So, this is a rather unusual post for me as, may I point out, I do not write about restaurants or do reviews of any kind. I have very good friends who are experts at doing that here in Barcelona!
The reason I felt I should do this one is because I have loads of my students asking me “Anjalina, where do you get the best Indian food in Barcelona? Which are your top Indian restaurants in Barcelona?“ This is hard for me to answer, as I rarely eat Indian food outside of my own home, which, if you know me and what I do (I am a culinary teacher, teaching Indian cooking in Barcelona, and a recipe developer) , you’ll probably understand, or maybe not. It should be my duty to be up to speed on what’s good on the Indian food scene here in my adopted hometown of Barcelona! So, I took on this challenge and went out to eat! Eating research is fun!
In no particular order or preference, here of some of the spots I think you should definitely check out! I haven’t covered every single Indian restaurant in town, so if you have any that you’d like to recommend, I’d be happy to give them a try! Here goes!
Masala 73 Curry Bar
Address: Carrer de Muntaner 152, Eixample, Barcelona
For me, these guys are the most current, hip looking Indian joint, in that, its’ easy, minimalistic design really speaks of what todays eating experience is all about: the food. And the food is GOOD! This Curry Bar started off as a food truck (or food BUS), and finally became a permanent location built on pure passion for this vast yet simple cuisine. And they do it very well. They also change their menu every 3-4 months, focussing on seasonal local produce but sticking to Indian traditional well-loved curries and dishes. I recently tried the Beef Vindaloo, a well-loved British favourite, practically non-existent in India now, and the flavours were deep and smoky, just perfect, the gosht tacos are to die for and the pea koftas in that silky green sauce, heavenly…. Love this place, the guys there, and Isa, who handles front of house, is a gem of a person. You’ll be happy there!
Karma Lounge & Restaurant
Address: Carrer de Santaló 73, 08021 Barcelona
This restaurant comes from a line of previous restaurants scattered around the city. It’s run by a well-established Indian family here in Barcelona who have a tonne of experience under their belts. They own J K Asian Foods too, a tiny treasure of a store where I buy all my Indian produce! It’s brilliant! So, back to this restaurant. It’s the youngest of their 3 restaurants and slightly hidden away. It’s in the “upper” area of Barcelona, meaning, above Avenida Diagonal, on Calle Santalo. This street isn’t known to be bustling or particularly vibrant although it has Mercat Galvany to boast of, a lovely little local market with great produce and vendors. So, this isn’t a place that expects walk-ins. I wish it was though. The service is great and super polite and friendly. The food is traditional and in keeping with the tastes of the local Spanish Catalan people, I feel. Nothing overly spiced, the meats are cooked perfectly and the portions exact. We tried the Murgh Malai, a succulent chicken kebab, amongst many dishes. The naan was light and tasty and the prawns, tandoori style, were flavourful. Do hop in if you’re out shopping on Diagonal, it’s a lovely little oasis.
Address: Carrer del Consell de Cent 236, 08011 Barcelona
Surya pride themselves on being the pioneers of the Street Food concept in Spain. They’ve got two restaurants in Barcelona and one in Madrid now so you can safely say that this concept is going down pretty well with the locals! The decor is superb, fun and kitsch and just what people need for a relaxed evening out! These guys have hit the pulse of the cool Mumbai style, the quirky colours and images, and the menu follows the same concept. It’s got its curries and traditional dishes for sure, they even have a dish of the month! But the fun part is the street food stuff: pakoras, pani puri, papdi chaat. If you know Indian street food then you’ll be one happy camper! Recently though, they’ve taken a slightly more “health” conscious route, adding an Ayurvedic bowl menu! I love this idea and I think it’ll do really well: 3 new bowls based on the ayuvedic “doshas”, and you choose yours based on your type. It’s modern and fun and that’s what Surya is all about.
Chennai Masala Dosa
Address: Carrer de Galileu 326, 08028 Barcelona
So, I’m from Bangalore, South India, and for me, there’s nothing that compares to South Indian or Chettinad style food, which basically means DOSA (amongst other marvellous things). Dosa is a crispy type of pancake/crepe thing made from a fermented batter, a combination of lentil and rice flour. You can opt for the plain version accompanied with coconut and tomato chutney, the masala version, stuffed with a soft spiced potato filling or they have many other interesting options to choose from on their menu. They know their South Indian food because the owners are from the South! Very humble, happy people, it’s always a pleasure to grab lunch there (I usually eat dosas for lunch as opposed to dinner as, in the South, dosas are a breakfast food and I’m used to that). Try their Thali too. The plate with about 6-7 different dishes all at once, a great way to get to know the variety of flavours of this region.
Address: Carrer d’Aragó 8, 08015 Barcelona
Ivan, the owner, is young, he’s fun and always with a very pleasing disposition. He’s taken his father’s restaurant and completely turned it around, making it cool and modern and calling it “Local Indian Food”. Which is a bold move! And he’s done it well. He knows what locals want and he gives it to them. Traditional North Indian dishes, with a more delicate background flavour, lighter and well presented. The place is relaxed and rustic, the colours of the table mats and signage are bright and inviting. And the food is just right for the local palate, especially if you’re an Indian food virgin, and you’re a bit sceptical, I feel like this is the place to start!
Address: Carrer de Girona 57, 08009 Barcelona
Mayura is one of the first Indian restaurants I came to discover on a personal level right back when it was being created in 2006! I know Mayura (the owner), we were in school together! She comes from a family of great cooks; her mother is super well known for her delicious burgers back in Bangalore. She truly knows the flavours of the South and has incorporated some of them into her dishes. The range of dishes covers the country’s finest, and my personal favourite are the lamb chops, you have to try those!! The ambience is exotic, colourful and very tastefully done, lovely for a night out for sure!
Address: Passeig de Manuel Girona 50, 08034 Barcelona
On a lazy Sunday afternoon, slightly gloomy and tired I decided that going out wasn’t in our plans for the day. And neither was cooking. So, a friend recommended Dhaba. Dhaba in Hindi basically means a sort of truck stop, rural restaurant, cheap and delicious, but perhaps slightly challenging if you’re a foreigner. I grew up eating a late-night curry at dhabas after a long night out! Those were the days! Anyway, I digress. So, I ordered a number of usual suspects like the chicken Biryani, Sheekh Kebab, Chicken tikka and Dal Makhani. And it was all very well-seasoned, the biryani particularly was fragrant and the rice fluffy, light and super aromatic. We enjoyed that take out meal, and it really hit the spot on a Sunday afternoon. It’ll probably be even better if you eat there!
Address: Carrer Còrsega 211-bis, Barcelona
Elegant and modern, the chic design itself makes you feel like you’re about to dine like a queen or king. It’s a small space, but perfect for intimate get togethers and romantic evenings.
Focusing more on Northern Indian cuisine, they stick to what they know best. The food is rich in flavours, well presented and classy all around! Try their tasting menu, it covers all the favourites!
A few more…
There are more, many more Indian haunts. As I said, I haven’t been able to cover them all for this post, but I will be trying them out soon! These are a few more that I’ve heard very good things about. I’ve been to a couple a while ago and will definitely be going back.
- Swad: www.swadbcn.com
- Rangoli: www.rangoli-barcelona.com
- Bembi: www.bembi-barcelona.com
- Veg World: www.vegworldindiabarcelona.es
So, that was my tiny glimpse on the Indian restaurant scene here in bustling Barcelona. I think we are on a good roll here and that the flavours and spices are starting to be well loved by locals, and discovered by travellers too. As I always say, spice up your life! And what better way than to go for an Indian meal once in a while, if you’re not cooking it at home following one of my recipes, that is. 😉