensive sangría populate this place’s menu – It’s cheap, quick and versatile.
You’ll find this chain dotted around Barcelona (and most Spanish cities), so it’s rather hard to miss. It’s decor is easily recognisable and although they have recently undergone some re-branding, expect a very traditional-looking Spanish bar to reminisce your childhood family holidays.
Middle-eastern food | Pueblo seco | $$ | Instagram: @iakni
Suitable for vegetarians, vegans and GF | Best for those looking for something different
If what you’re looking for is a well designed place with an affordable menu, Iakni might do you justice. Serving Lebanese food near Plaza España, this restaurant offers a middle eastern menu with mezze dishes at around 6 euros. Although you’re recommended a few for a full dinner, you can always just have one or two for a decent price.
Food truck | Various Locations | $$ | Instagram: @caravan_made
Suitable for vegetarians, vegans and GF | Best for those on the move
Who said aesthetics had to come at a price? Caravan Made are not only pretty darn good with their food – but they also know how to please those of us with a keen eye for branding and decor. Expect them to be a little harder to find (they are a moving food truck after all), but if you happen to come across them I can assure you shall be pleasantly surprised.
With a very prominent 70s vibe and a keen eye for detail, Caravan Made has played their cards right. Run by two twenty-something year old chefs, they offers eco-friendly, fresh and healthy sandwiches with a high-end gastronomical twist.
The Fish and Chips Shop
Fish and Chips | L’Eixample | $$ | Instagram: @thefishandchipshop
Suitable for lactose intolerants | Best for those looking for a bougie fast food
This place isn’t your regular corner chip shop. Dishes range from 8-10 euros and offer a range of fish combos – some more traditional, others slightly more adventurous such as their hummus and fried popadoms. It’s a fast food with a twist, offering a reasonably priced meal for the customer on the go.
Asian Fusion | L’Eixample | $ | Instagram: @lastmonkeybcn
Suitable for veggies and vegans | Best for a date!
Not quite a mediterranean restaurant but not quite an asian gourmet either, the Last Monkey is the hottest asian fusion in Barcelona right now. Ran by an Italian chef, this place is cozy but welcomes you with an open heart. The best bit? The most expensive dish on the menu is priced at 7 euros.
Bo de B
Healthy sandwiches | Barrio Gótico | $ | Instagram: @Bodebcn
Suitable for veggies and vegans | Best for the healthy foodie
I came across this spot which is practically squeezed amongst two buildings in the Gothic Quarter when searching for the cheapest eats in the Catalonian capital. As it turns out, there’s quite a hype about Bo de B and their healthy sandwiches and the reason behind the (sometimes) long queues in this place. And the thing is, when there’s bloggers online rave about a place- you know it must be good. Also suitable for vegetarians and vegans – an extra bonus!
So there you go – you cheapskates can’t complain anymore! Enjoy a meal out and save some dollar on your next trip to the Catalonian city, whilst savouring some of the best local (and foreign!) cuisine in this cultural medley of a city.